Garmin Varia RTL510 Marketing gimmick or really works?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Juanmoretime
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Location: Urbana, Illinois

by Juanmoretime

Something to note and not a issue at all. If a car is giving you wide berth such as being in the far lane or going into the lane of opposite traffic the Gramin does not always pick up that car. It doesn't matter since they see you and are being curtious and giving you your space. I have never had my Garmin not pick up a vehicle traveling from behind in my lane. In the other situation it can freak you out the first couple of times it happens.
RESIDENT GRUMPY OLD MAN.

by Weenie


bikeboy1tr
Posts: 458
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

IMG_20191027_1042130.jpg
IMG_20191030_1158218.jpg
I made a mount for the Radar and sorry for the poor angle of the mount in the pic but my only concern at the time was weight itself as I was not so sure it would work. There is a drawback as I had to drill one 2.5mm hole to tap for 3mm countersunk screw in the seatpost centre. I also used double sided tape between the surface of the post and mount. I was a little apprehensive about doing it this way but I figured a 2.5mm hole shouldnt disturb the structure to badly as the wall thickness at that point is over 3mm. The rear side of my post is flat so the mounting hardware they include with the Radar doesnt work for my bike. I have a couple rides with the new mount and it seems to be solid enough to withstand the rigors of my riding. If the Radar gets knocked it should release from the Garmin mount I bolted to the mount I made and if it does not then the mount should just spin in place with the single screw attachment. With both Garmin Radar and Edge 530 with my seatpouch the bike weighs in at 7.01kg :D
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AJS914
Posts: 3767
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Do you guys think these units on aliexpress are fake?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000252728490.html

fxx
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:10 pm

by fxx

AJS914 wrote:Do you guys think these units on aliexpress are fake?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000252728490.html
It is not Garmin brand but an equivalent China brand, if it works just as well, why not?

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3Pio
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

AJS914 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:30 am
Do you guys think these units on aliexpress are fake?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000252728490.html
I just compared to mine, look exactly the same (at least based on pictures there)...

I would be suprise that original Garmin and those are made in same factory in China (even on mine there is Taiwan not China)

For that price maybe worth to try.. Of course before ordering i'll ask them clearly if this is completely working device and if there is working light + radar function (words "FOR GARMIN VARIA" make me wanting to ask this) or just maybe case for original Varia (i can see there is a lot of spare parts for Varia on AliExpress like battery+ case )

AJS914
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

fxx wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:50 am
It is not Garmin brand but an equivalent China brand, if it works just as well, why not?
Thanks for pointing that out. The last picture though clearly shows the rear of a real Varia (barcode, produce #, etc). FWIW, I've also seen $100 Varias on ebay (all from China).

Honestly I'm surprised that we haven't been seeing competing products on the market. Maybe Garmin has this locked down with a patent?

Butcher
Shop Owner
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

I did purchase one of those Aliexpress versions. As far as I'm concerned, it's a Garmin. It even hooked up to Garmin Connect and registered properly. The only thing that is missing are the little stickers on the back of the unit. It even has the cast in Garmin on the plastic housing. It does not come with a mount so you need to purchase one of those. If you read the fine print, they say they are used. I highly doubt since it surely looks new. By selling them used, prevents Garmin from having a cow I suppose.

I needed to get a rear light so I do not think it's a total waste of money. Since I've been riding indoors lately, there is no reason for me to use it yet.

rides4beer
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:27 am
Location: SC

by rides4beer

First ride with the Varia last night, I am absolutely sold, def worth the money ($150 on sale). Performed flawlessly, not a single false positive. It's fantastic knowing when a car is coming, how many cars there are, exactly when they're going to pass me, and if they're coming fast or at a reasonable speed. I have to believe that the light is more visible as well, especially with the increased flashing as a vehicle approaches, every car that passed me last night gave me a lil more room than usual. I do most of my riding solo, and that is the safest I've felt riding by myself, especially now that it's colder and my ears are covered, I know a car is coming way before I can hear it.

