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  1. #51
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    Got one about 2 week's ago, seems to work pretty well so far. A few false positives but, yeah I like it. Did a 3 and a half hour ride yesterday, went through 1 of the 5 battery bars

  2. #52
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    Got rear radar for Christmas, and had good impressions from it on my first ride. The technology is definitely impressive and I bet future generation models will be spectacular. As one would expect with a new product, there are some slight user experience gripes.

    I have the rear radar paired with an Edge 520.

    Cons off the bat:

    -Probably as aerodynamic as a parachute

    -LEDs not that impressive compared to other rear lights (personally I like the Planet Bike Superflash line), and options to manually set them are lacking given that there are like 8 of them-- you either get 4 blinky or 2 steady

    -No way to just have radar on and light off or vice versa, user should have that choice if that saves battery (maybe it doesn't)... and if you want to ignore or turn radar off on the fly it's way too many button presses on the Edge 520 to make it go away. [EDIT: Apparently you can have radar on and light off, but as is often the case with Garmin stuff, instructions/documentation on how to do so is sparse... I will try it out and see what happens. Still listing this in the con section because it's not intuitive and instructions seem non-existent.]

    -Battery life questionable based on specs, I would worry about it on a rural century ride where the thing might come in most handy. Seems like it's primed to crap out right when it's getting dark out and you're getting tired and zombified.

    -I'm also concerned with using it causing faster battery drain on my Edge as the screen lights up more, another sensor is attached, etc.

    BUT...

    If you're good with a mirror I'm sure that's very helpful, and as per common sense at the end of the day you need to rely on your eyes and ears most. But the Varia does more than tell you there's a car behind you. It gives you an idea of how many, how far away, and how fast they are approaching. For me it definitely gave me good warning on when to shift from the center of a lane to the shoulder when traffic was approaching.

    My hearing isn't the best and there are a ton of places I ride where you'd have trouble hearing a car coming anyway because of wind or winding roads. Plus, now you have near silent hybrids creeping up on you. Varia definitely helps keep you from getting surprised, that's the main thing.

    DC Rainmaker said as much as it's true... the thing is not going to prevent an inattentive driver from hitting you, but it's possibly going to wake an inattentive YOU up when you need it. I feel safer with it on.
    Last edited by jetdog9; 12-29-2015 at 10:32 AM.

  3. #53
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    After four months of using it, my initial impression hasn't changed much. It's great, hopefully newer versions will be even better. Main improvements I'd hope they make are better rear light and better battery (although I haven't had the battery run out during a ride yet where it started fully charged).

  4. #54
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    What's the longest ride you've done where it lasted the full time?

  5. #55
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    Garmin varia radar system - Whos going to adopt?

    I've done 4.5 hours.. No problems
    I only got the rear as I have a fly12



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    PO is a liberal echo chamber.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobra_kai View Post
    What's the longest ride you've done where it lasted the full time?
    Longest I've done is 4 hours and it had juice left. I still worry about it lasting for all day, or something like a century.

  7. #57
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    I did an almost 5 hour ride and the thing said 1/3 batter left. Not entirely sure how accurate it is on that.I have had it run out once,when there was a software updat to my edge and it took away the battery field, took some flapping about to re add and now works fine again.
    All the gear and no idea

  8. #58
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    I am seriously considering this (enough so that it is influencing what Garmin head unit I get).

  9. #59
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    Price has gone down on it recently, too. If you are in Bay Area PM me, maybe you can take mine for a test ride.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    I am seriously considering this (enough so that it is influencing what Garmin head unit I get).
    While it isn't perfect and it doesn't replace having a look or your ears, it really is a handy bit of gear. ot much use in heavy traffic, but for ligth traffic in town it lets you know a bit more info and in spars out of town roads it its good too, especially when on long medium fast decents (40-50km/h) when wind noise gets up and you would rather pay attention to the road then be looking behind.
    All the gear and no idea

  11. #61
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    5 hours is pretty solid. If it could make it to 7 or 8 that would cover pretty much the longest I spend out on a bike. I'll definitely be interested in v2 when it is released.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    While it isn't perfect and it doesn't replace having a look or your ears, it really is a handy bit of gear. ot much use in heavy traffic, but for ligth traffic in town it lets you know a bit more info and in spars out of town roads it its good too, especially when on long medium fast decents (40-50km/h) when wind noise gets up and you would rather pay attention to the road then be looking behind.
    I just don't understand. If you go back earlier in this thread you'll see why if you read my comments.

    So let me get this straight: Doesn't replace having to look or use your ears, only really has any value out in the country and even then only when there's a lot of wind noise...

