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Garmin Announces E-Bike Varia Radar with Battery-Free Design

Garmin-Varia-eRTL615-rack-mounted
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The Garmin Varia eRTL615 (e-bike Varia) is the first radar (that we know of) designed specifically for e-bike use. The design utilizes the e-bike’s power, creating a battery-free design for the radar and miles of safe travel for the user. 

What is it — Garmin Varia eRTL615

For those unfamiliar — the Varia line from Garmin is a rear-mounted radar system that detects approaching traffic. When the unit detects approaching vehicles, it provides visual and audible alerts when paired with Garmin devices (Wahoo, Bryton, and others) or the Varia app on a compatible smartphone. 

Garmin-Varia-eRTL615-rack-mounted and ready to commute

The units are becoming increasingly popular and offer security to ride in the form of a daytime running light and radar vehicle detection.  The newest edition to the Varia radar line is the new eRTL615, e-bike specific unit. A few features make it different from the current offerings, the biggest being battery-free operation.

Now that’s not to say it’s solar or something like that; the unit operates off the e-bike as a host, granting longer than imaginable battery life. 

Garmin-Varia-eRTL615-headunit on the bike

The E-bike-specific Garmin Varia mounts either on a standard seatpost mount or directly to your rack/pannier mount for sturdy operation. 

Garmin Varia eRTL615 — Key Features 

Garmin-Varia-eRTL615-side-
  • Offers visual and audible notifications can warn of vehicles approaching from behind—up to 150 yards away.
  • Tail light that is visible up to a mile away in daylight conditions and a light-flash pattern that changes when an approaching vehicle is detected.
  • Works with Garmin, Wahoo, Bryton, and Garmin Varia app via cell-phone
  • Adjustable light modes: Four tail light modes—solid, peloton, night flash, and day flash – offer more visibility to drivers in various conditions.
  • Available now at Garmin.com or your local bike shop
  • Price: $299.99

We have a Varia eRTL615 radar unit coming in for review, so be on the lookout for more details and compatibility. 

For more information, check out Garmin.com.

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Collin S
Collin S
1 year ago

I’m a huge fan of Varia’s but the pricing seems weird. A RLT515 goes for $150 (although looks like the MSRP is $200). What features does this have that makes it cost $300. A wire loom costs $100?

BikeHoarder6
BikeHoarder6
1 year ago

So, why not pair this radar technology with a rearward camera?
If you get still get hit by a vehicle even after knowing one was approaching, what use is the radar alone? Add a camera and you might get my $300.

Sam
Sam
1 year ago
Reply to  BikeHoarder6

How about $375?

B2theP
B2theP
1 year ago
Reply to  BikeHoarder6

Varia RCT715 $400. On sale right now for $350

Rider
Rider
1 year ago
Reply to  BikeHoarder6

For now, it is just an e-bike version of an old device, intentionally made as simple as possible – and considering battery consumption. the lack of a camera makes sense. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this came along in a new version. Garmin are pretty smart at trickling new functionalities gradually, once the initial excitement with the completely new product wears off.

satanas
satanas
1 year ago

“…longer than imaginable battery life.” Yeah, but only if you don’t use the battery to run the motor – otherwise motor endurance will quit way faster than the Varia.

Rider
Rider
1 year ago
Reply to  satanas

If the battery is too low to actually power the motor, most probably it will still be enough to power the radar with its tiny consumption. That’s just a guess, though.

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