Thursday, July 21, 2022

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar Review

Circle Of Life

Garmin first cycling computer to add Solar element and introduced multiple/,multiband GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) which basically meant higher accuracy even in difficult (read: under canopy like in trails). Along with it the Edge1040 (pronounced as ten-forty) has a few upgrades that many has asked for like a metal mounting point that is also compatible with extended battery pack. It also claimed to be able to calculate route faster and better and it is the first Garmin that comes with USB-C support.

A bit closer look
I have been using the (much older) Edge 1000 for years. A workhorse, large enough display, works well, limited routing, fast sync (over wifi) but has been struggling with the touchscreen as it gets locked up when it rain or covered in sweat. Then I can't access anything until I switch it off and restart - which then resulted in not capturing the whole ride data. Not cool.
Garmin Edge 1000

I received a loaner unit from Garmin Malaysia a few weeks ago and has been using it for my indoor and outdoor ride. Intend was to test it as usual, and to provide feedback to Garmin and to help you (potential users) to understand what it is capable of. However, I would want to caveat it by saying I really only has the Edge 1000 as comparison, and of course my Fenix6ProSolar and the Fenix7xSapphireSolar. Why this is important is the solar-capability, and how they will all ties into the True-Up function to ensure a real reporting of my overall fitness and ability.
This will be very straight forward unboxing. Beside the Edge1040, there were enough hardware to install the unit securely on any bikes and with sufficient to go around at least 4-bikes. We all have at least 2 bikes right?
Hardware for mounting. Sorry floor a bit dirty

I am not sure about models preceding the Edge1040, but this unit comes with it's own silicon cover. Which I wished I had with my Edge1000! And of course, the safety tether which makes all sense to install in case the unit falls off unexpectedly (it can happen)
The Edge1040 with the silicon cover and the tether

The Edge1040 comes in two version; the Solar and Non-Solar. Pricing wise is at recommended RM3,699 for Solar and RM3,450 (bundled with HRM-Dual and Speed+cadence sensor). 

Here are images of the unit without the silicon cover. Explanation in the photos where required.
New: Metal weather cover vs the older silicon. Take note of the LAP button on the left and the Start/Stop button on right
bottom with the weather cover opened, showing the USB-C charging point

clean layout. Take note of the very visible (grey/black) solar element

Side view

Back showing the aluminium mountin with battery pack ready and not clearly shown is the bottom left where the tether goes in

left side, power button

top, in case something did not know you are using a Garmin

This is how it look with the silicon case

clean right side

sufficiently protected on all side except the back. Tether installed

left side with power button covered

Nice touch on the silicon cover with GARMIN in bold

full access to the bottom portion. Lap and Start/Stop button covered

no issues to access the charging port. Take note of the tether coming through next to the USB-C port on the right

Clean design. Functional and buttons at all the expected places. Nothing a current Garmin user need to change or adjust to get it going immediately. Speaking of immediately, the setup of this unit was surprisingly easy, and this include importing all the sensors and settings you have in your Garmin Connect.

Setting Up First Time
As this is unofficially (as it's a loaner) my second unit of Garmin cycling computer, the setting up of this was super easy - and I must say that it was almost minimal effort from user perspective. It not only pulls all your rides and data (you will know why later), it also sync all the required sensors, including those you will not use on cycling like my Stryd Power Meter. Well perhaps, there will be time i may take/hold the Edge1040 and go for a run?
First time start up

Firmware version 9.03 @ 42% charged

Loading Maps

Comes with Trailforks too, meaning there are info on global trails as well

Choose your language

Pair to Garmin Connect and let the magic happen

Very straight forward

I swear I did not skip any photos. It just went to this once it sync-ed!

There were minimal interaction and the steps were indeed seamless. I recalled having to do many things manually on my Edge1000. I am impressed. 
Here is the video screen recording of what happened. Quick and simple.
The other things that needed my intervention to complete the setup were the Wifi and Incident Detection, which was completed pretty fast as well.
The Wifi upload of workout is way faster than mobile sync

One reason for Garmin is this on safety. I Always have them activated when I run or cycle alone
Firmware Update
The unit came with firmware 9.03 which was then updated to 12.11 when i completed my sync. On July 15th when I sync it on Garmin Express, another update and this time to version 12.15.
July 11

I love firmware update
The device is ready for more rides!

