Varia RTL515 Radar With Tail Light
See and be seen with Garmin Varia™ RTL515 rearview radar with tail light. It pairs with your Edge™ bike computer, other Garmin device or compatible smartphone to alert you of vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards (140 meters) away.
When used with your compatible smartphone, the Varia™ app helps increase your awareness with vibration alerts and more. With daylight visibility up to 1 mile, motorists will be able to see you from a distance. The radar's compact vertical design allows for device mounting on most road-use bicycles. And peloton mode provides a low-intensity flash that is kind to other riders' eyes when riding in a group.
B-Stock - This product has one or more B-Stock units available. These units can be purchased at a discount (see option select). B-Stock units were returned from other customers and may have missing or damaged packaging materials. These units are otherwise as new. The full manufacturer warranty applies. Click Here for more information.
* Due to limited availability of this product, we are limiting the quantity per customer to 2 units to allow more of our customers to purchase this product. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Light Type: Rechargeable
Mfg PartNum: 010-02376-00
Max. Runtime: 16 hours (day flash) / 6 hours (solid mode)
Mfg Warranty: 12 Mo. Parts & Labor
Always thought my hearing was good enough to hear traffic coming up from behind me. It took only one ride with the Varia to appreciate the benefit of having radar. Let's me know traffic is approaching before it can be heard. Also shows when multiple vehicles are approaching. It easily paired with my Garmin 530. Had my wife drive up behind me while I was riding and she noted the high visibility of the light. Definitely an essential part of my riding gear to be used on every ride.
Did you live without it before? Could you drive without one now? Yes of course, but it's REALLY nice not having to crane your neck around to confirm no one's there. Same thing with this radar. Drivers are increasingly distracted so on the road, I like having a tail light. I also like bombing descents as fast as possible, and taking the lane makes that easier. Having a quick glance at my head unit confirm there's no cars behind makes bombing descents that much more enjoyable.
I waited until after all my riding partners had a Varia to get on one for myself. I wish I'd gotten it sooner! All those years I spent trying in vain to use a mirror connected to my glasses! The Varia integrates seamlessly with my Hammerhead Karoo 2 computer which detects it the same way it would a HRM or cadence sensor. When a vehicle approaches from behind, a vertical band appears on the left of the Karoo that tells me how many vehicles and if a car is coming REALLY fast, it flashes a red alert. It also picks up other cyclists if they are "closing" on me to help me be aware and avoid crashes. The mount it comes with is adequate, but if you're gonna use it on more than one bike, I would recommend separate mounts for each bicycle as it isn't easy to put on or remove the mount. Oh, and I've used a taillight for a long time so having the functionality in this unit is also a big plus and the fact that it shines more brightly when cars are approaching is pretty neat!
Although it is easy to quickly look behind you and/or use a helmet mirror, there are instances when you have to focus on the road ahead, the route, your training plan etc.. Wind and road noise can obscure the sound of oncoming cars, I found that having an alert on the head unit was a huge safety advantage when your focus is divided. Also the light on the unit pulses quicker the closer the vehicle is to you, giving the driver a visual clue as well. I have installed a Garmin quarter-turn mount on all my bikes so I can use the Varia Radar every time I ride. In my opinion it is an indispensable bit of tech.
Friends of mine purchased this and raved. I finally took the plunge when I BTD had them on sale. My 1st impression during the unboxing was of quality which IS the synonymous with Garmin, though I wished it had USB-C instead of a micro USB port.
Next the mounting hardware was complete with adapters for round, aero and D shaped seat posts (and I just happen to have each type in my collection ... perfect ????). At 1st I was a bit apprehensive about having just a single, though very muscular, O-ring being the only thing retaining this to my seat post, but upon reflection, I've NEVER had an genuine Garmin O-Ring ever fail in the many many years I've owned them, so that worry was soon put to bed.
Connecting it to my Garmin and Hammerhead Karoo2 went seamlessly and battery life so far has been at least 6+ hours.
Ok now as for the performance. It's absolutely brilliant!!! I genuinely feel this is as much a game changer in safety and CONFIDENCE as wearing a helmet. It detects vehicles at least 100yards back which gives to time to move to the right, then it signals "all clear" and you feel comfortable moving out into the lane a bit again. What you're NOT constantly doing anymore is looking back over your shoulder for cars and then finding yourself either drifting further into the lane or off it completely or hitting that pothole or the riders in front of you. I will never ride without it and can't believe I've waited this long
Once you've experienced this technology, you'll never be without it again ????????
Been riding for 30 years - don't know how I survived without the Varia radar. My new confidence in situational awareness on the bike cannot be overstated. The unit performs superbly as it detects overtaking motion (car, cyclist, runner?!?) LONG before you can even see it over your shoulder. And it has not returned a false positive yet nor missed any overtaking vehicle (the device detects overtaking motion, not "presence").
