Garmin Varia Rearview radar system £79.99 @ Halfords
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Garmin Varia Rearview radar system £79.99 @ Halfords

31
Found 26th Mar
This deal will have a niche appeal but thought it worth posting in case anyone is after one of these, the retail price is £170 but Halfords have it reduced to £99 with an additional 20% off today bringing it down to £80

There's no stock online however I was able to pick one up instore without issue although I had to do a reserve and collect as they said they couldn't do that price instore.

There is a dedicated display you can buy to use the unit but it works with the recent Edges and a few of the Garmin watches:

buy.garmin.com/en-…-01

I've been using mine with an Edge 520, when an approaching vehicles comes into range the 520 beeps and it shows dots moving up the side of the display to represent the vehicles behind giving you an idea how many there are and how fast they're coming. I find it extremely useful on the road bike as it's often difficult to hear cars with the noise of the air rushing past On quiet country roads cars can be sporadic so I find it handy to know when a car is coming and in particular how fast it's coming so I'm ready for it going by.
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This is the best cycling device I have ever bought. My wife will not let me go out without it, and when riding with me she keeps an eye on it and can “see” from the flash changes when a car is approaching and tucks in single file. So so recommended.
Agreed. Also great for knowing cars are approaching on windy days or going fast downhill when you can’t hear them.
Just reserved one for the missus, she’ll be able to look after herself from now on...
Ok I see what it does but how would it help me on a bike when being approached from behind by a car? Surely beyond making myself be seen I cant do anything else to prevent it from hitting me. I can see a use for knowing when to ride in single file.
Edited by: "afroylnt" 26th Mar
Wouldn't a rear view mirror be just as good or are you expecting to be approached from behind by someone with no headlights wearing night vision goggles?
Edited by: "gazdoubleu" 26th Mar
Original Poster
afroylnt15 m ago

Ok I see what it does but how would it help me on a bike when being …Ok I see what it does but how would it help me on a bike when being approached from behind by a car? Surely beyond making myself be seen I cant do anythi


On a single track road if I know when a car is coming (the range is usually decent) then I can plan when to go into a passing place whereas if I don't, it ends up in an unpleasant situation with the car sitting right on my back wheel or in some cases they barge past anyway and force you to the side. If riding with someone else on a single track road then when I know a car is coming it gives time to collapse into a single file rather than checking over my shoulder all the time or an impatient driver on my back wheel again.

On an open road if I know a car is coming I can check how much space it's going to give me and I've found people coming blasting at speed often give no room at all in which case I'll move over at times onto the verge. While I shouldn't have to do that I've had a few really close calls where I've almost been clipped by a vehicle.

It's difficult to describe but I just find it much more enjoyable cycling knowing I don't need to look over my shoulder to check for cars as with this device, I know straight away when they're coming.
afroylnt21 m ago

Ok I see what it does but how would it help me on a bike when being …Ok I see what it does but how would it help me on a bike when being approached from behind by a car? Surely beyond making myself be seen I cant do anything else to prevent it from hitting me. I can see a use for knowing when to ride in single file.


1) It changes the rear light pattern as the car approaches - making you more visible to the driver
2) It shows you when there is more than one car approaching from behind - you would normally relax when one car passes - with this device you know there are more to come.
3) As you state - it makes it easy to let others in your group aware that cars approaching so you can move to single file
4) If the car is closing at a dangerous speed, you get a dfferent signal, enabling you to move closer to the side of the road if possible.

One of the best cycling devices I have bought.
Original Poster
gazdoubleu12 m ago

Wouldn't a rear view mirror be just as good or are you expecting to be …Wouldn't a rear view mirror be just as good or are you expecting to be approached from behind by someone with no headlights wearing night vision goggles?


No, a rear view mirror is nowhere near as good. Firstly rear view mirrors are generally very poor on bikes on anyway, handlebar mounted mirrors on a road bike are not practical and helmet mounted mirrors are extremely small. Secondly, the closing speed is significantly higher than when on a car or motorbike where an approaching vehicle is likely within 10-20mph so you've plenty time to check your mirrors and see an approaching vehicle. On a pedal bike even a good pace at 15-20mph means approaching vehicles are going to be far faster and giving you much less time to see the approaching vehicle.

