Garmin Varia

Can a proximity radar enhance your pro cycling experience? Garmin thinks so, and after testing the Varia, we'd have to agree with them!

The Varia works with your (sold separately) heads-up Garmin device (we used the 1000 Edge for testing), displaying a series of dots to indicate vehicles as they approach.

The Varia has it's own set of indicator lights (red LEDs), which function both as a cool cosmetic addition (think nightrider, only on your bike), and provide a little extra visibility during your nighttime cycling activities. Mounting to the back of your saddle, it's small frame fits easily with your under-saddle repair kits and other ride accessories. It's about the size of a pager when in hand.

Approaching cars are signaled by the device through your Garmin GPS display as a series of dots that indicate proximity, in exactly the same manner as the sensor built into cars. The lights disappear, and the Varia goes into an idle flashing state when there are no cars coming.

At first this may seem like a gimmick, but after a short period of use, we found the extra peace of mind reassuring, and we found ourselves having to check behind us less and less, as we gained confidence in the Varia's notifications. You'll want to make sure your device is compatible with it before your buy, namely devices with ANT+ and bluetooth connections are required for the job.

To prevent scratches and breakage from drops on hard surfaces, we offer a range of colourful and functional silicone cases. The first time your Varia hits the ground, and bounces harmlessly off the surface, you'll know it was worth the investment.