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Garmin Varia RTL510: Test Ride

Cycling safety is an extremely important and topical issue today. Almost every day we hear on the news, or read on the internet, of cyclists – sometimes even pro-cyclists (look at Domenico Pozzovivo) – who are ran over in training, many times reporting serious damage and, in extreme cases, even going towards death.

Road safety, therefore, is a very sensitive issue and, as cyclists, we must provide ourselves with all possible means to be visible and to minimize any risk as much as possible.

Garmin Varia RTL510

That’s why we’ve been insisting on testing the brand new Varia RTL510 from Garmin. For some years now, the American company has wanted to promote the safety of cyclists on the road and the presentation of this new product is a proof of this.

What is Garmin Varia RTL510?

The Varia RTL510 is a special rear-view radar that, developed from its predecessor – the Varia Radar – allows the cyclist to be always alert and attentive to the vehicles coming from behind him, even at low speed. At the same time, this device is able to signal to the drivers the presence of the bike on the road through the built-in rear light.

The rear radar with integrated light provides a battery – integrated and rechargeable via USB – with an autonomy of about 15 hours in day-time flash mode, and up to 6 hours in night-time flash mode or fixed.

This Garmin device boasts a new design that, now, requires the rear light to be mounted in an upright position. This system is, in fact, more aerodynamic and consistent with the design of the new aero-bikes, as well as more comfortable for the cyclist while cycling.

Its installation is really easy, fast and intuitive. It is possible to mount the Varia RTL510 on any type of bicycle, without having to rely on the help of a mechanic. Inside the package, in fact, there is already a kit of elastic bands (of different sizes) to fix, with the relative adapter, the device to the seat-post.

How does Garmin Varia RTL510 works?

The new Garmin Varia RTL510 is able to detect and signal, through visible and acoustic warnings, the approach of a car up to 140 meters. As the car approaches, a small light indicating the car lights up on the optional handlebar device (connected wireless).

The light varies in its intensity depending on the proximity and speed of the car near you. It changes from white – when the car is at about 130/140 meters from you – to yellow and then to red, indicating that the car is about to overtake you in seconds. Once the car has passed you and is safely on its way, the light turns green at the top of the screen. You can ride safely!

As an alternative to the optional handlebar device, for those who already own a new Garmin Edge 130 or 520 Plus with an enhanced sensitivity to signal even the vehicles that proceed at low speed, you can directly synchronize the radar with your cycle-computer.

During the day, the rear light of the Varia RTL510 can be seen from all the vehicles up to 1.6 kilometres away and can break into the road with a radius of 220 degrees. Not a little, given the maximum of 280 degrees of possibility that you have on the bike.

Garmin Varia RTL510 is available at a recommended retail price of 199.99 Euro. The cost of the bundle version with handlebar device is 299.99 Euro.

We would also like to point out that it is possible to test the Varia RTL510 at the various Garmin Varia Test Centres.

More information at: www.garmin.com/en


The opinion of KmZero Cycling

“Surely the Garmin Varia RTL510, for those who have the possibility, is one of those devices to be absolutely mounted on your bike. The feeling of safety and “mastery” of the road is unparalleled. Even motorists, seeing the rear light from a long distance, are more easily aware of the danger and leave you more than one and a half meters away due”.

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