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Varia Radar // Garmin & Wahoo Support // RTL500 Deal


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G'day Trannies. 

I need to bang on about the Varia Radar... because it's such a game changer for me out riding by myself. If you didn't catch the news, Wahoo now support the Radar on the Elemnt/BOLT/ROAM units. The RTL500 (square ugly one) and the RTL510 (newer sexy one) are both supported. 

I've done a video on the newer Radar a while back, and covered the Wahoo implementation this week over on YouTube too

Pushy's have the older ugly one on sale for $149. Bargain. A local bike shop here price matched for me on that yesterday with their last one in stock, so I snapped that up. If you're thinking about one - GET IT. And see if your local has any in stock that'll price match... or head over to Pushys. 

Let me know if you ride with one (or won't ride without one). And if you're a 'mirror crew', all good. This is better. :)

Happy Friday! 

 

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16 minutes ago, Peter said:

If it wasnt for you I wouldn’t have known. Love your YouTube work. 

Ive upgraded 

The original graphic Wahoo used were little race cars. F1 style. It was brilliant. I begged to keep them for the public release, no dice. 

 

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A few in my group have had them from the early days.  They've always worked great, and as I'm the slow poke, I can see flashing change on their varia so I know someone coming behind me.  I don't have a Garmin that works with them though, so I'd need the head unit too.  I'll just continue being the Super duper over cautious cyclist.

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59 minutes ago, gplama said:

G'day Trannies. 

I need to bang on about the Varia Radar... because it's such a game changer for me out riding by myself. If you didn't catch the news, Wahoo now support the Radar on the Elemnt/BOLT/ROAM units. The RTL500 (square ugly one) and the RTL510 (newer sexy one) are both supported. 

I've done a video on the newer Radar a while back, and covered the Wahoo implementation this week over on YouTube too

Pushy's have the older ugly one on sale for $149. Bargain. A local bike shop here price matched for me on that yesterday with their last one in stock, so I snapped that up. If you're thinking about one - GET IT. And see if your local has any in stock that'll price match... or head over to Pushys. 

Let me know if you ride with one (or won't ride without one). And if you're a 'mirror crew', all good. This is better. :)

Happy Friday! 

 

Thanks Shane! Love you work. BTW when watching your videos if I skip the ads does than mean you don't get any revenue (I actually sit through your ads just encase..)?

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Someone just posted my 10% off code for Pushys. Crikey. PU-512SJUL3  should work. No idea how long for.. but it'll knock $15 off that Varia RTL500. I need a friggin affiliate link with that crew! 

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2 minutes ago, more said:

Thanks Shane! Love you work. BTW when watching your videos if I skip the ads does than mean you don't get any revenue (I actually sit through your ads just encase..)?

Cheers! Um... yeah, but skip away. It's all good. The channel is still building and gets enough hits/views/interaction to keep things ticking along. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Limited said:

I think the radar needs a camera. That would be a game changer 

It'd be a good combination - Though they're two different things. The Radar can inform you of what's coming so you're better informed. A camera will capture what you didn't know what was coming so your loved ones can be better informed of what killed you. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just ordered one from Pushy's with the 10% off code which worked. Thank you very much.

Made the decision to buy one after a long ride in the hills yesterday during much of which I was terrified of the cars coming up behind me. Fear nearly made me pull the pin a few times. Stikman asked if I had considered one of these and I vaguely had. But decided this morning it was a good idea if I am ever going to get hills time. Looking forward to it arriving.

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I've found since having the radar (about 12 months) that you can ride out in the road a bit more than usual, however when a car comes from behind you move over about 1 metre.  They see it and think, oh good the rider got out of my way and they give you more room than usual.

Something happens in their head that you arent being a dick so they won't either

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52 minutes ago, Peter said:

I've found since having the radar (about 12 months) that you can ride out in the road a bit more than usual, however when a car comes from behind you move over about 1 metre.  They see it and think, oh good the rider got out of my way and they give you more room than usual.

Something happens in their head that you arent being a dick so they won't either

Is that the big difference? Being able to slip into your safety space just as the car arrives? I remember reading something about Mike Hall saying that, that he always left space and developed an instinct on when to use it to buy himself a little more room.

I have always thought the radar was a bit of a waste, instead just always ride as if something is coming. But the enthusiasm on here is making me rethink my view.

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Not having it myself, but riding with those that do have it, I think it's great.  I always ride as though someone's about to kill me.  But I can see from the change in the lights flashing that cars are coming.  And it can tell if there's more than one.  If I had the money I'd have it in a heartbeat.  It doesn't mean you don't have to be aware, but it helps you be even more aware.

