Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Garmin Varia Radar vs Rear View Mirror or Camera

Notices
Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Garmin Varia Radar vs Rear View Mirror or Camera

Old 05-25-20, 06:38 PM
  #1  
wilsoncb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
wilsoncb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Oak Ridge, NC
Posts: 10

Bikes: Lemond (road), Specialized Sirrus (commute), Bambo (hand made)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
Garmin Varia Radar vs Rear View Mirror or Camera

Looking at the Garmin Varia radar device. I'm in North Carolina and many of the roads I ride are both hilly and curvy, not to mention thick with trees. Anyone have experience with these radar devices on hilly or curvy roads? All the review videos I see are on flat straight roads. Just wondering if the 140 meters detection distance is basically reduced to where the road starts curving.

Also, I welcome any comments about rear view mirrors vs rear camera devices vs radar. Initially I thought a rear view camera paired with your phone would give you a better view of what's coming up behind you. After doing some research I'm finding these devices typically only record (like a GoPro), versus live stream the video. I did find the GoPro will live stream, but if I'm looking for early warning for cars coming up fast behind me, it seems the radar would give me an alarm sooner.

So you have:
Rear view mirror for $15-20.
CYCLID Fly 6 (rear view camera) for about $200.
GoPro Hero 7 or 8 for $250-350.
Garmin Varia radar 315, $150 or 515, $200.
(I'm sure there are other options, but these are roughly the options for conversation sake.)
wilsoncb is offline  
Old 05-25-20, 07:25 PM
  #2  
bobwysiwyg
Senior Member
 
bobwysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: 961' 42.28° N, 83.78° W (A2)
Posts: 2,344

Bikes: Mongoose Selous, Trek DS

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 938 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 186 Posts
I've been using my new, to me, Varia is for a bit now. When I bought it I must admit 50% curiosity, 50% my gadget geekness. It's now as critical me as my lights, helmet mirror, etc. Never leave home without it.
It will give you lots of warning, up to 100 yds but clear straight line. If you round a tight curve you're limited to the apex of the curve, but you probably had some indication of a vehicle before the curve so no surprise. Same on a decent, radar view is to the crest but you were probably aware of a vehicle before you crested. If not you'll likely have gone far enough down the decent for a decent warning time.
Never had much interest in a rear viewing camera and the Varia makes it less important to me. Glance back with each alert.
​​​​
bobwysiwyg is offline  
Likes For bobwysiwyg:
Old 05-25-20, 11:40 PM
  #3  
debade
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: WA
Posts: 320

Bikes: Trek Domane, Trek 2120, Trek 520, Schwinn Voyager step through

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 26 Posts
I really like the Varia. The thing I like most is being able to focus more on what is in front of me. The audio provides plenty of time to get back in a good position to allow a vehicle to pass. I still use a mirror because it is convenient and allows me to see what’s coming. It is expensive but it has added value to the ride.
debade is offline  
Likes For debade:
Old 05-26-20, 06:09 AM
  #4  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 800 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by wilsoncb View Post
Looking at the Garmin Varia radar device. I'm in North Carolina and many of the roads I ride are both hilly and curvy, not to mention thick with trees. Anyone have experience with these radar devices on hilly or curvy roads? All the review videos I see are on flat straight roads. Just wondering if the 140 meters detection distance is basically reduced to where the road starts curving.

Also, I welcome any comments about rear view mirrors vs rear camera devices vs radar. Initially I thought a rear view camera paired with your phone would give you a better view of what's coming up behind you. After doing some research I'm finding these devices typically only record (like a GoPro), versus live stream the video.

I did find the GoPro will live stream, but if I'm looking for early warning for cars coming up fast behind me, it seems the radar would give me an alarm sooner.