With a rear view mirror system you still need to keep looking in the mirror which is distracting for helmet mounted mirrors and dangerous on a road bike as they're vulnerable to defects on the road (which there are many of up here), the beauty of the radar system is that you don't need to look in a mirror and can carry on looking ahead as you should be because you'll get a beep warning you when there's an approaching car. The system also identifies the speed and number of cars as well which is difficult to tell from a glance at a small mirror.
I can see the advantages for this device but wouldn't a decent rear view mirror (a Zefal for instance ) do the same ? I am a cyclist , a motorcyclist and a car driver and sadly many cyclists think they have the "run of the road" and that the highway code , traffic lights etc do not apply to them .

I am just as wary whatever vehicle (or bike ) I am on the road with ,the difference being that to get a motorcycle licence you have to display it - Cyclists, sadly, need no training to be on the road and many give their "sport " a bad reputation .

Whether on a cycle , motorbike or car I ensure I know what's around me at all times and to me a mirror is essential (presumably not thought "cool" by some cyclists ) I have one on both my bikes and of course on my motorbike and car .

Not criticising the deal but could having one of these make some cyclists (we've all come across them) bother even less to be aware of their surroundings on the road ?
Does it tell you when the traffic lights are on red?
Original Poster
rogparki13 m ago

I can see the advantages for this device but wouldn't a decent rear view …I can see the advantages for this device but wouldn't a decent rear view mirror (a Zefal for instance ) do the same ? I am a cyclist , a motorcyclist and a car driver and sadly many cyclists think they have the "run of the road" and that the highway code , traffic lights etc do not apply to them .I am just as wary whatever vehicle (or bike ) I am on the road with ,the difference being that to get a motorcycle licence you have to display it - Cyclists, sadly, need no training to be on the road and many give their "sport " a bad reputation .Whether on a cycle , motorbike or car I ensure I know what's around me at all times and to me a mirror is essential (presumably not thought "cool" by some cyclists ) I have one on both my bikes and of course on my motorbike and car .Not criticising the deal but could having one of these make some cyclists (we've all come across them) bother even less to be aware of their surroundings on the road ?


I'm also a car driver, motor cyclist and pedal cyclist but I find rear view mirrors on pedal bikes to be of little use whereas I find this device much more useful. It makes you much more aware of other vehicles not less aware of your surroundings and as mentioned above, the beauty of the device is that it alerts you without having to look in a specific direction constantly plus it gives you more information than a mirror does as it highlights how many vehicles are coming and how fast as well.

There is no need for an anti-cyclist rant here, it's not relevant.
Edited by: "Johnmcl7" 26th Mar
A radar ! lol Is it for a helicopter ?

Get your earphones out of your ears and look about you.... FFS !

maxmix
Original Poster
maxmix2 m ago

A radar ! lol Is it for a helicopter ?Get your earphones out of your ears …A radar ! lol Is it for a helicopter ?Get your earphones out of your ears and look about you.... FFS !maxmix


At speed on a road bike, you can't hear much regardless of having headphones in or not and you can't keep looking over your shoulder or you're likely to crash or miss something else. Furthermore with a quick glance over your shoulder you can't establish how many vehicles there are nor how quickly they are moving which this device does without having to take your focus off the road.

John
Johnmcl713 m ago

I'm also a car driver, motor cyclist and pedal cyclist but I find rear …I'm also a car driver, motor cyclist and pedal cyclist but I find rear view mirrors on pedal bikes to be of little use whereas I find this device much more useful. It makes you much more aware of other vehicles not less aware of your surroundings and as mentioned above, the beauty of the device is that it alerts you without having to look in a specific direction constantly plus it gives you more information than a mirror does as it highlights how many vehicles are coming and how fast as well. There is no need for an anti-cyclist rant here, it's not relevant.



