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Garmin radar v3 is out

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Garmin radar v3 is out

Old 05-14-20, 03:51 PM
  #26  
FlashBazbo
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I'm curious who is interested in just the radar without the taillight, especially given that it's a really good/visible light. But they must have thought there was a market for it.
I will be making the switch. I don't consider the Varia taillight (or headlight) to be sufficient. It's better than a blinky, but not great.

I will combine the radar unit with my Dinotte taillight. Perfect combination.
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Old 05-14-20, 04:04 PM
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Forgive the ignorance. Part of me can see the importance of this obviously, but I am curious how you practically use this once you get an alert. Is this just an alert to look behind you to make sure you aren't going to be hit? Is there a secondary alert if a car behind you is going to actually hit you or is this just merely to let you know there is a car approaching from behind?
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Old 05-14-20, 05:06 PM
  #28  
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was pretty skeptical about the garmin varia but after reading the various threads in various forums by those that actually own/use them...seems to be an overall thumbs up.
my only opposition(s) to buying one is that i tend to rock more rear blinkers than the average bear and have been using a saddlebag the last two years...and i do probably 60%
of my riding in city/busier suburbia situations. dunno how helpful/useful the varia would be on those rides and how the varia would fit under a saddlebag and above/below a supplemental
rear blinky light?
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Old 05-14-20, 05:48 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by InvertedMP View Post
Forgive the ignorance. Part of me can see the importance of this obviously, but I am curious how you practically use this once you get an alert. Is this just an alert to look behind you to make sure you aren't going to be hit? Is there a secondary alert if a car behind you is going to actually hit you or is this just merely to let you know there is a car approaching from behind?
I tend to ride further out in to the roadway with the Varia. a) it's cleaner b) it's smoother c) it's more visible to approaching drivers. When the Varia gives me a blip, I can move over when appropriate. I believe that doing so further demonstrates awareness to the approaching driver - not a bad thing. It's also nice in that it lets you know about the approach of multiple cars - if you rely upon your ears, it's the second car that sneaks up on ya.
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Old 05-14-20, 06:44 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I tend to ride further out in to the roadway with the Varia. a) it's cleaner b) it's smoother c) it's more visible to approaching drivers. When the Varia gives me a blip, I can move over when appropriate. I believe that doing so further demonstrates awareness to the approaching driver - not a bad thing. It's also nice in that it lets you know about the approach of multiple cars - if you rely upon your ears, it's the second car that sneaks up on ya.
Similar behavior for myself. In addition, it alerts you to a vehicles approaching at high speed. They definitely warrant a look back. I like the the "the all-clear" signal as well.
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Old 05-14-20, 08:43 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​It's actually very useful in an urban setting because it shows you gaps in traffic. If you need to move into the lane to get around anything or turn left, you have a pretty good idea when to go without looking behind you. Obviously look before you move, but urban riding needs more attention in front of you because a kid or pet is liable to run out into the road at any time.

Also the pavement on the side of the road tends to have a lot of cracks, the travel lanes are usually smoother. Slow residential streets don't get much traffic and the radar lets you just ride in the lane as a matter of course, moving over only when a car comes up behind you.
interesting. There is a great deal of difference in how urban riders think in comparison to us rural riders.... would never have thought about using the lack of alarm for knowing when it was safe to swerve around parked cars, etc....
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Old 05-14-20, 08:46 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by InvertedMP View Post
Forgive the ignorance. Part of me can see the importance of this obviously, but I am curious how you practically use this once you get an alert. Is this just an alert to look behind you to make sure you aren't going to be hit? Is there a secondary alert if a car behind you is going to actually hit you or is this just merely to let you know there is a car approaching from behind?
The Varia overlays a little strip on the side of your head unit. It can show up to 8 or 9 vehicles approaching. The strip changes color (yellow or red) to indicate relative difference in velocity (turns green when the last vehicle goes by).

You do NOT have any idea of the size or trajectory of approaching vehicles. I wish I could tell small, medium or large (i.e. long gravel haulers, trucks with 5 wheel travel trailers)... it'd be nice to know to brace for some pull from the passing vehicle or know that it is towing something....

