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Bike Radar Detection

Old 09-19-20, 04:13 PM
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rjabend
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Bike Radar Detection

On narrow bicycle paths riders occasionally come up from behind and pass with no horn or any other warning. I have a rear view mirror so I am usually aware of rear traffic, but not always. I was wondering if any of the available bike radars are sensitive enough to detect other bikes at a reasonable distance. Thanks for any guidance on that.
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Old 09-19-20, 05:18 PM
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dorkypants
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AFAIK the various Garmin Varias (I have the RTL510) are designed to detect cars approaching from behind, not bikes. The rate-of-closing-in is typically significantly higher for a car than a bicycle, and cars have a larger reflective cross-section than bikes.
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Old 09-19-20, 06:06 PM
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I have a Garmin Varia. It does alarm for bikes approaching from the rear but maybe 50 to 75 feet behind, unlike a car which it detects several hundred feet away.
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Old 09-19-20, 07:51 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

Having a firm grasp of the obvious, ride faster so yours is the passing bike.

My latest addition is a single ding handlebar bell. I chime at ~5 car lengths and a second time at ~2 car lengths, followed by a "good morning" when passing.

Also still get passed like I'm standing still, so I use my EVT Safe Zone Mirror periodically.
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Old 09-20-20, 06:00 AM
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The Varia seems to work differently when used with different computers/devices. I have friends that have one connected to a Garmin computer and they seldom, if ever pick up anything but vehicles. Mine is connected to a Wahoo Bolt and it will pick up fast approaching bicycles all day long. Another friend has his connected to a Wahoo Roam and his picks up bicycles as well. I'm guessing that Wahoo sets a different sensitivity range than Garmin.
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Old 09-20-20, 10:32 AM
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Build your own? Maybe use a switch or button to toggle the LIDAR angle between a ‘road’ and ‘MUP’ mode.

A LIDAR bike early warning system
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Old 09-20-20, 07:28 PM
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My Garmin Edge 820 combined with the Varia rtl510 picks up bicycles, just not as far a distance as it does cars. Cars are picked up at 100+ yards, while bicycles are probably around 10-20.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:10 PM
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August West
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Although I am rarely passed by other cyclists (only because I ride on pretty desolate roads with little traffic) my Edge 830 & Varia 510 have picked them up when they get close. I think if the closing speed is too low it probably wouldn't see them though.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rjabend View Post
On narrow bicycle paths riders occasionally come up from behind and pass with no horn or any other warning. I have a rear view mirror so I am usually aware of rear traffic, but not always. I was wondering if any of the available bike radars are sensitive enough to detect other bikes at a reasonable distance. Thanks for any guidance on that.
Mine occasionally will pick up a cyclist closing the gap rapidly from behind, but I think they are hard-wired to avoid this sort of "false positive" as much as possible.
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