Is This The Best Garmin for Cycling Ever? GARMIN 1030 Review for Road Racing


Is This The Best Bike Computer? Garmin 1030 Long Term Review

I’ve been riding with Garmin 1030 for the last 4 months and am now really confident talking about the many pros and cons of the device.

I have left a few features off this review, things like STRAVA Live and Group Track, but I felt I needed to stick to the main features and ones that I used regularly.

I can’t wait ti hear your thoughts on both Garmin and other bike computers you fancy

Garmin 1030 –


Ultimate GPS Bike Computer with Navigation and Connected Features
3.5” bike computer with comprehensive navigation, performance and cycling awareness features
Trendline™ popularity routing uses billions of miles of Garmin Connect™ ride data to show the best on- and off-road routes
Preloaded Garmin Cycle Map provides turn-by-turn directions and new navigation alerts
New rider-to-rider messaging¹ lets you stay in contact with other cyclists in your group
Challenge yourself every ride with newly updated preloaded Strava Live Segments feature
Battery life: up to 20 hours², extendable up to 40 hours with the optional Garmin Charge™ power pack

INSTAGRAM: @chrismiller27 @teamnerobianchi
TWITTER: @chrismiller @teamnerobianchi
GROUPSET: Shimano Dura Ace Di2
SERVICE & SUPPORT: Cycling Projects Racing


James Jordan says:

After having to send back my 820 three times due to water ingress and bricking on updates to only have my 1000 do the same 4 times in 18 months really made me hate Garmin. Add to this the 1000 never worked as advertised, routing constantly failed, file would corrupt every time it went to sleep I gave up and am determined never to touch a Gamin unit ever again, this review just re-enforced this decision. As for the Varia radar its a gimmick. You either get 100’s of alarms that are of little value because you are in heavy traffic or your on a country road and you can tell there is a car behind you without it.

John Citizen says:

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.

tonykart15 says:

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt is the Best. In my opinion. Simplicity Works

Ron Short says:

I’ve used the 1030 since it was released. From my experience, I agree with Chris and this review is very accurate and true. One thing I like to add is, these computers do last and can take a beating. I have several old models that are war-torn but, still work fine. I don’t have the Varia radar so, I will be interested what Chris has to say.

Harry Tzianskis The God of Speed says:

Whats up Chris!! You think there will be a tour in France with all the crap going on? And did that have something to do with sky getting dropped

Neil Aldridge says:

Another good review Chris. I’m intrigued that given you were tracking toward “NO” but changed your mind due to Varia, is it really the 1030 that you like? Is the 1030 really $300 better than the 520? Would the $700 not be better spent on a 520 and Varia combo?

Luke R says:

Great review mate! It is awesome to see it over time with heavy use. This is different to most other reviews where they might have a week with the device.

I am not in the market for a new cycling computer (happy with my wahoo bolt) but still enjoyed the video.

Just a heads up, when you were showing the messages from Elizabeth there was an address in the messages. Not sure if that is an issue or not.

Danny Roberts-Clarke : Nero Coaching says:

Looking forward to the Varia review, cool piece of kit

Kev Wells says:

OK good to know it is not just my Garmin 1000 dropping bluetooth to my iphone, that is annoying. Shane Miller aka gplama loves his radar, I’m keen for one.

A. Random says:

Wahoo is going to obliterate Garmin in the long term. Wahoo has really good engineers.

Iwan Tirta says:

I’m guessing the Varia works better in Berry where you get the odd car, but wouldn’t it go off constantly when riding in Sydney? Great review btw

Andrew Gordon says:

The connection issue is what has prevented me to buy new gamin, for me I need the live track to work , I ride in a lot remote rural area and I need my wife to be able to find me if I crash or break down. Yet to decide on new device however still running 510 and it is terrible with its blue tooth connection

Blake Gillmer says:

Great review Chris like how you have been using it for more than a week to give feedback. Had Garmin from the start went the bolt this time around. I like the size and simplicity of the wahoo but Garmin does make good stuff too if it suits you as a rider. Good luck in NZ

Brian McMahon says:

Great review Chris. Been a Garmin stalwart for too long but can never seem to stay away. Currently running an 820 and it does everything I need. Your right though the new Varia once you use you can’t live without. I must be the only one that finds Garmin connect ok. Use it all the time with the 820 and Fenix 5X plus. 1030 definitely on the radar (no pun intended)

Glenn Sullivan says:

Great review Chris and pretty much spot on with my thoughts. I did the same thing and went away from Garmin for the same reasons you mentioned. Went to the Bolt (to work with Kickr). I then got the 1030 as a present a few months ago and really like it…….Then I got the Varia radar and OMG!! The best device/tech I have ever used and now Garmin has me again! Damm!
Please do a review on the Varia as this simple little device is worth talking about.

