Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets
Reload this Page >

Garmin Varia RTL510 and saddlebags

Notices
Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets HRM, GPS, MP3, HID. Whether it's got an acronym or not, here's where you'll find discussions on all sorts of tools, toys and gadgets.

Garmin Varia RTL510 and saddlebags

Old 08-09-18, 07:48 PM
  #1  
travelerman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
travelerman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 17 Posts
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...
travelerman is offline  
Likes For travelerman:
Old 08-09-18, 07:52 PM
  #2  
wgscott
Occam's Rotor
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,036
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 1,175 Times in 611 Posts
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).
wgscott is offline  
Old 08-09-18, 11:01 PM
  #3  
b88
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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.
b88 is offline  
Likes For b88:
Old 08-10-18, 05:21 AM
  #4  
travelerman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
travelerman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 17 Posts
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
travelerman is offline  
Old 08-10-18, 12:54 PM
  #5  
taz777
Senior Member
 
taz777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 865

Bikes: 5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 15 Posts
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:



taz777 is offline  
Likes For taz777:
Old 08-10-18, 02:11 PM
  #6  
travelerman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
travelerman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 17 Posts
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 ;-).
travelerman is offline  
Old 08-10-18, 09:46 PM
  #7  
WheresWaldo
Ride it like you stole it
 
WheresWaldo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Union County, NC
Posts: 4,895

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale EVO Ultegra Di2, Pedal Force Aeroblade, Rue Tandem

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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
__________________
"Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson
The Reloutionaries @ Shapeways
WheresWaldo is offline  
Old 08-11-18, 11:33 PM
  #8  
b88
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Yes it's that one. It also has a slot through the mount so I zip tied it to the saddle.

Last edited by b88; 08-11-18 at 11:44 PM.
b88 is offline  
Old 08-12-18, 08:32 AM
  #9  
WheresWaldo
Ride it like you stole it
 
WheresWaldo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Union County, NC
Posts: 4,895

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale EVO Ultegra Di2, Pedal Force Aeroblade, Rue Tandem

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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.
__________________
"Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson
The Reloutionaries @ Shapeways
WheresWaldo is offline  
Old 08-12-18, 11:43 AM
  #10  
angerdan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 430
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
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/
angerdan is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 08:13 PM
  #11  
skier757
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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
skier757 is offline  
Old 09-14-18, 04:57 PM
  #12  
rick47601
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
great info in this thread
rick47601 is offline  
Old 09-14-18, 09:27 PM
  #13  
JohnJ80
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,178

Bikes: N+1=5

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 627 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 43 Posts
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!
JohnJ80 is offline  
Old 09-20-18, 01:38 PM
  #14  
TrojanHorse
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,328

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1102 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 41 Posts
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.

TrojanHorse is offline  
Old 09-22-18, 09:16 AM
  #15  
WheresWaldo
Ride it like you stole it
 
WheresWaldo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Union County, NC
Posts: 4,895

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale EVO Ultegra Di2, Pedal Force Aeroblade, Rue Tandem

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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.
__________________
"Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson
The Reloutionaries @ Shapeways
WheresWaldo is offline  
Old 09-23-18, 01:40 PM
  #16  
TrojanHorse
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,328

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1102 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 41 Posts
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.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_3144.jpg (492.2 KB, 292 views)
TrojanHorse is offline  
Old 09-23-18, 03:31 PM
  #17  
WheresWaldo
Ride it like you stole it
 
WheresWaldo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Union County, NC
Posts: 4,895

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale EVO Ultegra Di2, Pedal Force Aeroblade, Rue Tandem

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
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.
__________________
"Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson
The Reloutionaries @ Shapeways
WheresWaldo is offline  
Old 11-13-18, 07:48 PM
  #18  
travelerman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
travelerman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 17 Posts
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.
travelerman is offline  
Old 02-19-19, 07:50 AM
  #19  
eja_ bottecchia
Senior Member
 
eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5,692
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 964 Post(s)
Liked 375 Times in 244 Posts
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.)


eja_ bottecchia is offline  
Old 02-19-19, 09:42 AM
  #20  
JohnJ80
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,178

Bikes: N+1=5

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 627 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by travelerman View Post
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.