So you have:
Rear view mirror for $15-20.
CYCLID Fly 6 (rear view camera) for about $200.
GoPro Hero 7 or 8 for $250-350.
Garmin Varia radar 315, $150 or 515, $200.
(I'm sure there are other options, but these are roughly the options for conversation sake.)
Originally Posted by debade View Post
I really like the Varia. The thing I like most is being able to focus more on what is in front of me. The audio provides plenty of time to get back in a good position to allow a vehicle to pass. I still use a mirror because it is convenient and allows me to see what’s coming. It is expensive but it has added value to the ride.
FWIW I replied about that to this now-closed thread, “Listening to Music via Headphones?,” without comment about listening to music:
Originally Posted by eja_bottechia
i use the Garmin Varia radar unit. I like the warnings that I get and I like seeing the alerts on my Garmin head unit.

BUT, I still use an eyeglass mounted mirror.

When I get an alert, I quickly check my mirror to see what’s coming my way.

Cars now have a similar system, there is an audible alert when cars are nearby, then you check the mirrors to confirm the location of nearby vehicles.

I like the peace of mind. .:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Thanks for your reply @eja_ bottechia. It appears you have an advanced system for monitoring traffic behind you. I wrote my series of posts, without reference to listening devices, to answer the earnest question of @MattTheHat,

"Can someone...anyone...explain how knowing a car is behind you makes any difference whatsoever? Please?...

In other words, what do you do with the information? What do you do differently?"



I linked to this real-time video "Cyclist Rear Ended at 55mph"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYMKp71vW-I

And asked the counter-question,

At what point do you realize that the upcoming car ain't gonna swerve out of your line of travel?”

Is it at your limit of detection of 153 meters, my suggestion of about 27 meters...when or if?

I advocate for a mirror to decide,

Not to be contrarian, @eja_ bottecchia, but rearward monitoring does not bring me peace of mind, but rather sets up a tension of monitoring behind and looking forward down the road to consider, perhaps subconsciously, a strategy to handle the imminent situation.

For me, peace of mind briefly sets in when I note there is no one behind me, and I can concentrate solely on the upcoming road and intersections.
In particular for hilly curvy roads:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I use both left and right rearview mirrors, in my case Take-a-Look eyeglass mounted ones....The additional right hand mirror affords a pretty good rearward view, but is particularly useful:

1...3

4. On a curved road to the right [or the left with the left-hand mirror]

5...7

My main argument for a mirror, particularly in the urban environment is summarized by Jim’s Law of the Road: “No matter how well paved or lightly-traveled the Road, a vehicle is likely to pass you on the left as you encounter an obstacle on the right.”

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-26-20 at 08:25 AM.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Likes For Jim from Boston:
Old 05-26-20, 06:39 AM
  #5  
wilsoncb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
wilsoncb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Oak Ridge, NC
Posts: 10

Bikes: Lemond (road), Specialized Sirrus (commute), Bambo (hand made)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
Good input. That video of the vehicle nailing the guy at 55 is probably a bikers worse nightmare. To me it demonstrates what they don't consider about the bike passing rule that says a car needs to give you 3 feet. I've found the amount of room I need to feel comfortable is proportional to the speed. Additionally, the distance the car begins to move over should be proportional to the speed. The sad part you see on the video is how there is a huge shoulder. Yes, the shoulder can be full of debris and rougher, but if I'm by myself on a road where the speed limit is 45 or higher...I'm taking the shoulder hazards over the distracted driver hazard.
wilsoncb is offline  
Likes For wilsoncb:
Old 05-26-20, 07:00 AM
  #6  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 5,039

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1090 Post(s)
Liked 729 Times in 355 Posts
I mostly commute and have been using a glasses-mount take-a-look mirror for decades. I also have a bar-end mirror on all my bikes. I usually see vehicles coming up behind me, but there are times when I am still surprised. And it seems to happen more when I am out for a long weekend ride away from traffic.

