Garmin has announced its new Edge 840 and 540 Solar bike computers, which charge with sunlight as you ride.
The new computers represent an evolutionary update to the Edge 830 and 530, both of which are among the best bike computers we’ve tested.
Like the king-size Edge 1040 Solar, the new computers are moving to a USB-C charging port, ditching the micro-USB standard, and offering multi-band satellite tracking.
Both computers continue to use a 2.6-inch color display and offer color mapping, with screen dimensions of 2.3 × 3.4 × 0.8 inches
The 840 series uses a touchscreen and buttons, while the 540 series relies solely on buttons. Garmin has also rolled out ClimbPro 2.0, allowing riders to see the profile of an upcoming climb without navigation.
The Edge 840 Solar sells for £519.99 / $599 / €599.99 / AU$879 and the 540 Solar for £449.99 / $499 / €499.99 / AU$749.
Garmin is also launching the Edge 840 and 540, which forgo solar charging but otherwise share the same features.
The 840 sells for £449.99 / $499 / €499.99 / AU$749 and the 540 for £349.99 / $349 / €399.99 / AU$599.
The computers will also be available in a bundle containing a speed and cadence sensor, as well as a heart rate monitor.
here comes the sun
Garmin claims the Edge 840 and 540 Solar have up to 32 hours of battery life when using GPS, or up to 60 hours in battery saver mode. These listed battery times assume continuous conditions of 75,000 lux during daytime rides.
Like the Edge 1040 Solar and some of Garmin’s high-end smartwatches, such as the Fenix 7 and Instinct 2, the solar capability is enabled by the PV charging built into the computer screen.
The solar intensity widget displayed on the screen represents the amount of sunlight or lux conditions received.
In contrast, the Edge 840 and 540 are said to have a battery life of 26 hours when using GPS, or up to 42 hours in battery saver mode.
For comparison, the outgoing Edge 830 and 530 have 20 hours of battery life with GPS and up to 40 hours in battery saver mode.
If you’re looking for even longer battery life, all models are compatible with Garmin’s Charge power pack.
More accurate mapping
The new computers also benefit from multi-band GNSS technology, a feature that Garmin has rolled out to all of its new devices. This means that the device can simultaneously receive signals from several satellite navigation systems other than GPS, including GLONASS and GALILEO.
As a result, Garmin says the devices offer improved navigation in more challenging environments, such as in cities or dense forests.
Trendline Popularity Routing is said to highlight popular roads and trails, as well as searchable points of interest. The devices also have access to Trailforks, one of the best apps for cycling.
In a welcome move, route guidance and off-course notifications can now be paused if you want to change your route mid-course.
The 540 and 840 are compatible with Garmin’s Varia line of rearview radars, as well as its inReach SOS devices.
Achieve personal goals
When paired with compatible sensors, both computers inherit Garmin’s Cycling Ability feature, which debuted on the 1040.
This details your strengths and weaknesses ahead of a specific event or goal and, in turn, gives you insight into where to focus your training.
The computers also feature Targeted Adaptive Training, where the computers suggest workouts or workout prompts based on your driving goals.
According to Garmin, the Edge 840 and 540 can be paired easily with Tacx indoor smart trainers.
Bike computers also get deeper integration with Garmin’s smartwatches and the computer can display wellness information such as PulseOx, Body Battery and Sleep Score.
Devices continue to track heat and altitude acclimatization and can warn you to refuel or rehydrate.
Using information from FirstBeat Analytics, the 840 and 540 Series can tell you your VO2 max, training status, and charge and recovery time.
Finally, the Real-Time Stamina feature allows cyclists to “monitor and track effort levels in real time during a ride to help influence training efforts or see how well the current pace can be maintained,” according to Garmin.
Likewise, the Power Guide feature provides power goals when paired with a preloaded course.
What is the difference between Edge 840 and Edge 540?
- The Edge 840 series is described as the 1040 form factor of the 800 series, so training/mapping capability but a smaller device and screen
- The Edge 840 uses a touchscreen and buttons, while the 540 series forgoes a touchscreen
- The 840 and 540 Solar computers have a similar profile
- There is a £70 difference between solar models and a £100 difference between non-solar models
Climb Pro 2.0
Garmin releases ClimbPro 2.0 on new devices.
ClimbPro is a built-in feature that tells you the remaining ascent and grade for each climb when you are navigating a route. This can be useful for you to calm down during a ride, as well as on a climb to avoid bonking.
ClimbPro 2.0 means the feature is now available without navigation, so you can see the profile of a climb you’re on without following a preloaded route.
Garmin has confirmed that ClimbPro 2.0 will be available on the 1040 Solar but will not be compatible with previous generation 800 and 500 series computers.
Garmin Edge 840 and 540 price and availability
Garmin Edge 840 Solar
- Price: £519.99 / $599 / €599.99 / AU$879
Garmin Edge 540 Solar
- Price: £449.99 / $499 / €499.99 / AU$749
Garmin Edge 840
- Price: £449.99 / $499 / €499.99 / AU$749
Garmin Edge 540
- Price: £349.99 / $349 / €399.99 / AU$599
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