For long lonely dirt road gravel grinding this is a must have safety tool. It warns you when someone is approaching from behind. Works perfectly every time. Even tells you if another rider is approaching. When the wind is blowing this radar is especially handy - no more surprise blow by's from vehicles.
The 6 hour run time limit is pretty true so far, though run time will undoubtedly fade with use. For longer rides I turn it off when I don't need it. For example, riding on busy highways the constant alerting gets a bit annoying. At this point I don't use it on any road where I expect traffic - I just expect traffic.
I have this paired with an Edge 830 and works well. Been a couple of issues where it needs to be reconnected during the first minutes of a ride. Wife has one too, connected in the same way and she's had the same connection issue. Nothing cycling it on and off doesn't solve.
Don't really care for the multi piece mount. It works, even on bumpy single track, but I have no doubt I will eventually lose a piece or two. I have to remove the mount to put the bike in a stand, and I take it off to wash it too. Those little pieces and the O-ring are easily misplaced in a pocket, on a bench, the deck, the truck bumper... you get the idea.
Hey Garmin - make a simpler mount. See the Lezyne tail light stretchy rubber strap thingy as an example of good implementation of the KISS principle.
I just got back from riding a section of the Oregon Coast Route. Much of the route is on HWY 101, a major highway with a speed limit of 55 mph much of the way (thank goodness there's usually a good shoulder). Having the radar function of this device to alert me to vehicles approaching from behind was an incredible benefit. It generally alerted me before I had even heard the vehicles and gave me a chance to pick the best line to hold to stay safe. I've never, as a driver, seen the lights increasing flashes as vehicles approach, but that sounds cool, too. This thing, a rearview mirror or some sort, and the brightest clothing you can find are probably your best bets for staying alive riding busy roads of any sort. A front flasher's a good idea, too.
The Garmin Varia Radar 2 Rear Light is probably the best investment I have made on my bike. It isn't as flashy as my carbon wheels but hands down this light is awesome. Paired with my Garmin 1030 gps computer, I can ride on the back roads of my town knowing that a car will not sneak up on me and I can ride a little further off the shoulder. On my head unit I see how far a car is back (and it lets you know way in advance) and you can see multiple cars closing in on you.
You can also easily detach the unit from the dock to charge it. It lasts a decent amount of time, but I do wish my 1030 would let me know the battery life of the light. It will let you know when it is low (if you just started your ride that is useless) and the light will last a while longer so that is good.
I really can't say anything negative about the light. I got it on sale but even at full-price this light is well worth the investment. The only thing is you either need a Garmin computer or you have to buy the head unit that shows you where the cars are. I think that is $100, so you are better off just buying a Garmin 130 for a few bucks more.
I am a gravel cyclist in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. To get out into the Mekong region, we have to use various roads, highways, ferries, etc. Having this light has been a godsend. Not only is it incredibly bright, it last for our 6 hour Sunday bike rides. On the flashing mode it can last up to 15 hours.
As for the radar function, I am able to pick up cars and trucks at least 100 meters behind me. There is a small ball that moves up the screen of my Garmin Edge 520 giving me a general idea of how far and where the vehicle is in relation to me. The only fault I have found is that it doesn't always pick up motor bikes as quickly as cars and trucks. However, this might be due to the size of these, the fact that they only go at about 20mph or placement of the radar device on my bike. I am going to move it to the end of my bike rack and see if that improves things.
Ive been riding for years and cant believe I never knew about or bought the radar until now! Most of my rides are solo so having an extra piece of mind of where cars are at during my ride is awesome. When paired with the right head unit, it beeps when it deducts a car and shows you a visible alert on how far back the cars.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my radar!!!
Received the Varia RTL510 today. Great service! Connected it to my Garmin 1030, which was easy and straight-forward. Took it for a ride over a mixture of roads and bike path. The Varia correctly identified cars from considerable distance, and tracked multiple vehicles as they approached. I was never surprised by one. On the trail it functioned perfectly as a tail light. it never gave a false positive for other riders or runners. You don't think you need this, but you do, and you will love it.
Been riding for over 30 years and this is great. Hook it up to your smart phone or garmin and have peace of mind. Picks up vehicles pretty far back and multiple vehicles too. Good light too nice and bright and can be seen far away and has multiple light settings. For the price its a great deal.
