From reflective accents to mirrors, to perfecting the over-the-shoulder glance, we've all taken plenty of precautions to try to stay visible to motorists while riding on the roads. Lights are a popular choice, and it’s the area Garmin chose to focus its attention on when developing a product to make cyclists less vulnerable to being hit from behind by motorists — the circumstances of 40% of all motorist/cyclist collisions. The Varia Rearview Radar Light Bundle is the company's attempt to address that sobering statistic, and in true Garmin fashion, it offers plenty of technological firsts.
This bundle includes both a Varia Rearview Radar tail light and a handlebar-mounted Radar Display Unit (RDU), which work together to warn you when a motorist is approaching. Starting at 140m away, the RDU lights up to announce the presence of up to eight vehicles, and the LED lights change color to warn you of each vehicle's proximity.
The tail light itself aims to proactively make your presence known to motorists by increasing its brightness as vehicles approach. The tail light is bright enough to be seen in sunlight, too, so the Varia Radar Bundle isn’t just for low-light rides. If you're cockpit is already a bit cluttered, the Varia Radar tail light can also transmit to Garmin's Edge 1000, which incorporates the information with flashing, colored lights. However you choose to run it, the high power mode will get you around 5 hours of continuous use, and when you aren't moving, the light turns off to conserve power.
Current head unit compatibility is limited to the Edge 1000; however, according to Garmin, the Edge 810, Edge 510, Edge 25, and Edge Touring Plus will also be made compatible with a software update in Q3, 2015.
- Garmin's smart solution to bicycle light safety
- Bar-mounted unit alerts cyclists to approaching traffic
- Tail light adjusts output to draw attention
- Light turns off when not in motion to conserve power