The Garmin Edge1040Solar has a very similar interface to my Fenix6ProSolar and my Fenix7xSapphireSolar. It has a "glance" function where it will show (editable) information. I've set them up to show what I will usually want to see. Familiarity is good when it comes to info. So I have something similar to my F7x when i scroll through the Edge1040Solar.
It confirmed what I knew all these while - I am just an endurance rider

What is new
With almost no baseline to compare apart from the Edge1000, the biggest changes I can comfortably share would the list below, as much as I can find out in the past weeks of using it. The biggest change is the Power Guide (think of it as the wrist based Pace Pro but using Power as, well, Guide), Multi-GNSS and Multi-band tracking improves both accuracy in the most challenging urban and/or heavy canopy trail area. Some of the other significant changes: 
– Solar (RM3699) and non-Solar model (RM3450)

– Power Glass specifically for Solar model only. 15% elements
– 32GB for non-Solar and 64GB for Solar model. Edge 1000 has 8gb with option for micro-SD. 
– Pre-loaded North America & EMEA for base version
– Pre-loaded North America, EMEA, AU/NZ Maps for Solar model only
– Multi-band/Dual Frequency GNSS/GPS
– USB-C connection
– Metal mounting
– Completely new user interface everywhere
– Tether/lanyard is now not linked to the charging door. I like this new location vs at the bottom of Edge1000
– Connect IQ Widget Glances to Homepage/Dashboard
– Power Guide for per-course training/racing guidance
– Up Ahead for distance to waypoints, also road hazard/sharp bend
– Nice Cycling Ability to bucket you into your ability (this I believe links to your dominant training load).
– Real-Time Stamina to show energy/distance/duration left during workout
– There is Location Search which also include your most recent search from navigation panel. The search result is super duper fast. Having big space help i supposed. Search on the fly but watch the road!
– Added new ‘Bike Shops’ & “Water Stops” categories for navigation search 
– Post-Ride ClimbPro Splits on device. So you can rethink your decision riding those elevations.
– Ability to re-scheduling of primary workouts (aka instead of just "skip workout", you can now move it from the device itself without using phone)
– Added support race/event driven Daily Suggested Workouts. FR955/255 feature now on your cycling computer. Similar algorithm as Fenix6/FR945 "daily suggested workout"
– All your paired sensor information to summary page. Battery info/charge stage were super useful.
– Added new consolidated post-ride Highlights screen with PR’s. This is cool and no longer need to refer to Strava or the phone immediately to look if there were any. If the unit say none, then none lah.
– Added estimated battery remaining when toggling Battery Saver mode. Sort of not relevant for Solar Model if you do gain time from sun exposure.
– You can config data field and pages from phone
– Increased weight slight from 115g (Edge1000) to 133g. Same physical size but with more "real estate" as the buttons moved to the bottom side instead of the Edge bottom below screen.
– Super battery life from 8 hours from Edge1000 on GPS+Glonass+sensors to up to 45 hours (in Multi-Band GPS mode with Solar)

My training load last Saturday. Notice the Ride Summary has more details.

What I like - battery status of all the sensors connected to the Edge1040Solar

When I was doing my research and review, I found out that the Edge1040 has everything all the previous Edge model has, plus more from my experiences in using the above and Edge1000. In short, it's a big upgrade if you are coming in from older than Edge1030 product... my Edge1000 was from 2014.

To Solar or Not to Solar
The whole purpose of this posting is to show the Solar charging capability right? I've been using Garmin with Solar elements since the launch of it in Fenix6 series. While the feature does work especially if you are exposed to the sunlight for considerable period (read: like 3-4hours of run or ride under the sun), it is hardly something many would do unless they are hardcore runner or cyclist or triathletes. I've ran with the Fenix6 (smaller 46mm screen) on 2% power and it lasted a whole 8km run at no shift in battery power. I've done so with the current Fenix7x (52mm) and the battery capability were really a notch or two above Fenix6. Now, we have the Edge1040Solar, where the panel is way larger and the solar element in the Power Glass is 15% coverage vs what was on the Fenix series of only 7%... plus, Edge1040Solar throw in a widget to convince you how much time you gain, battery wise for riding under the sun.
Resultant of the 2hours ride, where another 2 was spent idling while waiting. Total sun exposure was an hour

12% intensity for an hour returns back 13mins. Not bad.