If I did most of my riding out on quiet, narrow, rural roads I'd serious consider a rear radar, especially as my ears approach 60 years of service, and the average car gets quieter...especially electric cars.
BobbyG is offline  
Likes For BobbyG:
Old 05-26-20, 07:58 AM
  #7  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,981

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 903 Post(s)
Liked 627 Times in 420 Posts
I think the end idea for me would be that if we require new cars be built with backup cams and such, why not require them all have a "cyclist/pedestrian" monitor that would pickup on the signal a Varia puts out?

The Varia gives you a hint if a driver saw you or is paying attention. If the radar sees the car and you notice the car go from a "warning approach" speed to slower approach speed, they likely saw you (always confirm). If you get a non-stop warning indication on approach speed difference...........either get off that road OR they didn't see you or didn't care.
burnthesheep is offline  
Likes For burnthesheep:
Old 05-28-20, 07:49 PM
  #8  
greatscott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Indiana
Posts: 540

Bikes: 1984 Fuji Club, Suntour ARX; 2013 Lynskey Peloton, mostly 105 with Ultegra rear derailleur, Enve 2.0 fork; 2020 Masi Giramondo 700c, full Deore with TRP dual piston mech disk brakes

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 288 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 52 Posts
Varia is another do nothing expensive technological piece of BS that people will buy because they love technology.

Why is it BS you scream? Because it does the same thing that a mirror will do if you watch your mirror like you do when you drive a car, and you can pay particular attention to it when you hear a car coming, which you can hear a car from at least 300 yards out. With the mirror you can see if the car is on a collision course with you, Varia can't do that. So like that video you would have seen the car coming at you and could have taken aggressive action. The Varia can't also detect a car that is directly behind a lead car coming at you.

In addition to that the tail light is only 29 lumens, that's about the same amount of lumens that was available to us about 35 years ago, and it's not very effective at all at night and, Garmin says it increases to 65 lumens in the day which is still isn't very effective in broad daylight. In today's world of drivers not paying attention you need a light that will stand out from the sea of red lights at night, and you need one that can be seen readily from a distance in broad daylight. I had a 75 lumen tail light, and in broad daylight it was barely noticeable, and it disappeared completely if the sun was shining right on it. Now I have a NiteRider Omega 300, this puts on 300 lumens of course, and on it's brightest setting with the sun squarely on it it can be seen very easily.

Anyway just things to consider about the Varia that cost $150 vs $15 for mirror and $50 for the Omega 300.
greatscott is offline  
Likes For greatscott:
Old 05-29-20, 04:14 AM
  #9  
wv_mtnbkr
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Kenova, WV
Posts: 4

Bikes: 1994 Trek 850; early 90's Bianchi Campione De Italia; 2009 Seven Id-8; 2010 Orbea mtn bike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
I've owned a Varia for just a couple of months and it has become invaluable for my cycling. For context, I'm riding narrow, rural roads in WV where the "shoulder" consists of the white line just before the ditch, roads are curvy with many blind curves and poor riding surface. For several years I, too, thought the Varia was a gimmick and a waste of money, assuming that because my mirror allows me to see rearward I don't need anything else. When the price dropped just before Garmin launched their new models, I purchased a Varia, mostly as a curiosity. After one ride I was hooked and tossed the mirror. You don't have to "think" about looking rearward; a modest "beep" and you then have immediate rearward awareness in front of you on the screen. Before using the Varia, I hadn't realized how "distracted" I was by using the mirror and constantly checking it out of the corner of my eye. Using the Varia frees up my ability to be simultaneously more relaxed and more focused while riding.

Pros: fantastic rearward awareness, integrated light is bright and utilizes several modes, battery life seems to be more than adequate (several multi-hour rides per charge when set to "flash").

Cons: I had to relocate spare tube(s)/tools I previously kept in a seatbag setup to accommodate properly mounting the Varia unit to the seatpost, which required removing my seatbag. Repurposed a small EoGear top-tube bag to carry spare tube(s) and tools with no issue and discovered I now prefer this setup, anyway.