Anti cyclist rant ? from a cyclist (2 bikes ) Seems you are a wee bit too touchy , or maybe you should try a Zefal cyclops mirror ? Although I have to admit many of the ones I tried prior to that one were frankly useless - but you could still tell when a vehicle was approaching .behind you .
Surely a rear view camera would beat it for the price?
cant deliver and cant collect
Original Poster
petermcgregor147 m ago

Surely a rear view camera would beat it for the price?


There's no purpose designed camera system I'm aware of for this and using an action camera or similar isn't really feasible. Wireless streaming really kills the battery on the action camera, you'd need a phone or similar mounted on the handlebars which isn't very practical (the Edge devices are pretty small) and the streaming quality usually isn't good as it's more designed for setting up the camera rather than viewing remote video so there's a delay in the video feed plus the image breaks up. Also all that aside, I don't see what benefit you'd get even if it worked better as this device tells you how many cars are coming at a reasonable range and what speed they're doing without needing to look at it.
Ordered and collecting tomorrow. Heat!!!
Extra 10% off with British Cycling membership. Could also buy gift vouchers from Zeek to boost the discount, might take a few days to arrive though.

I have one and as a miserable sod who regularly rides alone, this is fantastic and gives an extra layer of comfort when riding out in the sticks as you can avoid potholes easily as you are not constantly looking over your shoulder before manoeuvering.
Edited by: "Southy1983" 27th Mar
Heat added, would have bought one but no stock available anywhere near me unfortunately
Johnmcl712 h, 18 m ago

At speed on a road bike, you can't hear much regardless of having …At speed on a road bike, you can't hear much regardless of having headphones in or not and you can't keep looking over your shoulder or you're likely to crash or miss something else. Furthermore with a quick glance over your shoulder you can't establish how many vehicles there are nor how quickly they are moving which this device does without having to take your focus off the road.John


This. More than once I've looked over my shoulder to see if there's a car behind me and in the process missed a pedestrian stepping into the road in front of me. Thankfully I've generally been at a low speed so have been able to avoid an accident but it's not fun regardless. These are roads that have low traffic because it's being routed elsewhere but aren't actually pedestrianised, though a lot of pedestrians assume they are.

Looks like you need a separate garmin bike computer to use this? What's the cheapest one that'd work with this?
Edited by: "CampGareth" 27th Mar
CampGareth34 m ago

This. More than once I've looked over my shoulder to see if there's a car …This. More than once I've looked over my shoulder to see if there's a car behind me and in the process missed a pedestrian stepping into the road in front of me. Thankfully I've generally been at a low speed so have been able to avoid an accident but it's not fun regardless. These are roads that have low traffic because it's being routed elsewhere but aren't actually pedestrianised, though a lot of pedestrians assume they are. Looks like you need a separate garmin bike computer to use this? What's the cheapest one that'd work with this?


Looks like the cheapest is the Edge 25.
Craigr9 m ago

Looks like the cheapest is the Edge 25.


eesh, £125 to use this £80 product
I use this so I know there is a car behind and I can move into the middle of the road and not bother to signal at junctions, just for shit's 'n' giggles. It really winds the road tax payers up.
Already posted.
redcup15 h, 19 m ago

1) It changes the rear light pattern as the car approaches - making you …1) It changes the rear light pattern as the car approaches - making you more visible to the driver2) It shows you when there is more than one car approaching from behind - you would normally relax when one car passes - with this device you know there are more to come.3) As you state - it makes it easy to let others in your group aware that cars approaching so you can move to single file4) If the car is closing at a dangerous speed, you get a dfferent signal, enabling you to move closer to the side of the road if possible.One of the best cycling devices I have bought.


Ok ta I don't think it would be of much use to me. I have a good rear light and always use it even in daylight. Cars pass by me already at 60 mph on a few stretches of road and I don't move into the verge now for them.

For me it seems more useful for group cycling; for that use case does it have to be on the bike at the rear of the group?
afroylnt5 m ago

Ok ta I don't think it would be of much use to me. I have a good rear …Ok ta I don't think it would be of much use to me. I have a good rear light and always use it even in daylight. Cars pass by me already at 60 mph on a few stretches of road and I don't move into the verge now for them.For me it seems more useful for group cycling; for that use case does it have to be on the bike at the rear of the group?


