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-   -   Garmin Varia RTL510 and saddlebags (https://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/1152195-garmin-varia-rtl510-saddlebags.html)

travelerman 08-09-18 07:48 PM

Garmin Varia RTL510 and saddlebags
 
I'm looking at the Varia RTL510, and like the features, but am wondering what the Garmin engineers were thinking when they designed the mounting system for it? Nearly every cyclist I know rides with a saddlebag, and there is no mounting option provided with the unit, especially for those of us whose seatpost doesn't poke up above the downtube about a foot or more... I have found a 3D printed bracket from a 3rd party, that clips onto the strap provided on most saddlebags, but it appears like it might not be the most stable mounting option...

wgscott 08-09-18 07:52 PM

I have a similar problem with my Garmin Varia radar. This is exacerbated by having short legs, so my seat post doesn't have much exposed length to it.

On one bike, I got a real small saddle bag and crammed it under the saddle.

On another bike, I bolted a Garmin flat mount to a rear luggage rack, which works fine if you don't mind having the damn rack on all of the time. (I don't, because I often use it, but lots of roadies wouldn't want to to that).

b88 08-09-18 11:01 PM


Originally Posted by travelerman (Post 20498083)
I'm looking at the Varia RTL510, and like the features, but am wondering what the Garmin engineers were thinking when they designed the mounting system for it? Nearly every cyclist I know rides with a saddlebag, and there is no mounting option provided with the unit, especially for those of us whose seatpost doesn't poke up above the downtube about a foot or more... I have found a 3D printed bracket from a 3rd party, that clips onto the strap provided on most saddlebags, but it appears like it might not be the most stable mounting option...

I purchased a 3D printed saddle mount and it's pretty secure on there.

travelerman 08-10-18 05:21 AM


Originally Posted by b88 (Post 20498302)
I purchased a 3D printed saddle mount and it's pretty secure on there.

This one?

https://www.shapeways.com/product/ZJ...ionId=65565614

taz777 08-10-18 12:54 PM

I've fitted a Garmin Varia rear light (not the RTL510 though) to a rear rack on my Electra Townie cruiser using a couple of parts. This may help someone who already has a rear rack with reflector mount holes and wants to fit a Garmin Varia rear light onto the rack instead of the seatpost. It uses one of the reflector mount holes on a rear rack.

First I ordered a K-Edge Gravity Top Cap Mount that usually replaces your headset top cap:

https://k-edge.com/shop/computer-mou...top-cap-mount/

I also needed an M6 self-locking nut (and a washer for it):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DY2CTXC/

Here's all the bits shown together with the K-Edge headset cap disassembled:

https://i.imgur.com/WPsQTqG.jpg

Attach the cap to the reflector mount on the rack using the bolt supplied with the cap and the self-locking nut:

https://i.imgur.com/Z4q2ZEm.jpg

Refit the Garmin mount insert into the cap:

https://i.imgur.com/212dxrv.jpg

Here's how it looks:

https://i.imgur.com/q61VHm9.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/u72d8Cp.jpg

And here's the rack mounted on the bike showing the Garmin Varia rear light:

https://i.imgur.com/Vm37xQ8.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/2aCTN5Y.jpg

travelerman 08-10-18 02:11 PM

Nicely done, and well-photographed...

Not too sure, though, that I could do anything similar to my Pinarello GAN road bike... no fenders, you know ;-).

WheresWaldo 08-10-18 09:46 PM


Originally Posted by travelerman (Post 20498445)

It probably was, because as far as I know, no one else has designed one that works on the back of a saddle bag.

Hey @taz777, that is very ingeniuos

b88 08-11-18 11:33 PM

Yes it's that one. It also has a slot through the mount so I zip tied it to the saddle.

WheresWaldo 08-12-18 08:32 AM


Originally Posted by b88 (Post 20501607)
Yes it's that one. It also has a slot through the mount so I zip tied it to the saddle.

I should know, I designed that mount. Glad you decided to use the zip tie, when I ask most people they don't even know there is a slot for one.

angerdan 08-12-18 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by WheresWaldo (Post 20501910)
I should know, I designed that mount. Glad you decided to use the zip tie, when I ask most people they don't even know there is a slot for one.

Cateye did replaced their old clip with a new one which can also attached with zip tie.
https://www.cateye.com/intl/products/parts/5342460/

skier757 09-10-18 08:13 PM

My solution to this problem was to switch to a Speedsleev which tucks up tight under the saddle. I wasnít able to use any of my saddle bags no matter how small, but the Speedsleev stays tucked up between the saddle rails and out of the way of the Garmin radar unit.i
Garmin Varia RTL510 under a Speedsleev bag

rick47601 09-14-18 04:57 PM

great info in this thread

JohnJ80 09-14-18 09:27 PM


Originally Posted by wgscott (Post 20498090)
I have a similar problem with my Garmin Varia radar. This is exacerbated by having short legs, so my seat post doesn't have much exposed length to it.

On one bike, I got a real small saddle bag and crammed it under the saddle.

On another bike, I bolted a Garmin flat mount to a rear luggage rack, which works fine if you don't mind having the damn rack on all of the time. (I don't, because I often use it, but lots of roadies wouldn't want to to that).

The 3D printed ones work well. Get the one that clamps to the rails of the saddle and turns into a GoPro mount. Then get one of the GoPro Garmin mount versions that has the right length and use that.

