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Varia mounting question

Old 04-07-23, 03:17 PM
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Varia mounting question

My new Varia 515 delivered today and of course the weather is trash so I can't test it right away. Can anyone hazard an educated guess if this setup will work. Due to my bag I wound up mounting it upsidedown on the wishbone portion of the stays.

Option 2 will be to attach a 1/4 turn mount to the flap on my underseat bag, but I won't have one of those until the new Edge units are available.





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Last edited by Ubie; 04-07-23 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 04-07-23, 03:26 PM
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Old 04-07-23, 03:35 PM
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I don't think it will matter being inverted but the angle it is at might be problematic.

Personally I ditched my saddle bag for something that mounts on the toptube. That allows the Varia to sit where it was designed to go.
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Old 04-07-23, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearhawker
I don't think it will matter being inverted but the angle it is at might be problematic...
Yeah, the angle is definitely a worry. More I think about it I'll acquire a 1/4 turn mount sooner or later to use to attach to the seat bag. Seems to be a pretty common problem and that's a decent solution. Hopefully get some decent weather soon though to test this setup and get a baseline to compare against.
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Old 04-07-23, 04:35 PM
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You'd hate to get a bunch of false positives riding by the airport.

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Old 04-07-23, 08:20 PM
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You'll have to test it to know for sure, but I don't like the angle. I suspect that, at a minimum, the range won't be the full 140 meters, since the radar is pointed to the sky.

The fundamental problem is that you're carrying a suitcase under your saddle. Perhaps consider switching to a handlebar bag.
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Old 04-08-23, 10:45 AM
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I seem to remember in other post about how to mount Varia radar or just lights that some found a mount that attaches underneath the saddle and then turns down behind the bag to provide a vertical mount for the device.

But unless those persons that know about that mount see this post and respond, you'll just have to search or just accept that your Varia won't be as good as it should or can be.
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Old 04-08-23, 11:29 AM
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You can also try mounting it directly to the Topeak bag on that loop (I used the rubber bands and a zip tie as a backup).


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Old 04-08-23, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
You can also try mounting it directly to the Topeak bag on that loop (I used the rubber bands and a zip tie as a backup).


Setup as is does actually work, but I'm estimating at more of a 100m range instead of the 150ish in the specs. Birds overtaking me did not set it off at least 🤣🤣🤣
So, what you've got pictured is my next step. With luck the 540 drops next week and I can get one right quick. I already have mounts set up on all my bikes from old old head unit, so the extra in there will become the 'bag mount'.

I was able to adjust so the lid is vertical, but I'm sure I'll need to play with it a little once it's installed. I'll try and update with pics after it's done.
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Old 04-08-23, 03:56 PM
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I got annoyed with mine a week ago and put it inside my front bag.

It still worked.
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Old 04-09-23, 08:24 AM
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Bup Labs offers lots of mounting options. This is their Bontrager Verse mount.

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Old 04-09-23, 12:31 PM
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I have the buplabs and love it
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Old 04-09-23, 02:01 PM
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I'd mount it to your bag, as shown earlier. I purchased one of the 3D printed mounts, but it broke, and my Varia went skittering across the road going 22 mph. After that, I bought one of these cases. I realized if I lost it on the C&O Canal, in the fall, (lots of leaves everywhere), I would likely never find it. Cheap insurance. I keep it looped thru a seat rail.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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Old 04-09-23, 05:41 PM
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When I had the 515, I reversed the seatpost clamp, and it gave me enough room (barely) to mount it vertically, with the light up. It worked well, but if I had a lot of stuff in my seat bag (which I normally do) and rode on bumpy roads (which I usually have to) I found the bag would hit the power button on the top (stupid design) and it would turn off mid-ride. Eventually I used some zip-ties under the velcro seatpost strap of the bag and up through the seat rails to snug the bag up tightly to the bottom of the saddle.
Now I have the RTC715, which is a whole new animal. At least the power button has been moved to the side!
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Old 04-09-23, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Warbird21
I'd mount it to your bag, as shown earlier. I purchased one of the 3D printed mounts, but it broke, and my Varia went skittering across the road going 22 mph. After that, I bought one of these cases. I realized if I lost it on the C&O Canal, in the fall, (lots of leaves everywhere), I would likely never find it. Cheap insurance. I keep it looped thru a seat rail.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I always wondered why Garmin didn't include a place to install a safety loop for the Varia.
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Old 04-09-23, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
I always wondered why Garmin didn't include a place to install a safety loop for the Varia.
I never thought about it until it went skittering across the road. Luckily undamaged, save for a few dings.
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Old 04-16-23, 12:25 AM
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Like a few others, I also use the Bublabs mount attached to my saddle (A Bontrager saddle). Works fine with my Topeak wedge bag under it. I little awkward if I have to open the wedge bag, but doable without removing the Varia from the mount. But that is trivial anyway.

Buplabs has them for several saddles. I think they may have some universal version that will clamp to saddle rails.

https://buplabs.com/
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Old 04-17-23, 03:56 PM
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No pics because my 540 delivered like an hour before I had to leave for work, should have them in a few days.

What I wound up doing is taking one of the 1/4 mounts from the 540 and attaching it to the strap on the back of my Topeak Aero bag. It's a very tight fit with the smallest of the rubber bands that came in the kit as well. I then put the Varia in a cheap case from Amazon that had a leash. Varia goes in to the mount, leash goes over the seat and around the seatpost. Whole thing sits perfectly vertical.

540 came with two flat 1/4 mounts, so I was able to do the same on my gravel bike. Put the out front mount on my spawn's new ride He gets my old 130 as a hand me down and no longer needs to use his Venu 2 watch.
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Old 04-18-23, 07:48 AM
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I bought this from ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/134390145584

(If link expires, here's name: Bike Tail Light Saddle Mount Bracket for Garmin Varia Rearview Radar & RTL510)

A bit tricky getting screws through rear of saddle bag, but once done works quite well.
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Old 04-20-23, 04:03 PM
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Here's what the setup now looks like. The straight on pic makes it looked crooked for some reason, but it is not.


Mount attached to flap with Garmin small rubber band

Side view with leash attached to case

Rear view, isn't crooked, I promise
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Old 04-23-23, 03:42 PM
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FWIW, I have a Varia mounted behind the seat of my tadpole trike - in horizontal configuration and NOT perfectly squarely facing rearward - and it works just fine. I only wish that its battery life would be a bit longer.
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Old 04-23-23, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by newbert
FWIW, I have a Varia mounted behind the seat of my tadpole trike - in horizontal configuration and NOT perfectly squarely facing rearward - and it works just fine. I only wish that its battery life would be a bit longer.
There are (I think) 4 light pattern modes, and the last one provides for the most battery life. Or so I've read, I haven't tested it yet.
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Old 04-23-23, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by newbert
I only wish that its battery life would be a bit longer.
x2. twice the life would be a good start when in max light mode.
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Old 05-24-23, 01:29 PM
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I added a version of this Varia bracket with it bolted to my Topeak wedge packs so I could adjust the angle for maximum detection. I use the Topeak F25 to be able to quickly remove the pack from one bike and move it to another one.



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Old 06-01-23, 08:12 PM
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My off brand ride computer has the same mount but flat so I swapped mounts. Worked out fine.


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