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26 minutes ago, Naut said:

Is that the big difference? Being able to slip into your safety space just as the car arrives? I remember reading something about Mike Hall saying that, that he always left space and developed an instinct on when to use it to buy himself a little more room.

I have always thought the radar was a bit of a waste, instead just always ride as if something is coming. But the enthusiasm on here is making me rethink my view.

I do tend to ride to generally stay out of the way, however inattention might cause me to drift a bit, or if there is a rough edge I'm avoiding. Or when in a group and someone pops out to your right. I would feel more comfortable to be able to let them know there was someone coming up. 

I am also just a bit of a fraidy cat and knowing, rather than guessing or assuming will work for me I am sure.

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11 minutes ago, goughy said:

it helps you be even more aware.

Exactly.

It's like I have been riding with a rear light flashing for many many years now.  Every ride.  Morning, day or night.

It's doesn't hurt to be more aware either.

 

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32 minutes ago, goughy said:

Not having it myself, but riding with those that do have it, I think it's great.  I always ride as though someone's about to kill me.  But I can see from the change in the lights flashing that cars are coming.  And it can tell if there's more than one.  If I had the money I'd have it in a heartbeat.  It doesn't mean you don't have to be aware, but it helps you be even more aware.

This is how I use it. It's an extra tool.

It's also really useful sometimes on group rides where you're at the back of the group and can keep everyone informed up ahead. 

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1 minute ago, dazmuzza said:

This is how I use it. It's an extra tool.

It's also really useful sometimes on group rides where you're at the back of the group and can keep everyone informed up ahead. 

It'll probably even more helpful as we move to more electric cars on the road. Whilst they still make a noise, it isn't as loud, and with wind noise through your helmet, any warning of something coming close behind is helpful.

 

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

Exactly.

It's like I have been riding with a rear light flashing for many many years now.  Every ride.  Morning, day or night.

It's doesn't hurt to be more aware either.

 

Front always flashing for me too, during the day.

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I'm front and back flashing lights during the day, plus flouro yellow jersey, plus a flasher at the top of my jersey on the front and an extra flasher on the back of my backpack. 

And somehow, people still often fail to see me! 

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3 hours ago, Katz said:

I'm front and back flashing lights during the day, plus flouro yellow jersey, plus a flasher at the top of my jersey on the front and an extra flasher on the back of my backpack. 

And somehow, people still often fail to see me! 

So much stuff they would be dragged to you. Haha 

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Been meaning to say that since I read this post. I went out and bought one on the Lamas advice-some of best money I ever spent!

Case in point-on the weekend riding some fast narrow descents around Mt Martha where the wind noise eliminates any possibility of hearing an approaching car. Because the road is so narrow you don't have a shoulder and are forced into the left wheel track of the road. When the varia/elemnt lights up red you know a car is approaching and can slow down and move to the edge of the road.

Another example is early morning rides where there are not many cars on the road, but as soon as one comes within cooee of you you know about it. Just a great gadget!

My only worry is it pulling me into a false sense of security on not performing a headcheck..

 

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  • 1 year later...
Just now, beginnergirl said:

New models or types etc 

Last year Garmin released the RTL515 and RVR315. The 515 is pretty much the same as the 510 but with added Bluetooth. This is really REALLY handy as it now has an app on the phone which will BEEP BEEP over any audio (or even if you don't have audio) and also vibrate. The 315 is the same with no light. Covered here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTLIeaRKN6c

If you pair one of these (or an older unit) with a compatible Garmin Edge (or watch) you can install a ConnectIQ data field that'll count cars and also display/record the approach speed. Brilliant data to have.... it'll show on Garmin Connect too. 

 

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The non light version of the varia will be one of my next purchases!  Been riding with guys who've had them from the start and they really don't seem to miss a beat!  And since I'm always at the back I see the flash of their lights change, letting me know the cars are coming.  The town roads I ride are quiet enough in the mornings to consider it still effective (not continual traffic), let alone when on the country roads.

Can one varia connect to two edge units?  I would connect my mates edge to it as well, so we both get the alerts.

I'm really tossing up; new bibs or varia....... hmmmmm

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13 minutes ago, goughy said:

Can one varia connect to two edge units?

Yep. They're still 'line of sight' so if the rider ahead has the radar and your arse is in the way, it won't pick up at 140m. It might only detect at 70m or closer. I'd never pair to a unit on someone else's bike. 

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I'd only consider pairing to my best Masters head unit.  When we ride, it's either side by side of one tucked right behind the other.  But I'll consider your opinion, thanks.

