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Garmin Varia Radar

6 Posts
5 Users
Johnny Pugh
Posts: 252
Honorable Member
Topic starter

I have been looking at the Garmin Varia Taillight/Radar for a couple of years now, but I haven’t purchased one because they were very expensive, $200. But they are on sale now for $130, still expensive but worth trying. I have been testing it for about a week now and I love it! It lets car drivers see me from about 1 mile away and I can now see them approaching from the rear long before I can hear them. Now that I am riding alone and riding more on the road for “social distancing” from trail users, I feel much more comfortable knowing when cars are approaching. I get an audio alert when it detects a car, up to 150 yards away and a graphic on my bike computer that shows where the car or cars are in relation to my position. It really makes left hand turns much more comfortable knowing if there are cars approaching from behind and how far they are from me.

Check it out at the Garmin Web site:

Posted : March 25, 2020 4:34 pm
Bruce Berwald
Posts: 2
New Member

Couldn't agree more with your assessment.  Being hearing impaired, I bought a first generation unit years ago when they first came out.  Purchased the current generation when it was released. Big improvement over the first gen units.  I generally get a notification range of way beyond 150 yards.  I think it depends on the height of the unit relative to the road.

$129.99 at REI is a fantastic deal.  Plus, if you are a REI member there is a 90 day return policy on the unit for any reason. So, return it if you don't like it and they will sell it at one of their Garage Sales.

One more bit of info I would like to share.  The radar units now interface with Wahoo Elemnt bike computers.  I am using a Bolt and it works great.

Posted : March 29, 2020 9:29 am
Mike Beadles
Posts: 263

Thanks for the recommendation and head's up!  Just now ordered one also.   

Posted : March 29, 2020 9:30 pm
Johnny Pugh
Posts: 252
Honorable Member
Topic starter

Mike, you are going to love the Garmin Varia radar. An I am sure you are going to want to use it on all of your bikes. If you bought it from Garmin, they will send you a discount code to use on accessories. I highly recommend getting additional mounts for all of your bikes that you ride on the road. This mount is better than the one that comes with the Varia radar.

I bought 3 of them for my other bikes.

Posted : March 30, 2020 6:41 pm
Mike Beadles reacted
Michael K
Posts: 192
Reputable Member

I agree.

Just got one.  It is great.  Rode through the Colorado Monument with it.  With the canyons, you can't rely on hearing a car coming do to the echos.

Also in traffic, you hear a car, but don't know how many are coming.  This tells you how many and how close they are.

Only downside in that it does run the battery down faster on your head unit.

Posted : September 29, 2020 1:22 pm
Mike Beadles reacted
Carol Fitzgerald
Posts: 131
Reputable Member

Love mine! Have used all season. Several friends have bought Varia’s also and it’s a great safety feature/addition to your bike. 


Posted : October 2, 2020 8:54 am