AJS914
Posts: 3767
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I just did my first ride with a Varia. I love it. It's relieved me from looking over my shoulder so frequently for cars.

This thing shines in not letting you get surprised by cars. I had a good example on this ride. I saw a car and knew it was coming up behind. The Varia was tracking it perfectly but as soon as he passed, I noticed the Varia tracking another car that I hadn't seen. Maybe he had just turned on to the road behind the other?

Another situation that comes up is that sometimes a car is riding your speed and not passing you. You can't figure out why and it makes you nervous. Usually they are turning into a driveway or something. Anyway, I had one of these today and instead of feeling like I had to look over my shoulder constantly I just let the Varia track it.

BTW, I also bought one of those "used" no-name Aliexpress/eBay units for $89. It came without packaging or instructions but was new and has all the usual Garmin logos and stickers. Maybe these guys in China steal them out of the Garmin factory or something? As previously mentioned, it didn't come with a mount or charging cable. The mount a Varia regularly comes with is a crappy rubber band mount and one would want to buy the upgraded seatpost mount anyway. I had a compatible usb cable already that had come with some wireless headphones.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cycling-Rear-L ... 3689971151
Last edited by AJS914 on Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

NickJHP
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:22 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

by NickJHP

I use a rear vision mirror on my helmet, and have done so for decades, even when racing at national championship level. It doesn't run out of battery and weighs 5.7g vs 71g for the Varia. Plus I can actually see how much space (or not) the overtaking vehicle is giving me without having to turn my head.

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pdlpsher1
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Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

I have a helmet mirror and a RTL510. They each serve different purpose and I wouldn't ride without both.

fxx
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:10 pm

by fxx

AJS914 wrote:I just did my first ride with a Varia. I love it. It's relieved me from looking over my shoulder so frequently for cars.

This thing shines in not letting you get surprised by cars. I had a good example on this ride. I saw a car and knew it was coming up behind. The Varia was tracking it perfectly but as soon as he passed, I noticed the Varia tracking another car that I hadn't seen. Maybe he had just turned on to the road behind the other?

Another situation that comes up is that sometimes a car is riding your speed and not passing you. You can't figure out why and it makes you nervous. Usually they are turning into a driveway or something. Anyway, I had one of these today and instead of feeling like I had to look over my shoulder constantly I just let the Varia track it.

BTW, I also bought one of those "used" no-name Aliexpress/eBay units for $89. It came without packaging or instructions but was new and has all the usual Garmin logos and stickers. Maybe these guys in China steal them out of the Garmin factory or something? As previously mentioned, it didn't come with a mount or charging cable. The mount a Varia regularly comes with is a crappy rubber band mount and one would want to buy the upgraded seatpost mount anyway. I had a compatible usb cable already that had come with some wireless headphones.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cycling-Rear-L ... 3689971151
Sounds like they fell off the back of the truck.

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Butcher
Shop Owner
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

NickJHP wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:40 am
I use a rear vision mirror on my helmet, and have done so for decades, even when racing at national championship level. It doesn't run out of battery and weighs 5.7g vs 71g for the Varia. Plus I can actually see how much space (or not) the overtaking vehicle is giving me without having to turn my head.
How well does the rear light work on your mirror? How often are you looking for a car that really was not there?

RTW
in the industry
Posts: 3562
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:32 pm

by RTW

NickJHP wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:40 am
I use a rear vision mirror on my helmet, and have done so for decades, even when racing at national championship level. It doesn't run out of battery and weighs 5.7g vs 71g for the Varia. Plus I can actually see how much space (or not) the overtaking vehicle is giving me without having to turn my head.
My car has three mirrors, lights and loads of sensors.

Oh, we weren't talking about that. My bad.

markdjr
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:21 pm

by markdjr

If anyone happens to be handy with electronics and a 3d printer, I am interested in a radar unit sans light. I use the Cycliq Fly6ce rear light/camera and would like to add a radar with a smaller form factor since I don't need the light. If anyone has any ideas or resources let me know.

by Weenie


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