Riding on the road can be dangerous. No matter what bicycle you ride, there’s always a risk of being hit by a motor vehicle. Garmin’s Varia radar is a device that warns you of approaching vehicles from behind up to 140m away. We have teamed up with Garmin to find out a bit more about your cycling safety concerns with a short, 12-question survey. Those that leave their name and email address at the end will go into a draw to win one of two Garmin Varia radar devices worth R4049 each.
NOT ONLY FOR GARMIN OWNERS
The third generation of the Varia was released to the market in 2020 with Bluetooth, enabling it to connect to the Garmin Varia third party app on Smartphones as well as to GPS devices from brands like Wahoo, Hammerhead and Stages, which have a built-in Radar feature. So now you don’t have to specifically own a Garmin device to be able to use the Varia, making this potentially life-saving technology far more accessible.
Cyclists riding on a public roads are most vulnerable from behind. The Varia reduces the risk of being hit by a car in two ways. The first is the rear light, which is incredibly bright and which is visible to approaching traffic up to 1.6km away (it has solid beam as well as various flashing modes). It also has 220-degree visibility, so is visible not only from directly behind, but also from various approaching angles out of the rider’s line of sight. The objective is to make it difficult for drivers of motor vehicles not to notice the rider.
The second sees the radar in the rear light communicate with your radar-linked device on your handlebar to alert you to approaching vehicles. It detects the difference in speed between rider and approaching vehicle. The greater the difference in speed, the more urgent the rider alerts are – both visual and audio. On the device, the visual warning uses dots that denote each detected vehicle as well as colours – green is no approaching vehicles, orange is steadily approaching vehicle and red is fast approaching vehicle.
Note: Please check compatibility with your GPS Cycling device; alternatively, use the Garmin Varia™ app on your compatible smartphone.