Garmin Varia RTL515 Rearview Radar Taillight - CycleBlaze

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Garmin Varia RTL515 Rearview Radar Taillight

Rachael Anderson

Has anyone tried the Garmin Varia RTL515 Rearview Radar Taillight?  If so, what did you like and dislike about it?

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2 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezTo Rachael Anderson

Jacinto does not use a rear view mirror, but he has had the Varia light for over a year. He thinks it's the cat's meow. It isn't good in the city, because it beeps continually. In areas with occasional traffic is where the light shines.

Jacinto has had to call tech support twice because it quit beeping as a car passed. He feels it's notable how quickly he got a real person and that both times the person was helpful. Especially in these COVID times. 

From my point of view - the light itself is nothing to write home about. The beeping function is the good point. 

Jacinto likes it and would buy it again, even having had issues.

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2 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonTo Kelly Iniguez

Thanks for the info.  I can connect it to my gps and view how far away the cars are.  Aldo, Scott can use mine because he has the same kind of gps.  I may give it a try if I can mount it on my bike Friday.  I can get it at REI and return it if It doesn’t work out.  

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2 weeks ago
Jeff ArnimTo Rachael Anderson

I've had one for about a year. It's the perfect complement to the mirror attached to my helmet. I don't use a GPS, so my taillight is instead paired to a tiny handlebar-mounted receiver that Garmin calls the Varia RDU.

As Kelly mentioned, I generally don't turn it on when I'm in a city due to the almost non-stop beeping. But for roads with more sporadic traffic, I don't like riding without it anymore, because it gives me a much better idea of what's behind me. I never used to ride with a taillight during daylight hours, but because the light on the RTL515 automatically turns on with the radar, now I do.

Vehicles are better able to spot me with the flashing light, and I'm better able to spot them with the radar. It's far and away the most significant safety upgrade I've ever made.

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2 weeks ago
Rich FrasierTo Rachael Anderson

Hi Rachael - Yes, we use one and love it.  I’m convinced that cars give us more room  when it’s on the back of the bike.  On the tandems, we each have a Wahoo bike computer and it flawlessly pairs with both of them simultaneously.  We would recommend it heartily!

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2 weeks ago
marilyn swettTo Kelly Iniguez

Is the light as bright as a Cygo light? We use 2 of those on the tandem and have often had drivers say they could spot us quite a long way away. Plus we both use mirrors on our helmets. 

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2 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonTo Jeff Arnim

Thanks for the valuable info.  I need to take my bike Friday in for adjustments at REI and they have them in stock so I’ll get one and try it out.  The great thing is I can return it if it doesn’t work.

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2 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonTo Rich Frasier

That’s great!  It will pair with our Garmin edge 1030 plus, also.  I’m going to give it a try since I can return it very easily.

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2 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezTo marilyn swett

You can buy a Varian with or without a light. $50. difference. 

Jacinto says his is on the bright setting. IMO, it is all but invisible a block away. It is nothing like the Cygolite 350. 

The strength of the Varian is the beeping for approaching vehicles. I'm happy he has one. Jacinto also runs two lights, A cygolite 350, and a Dinotte Quad. He complains about having two lights, but I told him it's an easy way to make his wife happy. He complies, with occasional whining. 

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2 weeks ago
Wayne EstesTo Kelly Iniguez

What does this light do?
Does it beep only when a car is on a collision course with the bike?
Or does it beep when a car is nearby, even if it's not on a collision course?
If used with a display on the handlebar, I'm supposed to watch the display instead of my mirror?

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2 weeks ago