As someone else does; I tend to ride a couple of feet into the traffic lane to have smooth asphalt and clean roads, and pull onto the shoulder when cars are coming up. Apart from sharing the road, my actions also let the drive know that I am aware of them.
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Old 05-14-20, 09:43 PM
  #33  
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I've a confidential Garmin source (I don't have a Garmin source) the upcoming RTLC520 will have a RADAR, a light brighter than the sun, AND a rear-facing 4KUHD camera with swivel action to capture license plates of cars driving dangerously. There will be an option for a magazine of miniature RADAR guided anti-a-hole driver missiles (certain markets).

... I wish.
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Old 05-15-20, 07:17 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by RNAV View Post
I've already got the RLT510, but I may get the radar-only unit. I think the Bontrager Flare RT is a much brighter, better attention-getting taillight. Perhaps I'm being a snob, but I've never run both the Flare and the Varia because I thought it'd look too wonky running two lights. So the weight-weenie in me says buy the radar-only unit and run it with the flare . . . roughly the same overall weight, same radar performance, but a much better tail light.

I think Garmin really missed an opportunity by not significantly upgrading the light brightness, optics, and flashing pattern.
How do you envision mounting the radar unit? I also want to keep my Flare but if I want both the light and the radar unit to be level and I'm not sure if I have the real estate on my seatpost for both units + a small seatbag.
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Old 05-15-20, 07:23 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I will be making the switch. I don't consider the Varia taillight (or headlight) to be sufficient. It's better than a blinky, but not great.

I will combine the radar unit with my Dinotte taillight. Perfect combination.
Since I got my RTL510 I've wondered how good the light is. I got my answer yesterday - it's really good. I was able to see it over a half mile away. On my ride yesterday (sunny day ~ 5pm) I overtook a couple of other riders on a long flat section with the sun behind us. When I turned onto the road I saw a blinking light way ahead of me, about 1/2 mile down the road. Took me most of the 4 mile segment to overtake them, but once I got close I could see that the light I was seeing was also an RTL510. I was impressed how far I could see the light even with my piss-poor eyesight. I was also surprised how poorly I could see the light on the other bike. I didn't really pick up that one out until I could actually see both bikes.

Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I tend to ride further out in to the roadway with the Varia. a) it's cleaner b) it's smoother c) it's more visible to approaching drivers. When the Varia gives me a blip, I can move over when appropriate. I believe that doing so further demonstrates awareness to the approaching driver - not a bad thing. It's also nice in that it lets you know about the approach of multiple cars - if you rely upon your ears, it's the second car that sneaks up on ya.
I haven't started doing that, I still ride where I always would ride, but I find I'm more willing to jump out into the roadway to avoid bad pavement. I bought it as an interesting toy, I'm finding it significantly improves my awareness of traffic behind me. The warning is just before I can start to see the approaching vehicles in my mirror. I really like it.
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Old 05-15-20, 07:34 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by InvertedMP View Post
Forgive the ignorance. Part of me can see the importance of this obviously, but I am curious how you practically use this once you get an alert. Is this just an alert to look behind you to make sure you aren't going to be hit? Is there a secondary alert if a car behind you is going to actually hit you or is this just merely to let you know there is a car approaching from behind?
This is exactly what I was thinking. I could envision buying this radar device as a new toy that's neat to play with, but once the newness wares off I could imagine ignoring it. If you live where there are a lot of cars, you'll be spending your whole ride being "alerted" which means you'll eventually stop listening to the alerts.

