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Garmin Varia Bike/Cycling Radar Tail Light $230

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  • Aug 8th, 2020 1:30 am
[OP]
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Nov 24, 2003
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Waterloo

[Amazon.ca] Garmin Varia Bike/Cycling Radar Tail Light $230

Been considering getting this light / radar as I have started doing some road riding this summer. Backcountry and such, and being a mountain biker, do find it someone concerning with cars. This radar will work with my Wahoo bolt and the light is very bright (another rider has one in our group). Figured I would treat myself, and a price drop is nice.

This the RTL510. They launched a RTL515 this year which also does bluetooth.

Image


According to 3xcamel it has dropped cheaper a few times, but still, if in the market, good to save some.
Last edited by TomRFD on Jul 30th, 2020 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: added price to title
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Aug 18, 2005
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Burlington-Hamilton
GiOBoY wrote: $230 + taxes for a bike tail light? Is it winter already?
Seems like a pretty advanced light IMO, considering the built in radar.

It provides audible warnings when a car behind is detected. Seems like a great product considering the increasing amounts of silent electric cars on the road.

I've never heard of this product before now, but it's fascinating for sure. I hope it can be mounted sideways!
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Jul 17, 2020
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That's more than some people's bikes....
Newbie
Nov 19, 2011
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WILLOW BEACH
Can anyone recommend a good value LED bike light...something bright...front and rear...my buddy's got this rechargable pen light that's ultra bright..I wish there was a way I could secret it to my handle bars lol..I'd get one for sure....
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jonnieg wrote: Can anyone recommend a good value LED bike light...something bright...front and rear...my buddy's got this rechargable pen light that's ultra bright..I wish there was a way I could secret it to my handle bars lol..I'd get one for sure....
Look up Cygolite on Amazon. Pick up the 150 lumen light.
:arrow: :arrowl:
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Mar 13, 2010
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Ottawa
It's not really about the light and all about the radar.
If you bike on quiet country roads this things is amazing. It pairs with your Garmin or Wahoo head unit and gives you audible and visible queues when there's traffic coming from behind you.

Edit: just an FYI but I got it at 199 from Amazon last November.
Last edited by sjeffrey on Jul 30th, 2020 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sjeffrey wrote: It's not really about the light and all about the radar.
If you bike on quiet country roads this things is amazing. It pairs with your Garmin or Wahoo head unit and gives you audible and visible queues when there's traffic coming from behind you.
100% no question that it's an awesome light.

I have seen this for cheaper (around $150) on probikekit in the last year.
:arrow: :arrowl:
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Jan 17, 2007
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Jucius Maximus wrote: I've never heard of this product before now, but it's fascinating for sure. I hope it can be mounted sideways!
I have been using the RTL510 since Spring road riding, and wouldn't ride without it again! It's a game changer now that the other major head units support the rear radar standard. It's that good.

I initially thought it was gimicky, but it has brought me a lot of peace of mind on my solo rides - pretty much all solo during COVID-19. It is expensive if you don't have other bits of cycling kit, but I consider it my best purchase aside from my bike.

To the best of my knowledge it can't/shouldn't be mounted sideways, as that would muck with the radar alignment. Install is specific about min distance from bottom of the saddle to ensure radar beam isn't clipped.
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Jun 20, 2010
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I imagine if a car is already coming for you, a radar isn't going to help you much.

Otherwise you should stay on the shoulder and look first if you need to come out.
Jr. Member
Feb 19, 2006
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Good find OP. I think this looks great, though I don't have the Garmin tech with which to pair it (am seeing that it works with Wahoo Bolt though). Pretty sure the downvotes are from non-cyclists who don't realize just how much more safety we need. Safety is worth the price.
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Aug 27, 2003
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What's wrong with using a good, ol' fashioned rear-view mirror? Grinning Face With Smiling EyesSmiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes Low-tech, never needs charging, dirt cheap.
I've seen some cyclists use this in my area. If you already have a computer or smartwatch that will integrate with this radar, then this might be a useful for you, but I've never had a problem hearing cars coming up from behind. Even the quietest EV will have road noise from its tires. And for all other lane movements, you should always do a shoulder-check first anyway. Winking Face
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Apr 23, 2016
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ShinNoodles wrote: What's wrong with using a good, ol' fashioned rear-view mirror? Grinning Face With Smiling EyesSmiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes Low-tech, never needs charging, dirt cheap.
I've seen some cyclists use this in my area. If you already have a computer or smartwatch that will integrate with this radar, then this might be a useful for you, but I've never had a problem hearing cars coming up from behind. Even the quietest EV will have road noise from its tires. And for all other lane movements, you should always do a shoulder-check first anyway. Winking Face
Just like with most technology it's an added luxury. Not needed but neat to have if you're willing to spend the money for it.
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May 24, 2011
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jonnieg wrote: Can anyone recommend a good value LED bike light...something bright...front and rear...my buddy's got this rechargable pen light that's ultra bright..I wish there was a way I could secret it to my handle bars lol..I'd get one for sure....
bontrager flare R city or cygolite hotshot pro. IMO worth spending a bit extra for a rear bike light, can't put a price on safety with all the idiots texting and driving out there.
==
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May 24, 2011
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juched wrote: Been considering getting this light / radar as I have started doing some road riding this summer. Backcountry and such, and being a mountain biker, do find it someone concerning with cards. This radar will work with my Wahoo bolt and the light is very bright (another rider has one in our group). Figured I would treat myself, and a price drop is nice.

This the RTL510. They launched a RTL515 this year which also does bluetooth.

Image


According to 3xcamel it has dropped cheaper a few times, but still, if in the market, good to save some.
these are great lights and the radar is awesome. did find that it drained the battery life of my 520 faster...ended up returning so I wouldn't have to buy a new garmin lol
==
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eclone wrote: I imagine if a car is already coming for you, a radar isn't going to help you much.

Otherwise you should stay on the shoulder and look first if you need to come out.
Agree, 515 just came out this month, can connect to your phone, do not have to buy another Garmin if you are not in the Ecosystem.
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Jan 4, 2007
251 posts
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I'm another one who won't ride without one of these again. It's the best piece of equipment in my entire kit, easily.

The BT feature on the 515 would be great.....i'm in the Garmin ecosystem but having the alerts piped to my headphones through my phone would be worth the added cost for me.
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Apr 30, 2009
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Big thumbs up for this light/radar. Knowing when somebody is coming up behind you is very reassuring.
Yeah, a mirror does similar, but not quite. I had the previous Varia Radar and got this earlier this year when it was on clearance in multiple places.
You can get other, brighter lights for a lot less. The value here is the radar.

Ray does a very comprehensive review of it on dcrainmaker.com

Note that you need a Garmin watch or Edge bike computer to use this.

I am a bit surprised these went back up in price from the $180 clearance pricing in March, shortly before the RTL515 was announced.
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Aug 27, 2003
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2Sedins1Cup wrote: bontrager flare R city or cygolite hotshot pro. IMO worth spending a bit extra for a rear bike light, can't put a price on safety with all the idiots texting and driving out there.
+1 for Bontrager Ion 100 R & Flare R City. I don't ride at night, so I use these lights mainly for daytime visibility. They are very compact, very bright, and last several hours in flashing mode. If you do a lot of night riding, you'd probably want a bigger unit. i.e. bigger battery that will last longer.

Couldn't agree more with the statement above about the rear light. I've seen riders use really weak rear lights that are practically imperceptible until you're within 50m. Granted, this is in the daytime, so I'm sure it's marginally better at night, but only.

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