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Radar love

Old 06-13-22, 05:16 PM
  #26  
Pinelander
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From what I read, riders behind you in a group could "get in the way" and block the beam from recognizing cars. It won't alert you to other riders behind you in the group since they'll be going at the same speed.
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Old 06-13-22, 05:41 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Does riding in a group or having others riders on your wheel affect the performance of the radar?
Not so long as they're riding at the same speed you are. If a gap opens up behind you and that next rider decides to put the hammer down to close it, they may register as an oncoming car.

Originally Posted by Pinelander View Post
From what I read, riders behind you in a group could "get in the way" and block the beam from recognizing cars.
From watching how my wife's Varia behaves for these last ~2 years, that's nearly impossible; the Varia's radar beam pattern is way too wide to be "blocked" by cyclists in a paceline. I suppose if you're being followed by a Large & Wide Seething Morass Of Riders rather than a single-file paceline it's possible, but empirically that seems really unlikely.
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Old 06-13-22, 05:52 PM
  #28  
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To summarize whenever his subject comes up it breaks down as follows.

Those who have not used it find it a silly product which if anything makes cycling more dangerous. This pattern of weighting in without any experience with the product is symbolic of this crowd.

Those who have used one feel it is a helpful addition to their cycling experience and worth the expense. With virtually 100% satisfaction which considering the cynical lot we are dealing with means Garmin has hit it out of the park with this product.

There is one long time member who goes against this narrative and after using one feels it is not worth the hassle or expense. But this feedback is a singular outlier.

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 06-13-22 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 06-14-22, 08:35 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
Counterpoint -- I won't ride without a mirror, which I find extremely valuable for checking traffic patterns and watching for things like impending right hooks, and also to help me with politely assertive lateral lane positioning. If I want or need to merge or change lanes, I use the mirror first to identify a gap in traffic, before looking back to verify the gap.
Most that use mirrors are probably no issue. However it is more than a few mirror users that I come up on from behind and they do unpredictable things. Many times they slow and try to wave me past when I can't see far enough ahead on the trail to pass safely. Other odd behavior of those people just make for unsafe cycling.

I only mention this because such stuff doesn't get discussed much on BF. However more involved discussion should probably be in it's own thread and probably in another forum.
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Old 06-14-22, 09:13 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Pinelander View Post
I started using a mirror several years ago due to disc problems in my neck, as well as hearing loss. I don't wear my hearing aids when riding because the wind noise drowns everything out. Using a mirror made a world of difference, although occasionally I'd be lost in thought or zoning out on the surroundings and that's when an unexpected car would fly by. I found myself constantly glancing in the mirror, always looking for the next threat. I recently got a Garmin Edge 130 Plus and the Varia RVR315 Rear Radar sensor hoping it would increase my safety and allow me to enjoy the ride more.

I will never ride without this setup again.

I'm sure I'm not the first one here to discover this, but I can't get over what a difference it has made. It picks up cars 500 ft away and dots on the display show them as they approach, as well as how many. Up to 8 cars. There are audible beeps too. Some of the roads I ride are a bit rough and the smoothest parts are out in the lane. Before, I'd always be worrying about a car coming up unexpectedly and would be constantly glancing over. Now I get an 8-10 second audible warning. More often than not, I get an alert before I can see them in the mirror. It also works without a computer by downloading a free Garmin Varia phone app.

The only issue I had at first was not always hearing the tone. I solved that with a single earpiece and ran the app on my phone where I could make the tone louder. You would think there would be a volume control, but I haven't found it. Accidents will happen, but along with the mirror, I think the Varia goes far to mitigate the risk.

I haven't been using this too long. Do any long time users have any useful tips or observations?

