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Garmin Varia RTL510 and saddlebags

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Old 08-09-18, 07:48 PM
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travelerman
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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...
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Old 08-09-18, 07:52 PM
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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).
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Old 08-09-18, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by travelerman View Post
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.
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Old 08-10-18, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by b88 View Post
I purchased a 3D printed saddle mount and it's pretty secure on there.
This one?

https://www.shapeways.com/product/ZJ...ionId=65565614
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Old 08-10-18, 12:54 PM
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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:



Here's how it looks:





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



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Old 08-10-18, 02:11 PM
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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 ;-).
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Old 08-10-18, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by travelerman View Post
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
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Old 08-11-18, 11:33 PM
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Yes it's that one. It also has a slot through the mount so I zip tied it to the saddle.

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Old 08-12-18, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by b88 View Post
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.
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Old 08-12-18, 11:43 AM
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
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/
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Old 09-10-18, 08:13 PM
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My solution to this problem was to switch to a Speedsleev which tucks up tight under the saddle. I wasn’t 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
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Old 09-14-18, 04:57 PM
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great info in this thread
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Old 09-14-18, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
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 View Post
No. That will flop around.


Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
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!
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Old 09-20-18, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by travelerman View Post
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.

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Old 09-22-18, 09:16 AM
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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.
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Old 09-23-18, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
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. ) 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.
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Old 09-23-18, 03:31 PM
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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.
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Old 11-13-18, 07:48 PM
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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.
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