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The Mrs bought me one for Christmas on Shane's recommendation. It's been amazing so far and I almost don't know how I managed without it. It's picked up cars that were tucked in behind each other that I didn't know where there, and also means that I don't need to keep checking my shoulder on roads where watching ahead is more beneficial.

Obviously there is no substitute for visually checking, but it's a huge peace of mind thing. 

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I'll be the first one to admit I scuffed at this product when I first heard of it, thinking it was going to be another unnecessary gadget to attach to your bike that counts how many cars overtake you on the road.

It turns out the RTL515 is something I could no longer live without. It does not miss a beat, the light brightness is fantastic and it has made my riding through quieter country roads so much safer. 

I highly recommend this product for anyone riding solo or in small groups.

 

Edited by Rog
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7 hours ago, Slunnie said:

How do people rate the red light on the Varia? How bright is it for day use?

There are 2 types.  The original one that is bright. The newer one is smaller without the light. 
 

but the light is good and lasts a long time. Mines never gone flat if charged. 
 

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1 minute ago, Peter said:

There are 2 types.  The original one that is bright. The newer one is smaller without the light. 
 

but the light is good and lasts a long time. Mines never gone flat if charged.

 

7 hours ago, Rog said:

<snip>the light brightness is fantastic and it has made my riding through quieter country roads so much safer.

Awesome, thanks so much for this Peter and Rog. I've been sitting on this for a while.

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31 minutes ago, Peter said:

There are 2 types.  The original one that is bright. The newer one is smaller without the light. 
 

but the light is good and lasts a long time. Mines never gone flat if charged. 
 

I'm thinking of the non light version as I already have a fly6, red helmet light plus another little red one on my right side seat stay.  I can't fit the size of the light version on my roadie or tt bike, but can make the non light version work on both, just.

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I don't spend money lightly!  Going for a ride in brissie on Saturday, so afterwards will be browsing a few cycle shops.  

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Genuine question - what would be the main advantage to having the VARIA radar as opposed to a small bar-end mounted mirror?  I've been looking at mirrors for my longer Audax rides, and am a bit surprised at the enthusiasm for the radar gadget which is making me reconsider...

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I like the audible warning, so if I'm not paying attention, I can still be alerted. I also like that it gives an idea of the speed at which the vehicle is coming. I also like that the light changes, attracting the attention of a driver as they come up behind.

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I had a Varia - up until yesterday morning - where it came off my mount for some unknown reason, while we were out riding.

It was fantastic -- it was good for cyclists following behind me as it would also notify them if a car was approaching - as the red light would flash faster.

Rode this morning with a old traditional rear light and had to keep looking behind me to see if any cars approaching  

 

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Well, my brissie ride was clearly canned, so  just went to a local bike shop and got them to order me in one.  Have managed to zip tie a garmin mount to my saddle bag so I can fit both my fly 6 and varia on my roadie, and that'll leave me the mounts that come with it to fit it on my tt bike.  I swear I've spent more money on lights than I've spent on actual bikes!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, fitted to the two bikes.  Zip ties are an invaluable product!  Used them to mount a handlebar Garmin mount to the back of my road bike saddle bag, bit it does seem to hang with a bit of droop.  Will have to see how that affects things.

Them off course zip tied the too stretchy bands that come with the varia to mount it onto my TT bike.  Had to remove the rear cage though, and can't really fit a bag back there either.  So if I need to carry two drink bottles, I may need to get a top tube mounted bag thingy for levers and inflation, and can shove a tube in the seat rails under my saddle.

Now to get the back right so I can actually ride.

 

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On 07/01/2021 at 12:00 PM, Abby said:

enuine question - what would be the main advantage to having the VARIA radar as opposed to a small bar-end mounted mirror?  I've been looking at mirrors for my longer Audax rides, and am a bit surprised at the enthusiasm for the radar gadget which is making me reconsider...

Well, they're like the gear old men use 😁

 

Seriously, the mirror still does mean you have to take your eyes off looking straight ahead - and possibly easy to miss things and unless you mount them on both sides, you won't get the full view.

The radar solves most of these...though its way more expensive. I got one though and like it!

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I just got one of the new model Varia. I too am a convert after being pretty sceptical about it at the start. It does shit me that it's just another thing I have to charge, and the light isnt quite as good as what I was using previously. But overall I think I am safer. 

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4 hours ago, Crappy said:

I just got one of the new model Varia. I too am a convert after being pretty sceptical about it at the start. It does shit me that it's just another thing I have to charge, and the light isnt quite as good as what I was using previously. But overall I think I am safer. 

After you get used to it you will never want to ride without it. I only have one on my road bike and hate riding the tri bike without it. Cars can sneak up on you whereas with the varia you know they are coming from miles away 

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