Food for thought... I learned a long time ago that even though it seems counter-intuitive, moving-over for passing cars isn't necessarily a good idea (this was later confirmed by an article in Bicycling Magazine many years ago). Give yourself a safe distance away from the edge of the road and force cars to go around you by riding into the road a little. Yes, this will aggravate some drivers, but then again, what doesn't aggravate drivers and at least an aggravated driver is aware of your existence. So why ride at least a 2 feet into the road away from the edge? If you move over to the edge of the road, many drivers will give you no room because they don't have to. If you ride country roads like I often do, riding the very edge of the road can be very dangerous. I still remember having my first bike crash when I moved over to let a car pass and my tire slipped off the edge of the asphalt to where there was a several inch drop to the gravel shoulder (followed by a really deep ditch full of who-knows-what). After the car passed, I wasn't able to ride away from the edge of the road, my tire slipped off the road, I fell into the road, and the driver of the car was long gone and never knew what happened. Obviously, everyone's situation is different, so take this for what it's worth.
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Old 05-15-20, 07:43 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
This is exactly what I was thinking. I could envision buying this radar device as a new toy that's neat to play with, but once the newness wares off I could imagine ignoring it. If you live where there are a lot of cars, you'll be spending your whole ride being "alerted" which means you'll eventually stop listening to the alerts.
Nope. There are two types of people: 1) those that love their Varia and would replace it instantly if it was lost/broken and 2) those that haven't used one.
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Old 05-15-20, 08:10 AM
  #38  
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agree with the above poster...i heard a lot of positive testimonials from a wide range of cyclists, picked one up, and now fully see the value.
getting so much information about traffic behind me without having to look around (or use a mirror) is a wonderful thing.
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Old 05-15-20, 08:42 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I tend to ride further out in to the roadway with the Varia. a) it's cleaner b) it's smoother c) it's more visible to approaching drivers. When the Varia gives me a blip, I can move over when appropriate. I believe that doing so further demonstrates awareness to the approaching driver - not a bad thing. It's also nice in that it lets you know about the approach of multiple cars - if you rely upon your ears, it's the second car that sneaks up on ya.
This 100%, it makes it so much easier to take the lane and trust people see you (within reason).

IMO one of the best investments in cycling that I’ve made.
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Old 05-15-20, 08:50 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Nope. There are two types of people: 1) those that love their Varia and would replace it instantly if it was lost/broken and 2) those that haven't used one.
I would agree but, to this point, my ONLY hesitation to use the Varia has been the taillight. Especially when riding by myself, I want a taillight that offers no excuses for even inattentive drivers not seeing me. (Anyone can spot the Varia taillight if they're looking for it -- or if they would have seen the rider anyway.) So, when solo, I have tended to leave the Varia at home and use my Dinotte taillights. The brighter light is a life-saver. At 1/2 mile, I've been mistaken for an emergency vehicle more than once. I figure a light that causes retinal damage is just bright enough.

But now, with the separate radar pod, I'll mount both the Varia radar and the Dinotte taillight. Best of both worlds.

One situation Varia really helps that people don't often mention. If you're riding with the sun behind you (sunrise or sunset), you often can't see cars behind you in a mirror or even if you turn around to look. The sun obscures the vehicle. With Varia, the sun is irrelevant. Radar always spots the vehicles, even in the sun.
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Old 05-15-20, 09:22 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
This 100%, it makes it so much easier to take the lane and trust people see you (within reason).

IMO one of the best investments in cycling that I’ve made.

I *love* the phrase “take the lane!” Try that where I ride in the middle of the Adirondacks and you’ll be taking an elevator. Straight to Heaven. Log trucks don’t care about moving over, most lanes have 6” (yes, 6 inch or 15cm for the special kids) shoulders to the right of the white line, and winding, rolling hilly roads with severely limited vision. Take the lane, indeed. Good day! Tellyawut, though- my Varia gives me some serious peace of mind. It has never, not once, EVER, failed to alert me to a passing truck, motorcycle, car, bus, RV, etc since the first time I used it. I like it so much I just brought my brother a Varia for his birthday. He lives about 90 minutes from here, also in the Adirondacks, with the same roads and log trucks. Thumbs up!
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Old 05-15-20, 09:33 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
I *love* the phrase “take the lane!” Try that where I ride in the middle of the Adirondacks and you’ll be taking an elevator. Straight to Heaven. Log trucks don’t care about moving over, most lanes have 6” (yes, 6 inch or 15cm for the special kids) shoulders to the right of the white line, and winding, rolling hilly roads with severely limited vision. Take the lane, indeed. Good day! Tellyawut, though- my Varia gives me some serious peace of mind. It has never, not once, EVER, failed to alert me to a passing truck, motorcycle, car, bus, RV, etc since the first time I used it. I like it so much I just brought my brother a Varia for his birthday. He lives about 90 minutes from here, also in the Adirondacks, with the same roads and log trucks. Thumbs up!
I’m not saying stay in the middle of the road, rather allows me the time to move over and let people pass safely.

