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 really like this radar. I ride mostly on county roads around Fort Collins, with varying amounts of car and truck traffic. Many rides involve crossing the FC urban area. I use it with a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, and see no compatibility issues. It is wonderful to know when a car is behind, and even nicer to know when the road behind is clear. There is an occasional false positive which clears quickly, it never misses an approaching car or truck. Occasionally a quickly-overtaking bicycle will show briefly, but it becomes easy to interpret how that displays differently on the Wahoo display than a car. Cost was $200, but eliminates the need for a $35 usb-chargeable taillight. So radar peace of mind for $165. Not cheap, but well worth the cost in my mind.
Thought it was a gimmick but a friend told me it was a valuable safety feature. After using it for a few months I never want to ride on the road without it. Also find it to be useful in Central Park with all of those electric bikes and scooters sneaking up on me.
I wonï¿½t lie, there are false positives, but this is still a great tool for helping keep you safe. Itï¿½s most impressive moment, was insisting that there was a vehicle behind me, I heard nothing so didnï¿½t believe, but checked before making a left turn. There was a Prius seemingly just back of my left shoulder in stealth mode. (Iï¿½ll give the driver credit, he was allowing me space to turn.) The false positives occur mainly in traffic, this device works great on open roads. The additional safety, far outweighs the false positives.
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.
I can't say that this is a terrible product. It has a bright light and it does the things when it stays connected that it is supposed to do, that is, indicating when cars are coming up and how many. The problem I have is that the battery doesn't seem to last very long and I have had some difficulty getting the device to stay on the mount. I had to secure it with a Velcro strip so that I could feel more safe than it wasn't going to bounce off. I actually put it on one of the Garmin mounts that I would normally use for my Garmin cyclometer because it did not stay on the other mount that came with it. But even at that it tends to flip. I use it on a trike and cannot mount it up and down and maybe that is part of the problem. It does work when it's lying on its side.
I think for me another bright light would have been just as good or putting the money toward a tail light with a camera. I still have to monitor how close cars are to my side. As I said, not a terrible device, but for me I do not feel I got my money's worth out of it. Of course, I have it and so will leave it in the bike.
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.
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.
I lost my first Varia and realized immediately how much I rely on it to let me know what is going on behind me. This is a great tail light and I love and need the warning about the vehicles coming up behind me. Diesal trucks I hear, most new cars "sneak up" on me because they are so quiet.
I love this thing! Itï¿½s boosted my confidence on rides alone and in groups. I really like knowing when a car is behind me with plenty of warning time. I especially love how it goes crazy if a car isnï¿½t slowing down to warm you to look out or go off the road, god forbid.
I have had a couple false positives w o there bikers, the signal reflecting off certain materials, and the audio alert will not keep going if multiple cars are in succession behind you (good and bad I guess).
Battery life is great late 3 50 mile + rides before a charge and was pretty idiot proofed to pair w my wahoo bolt.
I bought two, one for myself and one for my wife. We both really like having them, but it's no substitute for keeping your eyes and ears open. After you receive it be sure to check for any software updates and read the instructions carefully. They do work really well and alert us to approaching vehicles well before we hear them coming. We gravel road ride and if you ride gravel you know that you spend most of your time riding the hard packed center, getting an early alert means we can move over to the shoulder earlier (which means less aggravation for drivers). One complaint I have is that if you don't have much seat post extending from the seat tube (or you have a large/low saddle mounted toolkit) it may be difficult to mount it to your bike. If you mount it too low you will have problems due to interference from the rear tire.
This is one of those products you think you dont need until you have one. Then you wonder how you rode for years without one. I ride in a fairly rural area, and usually am alone, especially ow given the ongoing pandemic. The Varia alerts me to cars approaching from behind before I can hear them, and is effective even on curvy roads. Its really helpful on longer descents when you cant hear much besides wind noise. I dont think Id use a Varia in an urban setting where there always are cars behind you. But its is really helpful in the country and in suburbia.
I was a little skeptical, even after looking at u-tube videos. But wow, I'm very impressed with the technology. I bought it because I ride solo more than 50% of my miles (5000 - 6000 per yr), but it works equally as well with a group.
I use it with a Garmin edge 830. Love how it interfaces and shows me the approaching vehicles on my 830 head unit. Shows multiple vehicles. I have found it very reliable. Rarely do I get a false reading from another bike (only if our differential speed is significant). Definitely makes me a safer rider. Only wish - louder or adjustable audio alarm.
Excellent product from Garmin. The light is easy to setup and easy to use, with only one button so you won't get lost. I am currently using this without a headunit, and it appears the radar function still operates and the light becomes more intense as objects approach. The light is extremely powerful, and the battery lasts long. I can't wait to connect this to a headunit to get the full potential out of it.
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.