Garmin has announced its new Edge 840 and 540 Solar bike calculator, which recharges with sunlight when riding.
The new computers represent an evolutionary update to the Edge 830 and 530, both of which are among the best cycling computers we’ve tested.
Like the oversized Edge 1040 Solar, the new computers are moving to a USB-C charging port, ditching the micro-USB standard, and offering multiband satellite tracking.
Both computers continue to use a 2.6-inch color screen and offer color mapping, with screen dimensions of 2.3 by 3.4 by 0.8 inches.
The 840 series uses a touch screen and buttons, while the 540 series relies only on buttons. Garmin also introduced ClimbPro 2.0, which lets riders see the profile of an upcoming climb without navigation.
The Edge 840 Solar retails for £519.99 / $599 / €599.99 / AU$879 and the 540 Solar for £449.99 / $499 / €499.99 / AU$749.
Garmin is also releasing the Edge 840 and 540, which forgo solar charging but share the same features.
840 at £449.99 / $499 / €499.99 / AU$749 and 540 at £349.99 / $349 / €399.99 / AU$599.
The computers will also be available in a package that contains 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 up to 75,000 lux during day trips.
Like the Edge 1040 Solar and some of Garmin’s high-end smartwatches, such as the Fenix 7 and Instinct 2, solar power is enabled by photovoltaic charging built into the computer screen.
The solar intensity widget displayed on the screen represents the amount of sunlight or lux conditions received.
By contrast, the Edge 840 and 540 are claimed to have up to 26 hours of battery life when using GPS, or up to 42 hours in battery saver mode.
For comparison, the Edge 830 and 530 coming out each have up to 20 hours of battery life while using GPS, and up to 40 hours in battery saver mode.
If you’re after more battery life, all models are compatible with Garmin’s Charge power pack.
More accurate mapping
The new computers also get multiband GNSS, a feature Garmin has been rolling out on all of its new machines. This means that the device can simultaneously receive signals from several navigation systems other than GPS, including GLONASS and GALILEO.
As a result, Garmin says the devices provide improved navigation in more challenging environments, such as cities or dense forests.
Trendline popularity guidance is said to highlight popular routes and trails, as well as searchable points of interest. The devices also have access to Trailforks, one of the best cycling apps.
In a welcome move, off-lane routing and notifications can now be paused if you need to change your route mid-flight.
The 540 and 840 are compatible with Garmin’s Varia line of backlit radars, as well as inReach SOS devices.
Achieving personal goals
When paired with compatible sensors, both devices inherit Garmin’s Cycling Ability feature, which first appeared in the 1040.
This breaks down your strengths and weaknesses prior to a specific event or goal, and in turn provides insight into where you should focus your training.
The computers also feature Targeted Adaptive Training, where the computers suggest workouts or training prompts based on your riding goals.
According to Garmin, the Edge 840 and 540 pair easily with Tacx indoor smart trainers.
The bike computers also receive deeper integration with Garmin smartwatches and the computer can display wellness insights such as the PulseOx, Body Battery, and Sleep Score.
The devices continue to track heat, acclimate to altitude, and can notify you to refuel or rehydrate.
Using insights from FirstBeat Analytics, the 840 and 540 Series can tell you your VO2 max, training status, load and recovery time.
Finally, the Real-Time Stamina feature allows riders to “monitor and track effort levels in real time while riding to help influence training efforts or see how well the current pace can be maintained,” according to Garmin.
Likewise, the Energy Guide feature provides energy goals when paired with a pre-loaded training course.
What is the difference between Edge 840 and Edge 540?
- The Edge 840 series is described as the 1040 form factor in the 800-series, so training/mapping capability but a smaller device and screen
- The Edge 840 uses a touch screen and buttons, while the 540 series omits a touch screen
- The 840 and 540 Solar computers are similar in profile
- There is a £70 difference between solar models and a £100 difference between non-solar models
ClimbPro 2.0.0 Update
Garmin releases ClimbPro 2.0 on the new hardware.
ClimbPro is a built-in feature that tells you the ascent and grade remaining for each climb when following a route. This can be useful so that you can organize yourself while riding, as well as during the ascent to avoid crowds.
ClimbPro 2.0 means the feature is now available without navigation, so you can see a profile of the climbs you’re doing without following a pre-loaded route.
Garmin has confirmed that ClimbPro 2.0 will be available on the 1040 Solar but will not be compatible with the previous generation 800 and 500 computers.
Garmin Edge 840 and 540 pricing 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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