Garmin are stepping forward in a big way for rider safety with their Varia range of products (including a set of ‘smart’ lights, which we’ve also reviewed). The Radar is perhaps the most intriguing of the lot – because it can look where you can’t.
Let’s make this plain and simple from the outset: the Varia Radar technology is effective, because it’s eminently usable.
It’s made up of two devices: a rear sensor which doubles as light, and a front display unit which displays the signal from the rear sensor. The two devices can function together, or you can use the rear sensor in tandem with a Garmin Edge GPS head unit instead.
Don’t worry on that point though. Unlike the Varia lights we also recently reviewed, compatibility and usability isn’t limited to just a few select Edge models.
It’ll work with any smart unit, 510 onwards, which means you can get warnings to pretty much any relatively up-to-date Garmin head unit on the market today.
In practice, the sensor reads the road behind, displaying the data on either the front display unit’s LED strip, or on the side of your Edge head unit’s screen.