I was very much in the "who needs a radar for their bike?" Varia-doubter group before I tried it; firm believer now.
wv_mtnbkr is offline  
Likes For wv_mtnbkr:
Old 05-30-20, 02:15 PM
  #10  
cybirr 
Beer & Bikes
 
cybirr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 84

Bikes: '07 Specialized Roubaix Expert, '20 Specialized Roubaix Expert, '20 Specialized Shiv Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 51 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
Varia is another do nothing expensive technological piece of BS that people will buy because they love technology.
Nonsense and applesauce, you don't have one, you've not used one, you've got nothing to add but uninformed opinion. Varia RTL; those that love it, those who haven't used it.
cybirr is offline  
Likes For cybirr:
Old 05-30-20, 03:01 PM
  #11  
billridesbikes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Liked 151 Times in 89 Posts
Radar is better than a rear view mirror, it detects cars long before you can hear them and tells you if there are multiple cars all while not having to look away from the road in front of you. Conditions really have to be ideal to hear a car from a long distance, while the radar works the same if it’s raining or windy. Cars passing you are generally a binary event, that they are either passing you and gone or there are no cars making a mirror less valuable than it is in your car.

I hope in the future we get devices with same V2V communication as other traffic that will interface with collision avoidance systems and not allow ‘close’ passes of cyclists in the road.
billridesbikes is offline  
Likes For billridesbikes:
Old 05-30-20, 03:21 PM
  #12  
billridesbikes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Liked 151 Times in 89 Posts
[QUOTE=greatscott;21503176]
The Varia can't also detect a car that is directly behind a lead car coming at you.
[\QUOTE]

Simply false. That’s not how it works, the radar will ‘see’ anything behind you that you can, it generally will detect any following cars, up to eight, if there are any and their relative distances to each other. If it is a big truck with say a fifth wheel it might miss anything behind that, but you’re not going to see that either.
billridesbikes is offline  
Likes For billridesbikes:
Old 05-30-20, 04:15 PM
  #13  
DrIsotope
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 8,490

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn, Lakitu

Mentioned: 119 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4834 Post(s)
Liked 1,578 Times in 887 Posts
Absolutely anyone that thinks a postage stamp-sized mirror is even in the same league with the Varia... has obviously never used the Varia. It picks up cars at around 500ft away-- which even at highway speeds gives ~5 seconds of warning.

I quite easily rank my RTL310 as one of my best ever cycling-related purchases. I have absolutely zero complaints about it, and it has become invaluable to me.

To anyone complaining about the brightness-- you obviously haven't used or seen one. Whatever the actual lumen rating, it's bright enough for daytime use-- and the new 315 can be had with no internal light, so you can use it with whatever taillight you'd like.
__________________
DrIsotope is offline  
Likes For DrIsotope:
Old 05-30-20, 05:11 PM
  #14  
bobwysiwyg
Senior Member
 
bobwysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: 961' 42.28° N, 83.78° W (A2)
Posts: 2,344

Bikes: Mongoose Selous, Trek DS

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 938 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 186 Posts
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Absolutely anyone that thinks a postage stamp-sized mirror is even in the same league with the Varia... has obviously never used the Varia. It picks up cars at around 500ft away-- which even at highway speeds gives ~5 seconds of warning.

I quite easily rank my RTL310 as one of my best ever cycling-related purchases. I have absolutely zero complaints about it, and it has become invaluable to me.

