The new Garmin Varia RVR315 and RTL515 keep cyclists safer on the road
The Garmin Varia RVR315 and Garmin Varia RTL515 are rearview radars that alert riders of approaching vehicles. Although previous models of the Varia required a Garmin GPS unit to function, both new devices work with the new Varia app, allowing cyclists to use their phone as a primary or backup display while riding. When paired with the Varia app, a Garmin GPS unit, or a dedicated radar display unit, cyclists receive visible and audible alerts warning them of vehicles approaching from behind, up to 153 yards away.
Garmin have announced the Varia RVR315, a rearview radar, and the Varia RTL515, a rearview radar with tail light, to alert cyclists of approaching vehicles no matter where, or when, they ride. Both devices will work with the new Varia app, allowing cyclists to use their phone as a primary or backup display while riding.
Stay aware of approaching cars with the Varia RVR315 and RTL515. When paired with a compatible Garmin device, the new Varia app, or a dedicated radar display unit, cyclists will receive both visible and audible alerts warning them of vehicles approaching from behind, up to 153 yards away. For riders using the Varia RTL515 during a daytime ride, the tail light can be seen up to a mile away, making it easier for drivers to see a cyclist before the radar sees the vehicle. What’s more, the Varia RTL515 now includes peloton mode, providing a low-intensity flash that is easier on other cyclists’ eyes while riding in a group.
Pairing the Varia RVR315 or RTL515 with the new Varia app is like having eyes on the back of a helmet, alerting cyclists to approaching vehicles. While riding, cyclists will receive colour-coded alerts on their phone – green means everything is OK, amber means a vehicle is coming and red means a car is approaching at high speed. In addition to the graphics, tone and vibration alerts will let cyclists know when a vehicle is coming.
When used with a compatible smartphone, the Varia RVR315 and RTL515 integrate with popular third-party apps like Ride with GPS, letting cyclists overlay their maps with rearview radar alerts. The Varia RVR315 features up to 7 hours of battery life and has a suggested retail price of $259. Featuring up to 16 hours of battery life in day flash mode, and up to 6 hours in night flash or solid mode, the Varia RTL515 has a suggested retail price of $369
Now, a new Varia App for iOS or Android means you can connect the Varia radar directly to your mobile phone to display alerts while riding
Colour coded alerts signal proximity: green means all is clear, yellow is a car approaching, red Is a car approaching at high speed.
The updated combo Garmin RTL515 looks essentially unchanged from the previous generation RTL510, packing the Varia rearview radar into a high visibility taillight. Inside though, there are a number of functional improvements – most notably new Bluetooth LE added to ANT+ to connect to more devices.