What is nice this time is that the Edge1040Solar on phone app (Garmin Connect) has additional info page to show what are the gains, visually. This is something I wish present in the Fenix series, and not just the visual of how much sun intensity that took place - because to me, that's not material and doesn't give me any idea how that hardware feature translate to what it's supposed to do.

But with the Edge1040Solar... it become apparent.

and if the above visual wasn't apparent enough, it shows up in the right side window pane of your ride in Garmin Connect.

While it's still too early to tell, I can say that the Solar charging looked promising. I've yet to try to routing in real life situation as I rarely need to route due to where I cycle (always a fix direction and location) but for a longer term review, I shall do a few and see how it goes, including mid-ride rerouting just because why not. So stay tuned for the longer (mid-term) review for as long as Garmin allow me to loan the unit.
100km planned!

Wait up for longer term review as I take this unit for more indoor and outdoor rides! Leave a comment below and let me know what more you want me to test and show you.

This unit of Garmin Edge 1040 Solar is on loan from Garmin Malaysia. If you are interested and want a unit yourself, please visit Garmin Malaysia and find out where you can get them. Remember to get official unit from Garmin Malaysia as it comes with a 2-years warranty!

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Brooks Hyperion Tempo Review

 The Hyperion Tempo has landed as part of my daily trainer. Here is a review of it.

Brooks Hyperion Tempo

Brooks Hyperion Tempo. First launched in February 2020. I finally managed to get my hand on one from Sports Paragon (thank you!) being part of the ambassador. The "Hyperion" range is made for speed. Lightweight, fast and responsive. The Tempo is one level down from the Brooks supershoe with almost similar name - the Hyperion Elite 2 (and soon Elite 3 to be launched in Q3 of 2022). The biggest differences between these two Hyperion is the presence of full carbon plate and stack height. The Tempo is marked as a fast daily trainer, excellent energy return, cushioned and suitable for any distance up to a marathon.
Subtle Grey with bright yellow sole. Extrovert in an introvert world
I have been trying to find reviews locally and I often get the feedback that the shoe is "ok". The Tempo is not widely reviewed in Malaysia, so a lot of reading were from overseas runner and missing the local (Malaysia or Asia) flavor. More likely as runners are more inclined towards supershoes (carbon plated) and some of these hidden treasure were left not reviewed and getting the attention it should. So here I am, 2 years 5 months after the shoe was launched and has put it through it's paces.

Hyperion Tempo is at the same level as Launch 8 - with differences being "super fast".

Fresh out from my Launch8 that has/will be retired after touching close to 1300km since November 2021, the Tempo comes in to rotate with the Ghost14 that has clocked close to 700km since April 2022. While getting my hand on an Elite2 will be nice, the Tempo at this moment will be a nice fit from training perspective as I will only receive 3-shoes a year under the contract. I need to choose wisely as there are still 6-months to go this year and I am already on my 2nd pair of entitlement!
US12 at 239grams
I went one size up for the Tempo as it comes in one width (D or Normal). Based on the Ghost14 fitting, some space or up a size from US11 to US12 would give my toes some breathing space (and dead toenails). The Launch8 however was a nice US11 fit for me likely due to less structured upper. Weight wise, the Tempo is lighter than Launch8 (266grams US11) by at least 25grams. The official weight for Tempo US9 male is 207grams. The lightweighness of Tempo can be felt, figuratively speaking when compared to the Launch8. It is now officially the lightest shoe I ever had, ever.
10grams more with Stryd
Despite having Stryd pod on one feet, it is still lighter than my Launch8. That is how light it will appeal to gram-grannies. Infact, i believe the weight savings could had contributed from the thinner and lighter (but very stretchy) shoelaces as well. Kicking off with the laces, they are stretchable and flat. Brooks did not provide
 spare lace of a different color. Like Launch8, the Heel Lock lace hole is reinforced and in a better position than many shoes i have noticed.
Nice touch of yellow at the end of the super thin light lace

