Author Topic: Garmin radar thingy  (Read 492 times)

Garmin radar thingy
« on: July 17, 2020, 10:05:03 pm »
What’s the consensus on these things? Useful or just another gadget? Having cycled successfully for over 45 years, I’m can’t see the need but have come across plenty of cyclists who rave about it.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2020, 10:06:33 pm »
I’m a raver. Thought it was great on solo DIYs. Something to do innit?

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Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2020, 10:48:57 pm »
Evans had them on offer for £100 recently so I bit, mainly due to DC Rainmaker's endorsement.  Been used on a few rides, long and short .

Thoughts - it's not a must-have by any means, but it's generally fun and quite useful, especially on narrow country roads if (as I do sometimes) you are using headphones.  I'm using it with a Wahoo Bolt which works very well.  You get a loud bleep to tell you a vehicle(s) approaching along with the display on the left side of the screen, and another beep (and green flashing LEDs) to say all clear.

It doesn't replace shoulder checks but it helps with general awareness of what's going on behind.  The light is bright too!  6 hours on solid or pulse and 15 on flash sounds about right.

Probably not useful on urban rides as you'll just get constant alerts which could be irritating.

Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2020, 09:00:23 am »
Well, it is my birthday soon.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 09:04:24 am »
For £100 how many mirrors could you buy (bar-end, stalk mounted, downtube &c.)? You could go for the Quadrophenia look  ;D

Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2020, 10:07:09 am »
I would like to find a way of properly fixing it to my Carradice support or the bag itself. At the moment it’s only 100% perfect on the seat post.

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Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2020, 10:08:20 am »
After n+x years of cycling I think I've developed my own instinctive radar, including high sensitivity to the sound of what's behind me and its position and behaviour. Aided by mirrors on all my bikes as angular range of neck movement diminishes.


  • Timelord
Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2020, 12:41:02 pm »
OOI, does it detect stealth roadies sneaking up behind you while you're daydreaming in order to get in front at the top of the hill?  That would be useful.  I don't need a gadget to tell me there's a car.  It's the Wet Midlands, there's always a car.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2020, 02:10:28 pm »
I've got one, one of the new RTL515 models with both the light and radar. I've had it the grand total of 48hrs and one ride only so not exactly a lot to report, but here goes:-

1.  Garmin assume you're going to mount the light/radar on your seat post and provide several types of inserts for different types of post, however seat post space can get crowded and if you're like me and use a rack & rack bag or maybe you use a proper saddlebag or even a wedge bag, space back there can get pretty crowded. My solution was to buy a small bracket / uplift kit that raises the light to just underneath the top of the seat. This give the radar bit a clear view and the light bit a nice and visible spot.

2.   Switching on / off etc, dead easy and not too many choices.
3.   Pairing to my Edge 530, dead easy and not too many choices.

4.  In use, as I said this is based on one ride only (which was with a group of five other riders), yep it works just like it says on the tin. You get an audible bleep when the radar detects a car and a yellow warning band down the side of the GPS unit with a white dot to represent the car (or cars & dots as appropriate), those dots move up the screen as they approach you and that band changes to red for the last bit. Look on the internet if you want a full review, but it does work, it does give you a good sitrep, but it doesn't replace a look over the shoulder.

5.  As a rear light, bloody good, or so the guys behind told me.

6.  Downside, I did, I think, get a couple of false warnings, but that was only when I was taking my turn at the front and both I and the radar was looking back through five people. Maybe that's a few too many bodies and tough to scan through or maybe the car turned off before I looked, dunno, time will tell. 

Overall I'm reasonably impressed, as I said, it doesn't replace a look of the shoulder before you make a manoeuvre and in town the number of warnings would render the unit a complete waste of time, but in my rural environment it seemed to work as advertised.

Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2020, 08:34:58 pm »
I quite like mine.
It's a good wakeup when there's not too much traffic and the wind isn't being helpful with hearing things, and it's useful to know there's more than one of the car you can hear behind.
The light's pretty good too. I'm informed that it gets a bit excited when a fast car approaches.

I've got mine on the rear of the Tubus Cargo rack, using a mount similar to this.
It doesn't seem to mind being horizontal rather than vertical.

It does detect stealth roadies, provided they are going faster than you by a sufficient amount.

Re: Garmin radar thingy
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2020, 09:53:16 am »
Regarding the mount problem - the supplied one works really well on the Cervelo aero seatpost.  However for the other bikes that have racks for rackbags and other restrictions I had to find other solutions.

You can buy saddle mounts much like ones for small saddlebag ones but with Garmin quarter-turn mounts.  These work well if you have enough height clearance.

For the audax bike which has no room for the saddle mount I've constructed a fairly sturdy bodge by bonding the rear casing of an old Smart 1W rear light to a Garmin mount insert with cable ties.  That now fits onto the Smart mounts I have on several rack stays.