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
JohnJ80 is offline  
Old 11-10-19, 12:18 PM
  #21  
John_V 
Senior Member
 
John_V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 5,489

Bikes: 2017 Colnago C-RS, 2012 Colnago Ace, 2010 Giant Cypress hybrid

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 373 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 47 Posts
I have a Topeak saddle bag on my bike and the seat post isn't high enough to accommodate both the radar and the saddle bag. I found an old gas valve key in my tool box that I can't remember the last time I used it. A little modification and about half an hour of my time and this is what I came up with. You can also go to a hardware store and get a T-bracket and do the same thing. It slides very nicely into the loop on the back of the saddle bag.You will want to cut the bracket the length of the radar to keep it from bouncing out on bumpy roads or in the event of a crash.





__________________
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe ... Ride Hard ... Ride Daily

2017 Colnago C-RS
2012 Colnago Ace
2010 Giant Cypress
John_V is offline  
Old 06-07-20, 07:37 PM
  #22  
jkbrooks
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Topeak Varia mount option

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've got one of the Varia RTL 510s. To be honest, I thought it would be a bit silly and gimmicky. But I find I really rely on the the thing. I was riding around on another bike the other day (without it) and was surprised how often I was looking for my head unit to see if there were cars around.

I've got a Topeak waterproof saddlebag (which I also like because of the mount and that it's waterproof.) It's got a sorta "beltloop" thing on the bag. I took an extra 4" handlebar extender (pvc pipe would work fine too) and stuck it through the "belt loop" on the bag. Created a little wire rope that goes through the bar extender tube & the "belt loop" to secure it (I lose stuff . . .) (Zip ties in lieu of making a wire rope likely also fine.) Used seatpost mount (with the rubberbands) from garmin. Works 95% fine. It can rotate a bit but that doesn't seem to impact performance. About 6 month after i did all this, I realized that theres a pitch (up or down tending) on the seatpost mount. Shocking! Fixed that and it looks WAY less stupid (but functions similarly)

It doesn't look super elegant but it's functional, I can remove the light quickly & easily to charge it, seems 99% secure . . . I think because I charge the thing essentially every time I ride, I have a built in "check the equipment" step to make sure it's all in decent shape before shoving off.

Now I'm heading out to do a couple hundred miles of gravel riding (and some road.) I bought an Ortlieb Saddlepack. Not really sure how the heck I'm gonna mount the Varia in this scenario. Havent gotten the bag yet but I'd be grateful for any good hacks.
jkbrooks is offline  
Old 06-08-20, 09:41 AM
  #23  
John_V 
Senior Member
 
John_V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 5,489

Bikes: 2017 Colnago C-RS, 2012 Colnago Ace, 2010 Giant Cypress hybrid

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 373 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by jkbrooks View Post
..... Now I'm heading out to do a couple hundred miles of gravel riding (and some road.) I bought an Ortlieb Saddlepack. Not really sure how the heck I'm gonna mount the Varia in this scenario. Havent gotten the bag yet but I'd be grateful for any good hacks.
Looking at the photos on their website, all but the Micro have slots in the rear of the bag. You could use the same type of saddlebag setup that I did (post just above yours) and modify the length of the bar to fit the bag..Since their bags appear to be angled in the rear, you may have to bend the bar accordingly for it to be perpendicular to the ground. The quarter twist lock comes out of the mount by unscrewing the two screws. Use the same screws to attach the quarter twist lock to the metal bar that will slide into the bag.
__________________
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe ... Ride Hard ... Ride Daily

2017 Colnago C-RS
2012 Colnago Ace
2010 Giant Cypress
John_V is offline  
Old 06-15-20, 06:27 AM
  #24  
John_V 
Senior Member
 
John_V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 5,489

Bikes: 2017 Colnago C-RS, 2012 Colnago Ace, 2010 Giant Cypress hybrid

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 373 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 47 Posts
Another saddlebag mounting sent to me from a friend of mine that recently purchased an RTL515.

__________________
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe ... Ride Hard ... Ride Daily

2017 Colnago C-RS
2012 Colnago Ace
2010 Giant Cypress
John_V is offline  
Old 06-15-20, 02:25 PM
  #25  
bobwysiwyg
Senior Member
 
bobwysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: 961' 42.28į N, 83.78į W (A2)
Posts: 2,285

Bikes: Mongoose Selous, Trek DS

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 913 Post(s)
Liked 279 Times in 169 Posts
Another option I use. It's meant mount directly to seat rails, I use it to mount to my underseat bag. The mount allows for adjusting to level the light.
bobwysiwyg is offline  
Likes For bobwysiwyg:

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.