Rune Isaksen says:

I totally agree on the RTL510 radar. Its amazing. Believe me guys, you are going to love it.

Joel Berman says:

It’s really simple. Does the Varia make riding safer? Garmin says others can support the Varia. I called Wahoo to ask if they will support it. The answer was No. Case closed.

Ambert Rodriguez says:

Garmin Varia Radar. Thats where they got me too. But I just have the Garmin 520 plus. Simplicity beats complexity.

Sean Maguire says:

Great review and probably captures my frustrations around Garmin, connectivity and Garmin Connect reliability. Have been on the cusp with the Bolt particularly when I tested their customer service versus Garmin. The only feature on the 1030 is the ‘find me a route functionality’ but would assume similar must exist on the web. Anyone seen that functionality out there?

acwna1 says:

Completely agree with this, I have a Garmin 520, similar issues with connection dropping out and battery life suffering, but the Radar is something I won’t be without. The Varia Radar is awesome and makes up for the other cons. Thanks for your thoughts, it may just swing me to get a 1030, rather than just a new (ie new battery) 520.

Simon Qudos says:

Hey Chris, I found it much easier to set up the buttons on the top of the DI2 shifters to move through the screens rather than use my fingers to do it – also makes it easier when riding in the rain. Also, you complained that messages come through when you’re mid interval/ work out, but you can switch this function off – I’m happy not to receive any messages/ emails whilst on the bike. 
I have found with my 1030 that occasionally it just reboots, for no apparent reason, and despite showing connection with my phone does not always upload the ride immediately. Also, if using the mapping feature in a Country outside of the where you bought it, I discovered requires the purchase of maps for that location otherwise it cannot operate like a GPS (there is a SIM card in the device for the maps)

Ronn Rider says:

Well done again Chris! I absolutely love my 1030. Was able to fine it for $550 on an British website and got 99 Bikes to match it…Score! I completely agree with everything you said, the Garmin eco system is definitely lacking and the IQ apps are mostly garbage (except the XERT ones) but everything else is phenomenal. The connection with the iPhone never fails so must be an Android thing. I’ve had a Garmin radar now for about 2 yrs (Gen 1…ugly shape) and I never ride without it. The few times I have I felt so naked. I’d like to get the one you have because of it’s shape but I also have the latest gen Cycliq rear cam/light so no room for it. Again great job mate. I really like these review vids. I do some myself on my channel (not in a long time though) and they seem to go down really well. Cheers!!

Col C says:

Super interested in your thoughts on Garmin Radar, only last week, I was nearly taken out by a car overtaking on a junction?? missed me by a few inches……have Edge 1030…. Chris, whats your thoughts?

mbn says:

i’m not back to liking garmin after my vector1 and edge1000 experience. i’m on an edge520 now, it records data fine, battery life is bad, screen sucks, it’s completely useless for navigating… it’s just like my edge 800 i “upgraded” from. before my next bigger bike trip i’ll just put a smile on my face, throw that 520 in the bin, and get something not garmin.

Andy Campbell says:

Great review Chris. Garmin have failed to deliver what I paid for too many times. I have 6 Garmins hate them all. Wahoo all the way, simple, reliable with buttons on the top. Suffer in your jocks Garmin

1mandrich says:

Nice video as always. One tip: Get the Black silicone cover for it. Cant stand the white on my Orange and Black TCR but it suits much better now
Keep up the good work

Mikeloves Bikes says:

Hi Chris, I own a Garmin 1000. Do u think it’s worth upgrading ?

john citizen says:

I ride the bike with the wifey a lot … she has a 510 and I have an 820… we share the varia… even when riding together … it ‘bips ‘ happily on both computers so long as we are not more than 20m apart… its absolutely brilliant, especially in the country!

Christoffer Hansen says:

Hey chris,im am thinking about repainting my lazer z1 in white, because you know, it looks amazing. Was wondering how angus painted his blue, and if it turned out nice or not… Thanks!!!

Max Roth says:

i have a 1030 and yes i love it.

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!