Unlike the Launch8, Tempo comes with the Nitrogen-infused foam known as DNA Flash. This engineered foam  is available full length on the Tempo. It is lightweight and adaptive to every stride. The DNA gel is adaptive to the force applied with the Flash putting in Nitrogen into the mix. A higher force will make it firmer. This meant the cushioning is able to adapt to be firmer when a heavier strides happen, and yet become more responsive with higher energy return when compared to Launch8. Infact, DNA Flash is presence in Hyperion Elite2 (and 3).
DNA Flash marking on the inner side of the sole
The Tempo looked taller than the Launch8 due to the stack height. Coming in at 31-23 giving a 8mm drop vs the Launch8 of 26-16 giving a 10mm drop. The Elite2 and 3 is 35-27 (8mm) so it seems consistent from physical look itself. The extra was from the carbon plate and more DNA Flash around it for even higher energy return.
Totally unrelated, but still manifesting for the Hyperion Elite 3 Yes, that is MY HAND. I was that close, but not close enough to bring it home
The upper of the Tempo is an engineered perforated mesh that has lend the lightweight profile and provided great support where it is needed. Despite the more volume midsole which obviously would had added weight, many would be surprised just how well the upper hold, with so little, again, figuratively speaking. As it's thin and perforated, the ventilation was very good and much better than Launch8 (which is already good) and of course much better than the reliable Ghost14. 
Lightweight upper that is also supportive and wrap the feet nicely while allowing for toe flex

Side view. A shame that the white Brooks logo isn't reflective

Heel cup that is well formed and supportive.
The heel cup reminds me of Launch8. It is upward turned and locks in the heel really well. I did not have any heel slip in any of the pace I did. It hugs well and supported the feet over the terrains. 
Carbon black outsole midfoot to toe, and at the heel section
The outsole is presence at the front midsole to toe, and at the heel section. It is not 100% coverage which likely lend to the weight saving as well. Made of harder carbon black material. One concern I had was how much mileage I can get out of these. Looking at it and comparing it against the Launch8, i am convinced the Tempo can hold on to about 1000km or at least 5 months of exclusive use without any other shoes rotating. The outsole is generously thick, which will help with the wear rate. However, if you are a heavy heel striker, just keep checking the wear rate at the heel and replace (the shoe) as needed.

Closer look of the outsole near the toe

Heel section

outsole starts somewhere mid-foot

The liner is a bit of a miss for me. I would had hoped the liner is made also from the same DNA Flash. It's basic and not as fancy as the Launch8 liner.
Basic (read: light)

Even more basic when compared to Launch8

Launch8 liner which is same EVA foam as the DNA BioMoGo foam

Similar to Launch8, the tongue is not gusseted or in layman term, not secured at all sides. It is a floater. Some see this as minus point, some is ok with it. Pros of a gusseted tongue is that it doesn't move and it prevent any possible grit or small stones from entering the shoe from the top of your feet (the heel/ankle area not withstanding). However, the secure point at the tongue convince me that it will not move under running motion. 

