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Posted 8 April 2024

Garmin Varia RTL516 Cycling Rear Light/Radar

£109.99£129.9915% off
£4.99 ·
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This is the German version of the Garmin Varia RTL515, which doesn't have the flashing light option (flashing rear lights being illegal in Germany). Otherwise identical to the RTL515, which goes for £129.99 at Decathlon (the cheapest I can find it).

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  • A reliable reversing sensor allows you to drive as if you know what awaits you.
  • Multiple display options. Pair it with your Garmin compatible device, your phone, or both.
  • The Varia™ app protects you whether you use your phone as your primary or backup screen.
  • Shine brighter. Daytime visibility allows approaching vehicles to see you up to 1 mile away.
  • It's small, easy to mount, and works with just about any bike.
  • Increase the lifespan of your radar up to 3 months in standby mode.


  • The Varia RTL516 reversing radar provides visual and audible alerts for vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards (140 meters).
  • This radar works seamlessly with your Edge cycling computer or compatible smartphone, as well as select Garmin wearables or the optional radar display unit.
  • This smartphone app helps you increase your alertness by providing graphics, as well as sound and vibration alerts, that indicate the position and speed of approaching cars.
  • When used with a compatible smartphone, Varia Radar integrates with your favorite apps, such as Ride with GPS, to overlay your maps with backup radar alerts.
  • Alert motorists to your presence as soon as possible with daytime visibility of up to 1 mile.
  • Easily mount this sleek, compact device on the seat post of almost any road bike. The vertical design allows for better leg clearance and a perfectly comfortable ride.


  • Modes: Permanent light
  • Lumens: 5 lumens
  • Battery life: 9 hours (permanent light) / 3 months (sleep mode)
  • ANT+®: Yes
  • BL: Yes
  • Water resistance rating: IPX7
  • Viewing angle: 220°


  • Dimensions: 98.6 x 19.7 x 39.6 mm
  • Weight: 71g


  • Varia RTL516
  • Mounting kit (includes shims for round, aero and D-shaped seat posts)
  • Cables
  • Documentation

Useful Links

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Community Updates
Edited by a community support team member, 7 days ago
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  1. Keith_Humphrey's avatar
    Oh no - I find myself commenting on a divisive thread.

    I cycle over 6k miles a year and am already equipped with eyes and ears. I bought one (secondhand) because it is techy and I wanted to play. I now use it for every ride I do.

    I ride mainly on country lanes [I don't know how useful it is in town].

    I can see how far away the cars behind are - and how quickly they are moving. Most importantly - I can tell if there are two or more cars - so I don't relax too quickly when they overtake. I can also check very quickly that I am not going to pull in front of a car if I have to avoid a pothole.

    It does not replace looking or applying common sense - it simply extends your awareness

    Its expensive (but not for what it is or does) - so not for everyone. There are slightly cheaper competing products now from at least two other good manufacturers (and some cheap ones on ali-express).

    You will need a compatible head unit or smart watch - so more expense

    My Garmin is at least 6 years old - and works flawlessly (apart from a "saturation error" sent to the head unit every couple of hours - and it forgets a car after a while if it is moving at the same speed as the bike)
    jamgin's avatar
    Nice sensible and helpful comment from someone who actually uses the product.
  2. cubegame's avatar
    barnesy99's avatar
    There's two groups of people: people who love the Varia and people who haven't used it. 
  3. cubegame's avatar
    Reading more comments on the thread it does seem more and more that these do have a function as a comfort blanket for those who don't have the confidence to "take the lane" as needed. Most cyclists don't, because they prefer to confirm to the idea of kow-towing to the motorist, preferring to moan about them as opposed to doing something about it.
    rprp's avatar
    We get it. You don't think it's necessary. Move on.
  4. djp2k8's avatar
    I personally use a SeeSense Ace on the rear & a Halfords advanced on the front
  5. therealpmuk's avatar
  6. matthew1888's avatar
    Why illegal? I always have two rear light. One flashing and one solid. Did research and that's what the advice was
    skiking's avatar
    It's supposed to be a solid light like cars etc. It's the same in the UK although I think they've either relaxed the policy or actually allowed flashing recently. Someone has actually used common sense and realised that flashing lights on a bike stands out more. (edited)
  7. mudds's avatar
    Again to comment on such a thread... I bought a 515 model over a year a go and as others have said give me a good indicator of how many and how quick vehicles are approaching on my wahoo bolt v2 before I making turns which is great as I can't turn my neck on the move as readily as I used to be able to.
    In short, outside of my helmet this is the best piece of safety equipment I've bought for cycling, especially if you do a lot of solo cycling.

    Good price for this model so voted hot.
    rprp's avatar
    Don't worry, there'll be a couple of people along shortly who haven't used one of these to tell you that you're wrong.
  8. gooders32's avatar
    Great bit of kit, worth every penny.
  9. AlienAl2's avatar
    but when your looking over your shoulder you have to take your eyes of the road ahead even for a split second. these are a great bit of kit and a must for anyone. having visual notifications and hearing them is a great peace of mind you know whats coming especially on windy days and when my hearing isnt the best
    rprp's avatar
    Agree, but I don't think that Varias replace the need to check. It just gives you a warning of anything that's coming that you might not have seen anyway. Definitely additive, rather than replacing standard operating procedure.
  10. deleted555839's avatar
     Very overpriced, so cold sorry. It’s basically just a big stained led back light. You can find some with same quality and brightness but FOR MICH CHEAPAER!
    benfromlondon's avatar
    Would love an example, as this is a bit out of my budget.
  11. crazyp's avatar
    I'm also a convert, my 510 is still going strong and I'd replace it immediately if it stopped working.

    On the roads I ride it gives a warning far earlier than than you would realise naturally and whilst I still check behind me from time to time I get to spend more of the time looking ahead for potholes etc which IMO is a much bigger risk.

    it's a shame that you can't adapt your cycling style to adapt to modern technologies (it's not even that modern TBH) or can't multitask well enough to deal with more than a couple of inputs whilst cycling but it's obviously not for you. Great - you've saved some money
    cubegame's avatar
    Sounds like you're one of the folk who's adapted their riding style to accommodate bad drivers.

    I refuse to, so this I don't need to spend cash on an extra crutch.
  12. crazyp's avatar
    Don't get defensive mate, some people are stuck in their ways and struggle to adapt. That's okay.

    I like to pick the best solution available for any given situation, and fortunately I'm not limited by money, riding ability or ideology. I don't "accommodate" bad drivers but bad driving is a reality for any cyclist that does more than a handful of miles and you can't control other people's behaviour.

    In the unlikely event that we were cycling on the same road, we'd probably be occupying the same position in the road except that I'd be able to spend more time looking forwards for potential threats AND yet know about vehicular threats behind me several seconds quicker than you.

    Don't buy an extra crutch - they'll give you two for free when you get knocked down (joking, of course).
  13. alexf's avatar
    Great price. An update to this with USB C is definitely coming soon. Expect a lot of sales on the current models.
  14. BorisJohnsonsHair's avatar
    Why would a cyclist near a rear radar? I've never deeded one. And for a light, it's overpriced.
  15. spatter's avatar
    Why don't you just cycle backwards? Would save all this bother
's avatar