Garmin's new rear-view radars are like eyes in the back of your bike helmet

(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin has launched a pair of new rear-view radars to help cyclists watch out for approaching traffic and take some of the anxiety out of riding on the road.

The Garmin Varia RVR315 and RTL515 (the latter of which includes a tail light) attaches to your seat tube and works together with various popular GPS-enabled cycling apps, overlaying extra info on your phone's screen to help you stay safe. 

Alerts are color-coded so you can see what's happening behind you at a glance: green means the road behind is clear, amber means traffic is approaching, and red means something is coming up at speed, so you can be prepared and ride defensively to keep yourself safe.

You'll also get audio and vibration alerts, so you'll know if something is approaching without taking your eyes off the road.

Bright ideas

The tail light built into the Varia RTL515 doesn't just make you more visible to incoming traffic, letting incoming drivers see you from up to a mile away in daylight, as it's also designed to be friendlier to fellow cyclists. When you're riding in a group, switching to peloton mode tones down the flashing to be easier on your friends' eyes.


(Image credit: Garmin)

The Varia RTL315 has a suggested retail price of £129.99 (about $160 / AU$250), while the Varia RTL515 will set you back £169.99 (roughly $200 / AU$320). That might sound pretty steep (especially considering you'll still need a good quality front light, even with the RTL515), but the extra peace of mind could be worth the cost.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)