Have been using this for a few weeks on rural, solo rides, and the overall experience has been very positive and am happy I bought it. Chose this model as I already have a rear light I'm happy with. It does a great job picking up cars from far away when the radar has decent line of sight. But to reap all the benefits of visual alerts plus better audio alerts, it helps immensely to have a garmin/wahoo (or similar) or phone+ridewithGPS mounted on the handlebar. Initially I just used the Varia app on high volume and threw my phone in my jersey pocket, but the alerts were often barely audible over wind noise. Garmin also makes a dedicated radar display, but you're probably better off getting one of the above.
What I like:
- Accurate & reliable detection including car distance, often long before I can hear them (especially helpful with lots of wind noise)
- Supported by a variety of bike computers and apps (ridewithGPS, varia app, wahoo, etc)
- When paired with an app or garmin/wahoo/etc, it shows car distance visually on sidebar on-screen, gives radar battery life warnings, and gives lost connection warnings.
- Gives unique warning for fast-approaching cars
- Small size & very sturdy garmin quick connect mount. I use the mount & provided o-ring on my seat tube.
- Battery life is not quite as good on this model, but probably long enough for most people to get at least a few rides out of it.
- Wish it had USB-C
- It (or maybe just mine) has an issue with the Varia app where the radar unit itself will just turn off at random while riding and with no warning, but only with the Varia app on my android phone. I have NOT had the issue at all while connected to my Wahoo or when using ridewithGPS app on the same phone. Garmin offered to replace but decided not to since i don't use the app anymore.
I decided to purchase a Garmin Varia RVR315 based on the positive feedback on several forums and product reviews. This is a game changer for me. I showed a friend how it works and he purchased one the next day. It certainly gives you more awareness of traffic coming up from behind you. I have some moderate hearing loss and sometimes don't hear cars coming up on me. This helps with that problem. I'm purchasing one for my wife's e-bike. I chose the RVR315 instead of the RTL515 as I don't think the RTL515's light is bright and noticeable enough. I purchased a Dinotte Quad Red tail light to use instead as it's much more noticeable and brighter. The Quad Red adds a fair amount more to the total cost but I consider it cheap insurance. Now if Garmin would make the Varia with a camera similar to the Cycliq Fly 6 with more reliability than the Fly 6, I'd buy it in a heart beat.
I waffled on purchasing this for quite some time. All the reviews said how this was a game changer once they purchased it and wish they had purchased it sooner. Same for me. There's significantly better awareness of cars coming from behind, especially the "quiet" ones. I use this in conjunction with a Dinotte Quad Red tail light instead of the Garmin RTL515 as I believe the Dinotte Quad Red is much brighter and much more noticeable. Just my opinion though.
I start my Radar when I start my Garmin Edge 830. It provides advance warning of an approaching car from behind. although no substitute for checking for cars, it provides peace of mind knowing when a car is coming. So far (approximately 1000 miles of use) it has been accurate 100%. Battery lasts for about 6 hours -- and Garmin Edge 830 alerts you to a low battery so always know when to charge. The mount is the standard Garmin mount (same as the Garmin Edge 830) -- easy on and off, but secure when on.
Pros: Lightweight. Has worked flawlessly paired with my Wahoo Elemnt. Mount seems to be very secure. Especially useful on rural roads.
Cons: No safety tether but an aftermarket tether can be purchased/attached to the back of the unit. In heavy traffic you will receive constant warnings.
Would I purchase again? Absolutely. I now wonder how I've ridden so long without it even though I use a helmet mounted mirror. Several times the radar detected an approaching vehicle before I noticed it with my mirror.
This radar is great as it integrates well with the 1030 plus to show traffic closing in. the alerts are sufficiently loud to provide adequate warning and the view shows the closing rate. much better than a mirror alone
Just picked one of these up a couple of weeks ago. Used points to knock the price down. But this is a must have item for any cyclist. Whether climbing or descending, you have awareness of cars coming behind you. It has been 100% accurate so far...the only downside i've noticed has been when two cars are too close together (tailgating), the device doesn't always catch it. But considering how much we spend on bikes and equipment, this is the most important safety add-on i've come across. Been riding in Colorado and i feel so much safer. highly recommend.
The RVR315 offers excellent situational awareness. It sees cars you can't see in a mirror - the one approaching from out of the sun or the second, third, fourth, etc. cars in line behind you. It tells you how many cars, how far back, and how fast they are approaching. It announces their presence once they approach within 150 yards. This radar helps you be more aware. And being more aware, you can be both more safe and more courteous to drivers. I won't ride without this pod. Never ever a false all clear. Occasionally, it will give you a false alert - either a BIG cyclist coming up behind you or a road sign oscillating in the wind. But false alerts aren't a big deal.
I previously used the Varia 510 radartaillight but, when riding alone, I always wanted a much brighter taillight than the Varia offers. (I have a Dinotte Quad Red that I use when I'm alone.) When this radar pod became available, I bought it the first day. Now, I get the benefits of Garmin's radar and the brightness of my Dinotte taillight at the same time. Best of both worlds.
Works great! Integrates with my Wahoo Elemnt seamlessly. Especially helpful as I live and ride in the country. Makes my rides infinitely safer. Should be standard on every bike sold in America! Thanks to Garmin and Wahoo for making avail across brands. Always love ordering fr BTD, never had a prob and LOVE the points!
My first ride with this radar detector and it was extremely useful. It easily mounted to my 2013 speed concept seat post and it easily connected to my Edge 520 bike computer. Out of the few dozen cars that passed me from behind, it warned me about every car. For the Edge 520, when there is a new car approaching, there is a short beep and the outer edges of the screen turns Red. Once the car has passed, the screen goes back to normal. If there are several cars in a row, there's only the 1 beep but the outer edge of the screen remains red until all cars have cleared. I was surprised at how handy this radar is and felt safer with it. I no longer need to constantly turn my head back to check for cars and can concentrate on the road ahead.