Garmin Varia Review – A Light With Brains



Cyclists are often exposed to many road hazards, and to answer many of those concerns, the Garmin Varia was born. The company used technology to create a solution for mirror adverse cyclists. This device is a rearview radar that will alert a cyclist to approaching vehicles that are as far back as 150-yards. This is like a digital rearview mirror that you can find in cars, except there’s no mirror. Nevertheless, it can save a lot of lives.

Garmin Varia Review - A Light With Brains

The Garmin Varia Can Save a Ton of Lives

The Garmin Varia is actually a package of two separate devices: one is the radar tail light, in which you will attach to the bike seat post that’s just below the saddle, then there’s the radar display unit, in which this product will connect to the stem of the bike situated near the handle bars. Both of these items are finished in high gloss black, and both of them communicate with each other through the use of the company’s ANT+ wireless technology. If you want to save up on cash, and you’re already an owner of the Garmin Edge 25, 520, or 1000 cycling computers, you can just purchase the rearview radar and skip out on the display unit.

For the Garmin Varia Rearview Radar, it is about half the size of the company’s own Edge 1000 cycling computer. It measures in at 2.4-inches in height, 1.3-inches in width, and 0.7-inches in thickness. As for the tail light, it comes with measurements of 2.9-inches in width, 1.7-inches in height, and 0.9-inches in thickness. There are a total of eight LED lights that are spread horizontally across the housing. However, these lights do need to be a bit brighter.

Setting it all up is quite the simple task. For the Rearview Radar, it is one of the more refreshing technologies to grace the market. There are no smartphone apps involved nor accounts to set up. All you have to do is power the device on and it will automatically connect to the Garmin’s ANT+ system.

For the most part, the Garmin Varia pair of devices do work like a charm. However, there is one disclaimer as you still need to look back in order to confirm that the road is clear prior to moving out into the other land, or when you’re changing positions within the bike lane. Take note that this piece of technology will not replace self-awareness. Do not be complacent enough to depend everything on these devices for your sake. Still, these items can still save you a head turn. These will give you the ability to know that four cars are behind you and will notify you when the fourth car had already passed prior to letting you be sure that the coast is clear.


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Garmin Varia Review – A Light With Brains
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