The other alternative that works really well is to get the Silca seat bag that cinches up super tight under the seat and you should have plenty of room for the Garmin Mount. I use both of these methods. The newer version of the radar can usually be mounted right at the seat clamp and the body go down between the seat stays. If you have the older version (I have that as well), it's kind of useless as a twilight. The radar is largely non directional as long as you get it aimed roughly behind you. I used to just throw it in my jersey pocket aimed aft and it worked perfectly. There is a Connect IQ app you can get that allows you to turn the actual light off but leave the radar running.


Originally Posted by travelerman (Post 20498445)

No. That will flop around.



Originally Posted by taz777 (Post 20499257)
I've fitted a Garmin Varia rear light (not the RTL510 though) to a rear rack on my Electra Townie cruiser using a couple of parts. This may help someone who already has a rear rack with reflector mount holes and wants to fit a Garmin Varia rear light onto the rack instead of the seatpost. It uses one of the reflector mount holes on a rear rack.

First I ordered a K-Edge Gravity Top Cap Mount that usually replaces your headset top cap:

https://k-edge.com/shop/computer-mou...top-cap-mount/

I also needed an M6 self-locking nut (and a washer for it):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DY2CTXC/

Here's all the bits shown together with the K-Edge headset cap disassembled:



Attach the cap to the reflector mount on the rack using the bolt supplied with the cap and the self-locking nut:



Refit the Garmin mount insert into the cap:

Well done!

TrojanHorse 09-20-18 01:38 PM


Originally Posted by travelerman (Post 20499421)
Nicely done, and well-photographed...

Not too sure, though, that I could do anything similar to my Pinarello GAN road bike... no fenders, you know ;-).

Now you have me thinking my frame is too small... :( It's a 57.5 I have a Varia RTL510 mounted at the bottom of the seat post - plenty of room. (not pictured here but you can imagine it)

I am however going to take my roubaix on a mini tour next month and with a seat bag, I won't (I think) have room to mount my varia, so this thread is very timely! The garmin mount isn't really designed for a seat stay... plus it actually rotates on the seat post anyway, the 3D bracket might be an improvement on the Gan too.

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...49a323a04a.jpg

WheresWaldo 09-22-18 09:16 AM

Hey @TrojanHorse if you want a custom mount for your GAN and Roubaix, just PM me and as long as you can provide me with the aero seat mast dimensions (or alternatively a piece of post cutoff) I can create one that will mount on the post and be size specific to that model bike.

TrojanHorse 09-23-18 01:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by WheresWaldo (Post 20579956)
Hey @TrojanHorse if you want a custom mount for your GAN and Roubaix, just PM me and as long as you can provide me with the aero seat mast dimensions (or alternatively a piece of post cutoff) I can create one that will mount on the post and be size specific to that model bike.

Just out of curiosity, without sending you a piece of the seat post (which I am unwilling to do for a variety of reasons, mostly selfish. :D) how would you get the contours right? I could mike the length and the width, of course... I did order one of those clip-on mounts for my upcoming trip, can't wait to see how that works out.

Here's an updated pic with the varia mounted on the seat post - it rides nice and low and there's plenty of room on my frame at least. Not sure if the dynamics would play out the same way on a smaller frame.

WheresWaldo 09-23-18 03:31 PM

Is the GAN a seat mast and topper or it is a separate set post kinda bike?
If it is the latter I can usually work off a tracing of the bottom of the seat post to get the profile close enough. Besides there are only a few ways to build an waero seat post and bike manufacturers usually just do simple profiles, unlike carbon wheel profiles.

Either way, if what you got works for you then why change it. I can tell you I would personally do it because I like stuff that fits the way it is supposed to and be a clean install. That is why I started doing this stuff in the first place.

If this is going to be a several post back and forth, let's take it to PMs so we don't clutter the thread with stuff others don't care about.

travelerman 11-13-18 07:48 PM

I'm glad that works for you... my seatpost is a lot lower than yours, so there is not near enough clearance between the bottom of my saddlebag and where the unit would be mounted - it would be pretty much covered by the bag.

eja_ bottecchia 02-19-19 07:50 AM

Time to ditch the saddle bag.

Rule No. 29.

(I know, not practical for everyone, but getting rid of my saddle bag forced me to carefully choose what I carry on my rides.)

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5b3897dd0.jpeg

JohnJ80 02-19-19 09:42 AM


Originally Posted by travelerman (Post 20662136)
I'm glad that works for you... my seatpost is a lot lower than yours, so there is not near enough clearance between the bottom of my saddlebag and where the unit would be mounted - it would be pretty much covered by the bag.

Two options that might help.

1. I use the Silca smallest saddle bag/roll that they have. In there, I can hold a tool and tube but the real advantage is how high and snug the boa closure holds it up on the saddle. That pretty much keeps the entire saddle bag up above the top of the usable seat post.

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...70a9e665ef.jpg


2. The trick from post #5 in this thread using a K-edge stem cap can also be used with a standard seat stay reflector mount to mount a radar or light on the seat stay. This would work very well to mount the Varia Radar there and itís worth a try. Iím going to use that this year so I can run the Cyclic FLY6 ce camera along with the Radar on my bike. Should be a neat and clean set up.

The other thing that most people neglect is that if you donít care about the light, jersey pockets or even a number if not most seat packs are radar transparent. With the old Varia horizontal radar, which you had to get just right or it conflict with your thigh while pedalling, I just put it in my rear jersey pocket and it worked perfectly. Most fabrics and even plastics are pretty much radar transparent as long as they donít have metal in them. D


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