Garmin Edge 840 Solar Review: A Data-Rich Bike Computer

Garmin Edge 840 Solar Review: A Data-Rich Bike Computer
Written by Techbot

Since the 1040 debuted last year, Garmin has updated several wayfinding features in the Edge 840 Solar to make them more specific to cycling. Its maps are now ride-type specific, highlighting popular roads and trails and searchable cycling-specific points of interest like bike shops. Also, say you want to purposely veer off course to explore a beach or an espresso shop. You can now pause your course route so that the diversion isn’t calculated into the official route. When you’re ready to jump back on course, the device will steer you back to where you can reengage. Another key feature that Garmin keeps refining is Incident Detection, which automatically sends a message with your location to your emergency contacts after the Edge’s sensors detect that you’ve had a crash.

As for how to access these shiny new features, Garmin added a lot of buttons to the Edge 840 Solar. It has seven in total–that’s four more than the longtime Garmin standard of three. It looks intimidating until you realize you now have the advantage of navigating via touchscreen controls in nice weather or using the buttons when you’re riding in rain or while wearing thick gloves, which is a nice addition, especially for cyclists who often ride in the cold.

Photograph: Garmin

What you see on the screen was updated last year on the 1040 when Garmin revamped its user interface to make navigating the device faster and more intuitive. Its homepage can be customized to include shortcuts to a long list of features like Training, Navigation, History, Notifications, Weather, Sunset, Fitness Age, and Recovery Time. Or it can include just one of those. Scroll down to access a category, press on it, and a whole universe of data is at your fingertips. Sunrise/Sunset, for example, offers the time of sunrise and sunset for the next two weeks, which is helpful if you live in a climate where daylight hours vary greatly as seasons change. Training opens to all the aforementioned new training features. Some of the tools, like Fitness Age, require preloading your VO2 max, resting heart rate, and body fat percentage in the Garmin Connect app on your phone.

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