Garmin Varia - really all that?

I would have loved the RTL715 if Garmin had done the following:

  • Used a camera from their Virb camera line (or its descendant) instead of their daschcam product line.

  • Included image stabilization. This is a camera on a moving object (a bicycle) that is riding over non-smooth surfaces. Why did they NOT use image stabilization? Just a ridiculous oversight, especially given the cost of the item.

  • Probably the easiest to fix, but have the camera record in 10 minute chunks of time instead of 30 seconds. This is more than just an “incident recording” camera, make the footage a little easier to work with for those who want to view their footage in a non-incident capacity.

  • Longer battery life standard or offer a “standard” and an “extended ride” option with a larger, heavier, and longer lasting battery.

Re-release the Virb with improved specs and in a different form factor with the features of the Cycliq Fly12 (i.e., camera and a light), and I’m all over it.

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Sorry for the late reply!

I have a data field on my Garmins main page showing the approaching cars actual speed so when my Varia Radar alerts me that a car is coming up behind me I can glance at the screen and take action accordingly. If the car is going 80, then slowing down to 70, 65 and so on obviously I’m spotted. On the other hand, if the car’s speed is steady or increasing I have plenty of time to react and avoid being hit.

Would never ride without my Varia…

I rode about a mile to & from a friend’s house yesterday afternoon & didn’t feel like switching the mount between bikes. Despite being on quiet roads at a quiet time of day I was cognizant how I felt like one of my senses had been removed. I’m likely going to order a second mount to more easily move the light between bikes.

I’m curious if anyone knows whether there’s a mount that would allow the radar to clip into a loop (ie bikepacking saddlebag or rear pocket)? As the Varia works by line of sight it may lose some of its effectiveness but when the bag is mounted I’m not sure there’s enough real estate for the light too. Perhaps 3D printing one is the answer.

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I zip tied a 1/4 turn mount to my saddle bag. It worked, but the strap I attached it too had a little bit of sag to it, so it wasn’t ideal.

I’m sure you could find a way to attach one of those mounts to wherever you are trying ti mount it.

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I don’t know about any clips for saddlebag or pocket mounting but https://buplabs.com/ make a variety of mounts that attach to different saddles/seatposts. I keep looking at them but haven’t sprung for one yet as I am leery of banging it while swinging my leg over the saddle.

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A very car-brained take, the US really is messed up.

Just take the lane all the time, let cars move into the opposite lane if they want to overtake, like they would for any other vehicle.

As previously mentioned, that would be extremely unsafe here. You WOULD face retribution from drivers.

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Thanks for the link. When they’re back in stock I’ll order the Specialized Swat mount for my road bike as it will fit over my tool roll. Cheers.

There’s definitely a way to get creative. If/ when I figure something out I’ll post up. I recently started working from home (& it’s hotter than hell already so not bikepacking for a few months) so my need for worrying about commuting-specific needs have been alleviated.

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Nice sentiment but probably unwise. Even in the UK drivers expect you to be kerbside (even though the Highway Code, which all drivers are expected to be familiar with, explicitly states you may take as much of the lane as you need to feel safe/avoid obstacles).

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I haven’t been able to find this, which data field is this?

I ride with one in Chicago and in the country (SW Mich). Similarly to @btwarner, I’ve had mine caked in mud and still picking up cars on muddy gravel/mixed terrain rides. The thing is invaluable on country roads with rural traffic flying up from behind -the radar detection consistently precedes my hearing. In the city I mute the audible beep and still find it useful for gauging “pulses” of traffic coming up behind me.

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I’ll just say that when I ride without it I feel naked. It’s great technology!

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You’ll find it in Garmin Connect if you search for

My Bike Radar Traffic

Then just add it to the main page on your Garmin :+1:t2:

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Thanks! I’ve had the vehicle count for a while but didn’t know I could setup the vehicle speed too.

My wife is hassling me to get the new Varia with the camera but I’m reluctant due to some of the issues mentioned in recent reviews.

She tells me she wants to sue the pants off whoever runs over me…

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On the plus side, if she’s asking for the camera it won’t be her running you off the road.

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:+1:t2: IMHO that’s the feature that truly makes the Varia shine!

I really appreciate the Varia. It helps in riding in local roads especially with hills and descents. If you want to use it on a second bike I fitted an old Garmin mount and packed some rubber at the lower edge to give the angle required. It is firmer then the original mount.

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On the Bobby and Jens podcast, they asked Richie Porte what piece of cycling tech was he most attached to. He said that he never could have pictured loving it so much before he had it, but that he loves his Varia.

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I bought the fixed mount Garmin offers & it classed the joint up a bit. It’s only for round seatposts unfortunately but maybe a D post user could get creative with a 3D printer.

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