So you’re saying you spend the entire ride on the 6 inch shoulder?

Ive ridden in the Daks in the areas around Long Lake, Tupper and Blue Mountain Lake, some of the rides with small or no shoulder and found that the logging trucks and RVs are the worst but had no problem “taking the lane” and moving over when it was safe to pass.
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Old 05-15-20, 11:03 AM
  #43  
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To those wondering about what you do with a radar warning, the answer is "maybe nothing". However, this does trigger the light to flash in a different pattern and more brightly. It does seem to catch the attention of drivers, based on behavior. Though I've never stopped any and actually asked .

Is getting a signal from the radar any different than people noting "car back" on a group ride?
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Old 05-15-20, 11:14 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
Is getting a signal from the radar any different than people noting "car back" on a group ride?
Yes. Huge difference.
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Old 05-15-20, 11:20 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by RGMN View Post
The warning is just before I can start to see the approaching vehicles in my mirror. I really like it.
Thanks for sharing your experience about being able to see the light half a mile away, that's extremely helpful to all of us.

The other day I was going up a hill on a windy street, the radar went off, I looked behind me and couldn't see anything but a bend in the road. Sure enough, a car showed up a moment later. It's like magic!
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Old 05-15-20, 11:27 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
To those wondering about what you do with a radar warning, the answer is "maybe nothing". However, this does trigger the light to flash in a different pattern and more brightly. It does seem to catch the attention of drivers, based on behavior. Though I've never stopped any and actually asked .

Is getting a signal from the radar any different than people noting "car back" on a group ride?
It's even better! Nobody on a group ride says "5 cars back - the first 2 are bunched together then there's a long gap, and the last 3 are evenly spaced" or anything about how fast that car is moving.
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Old 05-15-20, 12:10 PM
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I would LOVE it if you could use the Varia in watch mode. If that was possible, I'd probably get a cheaper Edge, like the 530. The vibration on your wrist is easier to notice than the little chirp, especially in any kind of noisy environment.

Does the radar work in indoor profiles? That would at least reduce battery drain on the watch.
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Old 05-15-20, 12:54 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
I’m not saying stay in the middle of the road, rather allows me the time to move over and let people pass safely.

So you’re saying you spend the entire ride on the 6 inch shoulder?

Ive ridden in the Daks in the areas around Long Lake, Tupper and Blue Mountain Lake, some of the rides with small or no shoulder and found that the logging trucks and RVs are the worst but had no problem “taking the lane” and moving over when it was safe to pass.

Oh, I hear ya. I just love the phraseology. It sounds so badass from a bunch of old dudes in tight stretchy pants. Heh.

No, I don’t ride the ENTIRE ride on the shoulder, but I’m 99% on the white line or to the right of it. I like my Varia, but I don’t bet my life on it. Subtle difference, maybe, but I want to live. I tend to ride at a pace that creates enough wind noise that I cannot hear vehicles from behind me until they are very close/overtaking me. No need to create a bad situation. Come on up some morning, we’ll go ride. You’re not far away at all. Less than an hour...
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Old 05-16-20, 03:03 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
Oh, I hear ya. I just love the phraseology. It sounds so badass from a bunch of old dudes in tight stretchy pants. Heh.

No, I don’t ride the ENTIRE ride on the shoulder, but I’m 99% on the white line or to the right of it. I like my Varia, but I don’t bet my life on it. Subtle difference, maybe, but I want to live. I tend to ride at a pace that creates enough wind noise that I cannot hear vehicles from behind me until they are very close/overtaking me. No need to create a bad situation. Come on up some morning, we’ll go ride. You’re not far away at all. Less than an hour...
Where are you located?
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Old 05-16-20, 03:23 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It's even better! Nobody on a group ride says "5 cars back - the first 2 are bunched together then there's a long gap, and the last 3 are evenly spaced" or anything about how fast that car is moving.
DC Rainmaker has a write-up on a new feature for the Varia units. A third party has come up with an app that tracks how many cars have passed you, their speed, and the location of the passes. It even adds the data to the .fit file that is downloaded from the head unit. From the developer's website you can map where all the passes took place along your route. It's called My Bike Radar and you can download it from the Connect IQ app store.
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