Varia Rearview Radar – the new smart safety technology rolling out of Garmin Cycling. The Varia is a a light system that attaches to the seatpost of the bike facing vehicles that are approaching from behind the rider. The light communicates wirelessly to the Garmin Edge 1000 or Varia Head Unit. As a vehicle approaches behind the rider, a light will appear on the riders Edge 1000 or Varia head unit. The device can even notify you of multiple cars up to 153 yards away PLUS the relative speed of those vehicles – and you never have to turn your head. As the vehicle gets closer, the light brightens and the intensity of the flashes increase to insure the vehicle is well aware of your presence.
Here is a video of shop owner, Zach, testing this out. Here’s what he has to say about his expererience:
“With no car behind you Varia blinks but with just 4 LED’s and not very intensely. When a car is coming the Garmin beeps to alert and shows a dot for how close it is. It reads up to 140 meters away which is way further than I’d normally recognize a car is there. Then all the LED’s on the Varia blink and much more intensely. The dot keeps moving forward on the Garmin as the car gets closer and reaches the top when it’s about 15 feet behind you. I’m really impressed with how well it works. Maybe it’s just me but I swear cars are staying farther away too which might be because of the changing light.
In any case I’m nothing but impressed. My wife hasn’t ridden road in a long time but wants to start again. As soon as her new bike shows up I’m definitely getting her one. The safety aspect is too important to pass up on.”
Currently the Varia is only compatible with the Edge 1000, but the rumor mill is suggesting that an update will make it compatible with the Edge 520, 510, and 25. We’ll keep everyone up to speed when those updates are released. The Varia Rearview Radar costs $199 and is currently in stock at Biker’s Edge. The bundle unit that includes the Varia Head Unit (this makes it so you don’t have to use an Edge, and may use this as a stand alone system) and the Varia Rearview Radar is $299. The safety benefit of this system cannot be understated, and should be a “must-have” for the commuters out there. Currently the bundle pack is by special order only, with a few day delivery time. Come by and check them out.