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After initially scoffing at the idea of the Varia radar as being yet another piece of electronics for the bike I finally grew tired of cars sneaking up on me and with a 25% discount from WesterBikeWorks finally pulled the trigger. I was an idiot for not buying it sooner. That's no joke. It's great getting alerted to approaching cars particularly on windy days where I can't readily hear them. I have the single radar paired to both my Garmin as well as my wife's so when we ride together we can both take advantage of it. The light is bright and very difficult to miss (and blinding on group rides when people don't set it to a lower intensity). The only negatives I've found is the included universal mount is so-so on my round seat post and will be replaced by the Garmin clasp type mount in the future. The other negative is you can't use it while charging, meaning on a long ride you need to be conscious of which light mode you're using so you don't run out of battery.
This is the highest priced Garmin Edge, but the extra dollars gets you useful features. This device uses GNSS multi- band satellite technology that is more accurate and connects very fast. Iï¿½m ready to go immediately; no waiting for five minutes in my driveway waiting for a satellite signal. The touch screen is very helpful for quick menu changes. I thought it may not work well in the rain, but it does! The solar charging helps preserve the battery. I donï¿½t have to charge the device nearly as often as I would have thought.
Bought the Varia RTL515 for my son, after first having experience with the 715 that has the rear view incident camera, on my bike. The camera on the 715 adds bulk and weight, and is only really useful to have video evidence if you happen to get hit from behind. The best thing about either light is the alert to your computer that there are cars or other bikes gaining on you from the rear. Saves your neck from having to check back as frequently, especially on aerobars. You get the alert on your computer much sooner than you would generally see the vehicles otherwise. Only reason I gave the 515 four stars instead of 5, is because my son ( who lives in another state, Oregon) reports that on his older Garmin computer, the alert is just an orange bar plus audio, whereas on mine I also see dots for each vehicle, as well as their relative distance from each other and me. I don't know if his just isn't synced correctly, if the radar on the 515 doesn't relay this info, or if it's just because his compatible Garmin computer is older, and just unable to show the approaching dots. But I know he likes it, as I do. If it's an issue with his computer, he can upgrade it, because the added safety feature is worth it.
In moving from the 1030 Plus to the 1040 here are the differences I've found. The biggest difference I've noticed is the presence of new climb screens. Whenever you approach something Garmin has labelled a climb the data pops up on your screen. The 1040 set up is faster and less glitchy than the 1030 Plus and everything just happens more quickly. The Accuweather app now takes three steps to access instead of one which is a bother. Is the 1040 worth the difference vs the 1030 Plus? Probably not. After selling my 1030 Plus the 1040 was only $150 more than I got for the 1030 Plus so that made it okay.