In the world of watches, solar is nothing new. Nonetheless, the fact that a little bit of sun every once in a while will keep your clock ticking still feels like a mini miracle. In the bike business, however, solar has remained at the fringes, the preserve of mahogany-tanned adventurers with their go-anywhere foldable arrays, enviable collection of sporks, and less enviable sandals. But now, thanks to innovative products like the Garmin Edge 840 bike computer, solar power is about to have its moment in the sun.
The big headline is that thanks to the 840's built-in Power Glass solar charging, this sun-worshipping little gizmo can gain up to 25 minutes per hour of extra runtime in battery-saver mode during daytime conditions. That's a lot! OK, those figures assume 75,000 lux conditions, but that's not crazy sunny, just sunny (111,000 lux, for example, is bright sunlight. 50,000 is an overcast sort of day.)
But that's not the half of it. It's no secret that Garmin's bike computer range lost ground to Wahoo in the last few years. And if the 840 were nothing more than lipstick on a pig, the solar wouldn't mean a whole lot. But this is no pig. It's a beautiful Adventure Unicorn. Yes, the Garmin Edge 840 Solar legitimately rocks. It's simple to use, period. And we can't quite believe it. Neither could Ben.
It has buttons or a touchscreen, lasts up to 60 hours in battery saver mode and features some canny tech called Adaptive Coaching that will suggest daily workouts based on your activity. Plus, whatever surface you're riding on, the 840 will keep you there, and not, should you be in the middle of the woods, turning onto a freeway in ten miles' time. Smart.
We've been using the 840 a lot, so if you want more info, read Ben's blog or come into the shop to see one for yourself and get the skinny.