To anyone complaining about the brightness-- you obviously haven't used or seen one. Whatever the actual lumen rating, it's bright enough for daytime use-- and the new 315 can be had with no internal light, so you can use it with whatever taillight you'd like.
I don't understand the criticism of the Varia. I have ALWAYS used a mirror and still do. Do the Varia critiques stare at their mirrors constantly? I didn't/don't but my Varia does.
bobwysiwyg is offline  
Likes For bobwysiwyg:
Old 05-30-20, 05:31 PM
  #15  
ridelikeaturtle
Senior Member
 
ridelikeaturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 971

Bikes: Bianchi Ti Megatube; Colnago Competition; Planet-X EC-130E; Klein Pulse; Amp Research B4; Litespeed Catalyst, Fondriest Squadra Corse

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 230 Times in 135 Posts
Varia vs Cycliq Fly6 (or similar rear-view camera) is an "apples and dumptrucks" comparison.

Varia vs mirror is a better comparison; and apparently, the Varia is the "bees knees".

What do you want to accomplish? Answer that, and you can make a better choice.

I want to record any incident that may occur; so for me, a camera is best.

If you want to be able to anticipate what's arriving behind you, the Varia seems like a good solution. A mirror would be another solution, and several factors less expensive, but accordingly maybe not as effective.
ridelikeaturtle is offline  
Old 05-30-20, 07:18 PM
  #16  
BrazAd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Albany GA
Posts: 149

Bikes: '83 Trek 400, '11 Bianchi Sempre

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Garmin Varia is a GAME CHANGER. It's that good. I got mine about 2 weeks ago and can't imagine riding without it now.

A) It picks up vehicles behind you before you can hear them.
B) It tells you how MANY vehicles are behind you.
C) It has a special alert if one of those is coming up behind you at a fast speed.
D) The light blinks brighter and faster when the radar senses a vehicle. Most vehicles are now giving me 5' of space, on average, which is a HUGE difference from my regular blinking tail light that I used for the 13,500 miles of cycling I've done since I began 35 months ago.
E) 4 of my riding friends have bought one at my recommendation in the past 2 weeks. One of them called me after his first ride with it "just to thank you!"

I've not used a mirror or rear-facing camera so can't comment there... but the Varia is for REAL!

Gary
BrazAd is offline  
Old 05-31-20, 05:44 AM
  #17  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 800 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 161 Posts
Garmin Varia Radar vs Rear View Mirror or Camera

I posted earlier with some skepticism about radar, but I was impressed by the above endorsements. Most of my riding in urban and near-suburban Boston, and I wonder if the frequency of approaching cars would lull me into a sense of security.
Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
That's my opinion as well. I feel safer wearing headphones [? or listening to / visualizing radar signals] than not, because my brain sometimes it can rely on my hearing to hear cars behind me, when the only thing that's actually affective is to actually look

Wearing headphones makes my brain realize that I'd better look - which is far far safer than hoping a car passing me is making enough noise to hear it.

You can't rely on your ears for knowing what's behind you, you have to look.
For example, in hospitals, so-called “alarm fatique” has been described to the incessant barrage of false alarm signals. I still think a rearward mirror glance is definitive, and safer than an over-the-shoulder look
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I really don’t want to turn my head for an over shoulder glance away from the line of travel when speeding downhill on a pothole-strewn road with heavy traffic to my left and parked cars to my right. Furthermore, wind noise can sometimes obscure the sound of a passing car.

I find mirrors so easy to use, and so helpful that I wear both right and left (link).
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...When I was hit from behind, it was on a wide, low-volume, well-lit residential road at about 9 PM in June, by a “distracted driver.” The route was so calm that I was not closely monitoring my rearward view. In fact, though perhaps I could have ditched the bike, I’m glad I didn’t see it coming if I was going to get hit anyways.

I once read a comment that one should practice doing "bunny hops" so at least you could jump a curb if present on your right.

Obviously that’s the ultimate use of a mirror, and now I monitor rearwards more frequently. So hopefully being aware of the situation behind, even when not in immediate danger, allows the rider to avoid a dangerous situation, even by pulling off the road. And other than my accident, I’ve never had the need to bail out.

