Home > Clothing-Gear-Tools

Garmin works to perfect the connected bike w/ Varia Smart Headlight, Tail Light, Turn Signals, more

10
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

garmin varia vision light turn signal brake light-5

Connected. That’s a word we’ve been hearing a lot of lately. Essentially in many cases it seems to be a fancy word for a wireless way for your devices to work with each other. But having connected devices like lights allows for interesting potential that Garmin looks to be exploiting. Until bicycles all have their own built in lighting systems, we’re on our own to hang lights on our rides. The more lights – head lights, tail lights, etc., the more visible you’ll be. Though that also means there is a lot more to make sure you have turned on before you head out to ride.

By adding the new Garmin Varia smart head light to the mix, Garmin has created nearly a full lighting system that not only will keep you visible, but will communicate with your GPS for some interesting features…

garmin varia vision light turn signal brake light-6

Even on its own, the Garmin Varia head light is interesting. Sold with a double sided out front mount that allows you to mount the light underneath your Garmin, it’s a clean way of adding 600 lumens to the front of your bike. But the real magic starts when you connect the light with an Edge 1000 or Edge Explore 1000. Based on GPS data the light will automatically turn on or off when you start or stop riding (you can control it manually as well), and it also gets brighter as it gets darker and vice versa. More interestingly though, the beam pattern actually changes based on speed. Slow speeds cause the light to focus on the ground immediately in front of you, while increasing speed causes the light to project farther forward.

garmin varia vision light turn signal brake light-4

Pair it with the Varia Smart Tail Light and/or Varia Rear Radar and it will cause brake lights to be activated and even turn signals to activate based on GPS tracks or manual controls on the Edge. When everything works as intended, powering up your Edge 1000 is all that’s needed to turn on all the lights meaning all you have to do is go for a ride. Adding a Varia smart head light to your bike will set you back $199 with the mount and it can be used on its own without the tail lights or Varia Radar. All of the devices are rechargeable via micro USB.

garmin varia vision light turn signal brake light-2 garmin varia vision light turn signal brake light-3

Already announced, this was the first time we’ve been able to check out the Garmin Varia Vision. A companion to the Varia Radar the Vision attaches to any pair of sunglasses to give you a heads up display of the information that is typically relayed to the compatible head units. Fairly light, the 29.7g device is micro USB rechargeable, ANT+ compatible, can be mounted on either side of the glasses, and is adjustable to place the display where you would like it to a degree. Like other sunglass displays the Sight places a small rectangle of information out of the line of sight that can be seen with a glance to the side. The only real drawback seems to be the $399 price tag which doesn’t include the $199 Varia Rearview Radar.

Now with the addition of the new lights, your Garmin Edge 1000 can control your Virb XE camera, Vector 2 power meter, display info from your Di2 drivetrain, speed sensors, cadence sensors, heart rate monitors, all while controlled from your Edge remote or Garmin Connect mobile app. That’s a lot of connectivity.

garmin.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Collin
Collin
6 years ago

A lot of these new garmin products seam like solutions looking for problems (or full wallets). Before making some fancy (but pretty ugly) light and radar, why not make a GPS unit that doesn’t randomly loose ride files, shuts off mid rides, or deletes all profiles on random firmwares. How many people have seen #garminfail on a their strava field. I had 3 different people have a ride called that in a week. The best when researching one of my problems was coming across a guy saying he was in a group ride, and at the very same time several people in his group had their garmin 800’s shut off.

Allan
Allan
6 years ago
Reply to  Collin

Totally agree about the quality of Garmin products. Their “trail” products are even worse, and their software is extremely frustrating and not user friendly at all. They kind of have the market cornered, so we don’t have much choice, but I’m not happy with them at all. Speaking of lost files, I just lost one yesterday, so this is a fresh wound for me!

Old Man Rivers
Old Man Rivers
6 years ago

Ugh too much techy stuff. Just unplug and ride.

caliente
caliente
6 years ago

Just give me a headlight and a tail light with a good usb rechargable battery, waterproof-ness, good brightness to see in dark conditions, easy on-off-the-bike, and won’t take up too much handlebar/seatpost space.

It astounds me that there are so many TERRIBLE bike lights in our world.

myke2241
myke2241
6 years ago
Reply to  caliente

Lupine has a light for you!

John
John
6 years ago

Dear Garmin: Connect that ANT+ radar with a rear-facing ANT+ camera to automatically capture fast approaching vehicle traffic. You’re welcome.

Antonio Bošković
6 years ago

thats a lot of extra weight on a bike, no thx

Jörg Löhken
6 years ago

Nice idea, in principle. It is all the “Garmin this” and “Garmin that” that has me worried. Because if I need a Garmin Edge 1000 to run the whole shebang (instead of my Android phone), I’m outta here. I was nicely surprised hearing about the Varia Vision, since it lets me choose my own sunglasses, as opposed to the Recon Jet, for example. Replacing one loss of choice with another one would hardly be much progress.
So, thus far I will keep an open mind and check how far it will fit my existing system. Having the Gear watches only work with Galaxy phones did not do much good for Samsung and making a walled garden out of all the Garmin devices likely will keep them in the niche until somebody else comes around to give everybody the choice they want. For my part, my Fenix head lights shine right where I am watching, thank you, no fancy GPS guess-focusing necessary.

Ryan
Ryan
6 years ago

As Specialized would tell you, “Innovate or Die”. The cycling industry needs to continue to move forward with their technology. Whether this is a good idea or a poor one, it’s something we haven’t seen yet. Just imagine what people will come up with because of this idea…

James
James
6 years ago

Turn signals on the seat stays garmin- really? And why does it all (minus the headlight) look so cheesy and Taiwan style? Go on amazon and get yourself a nice set of turn signals for $10. While you are at it- get a handlebar mounted AM radio! And if you need everything to be connected, then perhaps you are missing the beauty and simplicity of just riding your bike? Hearing all of the problems with Garmin, I am happy to stay with my Bryton GPS- works great and the price can’t be beat.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.