Stay safe out there!
I was pretty skeptical about the need for a Varia, but I wanted a decent rear flasher that lasted more than the 4 hours I was getting from my current flashers. I already had a Garmin 530 head unit. However, the radar is really impressive - since it works on speed difference, it will "see" cars behind the group. It's not perfect - it can be flummoxed if the car is maintaining distance rather than overtaking, the car can disappear off the radar. Also, while it can graphically represent multiple approaching cars, if one car happens to be in the preceding car's "radar shadow", it won't show up initially, only popping up out of nowhere when the first car has passed. The Varia will also register fast-approaching bikes, with no way if distinguishing bike from car. However, I think, when used in conjunction with a rear-view mirror, it's a great addition, but it's important to make allowances for its shortcomings. On balance, though, I don't think I would ride on the road anymore without it. The audible alert means you don't have to constantly monitor your rear-view to avoid being startled by overtaking traffic, which is really nice. I recently travelled to Ireland for a couple of weeks and rented a road bike while I was there, so I could punish myself in the Wicklow Mountains. I brought my Garmin and Varia with me to install on the rental. The Varia worked great - alas, Ireland seemed to flummox the GPS - I ended up navigating by Google Maps (I used to do it with an Ordinance Survey map in my jersey pocket, so this is progress, I suppose).

Last edited by Litespud; 06-14-22 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 06-14-22, 01:03 PM
  #31  
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I ride two bikes.

A older 1986 Schwinn Passage. (GREAT BIKE) !
I have a Mirror on that bike.
BUT

Most of the time I ride a 2015 Trek Verve III.
(GREAT BIKE)
BUT

No mirror on the Trek.

I have to admit, after riding the Schwinn, then riding the Trek, I find myself missing that mirror!
'

'
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Old 06-15-22, 07:11 PM
  #32  
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Radar Love? Hey, you know somebody had to do it.
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Old 06-17-22, 11:14 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Ballenxj View Post
Radar Love? Hey, you know somebody had to do it.
Yeah, back in post #2!
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Old 06-17-22, 12:35 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Yeah, back in post #2!
One line of lyrics vs the whole song?
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Old 06-17-22, 01:40 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Ballenxj View Post
One line of lyrics vs the whole song?
It's called compression.
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Old 06-17-22, 01:48 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
It's called compression.
Compression somehow just doesn't sound as good as the real deal?
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Old 06-27-22, 09:45 AM
  #37  
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I've been using the Garmin Varia RTL510 for 2 years. It's the best piece of electronic equipment I bought. I have never observed a false negative yet.

I don't hear the audible beep, but keep a frequent eye on the approaching traffic so I'm prepared if a obstacle appears ahead.

Also, great help when riding downhill and you can't hear approaching traffic because of air noise in the ears.

I don't use a mirror.
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Old 06-27-22, 09:51 AM
  #38  
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[QUOTE=Bob Ross;22540388]Not so long as they're riding at the same speed you are. If a gap opens up behind you and that next rider decides to put the hammer down to close it, they may register as an oncoming car.

Yes it does.
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Old 06-28-22, 04:37 AM
  #39  
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Thanks to the info in this discussion I bought a Garmin Varia for my wife. She was very skeptical. Basically thought I was nuts. After the second ride with it she thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
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Old 07-03-22, 12:42 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Thanks to the info in this discussion I bought a Garmin Varia for my wife. She was very skeptical. Basically thought I was nuts. After the second ride with it she thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
My wife also.
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Old 07-04-22, 08:13 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I've been riding for over forty years without a mirror and never had any issues.

I just don't see where what's behind you is more important than what is in front or to your left or right. If you ride a predictable line, then those behind you will know what to expect and will avoid you.

For those behind you that have mal intent or are oblivious to you I doubt you'll recognize that in your mirror in time to save you.

I do like my varia radar though. I don't like other cyclist with mirrors that behave weirdly and unpredictably when I approach from behind on my bike.
This may be a bit of a side note, but riding a steady, predictable line can be a problem. Some may recall I had a head on collision on my '84-ish Mondonico, crumpling the head joints of the DT and TT, and requiring a small fork straightening. The prestigious frame builder who repaired it assumed he knew what the head angle was originally and did not give me the chance to look up my measurements (HT, ST, angles, and front-center) from when I got the frame, so he could duplicate those. The result is a beautiful-looking bike that takes a lot more attention to keep in a straight line. It also now has toe overlap with the front wheel, and wheel to DT clearance differs from what is apparent in my early build photographs. So on that bike, consistency is more challenging. Originally on that I could easily stay just a few inches from the fog line, but not lately, now that I'm riding it more.