IMO, besides routine monitoring rearwards with the mirror, a most important use is to make quick decisions when encountering an obstacle in front of you, such as a car door, pothole, car entering your path, etc. Can you immediately veer left?
Originally Posted by MattTheHat
(from a now-closed thread) Can someone...anyone...explain how knowing a car is behind you makes any difference whatsoever? Please?

I've asked this in other threads and never gotten a response. In other words, what do you do with the information? What do you do differently? Are you pulling off the road or something?

It seems to me that if you do anything differently based on whether or not a car is behind you is just a recipe for disaster, because you're going to eventually get it wrong.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...At what point do you realize that the upcoming car ain't gonna swerve out of your line of travel?

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-31-20 at 06:31 AM. Reason: added quote by MattTheHat
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 05-31-20, 11:52 AM
  #18  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 4,640

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1758 Post(s)
Liked 609 Times in 467 Posts
I ride with my son that uses a Garmin Varia and I must say that I'm impressed with it. He doesn't enable the alert sound so he isn't bothered by the "alarm fatigue". Alarm fatigue is a real thing though, so it shouldn't be taken lightly if you are a person relying on alert sounds.

Varia gives you a display that lets you determine how close the vehicle is to you. You just need to have the display or have it enabled on your garmin Edge so you can see it. Like mirrors, it's something you have to learn to include in your scan. Where the Varia has a plus over mirrors IMO is that it'll tell you about most vehicles long before you see them in a mirror. Varias field of vision is wider than most mirrors too.

But yes it's a big dollar amount compared to mirrors. I don't use either mirrors or varia. And for over the 54 years I've been riding, it's worked out well for me.
Iride01 is online now  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 06-01-20, 08:40 AM
  #19  
wilsoncb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
wilsoncb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Oak Ridge, NC
Posts: 10

Bikes: Lemond (road), Specialized Sirrus (commute), Bambo (hand made)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Varia vs Cycliq Fly6 (or similar rear-view camera) is an "apples and dumptrucks" comparison.

Varia vs mirror is a better comparison; and apparently, the Varia is the "bees knees".

What do you want to accomplish? Answer that, and you can make a better choice.

I want to record any incident that may occur; so for me, a camera is best.

If you want to be able to anticipate what's arriving behind you, the Varia seems like a good solution. A mirror would be another solution, and several factors less expensive, but accordingly maybe not as effective.
Agree, Varia vs Fly6 is not the same. I guess the reason I included it was I thinking someday either it (Fly6) or some type of GoPro device will do it all. I'm imaging an ultimate solution being rear view camera with stabilization and live feed. Initially the live feed will be to your phone, but I can foresee the next step being a little video screen somehow incorporated into your glasses. Like a fighter pilot. Certainly cost prohibitive at this point in time, but in the not to distant future we'll see this along with self driving cars that will work together with a device on your bike so they can identify each other and avoid killing you!
wilsoncb is offline  
Old 06-01-20, 04:35 PM
  #20  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,288

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 783 Post(s)
Liked 798 Times in 351 Posts
Originally Posted by wilsoncb View Post
The sad part you see on the video is how there is a huge shoulder. Yes, the shoulder can be full of debris and rougher, but if I'm by myself on a road where the speed limit is 45 or higher...I'm taking the shoulder hazards over the distracted driver hazard.
Absolutely. Why would you ride on the white line on a four lane highway, when there is an 8 foot shoulder and a rumble strip to alert drivers if they drift onto the shoulder? The cyclist could have reduced his risk by a significant amount if he'd used some common sense.
tomato coupe is offline  
Old 06-02-20, 10:24 AM
  #21  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 4,640

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1758 Post(s)
Liked 609 Times in 467 Posts
What is the common sense he should have used? Doesn't matter the condition of the shoulder. Technically, vehicular traffic isn't supposed to ride in the shoulder. It's for emergency use. Many shoulders become non existent at bridges and intersections and driveways. There is frequently sections that will have trash or other obstacles. So with so many things requiring a rider to move out of the shoulder. Why not stay in what to me is the proper lane for a vehicle, whether motorized or not.