Tongue not gusseted and lightly padded in the mid-section. Take note that there is a toe-reinforcement
Also, similar to the Launch8, the toe section is reinforced to protect the toe and also to keep the structure and support. The inner of the shoe is smooth which allows the skin to be closer to the upper material, and thus, allow for better ventilation and cooling. 
Smooth inner
I noted that the size label is not stuck or sewn to the side or tongue. It is like those tags on t-shirts and I actually cut them off as I do not want this material to potentially rub against my feet and causes friction. 
Cut and remove. Personal preference since it's not stuck down.
First Feel 
The lacing was a bit tricky due to two things - this shoe is a size bigger than my usual and the lace is stretchable. It took me a bit longer to find the sweet spot and once it was done, it secured my feet very nicely. I have normal arch and a mid-to-heel over pronation. First thing that hit me was that the Tempo doesn't felt "tall". It's amazing how 2mm differences (vs Launch8 10mm) felt. Bear in mind that Tempo has higher stack. As for feeling the DNA Flash for the first time, it felt... grounded. I meant, there isn't any "bounce" as the brain was already wired that the midsole is "nitrogen" infused. 
Sleep and Run, they say
The Medium width (D) felt great on my feet. My toes can splay out comfortably without having the  small toes pressing out the side. Expected due to 1-size up. I believe this will be my size moving forward - and hope Sports Paragon will bring in larger size of Elite 3 because I really want to experience that.
Ample space for my Stryd too!
...and First Run
Those that follows me will know I run similar route all the time. For this run, a 5km distance with elevation was chosen as I want to know/get to feel the energy return. The Tempo on first push off doesn't felt inspiring - it felt similar like my Launch8. So before you play this down, bear in mind that Launch8 was lively; so having the Tempo feeling similar is a good thing. This is to calibrate my own expectation and also for you dearest readers reading this review.
See the scuff mark on the yellow part in the front? Yeap, that's me hitting some barrier as I ran... haha
The Tempo came alive and showed it's potential about 1km into the run. I know what is my pace/distance/timing/effort like every km as I run the same route every time. 
Same route, every time
The DNA Flash started to show what it was capable of. I was running at a lesser effort every kilometers and noticed that the faster section (read: downslope) were much faster at the same feet turnover (cadence). Completing the 5km, I was pleasantly surprised of the data that was reported.
statistic and data doesn't lie
Run 201/365 was 5 days ago using Launch8 and Run 206/365 was on Tempo. Both runs are in the same direction, same loop. Elevation gain per loop is similar. Even the weather was similar as with the timing of the day when the run was performed. 
Run 206/365 Leg Spring Stiffness
Run 201/365 Leg Spring Stiffness

The run with Tempo showed:
  1. Very similar feel to Launch8. A good alternative to a lighter shoe for rotation and for race if Carbon is not your cup of tea (as they also wear off faster).
  2. Almost similar pace when pushed. Test showed a 5s gap of 4:33 vs 4:38. Delta due to me stopping to take a video of my run which obviously impacted the overall average.
  3. 7W less energy on Tempo
  4. 7bpm less HR effort on Tempo
  5. Leg Spring Stiffness (LSS) numbers is slightly higher on Tempo vs Launch8 (ignoring the first km as I stopped to take video). This is a good indication of the "spring" the shoe provided. Need to test more.
Overall a good ride
  • light and flexible. Lightest I've worn.
  • You feel grounded, yet you know the shoe will provide adequate cushioning with the DNA Flash.
  • Fit is nice. Just need to find the sweet spot with the lacing pressure
  • No noticeable hot spot in short run, for now.
  • No heel slips despite drenched in sweat
  • Very secure road-grip feel. No indication of slippage under faster pace.
First drench of sweat 
  • Concern of mid-section and heel wearing off faster than it should due to running gait.
To Test More
  • Longer run
  • Faster paced run
  • 5k TT
In Service Now!

This pair of Brooks Hyperion Tempo is courtesy of Brooks Malaysia and Sports Paragon. Retail price of this is MYR650, which put it in the mid-high range of daily trainers that is lightweight and offer performance enhancement vs regular heavier trainers. Be reminded that there is no carbon plate in this pair, but it can hold it's pace when compared to the other manufacturer's equivalent using carbon dioxide infused foams. This Tempo will sits nicely between your daily easy trainer (cushioned) and can be standalone for your go-to speed shoe on rotation. 

Discount??? You Want Cheap?
As part of my sponsorship with Paragon Vests under the Team Sports Paragon, I have a few discount codes you can use to purchase your next Brooks shoes if you want. Older models at higher discount is available in website. Sizing can be a challenge, which explained the better discount. If you want newer and better sizing, head over to and score a few newer models.

I have the full discount codes and brands that support me in 2022. But if you are lazy to click, here they are...

Promo Code: SPEV02
Footwear: 55%
Apparels: 50%
Sandals: 40%
Accessories: 50%

Promo Code: EEVANOFF25
25% OFF of all items ( exclude sale items )

Promo Code: ZOOTEEVAN20
20% OFF Zoot website Non promo items
10% OFF Zoot website Promotion items