The Garmin Edge 540 and 840 cycling computers got that solar power

The Garmin Edge 540 and 840 cycling computers got that solar power

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Like Lorde, the Garmin Edge 540 and Edge 840 GPS cycling computers got that solar-olar-olar power.

Garmin has announced the new Edge 540 and Edge 840 GPS cycling computers. There are four models available, two of which have solar power options that offer up to a claimed 32 hours of battery life in demanding use, or an incredible 60 hours in battery saver mode.

The Edge series of computers features the choice of a touchscreen with the Edge 840 or a button-only interface with the Edge 540. (Image: Garmin)

But what might be even more interesting in the new Garmin 540 and 840 release is the integration of built-in targeted adaptive coaching on top of the deep feature set that previous Garmin computers have developed over the years.

What’s new with the Edge 540 and Edge 840?

I’ll start with a quick rundown of all the key new features with the Garmin 540 over the previous Edge 530 computer.

  • targeted adaptive coaching
  • Cycling ability and course demands
  • real-time stamina
  • power guide
  • Climbpro ascent planner
  • Updated multi-band GNSS
  • USB-C connectivity on all models

Like its Edge 530 predecessor, the Edge 540 and 840 stick with physical buttons and a color 2.6” screen. Both models still use crowdsourced ride data to automatically select routes that are most popular with other Edge GPS computer users.

Edge 540 and Edge 840 computers claim to offer up to 26 hours of battery life in demanding use and 42 hours in battery saver mode, up from the claimed 20 hours of the Edge 530 and Edge 830. Choose the Edge 540 Solar or Edge 840 Solar and its built-in solar panels and riders can expect up to an extra 25 minutes per hour during daytime riding.

Edge 540 and Edge 840 Solar computers will show just how much battery life is added from riding through daylight. (Image: Garmin)

That, of course, is dependent on what kind of sunlight intensity you have. Garmin makes these quotes assuming 75,000 lux of sunlight An average day with lots of sunlight is roughly 100,000 lux or more, but an overcast day can be as little as 2,000 lux.

Looks like you’ll need to layer on the sunscreen to make the most of that solar option. Even without solar, running an Edge computer in battery saver mode would’ve been enough for me to ride East Texas Showdown without having to plug it in to charge with external power.

There are a number of features carried over from the Edge 1040 computer. Perhaps the most interesting to me is targeted adaptive coaching. Garmin says that the new program can suggest workouts and training prompts for every ride. These suggestions can adapt to training load, upcoming events, recovery and more. Garmin calls it personalized coaching, but we’ll have to see about that.

Targeted adaptive coaching lets your Garmin suggest ‘individualized’ cycling workouts based on your existing training load and any future rides you have planned. No idea how ‘individualized’ these workouts will truly be. (Image: Garmin)

Another feature from the Edge 1040 is Power Guide. Think of it as a built-in race-planning program that tells you what power targets you need to hit to finish a course in a specific time.

As on the Edge 1040, users will need to prepare for Power Guide ahead of time on Garmin Connect; there you’ll choose the terrain type, your riding weight, FTP, and how hard you want to work. Send it to your computer and you’ll see the Power Guide screen pop up when your chosen route starts.

Course Demands and Cycling Ability is also largely carried over from the Edge 1040.

Course Demands tells you how much aerobic capacity is needed to finish a course to do well compared to your estimated capacity. Cycling Ability analyzes your riding style and spits out what type of cyclist you are (‘flat specialist’, ‘endurance specialist’, ‘challenger,’ ‘sprinter,’ and more).

Pictured here is Edge 840, but both computers here offer their Training Status program to tell you how your training is progressing. (Image: Garmin)

Neither of these features is particularly valuable to the average cyclist, but the data-hungry (and their coaches) will probably lap this up.

Real-Time Stamina tells you how far you can ride at a given intensity level and if that’s sustainable, which sounds like a bit of a bummer to me.

ClimbPro will now show how you are progressing up a climb, even if you don’t have a route loaded onto the computer. (Image: Garmin)

One feature unique to the Edge 540 (and Edge 840) is the addition of ClimbPro ascent planner. This feature provides an on-screen visual representation of a climb ahead of you, details of the grade, distance remaining, and your position on the climb.

ClimbPro isn’t a new feature, but it is now expanded from only preloaded routes to showing up on every ride you do, regardless of whether or not you have a preloaded route. It may have first been available on the Hamerhead Karoo 2, but it’s nice to see it from Garmin nonetheless.

This is on top of the other noteworthy features of the existing Edge 530, including heat and altitude acclimation estimate, training status, Di2 and AXS integration, MTB Dynamics, and Varia cycling radar integration among others.

Both computers are glove-friendly, though the Edge 540 is often the go-to for glove wearers. (Image: Garmin)

Of course, all of this comes at a cost. Garmin Edge 540 will launch at $350, or the same price as the outgoing Edge 830 at retail, and $100 more than the outgoing Edge 530. Edge 540 Solar launches at $450.

What’s the difference between the Edge 540 and the Edge 840?

There is one key difference between the Edge 540 and Edge 840: the touchscreen. That’s about it. Well, that and the Edge 840 gets 32 GB memory rather than the 540’s 16 GB memory.

Edge 840 gains the same features as the Edge 540, including targeted adaptive coaching, Climbpro ascent planner, improved GPS GNSS antennas, and more. The 2.6-inch screen size is the same. Even quoted battery life numbers are the same despite the addition of a touchscreen. And as a first for the touchscreen Edge 800 series, the Edge 840 now has buttons in addition to the touch screen.

Like the Edge 540, there is a Garmin Edge 840 standard and an Edge 840 Solar version. Edge 840 will launch at $450, while the Edge 840 Solar is available for $550. This is a $50 jump over the previous Edge 830 computer.

Both Edge 540 and Edge 840 share roughly the same dimension as the outgoing Edge 530 and 830 computers. (Image: Garmin)

Either way you slice it, the Edge 540 and 840 computers seem to be improvements over the well-loved lineup of Edge computers. How much of an improvement are these updates? Stay tuned for our full review to test them out.

These computers are on sale now, though interested parties will have to find Lorde’s Solar Power on their own. Find more information at

Climbpro shows the distance remaining, your speed, your average grade remaining, and more. (Image: Garmin)

Post-ride analysis continues to be a robust feature in the Garmin world. (Image: Garmin)

Mapping also continues to be robust with waypoints available on maps as an option. (Image: Garmin)

If there’s anything Garmin computers have over the competition from Hammerhead, Wahoo, Stages, and others, it is the deep data analytics options. (Image: Garmin)

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