I wouldn't have been so close to the line though. I'd be one to three feet left of the white line. My assumption is the driver was inattentive and distracted. Sure if the cyclist had been on the shoulder at that moment, then there wouldn't be an accident. However I feel that cyclist riding in shoulder that have to constantly go into the traffic lane for the reasons I mentioned above will actually have more accidents because they will be doing things that will be unexpected for motorists.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 06-02-20, 11:29 AM
  #22  
Notso_fastLane
Senior Member
 
Notso_fastLane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Layton, UT
Posts: 1,434

Bikes: 2011 Bent TW Elegance 2014 Carbon Strada Velomobile

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 472 Post(s)
Liked 488 Times in 299 Posts
From the reviews it gets (generally good to great), it sounds like a useful tool for a cyclist who rides with traffic, and there are very few of us who don't.

I would never use it as a >replacement< for a rear view mirror, but certainly as a supplement to it.
Notso_fastLane is offline  
Old 06-03-20, 02:29 PM
  #23  
AMGwagon
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Northeast
Posts: 22

Bikes: Seven Axiom XX '18; Seven Aerios '06; Seven Sola '04 and others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
Jim_from_Boston...
That video is tragic and heartbreaking. Given the lack of movement for the last 14min of the video, I'm guessing that person did not survive. And while I tend to side with bikes in 99% of the time in car-on-bike violence, in this case that motorist did nothing wrong. That was all on the cyclist for a few reasons:
* This is a four-lane road with ample shoulder room for cyclists. Most state/county laws dictate cyclists ride on the right side of the line unless obstructed
* The sun was low in the sky, and the motorist could not see the cyclist. Perhaps this raises the question of culpability for any driver. Where visibility is limited, they must reduce speeds.
* Lastly, with that rumble strip it was a bonus safety feature for the cyclist to be riding the shoulder. It serves as warning for the cyclist and the driver if it is crossed.

As far as the OP, I use the Fly 6 & 12, which will only help in a post mortum situation. My question to the others here, with the Garmin Vario, am I to understand that it ACTIVELY changes its lighting sequence to improve chances that approaching motorists see the cyclist from behind? If so, I can see the value, otherwise my ears and my tendency to ride as far right (and check over my shoulder all the time) is all the prevention I could practice even with the Garmin device. I have the Edge 1030 and even that screen is too small to be used to read about what's behind me, esp as I navigate twisty roads with limited shoulder room and potholes everywhere.

Be well
AMGwagon is offline  
Old 06-09-20, 10:22 PM
  #24  
InvertedMP 
Senior Member
 
InvertedMP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 277

Bikes: 2019 Cervelo R3, 2019 Scott Metrix 10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 87 Posts
OK, I pulled the trigger on the new Varia and did a small ride today to test it out. All I can say is, I freaking love it. No false positives at all. I am very happy with the purchase and will absolutely not ride without it.
__________________
www.mp-aviation.com
InvertedMP is offline  
Likes For InvertedMP:
Old 06-12-20, 07:55 PM
  #25  
LesG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: N. Kentucky
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 12 Posts
For you folks that have a Varia, will it pick up another cyclist coming up from behind or does it need something bigger? I ride 15 to 25 miles 3 or 4 times a week for fitness. Those rides are mostly road. There, 95% of the time I'm fine with a mirror although that 5% or so of the time I miss a car coming from so the Varia might help a bit there. However my wife and I ride a near by rail trail and she likes what I call "a smell the roses pace", aka, "a gawk and talk pace" of about 8 to 10 MPH.. We frequently ride side by side until I see a cyclist(s) coming up from behind (or up ahead) and I move over until they pass. After we get 5 miles or so out from the starting point, the crowds thin out and yep, I get less attentive to the mirror and start missing riders coming up from behind. That's where I'd like some sort of audible warning.
LesG is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.