Does the Varia talk to a Wahoo computer?
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Old 07-04-22, 08:26 AM
  #42  
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Has anyone read any human factors research by Garmin on the design of the warning for cyclist-warning systems? At least in the automotive world such warnings receive a lot of attention for how long it should be, how soon to expect correct response, most audible or recognizable pitch or modulation of pitch, et cetera. The main techniques for conducting the experiments and tests are to arrange sessions with human subjects. One potential failure would be if the cyclist hears the warning and responds by moving away from the road edge area possibly into the path of the approaching vehicle, not to say that's ever happened except with voice warnings ("On your left!") to peds on an MUP or paved rail trail.
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Old 07-04-22, 12:20 PM
  #43  
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I see the Varia as an electronic mirror, monitoring the rear between mirror glances or distractions; complementary, rather than a mirror substitute. The Varia also detects vehicles as soon as they are *detectable*, which a mirror does also, but only if the visibility is good and the rider is also looking at the mirror *all the time*.
The intelligent light response also strikes me as useful, and appears to take approach angle into account. Another plus is the discrimination of multiple vehicles.
I would like one. Just $.
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Old 07-04-22, 12:44 PM
  #44  
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The Varia works with the Wahoo Element, according to David Rides a Trike, on u tube.
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Old 07-04-22, 04:02 PM
  #45  
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Varia works perfectly with Wahoo Bolt. Only possible improvement would be some type of Vaira battery monitoring by the Bolt.
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Old 07-05-22, 09:02 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
I was struck by a passing car that refused to move over the center line to pass. I was riding on the white line on the right side of the road with no shoulder beyond it...
I call this maneuver "cowering on the white line". It's dangerous.

1. It leaves you no room for position adjustments.
2. It encourages drivers to think they can squeeze by you in the same lane.

If there's no shoulder, my preferred position is a couple of feet inside the fog line, about where the vehicles' right wheels track. Especially if the lane is narrow.

Be safe, be predictable.
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Old 07-05-22, 12:43 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I call this maneuver "cowering on the white line". It's dangerous.

1. It leaves you no room for position adjustments.
2. It encourages drivers to think they can squeeze by you in the same lane.

If there's no shoulder, my preferred position is a couple of feet inside the fog line, about where the vehicles' right wheels track. Especially if the lane is narrow.

Be safe, be predictable.
Just this morning I found myself cowering and you are right about the danger. I think it signals to the driver that you're moving over to accommodate him, rather than momentarily taking your rightful place in the lane. Good advice.
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Old 07-05-22, 07:29 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
You and she can simultaneously link hers, so if you ride together, you get 2 for 1.

For $150 I decided to get another one, figuring someone in the family will make use of it.
Thank you. I didnít know that.
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Old 07-06-22, 09:05 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Does the Varia talk to a Wahoo computer?
Yes, unequivocally.

Originally Posted by PacificSpray View Post
The Varia works with the Wahoo Element, according to David Rides a Trike, on u tube.
Also according to my wife, who owns a Wahoo Elemnt and Garmin Varia and has used them together successfully for a year or two now.

Originally Posted by rwhillman View Post
Varia works perfectly with Wahoo Bolt. Only possible improvement would be some type of Vaira battery monitoring by the Bolt.
LOL! Not sure if the (non-Bolt) Elemnt is any different, but my wife is always getting alerts that the battery is running low since she started using the combo...admittedly I'm not sure if the Wahoo is specifically telling her "the Varia battery is low" or if it's saying "my battery is low" but it's directly related to using the Wahoo/Varia combination. i.e., when she doesn't use the Varia she gets far less frequent low battery alerts from the Wahoo.
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Old 07-09-22, 07:22 AM
  #50  
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A 515 was a Xmas present. One of the best given and a year after a Wahoo Roam. Love both.

A riding friend was impressed with the brightness and function of the light. Best he has seen.

I consider it an indicator of what is behind me. I don't use a mirror, but it would be a great combination.

it is charged between rides so don't have any experience with battery life.
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