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.
THE REAERVIEW RADAR IS A BLESSING FROM SMART FOLKS. SAFETY IS ALL IMPORTANT & THIS BIT OF TECHNOLOGY GIVES CONFIDENCE ESPECIALLY WHEN TIRED THAT YOU CAN KEEP UP WITH VEHICLES APPROACHING FROM BEHIND. SAFETY IS ENHANCED FOR SURE.
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.
An extra level of safety I was happy to pay for. It does not work perfectly in all conditions. This device cannot see around a corner or through earth. It will indicate the object behind you is gone if you block it by turning or going over a hill. It will redetect it once you have clear line of sight. I give it 5 stars because it does exactly what it is supposed to - adds a layer of awareness and safety. I pair this with a more powerful light by Lezyne than the one in the Radar/Light combo varient, and it is very effective. The price is steep but very much worth it. My sole complaint is with the mount. Essentially a rubber band holds it to your seatpost. I recommend getting an aftermarket clamp mount.
This is a game-changer.
Without a doubt the most significant piece of safety gear I've purchased (outside of a helmet) in the last 10 years.
I ride a lot of roads with less-than-optimum separation from vehicle traffic. I've increased the visibility/reflectivity of my clothing, added lights, and worn out my neck swinging left and right over my shoulder for traffic.
This changes everything.
The ability to know when traffic is approaching earlier than ever before gives me increased time to adjust and eliminates that "startle jerk" we've all done when the occasional car (usually electric) manages to sneak up and catch us by surprise.
9 times out of 10, the Garmin alerts me to traffic I hadn't even heard yet. Knowing how many targets there are also helps with planning turns, lane changes, etc.
I've still only done a handful of rides with it, but I've never had a false positive, and it's alerted me to a vehicle EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
There's obviously no substitute for your own eyes, but this is a close second!
I bought this along with a Garmin 830 during their recent sale. I had heard great things about it both online and from members of our local bike club. Turned out to be one of the best purchases I've ever made. The thing just works. It has always been accurate even for multiple vehicles (it tracks up to 8 at a time). It makes riding so much easier by eliminating the constant looking over your shoulder. I do a lot of riding on rural roads and the Varia definitely keeps cars from sneaking up on me. If you have been thinking about getting one, just do it! You won't regret it.
I like this product a lot. It is an extra set of eyes and reduces the need to check back . It is especially helpful with multiple cars, while I ride roads that make it easy to hear cars, it avoids the need to look back to see how many there are. I did have to get a different bike saddle bag to give it a field of view; most of them hang out too low to allow the device to work. Make sure it's charged (and your phone, too, if you use the phone app) as it draws a bit of power. It was a great deal with 33% off but I needed that drop to justify the price.
Performance of Garmin Varia radar is simply amazing. I do not want to ride on the road without one. Even when several bikes are behind me, the radar invariably still picks up a car approaching.
The alorithm used must essentially be only paying attention to objects closing in from behind. Yes, it may go off when another cyclist closes in from behind. It also will issue the 'all clear' even when a vehicle is behind if such vehicle maintains a steady distance. Just be aware of this.
Getting the device while on sale only added icing to the cake.
It is still good to have a mirror but I really depend on my Varia radar.
More a 3.5 star Iï¿½d say. Works well with my Wahoo, and I appreciate that the screen will show multiple cars and change from yellow to red when cars are approaching at high speeds. Iï¿½ve ridden with the Varia for about a month now, and Iï¿½ve only had two cars pass me that werenï¿½t detected and didnï¿½t show up. That said, often times other riders show up as cars, so this thing isnï¿½t flawless and there is no way that I was able to research to adjust sensitivity. That said, Iï¿½d rather false alerts than missing a car completely. Do not rely on this thing to be 100% accurate and use it more as an added alert system to help be your eyes behind you, and it should do you well. Itï¿½s not a replacement for alertness and common sense.
Now, Garmin, letï¿½s talk about the post mount on this thing, or more accurately the ï¿½securityï¿½ rubber O ring and recesses on the unit. That is a garbage solution. Iï¿½ve seen friends units fall off multiple times from road chatter. For the cost, the lack of security on the fit is inexcusable. Iï¿½ve taped over mine to ensure it wonï¿½t fall off, and would strongly suggest others do the same. Otherwise, itï¿½s a handy piece of kit.
Works surprisingly well. Maybe zero false negatives. A few false positives . Always links up to my Wahoo computer. I recommend you buy the model with light that has more battery life. This one can do 2 ea 3 hour rides on a charge and a few times i have ran dead. Normally get 6 second warning of a car on rural roads.
Helps me stay on drops and pushing myself while enjoying the smoother wheel rut on county roads.
I use it with the Varia Android app and it shows me exactly what I want to know. I've never had a false positive or negative. I never liked mirrors as vibration was a problem and my eyes were off the road too much, trying to figure out what the mirror was showing. I chose the RVR315 model because I use an integrated helmet rear light and don't need one on the radar unit. Install and setup were fast and easy although I did have to switch out my underseat tool bag for a frame bag to enable the correct dimensional mount.
I have ridden with a rear view mirror for decades. I like knowing what is coming up and whether any action is required. Occasionally I am surprised to have a car passing too close because I didn't hear the approach. With the Varia there is an audible alert as well as the visual on the Garmin computer. A quick glance in the mirror let's me know if all is good or I need to signal the driver to give more room. Both my wife and I appreciate to added safety.
Works well paired with my Garmin Edge 130 Plus. Reliably shows vehicles (and bikes) coming up from behind. An audible alarm is sounded on my Edge when a vehicle comes into view. This is a worthwhile safety device that helps you to keep your eyes on the road rather than looking back behind you.
The Unit was very easy to sync and get up running with my Element bolt. The display makes sense and is easy to understand. My only complaint is during busy sections of road or city travel, the constant beeping can get irritating. A muting function would give this item a five star rating.
I bought this for my BF for his birthday and was greatly pleased AND surprised that I could also connect to this to watch traffic when we are on rides together. It really helps anticipate the cars coming up from behind much better!! An extra widget on your device allows you to even know the speed they're overtaking you by.
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.