I had the previous generation of this product and loved it. This one is even better. It's eye-catching and informative - even a bit too sensitive sometimes, identifying vehicles moving on a road parallel to me and a block to the side. No matter - better safe than sorry. I do not like the "rubber band" mount, but it has been secure even on some pretty rough terrain. It works great with the Stages Dash head units, too, giving you the option of showing on the right or left side of your screen. I like to choose the traffic side.
This is now the equivalent of wallet, keys, phone if I'm on my bike. I can't imagine cycling on the road without it now. It's responsive and accurate and gives me a feeling of security in knowing if/when cars are coming. I prefer to ride in the middle of the road since I live in a rural area, and this picks up cars from far enough away that I have time to prepare accordingly.
I struggled with adding such a large appendage to my rather stealth bike, but once it was up and running in action, it proved its value countless times. Only complaint is a fair amount of false positives, but it is nice to know when that big guy behind you is about to attack and pass you!
I enjoy my rides much more with the radar. No more contact looking over my shoulder for traffic. Of course, riders still need to be alert and occasionally look back to confirm what is there, but the radar brings a great piece of mind. The best feature is seeing how many vehicles will be passing.
I was a little skeptical, even after looking at u-tube videos. But wow, I'm very impressed with the technology. I bought it because I ride solo more than 50% of my miles (5000 - 6000 per yr), but it works equally as well with a group.
I use it with a Garmin edge 830. Love how it interfaces and shows me the approaching vehicles on my 830 head unit. Shows multiple vehicles. I have found it very reliable. Rarely do I get a false reading from another bike (only if our differential speed is significant). Definitely makes me a safer rider. Only wish - louder or adjustable audio alarm.
At the beginning I was concerned with the battery performance but after using the radar in the blinking mode all my concerns went away. I have used this product on a 7 hour rides and it has worked great. You just need to be sure to use it in the blinking mode if not the battery last around 4 hours.
I hadn't considered this until I had trouble with cars on faster descents. The RADAR works just as I expected, and gives me enough warning time to look ahead on the road and choose where to bike, and to turn and take a look behind me. This is what I wanted, a reliable device that told when to look. I'd recommend this rear light for anyone.
Paired with my Edge 520, this rear light alerts me when cars are approaching by showing RED highlights on both the left and right edges of the screen. Even better, on the right edge of the screen inside the RED highlight is a dot for each vehicle that is approaching you. Each dot starts at the bottom of the screen and slides up the screen as the vehicle is approaching you (moving up the screen faster if the vehicle is moving faster). Once all the vehicles have gone by, the left and right sides of the screen flash GREEN to let you know the cars have gone by. It feels so much safer riding on the road to know that a car is coming so that you can time your look back accordingly.
I ride five or six days a week. I rely on the Garmin Varia Radar to help me see what's back there, coming up on me. I'm 72 years old, and it's tough to tuck and look under my arm like I did when I was younger. So with the Varia, and my rear-view mirror, I am more relaxed in traffic. Now, If only it could see around corners, or into the future...
As an owner of the original Varia, my only real complaint was battery life. Version 2 has fixed that. The original was good for 4-4.5 hrs, I have yet to come even close to draining the battery on my new model. Might be a tad heavier (I haven't weighed it) but well worth the tradeoff!
Likes the included mount fits on my pinarello aero seat post. It's fairly small but still very bright. It changes flash patterns and intensity when cars approach. It works seamlessly with my garmin 520 head unit. I ride with a small mirror on my glasses but this gives me MUCH earlier warning for approaching cars (and I'm not always staring at my mirror either). The radar works fabulously on smaller, more lightly traveled roads where you may not hear a car till the last minute. I find the display very easy to interpret. The form factor of the this model varia is nicer sleeker than the original model and works just as well.
Dislikes the seat mount is just a rubber band with a standard garmin quarter twist mount. The twist part feels very secure to me but the actual assembly tends to rotate on the seat post from time to time. It's an easy fix, even while riding but I'm not always paying attention. Getting it to pair the first time was a little dodgy (if I recall, I had to pair the radar and then also include it as part of a garmin light network, but it was only a one time issue)
Overall I now consider this to be an essential part of my daily riding gear.
Wonderful tail light. The radar works great. I have a Edge 520 and it can cause it to drain its battery faster. I had to adjust the back light to get it to last through all day rides. I sure a newer Edge would pair better. You can control the Varia with the 830 and old 520 does not have that capability. But other than that I love the unit and would recommended it.
I'm really impressed by how well the radar works in conjunction with my Garmin head unit (530), including showing multiple vehicles. I've found it very helpful when country roads rather than relying solely on hearing. It's also allowed me to signal to cars when it's safe to pass. I use another small light in conjunction (brighter, better battery life), so I'm also intrigued by their new 'radar only' unit.