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Garmin Varia RTL515, Cycling Rearview Radar with Tail Light ($149.99 w/ Free Ship)

$149.99
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There is a new Garmin tail light just released with built in camera, but it has a lot of bugs, and sells for $400. The Garmin RTL515 @ $150 is the best thing going right now. Only18 left (as of posting time) from this 95% rated third party seller on Amazon.

About this item
  • Rearview radar with tail light provides awareness of vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards (140 meters) away
  • Pairs seamlessly with your Edge bike computer and compatible smartphone as well as select Garmin wearables or the radar display unit
  • When used with your compatible smartphone, the Varia app provides graphics — plus tone and vibration alerts — that indicate approaching cars
  • When used with a compatible smartphone, Varia radar integrates with third-party apps such as Ride with GPS to overlay your maps with rearview radar alerts
  • Daylight visibility up to 1 mile alerts motorists to your presence as soon as possible
  • Compact vertical design mounts easily to most road-use bicycles
  • Peloton mode provides a low-intensity light flash that is perfect for cycling in groups
  • Battery life: up to 16 hours in day flash mode, up to 6 hours in solid mode

https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Cyc...RydWU&th=1
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#2
Best thing I've ever bought as a bike commuter and as a recreational rider.
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#3
Quote from screen.name :
Best thing I've ever bought as a bike commuter and as a recreational rider.
Indispensable on the road and in traffic...
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#4
I got rtl515 two weeks back. I'm super happy with the purchase. I'm pairing that with my fenix 6 pro. The integration is really well. I can see two dots max on same detection. It will give you estimation of how far they are from your back. I have been riding on not so busy road as my regular exercise. Because of that, sometimes. I get spooked by those car showing up suddenly on strong wind and you just can't hear your surrounding clearly. After I use this, it really helps dramatically. It detects the car even when they are still far away. It will give you different sound when they are on higher speed.
Regarding camera version, I'm not sure I'll go for that. $400 is too steep for me and it kills battery fast. If I ride a lot on the road, camera recording might be helpful if something happens. I'm riding two hours every other days. So, I think this rtl515 serves me well and it gives me enough alert for what I worried most during the ride for $150 dollars.
If you are on busy road, it might beep all the time and you might just ignore that alert. However, I have to say that tail light works really well. It blinks rapidly while car approaches. 👍👍
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#5
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#6
Quote from eshank :
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2022/...eview.html

Stick with radar only.
That's an article on the $400 RTL715 - the one with the rear facing camera I mentioned in the OP. DCRainmaker gave the *715* a poor review, and not the 515... which is what I posted. You're mixing apples with oranges. The 515 integrates the radar with the rear light so it alerts drivers that come up on you from behind. Using just the radar unit, alone (which sells for over $100 normally) only integrates with your head unit and does not integrate with any other tail lights.

So, again, you're providing a DCRainmaker article on the 715... look for the one on the 515. He gives it a very good review and recommends it.
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#7
Quote from GimmeYoTots :
That's an article on the $400 RTL715 - the one with the rear facing camera I mentioned in the OP. DCRainmaker gave the *715* a poor review, and not the 515... which is what I posted. You're mixing apples with oranges. The 515 integrates the radar with the rear light so it alerts drivers that come up on you from behind. Using just the radar unit, alone (which sells for over $100 normally) only integrates with your head unit and does not integrate with any other tail lights.

So, again, you're providing a DCRainmaker article on the 715... look for the one on the 515. He gives it a very good review and recommends it.
We are on the same page, my friend.

Post 4 above generally references the 715, I considered it appropriate to include further details - and agreed by stating "Stick with radar only".

I am a vocal advocate of the Varia radar in my road cycling groups.
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Quote from eshank :
We are on the same page, my friend.

Post 4 above generally references the 715, I considered it appropriate to include further details - and agreed by stating "Stick with radar only".

I am a vocal advocate of the Varia radar in my road cycling groups.
Well, here's the deal, though -- the Varia RVR315 is the unit you're referencing, and most sellers want $150 for it.. and the best price is Amazon @ $140 through a third party seller. So, for only $10 more you can get the built in tail light that flashes based on proximity/speed of vehicles approaching from rear.

Yes, the Varia RVR315 is definitely much better than nothing... but when the RTL515, which is the upgraded version of the RTL510, is selling for the same price, or just $10 more (vs Amazon), then it's a no-brainer for me to buy the RTL515. While, the RVR315 will tell you a car is coming behind you, and if it's coming at high speed, the RTL515 actually warns drivers behind you by using high intensity flashes.

The above said, if you are stating that you're already aware of all this, then I have to wonder why you'd still recommend the RVR315... which is either the same price or within $10 of the same price of the RTL515. It's a no-brainer for me... the RTL515 all day.
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#9
Quote from GimmeYoTots :
Well, here's the deal, though -- the Varia RVR315 is the unit you're referencing, and most sellers want $150 for it.. and the best price is Amazon @ $140 through a third party seller. So, for only $10 more you can get the built in tail light that flashes based on proximity/speed of vehicles approaching from rear.