The only negative is the mounting: it sucks for aero seatposts, and I can't imagine it's any better for round seatposts. The device is secure and snug to the seatpost (aero or round) but will NOT stay in place; it is constantly rotating to the left or right. Fortunately there are a plethora of aftermarket 3D printed mounting solutions.
I have had both the radar only and the radar plus light. The 515 turns my light and radar on which allows me to skip two activations in the back. A small plus. What makes it more convenient than the 315 is the 515 battery life is significantly longer. Less removals for charging. I know, I'm lazy. Other than that, they are both fine and I use now use the 515 all the time.
The Varia radar is seriously awesome. My buddy had one and was able to call out whenever a car was coming up behind us on a ride. I quickly bought one shortly thereafter and it is a necessary item whenever I'm out on the road. The peace of mind that it gives while descending at speed and having a warning when a car comes up behind me is worth the price alone. I pair it with my Garmin Fenix watch and it gives me an alert, love it.
The Garmin Varia RTL515 has improved my overall feeling of safety on the road ever since I turned it on. It has a very bright light that is easily seen by motorists. The radar is great at picking up traffic coming up from behind and it will notify you on your had unit and start blinking to make motorists aware of your position. I would 100% buy this product again based on how helpful it is in ensuring safety.
This product was an instant success, I smile as I see cars coming up from behind, and can prepare with enough notice. Addicted to the safety aspects after one mile, truly a game changing product. As important as riding with a helmet for added safety on the road. Expensive, but would pay twice the price for what it does and how it improves the quality of every ride. Easy to link to my Garmin display with plenty of battery power for a 100 mile + day ride.
I recommend using the Varia in conjunction with a dropbar end mirror, or helmet mirror, for knowing what's behind you. The Varia syncs cleanly with my Wahoo Bolt head unit, and is mostly accurate.
The Varia's cons are: 1) If a car/truck is keeping pace with you, it won't show up. It needs to be gaining on you. So, sometimes the car shows up on the screen only as it's passing you. 2) Ghosts. The vehicle icon stays on the screen sometimes even after there's no longer a vehicle behind you. Seems to happen most after making a turn. 3) "RADAR ERROR". I get this message occasionally, maybe once per ride. The quick fix is to Dismiss the message. Then it starts working right again, usually.
This RLT515 is a replacement for the RLT510 that I had been using for almost 4 years but sadly lost. It looks virtually identical but also now includes bluetooth and "peloton" mode. Unfortunately I've been having problems with my new unit throwing "0:FC" errors somewhat randomly during my rides. Some rides it performs great while other times it gets so bad that I have to disconnect it from my Edge 1040 solar. For instance I went for a 3 hour ride recently and it was fine for the first hour and a half then is started throwing the error several times a minute which is both frustrating and dangerous. The error came up probably 30 times in about as many minutes so I just disconnected it from my headunit and used it as a dumb light.
I never had these problems with my old unit and would go back to it in a heartbeat if I could find it. Searching the Garmin forums made it seem that it's a software issue and Garmin is aware of it. I love Garmin hardware but their software is utter garbage, hopefully they take care of this soon.
Today was my second ride using the Garmin Varia. I really like it because it warms you about cars that are behind you from a very long distance. All that information is shown on your Garmin head unit. The view on the screen contracts and there is a dot that shows the car as it approaches you. I feel much safer knowing what is going on behind me and this device works very well. I did get a sensor error message once for a short time. But it resumed working as it should shorty after. I'm glad I bought it.
Wish I bought one sooner, as it's a brilliant product. Picks up vehicles way sooner than my mirror or my ears, and graphically shows how many vehicles, and closing speed. And it paired instantly with my Garmin computer. A huge advancement in safety, and other than being a little heavy it's a must-have for any road biker or commuter.
This is a great safety add to my bike. It has never failed me. I ride in hilly, rural farm areas and I am sometimes surprised by cars showing up behind me. This radar made that a thing of the past. The integration with the Garmin 1030 plus is nice. It stays in a low power mode but when an alert appears it goes to high flash. It is a tad overweight and needs USB-C like all other Garmin products otherwise it is an excellent light and warning system. I would definitely recommend it if you are thinking about getting one. BTD had a great sale so I could not resist.
The varia radar is may be the best (and most important) piece of kit I have bought! While I continue to use a mirror to see WHAT is coming up behind me, getting the warning on my head unit prior has been indispensable. It allows me more time to focus on the road ahead, only having to glance in the mirror AFTER I get the warning from the radar. Riding on the road has been a night and day difference since I installed this on my bike!
Never thought I needed an additional piece of tech on my bike until I bought an older, used Varia.. after using that for a while, decided I never wanted to ride without one and decided to upgrade to the current model with a better battery and light. Pairs instantly with my Wahoo Bolt v2.
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