Nope - you don't have to be at the back, but the more riders are behind you, the more chances that the radar will miss an approaching car.

I live in rural somerset - so plenty of unclassified and minor roads rather than A roads with 60mph+ cars approaching from behind. It works very well in those situations.
Original Poster
afroylnt7 m ago

Ok ta I don't think it would be of much use to me. I have a good rear …Ok ta I don't think it would be of much use to me. I have a good rear light and always use it even in daylight. Cars pass by me already at 60 mph on a few stretches of road and I don't move into the verge now for them.For me it seems more useful for group cycling; for that use case does it have to be on the bike at the rear of the group?


The device shows vehicles that are approaching at a higher speed than you are currently doing, it doesn't show vehicles which are doing the same speed. That means it will work when you're amongst a group of cyclists even when you're not at the back as it ignores the cyclists behind you since they're doing the same speed but can still pick up vehicles approaching. That said I don't find it much use when in a group and don't tend to use it for that as there's a lot more presence on the road and cars usually have to give you space.
For busy urban riding ...
Wouldn't the endless beeping be annoying on busy urban roads?
What speed does it consider dangerous as in a different sounding beep?
What noises happen when being tailed by a car at a steady 25mph?
Can you hear the beeps well on windy days or when descending at say 35mph?
And can it really tell when a second car is closely following a first car given the first mostly shields the second?
Thanks ...
(I ride for the sense of freedom and to get away from technology, so weaponising my ride has to be worthwhile)
Edited by: "Hootwo" 27th Mar
Original Poster
Hootwo53 m ago

For busy urban riding ...Wouldn't the endless beeping be annoying on busy …For busy urban riding ...Wouldn't the endless beeping be annoying on busy urban roads?What speed does it consider dangerous as in a different sounding beep?What noises happen when being tailed by a car at a steady 25mph?Can you hear the beeps well on windy days or when descending at say 35mph?And can it really tell when a second car is closely following a first car given the first mostly shields the second?Thanks ...(I ride for the sense of freedom and to get away from technology, so weaponising my ride has to be worthwhile)


Wouldn't the endless beeping be annoying on busy urban roads? - Yes and I wouldn't use it for that, I try to avoid cycling on busy roads as much as possible regardless of this device.

What speed does it consider dangerous as in a different sounding beep? - There's no different sounding beeps, it produces the same beep for any vehicle which enters the radar range (around 150m). The display then changes to show a dot on the right hand which moves towards the top of the display (which is your position) to give you an idea how fast the vehicle is closing, if there's multiple vehicles then it will show multiple dots then when all have passed, it will flash green.

What noises happen when being tailed by a car at a steady 25mph? - If a vehicle enters range at a higher speed then slows down to your speed, it will disappear off the display until it speeds up again. This can be tricky because if the car turns off, it will also drop off the display so if a vehicle comes into range then disappears, I quickly check over my shoulder to see if it's still there or not.

Can you hear the beeps well on windy days or when descending at say 35mph? - I've had no problems consistently hearing the beep despite the large amount of wind noise on the road bike, on the Edge 520 (I haven't used it with other units) the display flashes red as well as beeping when the vehicle comes into range which is noticeable as well.

And can it really tell when a second car is closely following a first car given the first mostly shields the second? - It's remarkably good at this and seems to be able to identify three or four vehicles in range despite them being in a line and mostly covering each other. It sometimes doesn't quite get the exact number of vehicles right so it may show three approaching when there's actually four but the display updates as the first car moves by so it still accurately shows you when all the vehicles are past.

If you're wanting to get away from technology then this probably isn't for you, for me (and other owners on this thread) it's a very beneficial device and I find it makes rides more relaxing. I usually cycle on cycle routes which are quieter back roads with occasional cars, I can go for hours without seeing a car but I still need to be aware of any cars coming. With this system I still check over my shoulder particularly on more open sections where visibility is good but I find given it's generally reliable, I don't need to frantically check over my shoulder all the time and focus more on the road surface and avoiding defects.

DCR has a detailed review including video here:

dcrainmaker.com/201…tml
Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such thorough answers ... very helpful!
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