I really like the improvements in the second generation of Varia. Particularly, the ability to select different patterns for the light depending on conditions, extended battery life, and it is much brighter. I have two concerns. One, the form factor is limiting in how one is able to attach it to the bike. On the original model, it was more compact and convenient. Second, and this may be a user issue, the light goes into pairing mode every time it is turned on.
Got a great deal on this a couple months back and now i dont know how i road ride without it. It shouldn't be used in place of head-checking but its still great. Lets you know right when the cars are coming and how close they are to you. I feel so much safer on country roads now that I have this tool. Every cyclist should have one!
On my rides the Garmin radar light gives an extra sense of safety. I love having time to prepare for a car passing you. I also like being able to see in my 1030 if it safe to move off the right side of the road if conditions warrant it and to do it safely without turning your head and looking back. Both me and my girlfriend are using it at all times and we both love it as do quite a few of my cycling friends. This product is a life saver!
Sceptical of the benefit of these, but bought one to try and found it has made me much more comfortable in traffic. When I see a problem, for example in the road surface, a glance at the computer tells me if I am being closely followed or about to be overtaken. Most important, this is without turning my head or refocusing my eyes to the rear. Much safer and faster than before!
Maybe these should be mandatory?
I noticed in a photograph that Chris Froome was also using one.
This device took just a few moments to pair with my Garmin. I ride on suburbanrural roads and this picks up any vehicle closing in on me - sometimes trailing cyclists. Between this and my drop mounted mirror I am never surprised. Would be nice if it made some noise to alert me when it picks something up since I need to look at the road, not the Garmin. Also - the mount would be nice to have an option to clip onto the back of a saddle bag since it is a bit hidden on the seat post. The light blinking feature is great for following cyclists who see it and know a vehicle is approaching. All in all, well worth the money as an additional safety feature that does what it says it will
I have young kids and I feel like this little light provides a small amount of insurance that something bad doesn't happen. I've had this for a few months and am pretty confident saying that this isn't a gimmicky product. It works well, integrates with my Wahoo Elemnt BOLT and does what it's supposed to - let's me know when cars are near or coming fast and helps me be seen by them.
The light part of this is really nice. It's bright and lasts a while with a couple different modes. In the end its like most other lights. The radar is great for a specific kind of ride. On my commute where there is a large bike lane and I know there will be cars passing me pretty much constantly, the radar is not very useful and borderline annoying. However, on rural rides with little to no shoulder, it's awesome. It give you warning well before the car can sneak up on you. It shows multiple cars as they approach, and gives a color coding for how fast the next car is closing. Green, yellow, and red are the colors that indicate, fast, faster, and really fast respectively. If you've got the extra $$, go for it.
I like many things about this light. It replaced my USB rechargeable tail light and I have programmed it to turn on and off automatically with my Garmin 1030. I have also added a battery level field for the Varia to my 1030. It performs better than the first generation Varia by sensing vehicles much farther away. The battery also lasts a long time.
The light is very bright and the radar detection of vehicles approaching is very effective, if you go out on solo rides or with small groups on quieter country roads this is incredible good at giving you advanced warning of traffic approaching.
It typically gives you a warning of vehicles approaching about 10 to 20 seconds before you can hear them. Since I got this I have not been surprised by an approaching vehicle once, even on roads where the traffic travels at 50 mph.
The Varia works with a wide range of Gamin cycle computers, I use this with a Garmin Edge 520 and it works flawlessly with it but I was surprised to find it also works well with the Edge 25 I also have.
Overall its a great bit of kit, easy to use and definitely keep me safer while out riding around country roads.
... those that love their Varia radar and those that havent tried it.
Thats a quote from Ray Maker of DCRainmaker fame and that pretty well nails it when it comes to the Varia Radar.
Excellent taillight that has a great optic that makes it super visible way down the road. The warning is hyper helpful. I dont know a single person that regrets using one.
This is a game changer, especially for people like me who can't turn their heads well to look behind. BI still do look back but this radar light has worked 100 percent of the time in terms of cars behind me. I would give it 5 stars but I had some problems with the device staying connected to my Edge 1030. It seems to have corrected itself
I didnt know I could like a rear light as much as I do the Varia radar light. Works awesome on the roads around Boise.
The unit is ANT so other Edge users (ANT is multiple device vs BT 11) can add your sensor and get the benefit too. Pretty cool additional perk.