The Garmin Varia rearview radar is (in Garmin’s own words) the world’s “first cycling radar that warns of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140 metres”. Welcome to the 21st century of cycling gadgets! During this blog post, I will be (briefly) providing an overview of the main features of the Varia radar, my own reasons for purchase and what the benefits of such a light system are.
The Garmin bike cadence sensor is designed to wirelessly measure pedal strokes per minute (cadence). I was intrigued by this measurement as a way to better keep a constant cycling cadence throughout my bike rides. I do like to analyse as much data as possible after my rides, as a way to track my performance, and any potential areas for improvement. Unfortunately, power sensors are still very costly, but with the cadence sensor available for under £30, decided that it would be a great addition for some vital data analysis.
Being out on my bike after dusk, I knew I needed to invest in a quality head light for my road bike. Enter, the Garmin Varia!
My initial plans when getting into road cycling were to record my rides with my Garmin fenix 3. These are both very capable watches, and do a great job of recording a number of ride parameters including speed, distance, averages, heart rate, laps, etc. However, one big drawback I faced when using a wrist watch was the very small screen size. It is okay to take a quick glance at your wrist when running, but when I mounted my watch on the handle bar of my road bike, I would often struggle to see the screen when cycling. So I began to use the Strava app on my iPhone. This worked well, too, but the lack of screen customisation was a huge let-down. To this end, I decided to get a dedicated ‘proper’ cycling GPS tracker.
I purchased my first road bike 5 weeks ago, and have since developed a mild addiction to cycling. To-date, I have have only done a few bike rides, in no small part as I have a few running events coming up and an concentrating on these. However, one thing I have noticed on my bike rides is the requirement to navigate, particularly if I am to ride into unseen and far places! I contemplated buying the Garmin Edge 1000, however, I already have a Garmin 920XT and fenix 3, both of which can record bike rides as well as my running.