Yes, the Varia RVR315 is definitely much better than nothing... but when the RTL515, which is the upgraded version of the RTL510, is selling for the same price, or just $10 more (vs Amazon), then it's a no-brainer for me to buy the RTL515. While, the RVR315 will tell you a car is coming behind you, and if it's coming at high speed, the RTL515 actually warns drivers behind you by using high intensity flashes.

The above said, if you are stating that you're already aware of all this, then I have to wonder why you'd still recommend the RVR315... which is either the same price or within $10 of the same price of the RTL515. It's a no-brainer for me... the RTL515 all day.
Where did I mention the 315? I happen to be a former owner of a 510, current owner of a 515, specifically mention only the 515 in my clarification.

Can't we all just get along?
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Quote from eshank :
Where did I mention the 315? I happen to be a former owner of a 510, current owner of a 515, specifically mention only the 515 in my clarification.

Can't we all just get along?
Bro... you literally wrote "stick with radar only" and then posted a review for the $400 715. The 315 model is "the radar only model." I posted the 515 in the OP which is radar AND tail light integrated. If you really meant "radar ONLY" then you mean the 315... it's radar ONLY.

What are you not getting?
Radar ONLY = 315
Radar & Rear Tail Light = 510 (old model) or 515
Radar + Tail Light + Integrated Camera = 715


It sounds to me like what you REALLY meant was "stick to the radar/tail light combo ONLY" and don't buy the $400 715 with integral camera since there IS an actual "radar ONLY" model, the 315, which is different than the 515 model I posted in the OP.

Is that what you meant?
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Last edited by GimmeYoTots May 28, 2022 at 11:10 PM.
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#11
thinking about this. is ithe light effective during daytime? any phone mount recommendations for big phones? does app work on samsung watch?
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Quote from deshwasi :
thinking about this. is ithe light effective during daytime? any phone mount recommendations for big phones? does app work on samsung watch?
I own the 510 and love it. It integrates with Garmin head units. I don't think mine integrates with the app (although I have a 1030 Plus head unit so I don't need app)... but, the 515 does add Bluetooth and does seem to have app integration. Here's what you should read to answer all those questions if you're considering buying but are on the fence:

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/...eview.html

DC Rainmaker is the man when it comes to bike accessory reviews... esp Garmin bike accessories.
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#13
Quote from GimmeYoTots :
Bro... you literally wrote "stick with radar only" and then posted a review for the $400 715. The 315 model is "the radar only model." I posted the 515 in the OP which is radar AND tail light integrated. If you really meant "radar ONLY" then you mean the 315... it's radar ONLY.

What are you not getting?
Radar ONLY = 315
Radar & Rear Tail Light = 510 (old model) or 515
Radar + Tail Light + Integrated Camera = 715


It sounds to me like what you REALLY meant was "stick to the radar/tail light combo ONLY" and don't buy the $400 715 with integral camera since there IS an actual "radar ONLY" model, the 315, which is different than the 515 model I posted in the OP.

Is that what you meant?
Yes, thank you.
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#14
Quote from GimmeYoTots :
I own the 510 and love it. It integrates with Garmin head units. I don't think mine integrates with the app (although I have a 1030 Plus head unit so I don't need app)... but, the 515 does add Bluetooth and does seem to have app integration. Here's what you should read to answer all those questions if you're considering buying but are on the fence:

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/...eview.html

DC Rainmaker is the man when it comes to bike accessory reviews... esp Garmin bike accessories.
Yes - light is effective during the day.

515 adds both Bluetooth and a larger battery - latter is important for longer rides.

Bluetooth adds compatibility to a wider range of non-Garmin devices. I am unwilling to mount a $1k+ phone on a bicycle, believe it makes much more sense to invest in a bicycle mounted computer. While the Varia may be compatible with an activity watch, I consider it impractical - having to take one hand off of the handlebar, eyes off of the road to monitor traffic behind you.
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#15
Quote from eshank :
Yes - light is effective during the day.

515 adds both Bluetooth and a larger battery - latter is important for longer rides.

Bluetooth adds compatibility to a wider range of non-Garmin devices. I am unwilling to mount a $1k+ phone on a bicycle, believe it makes much more sense to invest in a bicycle mounted computer. While the Varia may be compatible with an activity watch, I consider it impractical - having to take one hand off of the handlebar, eyes off of the road to monitor traffic behind you.
Yeah, I just received a 1030 + as an Xmas gift, and I've never had the battery longevity be a challenge for me with the 510... so, for all practical purposes the 510 and 515, for me, is little different. That said, what I'd like to see Garmin do on the next iteration of the 5 series... (the 520?) is to make it brighter and more compact.

I had to google it, but looks like the 510 was released in early 2018. So, since the 515 is really just a 510 +, and the 510 is 4 yrs old now... it would be nice to see Garmin make the unit more compact with a brighter / higher lumen output light. 4 yrs is a long time in the world of technology... it's just the Garmin simply doesn't have much competition (and maybe no competition) when it comes to rear radar lights. I'm not sure if Garmin has any patents on their technology, but if they don't, it would be nice to see Wahoo and/or Hammerhead (now owned by SRAM) put something competitive out. One can dream...
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