    Come on now.
    use a torque wrench

  13. #63
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    Nothing replaces looking and listening... but it's still a handy device. Much appreciated on back country roads in the TT position on my TT bike. I'm usually first to notice in the pace line when a vehicle is approaching as well, which is pretty handle when we are passing other riders.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I just don't understand. If you go back earlier in this thread you'll see why if you read my comments.

    So let me get this straight: Doesn't replace having to look or use your ears, only really has any value out in the country and even then only when there's a lot of wind noise...

    Come on now.
    OK maybe my explanation isn't very good, but I personally find it to be a very handy bit of gear that I use all the time on the road. Is it perfect,no. Is it necessary, no. Is it handy, for sure. Probably not for you, but I like how it flashes more and brighter the closer cars get, and maybe for 70% of the ride I'll ignore it as I don't need the info it's giving me, but that other 30%(depending on the ride), I like having it. But thats just me.
    All the gear and no idea

  15. #65
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    Are you using its own head unit, or a GPS?

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    Are you using its own head unit, or a GPS?
    I use it with an edge 1000.
    All the gear and no idea

  17. #67
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    I just picked up my first head unit -- edge 25, which is also compatible. I am trying to decide if I need something more (maybe 520). (See the losing my virginity thread in the unlikely event you want more details.)

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    I'm with you, I don't see its utility at all. You are going to rely on that thing to know where vehicles are? Not me. I don't use a mirror, but at least a mirror is showing you reality, not a scenario based on a sequence of programming. I drive almost exclusively using my mirrors for rearward and side viewing. Good stuff. They work great. And again, if someone is looking at their lap texting and they are going to drill you, this isn't going to help one bit. Unless this thing can predict the future? Odds of this making you safer out there have got to be incredibly small.
    good post

    I am usually pro-gadget. but I am befuddled by this one, esp given the extra bulk and the existence of better cheaper tech (mirror)

    I prefer using my Fly6 video-light unit. if I get blitzed then there is a good chance the offending driver gets jail from the evidence. Then long term, all the dashcam and rear bike cams will come into more drivers' awareness as a possible deterrent. well I can have hope

  19. #69
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    I can see why people have a hard time seeing why it's useful, all I can say is give it a try. And maybe it's not helpful for everyone.

    I use it on almost every ride and definitely feel safer for it. At the very least more aware of my surroundings. You still have to use your eyes, ears, brain... this thing helps, though.

    One thing in particular it helps me with is prepping to make a left turn. Yes, you ABSOLUTELY need to still turn your head and check before making the actual lane change, but with this thing on I find I don't need to do it 10 times first.

    And for a lot of us we are not just riding on the shoulder... when you're in the middle of the road and need to get over, Varia does help give you a heads up.

  20. #70
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    I love it; paired with 520.

    Does not at all replace looking back but does give a nice ring when you are in the zone on a lonely road to reduce the surprise of a cars buzzing by.


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  21. #71
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    I don't have the system, but my riding partner does.

    An interesting side benefit is that when I am following him, I get an indirect indicator of car locations when I see his rear light increase.

    Additionally, I can usually hear his audible warnings if it isn't too windy when I am in front of him.

    I think the system has value, but I like my mirror (when I remember to grab it) for a cheaper alternative. If money was no concern, I would get a Varia too since I think it does offer some good use.

  22. #72
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    Almost all of my rides are on hilly windy roads in the Santa Cruz mountains. I hate getting surprised by cars, especially when I am trying not to die on a descent, and we have what are supposed to be ideal conditions for these: Infrequent cars, with a lot of hybrids and electrics whose road noise is limited. I am hoping it will work with the Edge 25. Here is a DC Rainmaker photo:



    It is rather minimalistic...

  23. #73
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    Did my first ride with it paired to my edge 1000. My riding buddy also paired his 1000 to it, so we both had the display going. We found it very useful. I echo what other have said. Perhaps the form factor could be better, but it definitely ups the safety and situational awareness factor.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittcanna View Post
    Geez man, don't be posting sh!t from people who have actual experience. I'm pretty sure that's not allowed on RBR.

    It is a bit telling that rainmaker addresses knee-jerk Ludditism in his review and points out that they are almost always folks with no real experience.

    Thanks for posting the review (still not gonna keep me from recommending a lifetime ban for the indiscretion).

  25. #75
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    I just blew away the remainder of my REI dividend and placed an order.




    I'm trying to figure out how it could be mounted on the back of a rack.

    One idea I had is to re-purpose this:



    Anyone have a better idea?

    The rack has two center holes, FWIW.

    cf: Link
    Last edited by wgscott; 04-29-2016 at 06:49 AM.

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