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Garmin varia™ RTL 500

ANT+ enabled cycling tail light with radar

Item # 150RTL500

Cycling can require a lot of concentration.

Cycling can require a lot of concentration.

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Discontinued item

Item # 150RTL500

About the Garmin varia™ RTL 500

Stay aware

Cycling can require a lot of concentration. More than once I've been surprised by a car coming up behind me while I've been concentrating on the road ahead. Sure, I've trained myself to look back frequently and listen for traffic, but that isn't always enough. Garmin's varia RTL 500 bike radar adds an entire new dimension to cycling safety. This tail light is the first to have an integrated radar sensor, sending information about oncoming traffic to your compatible Garmin Edge cycling computer.

Stay aware

varia RTL 500

The RTL 500 mounts and dismounts easily from your seatpost.

Cycling can require a lot of concentration. More than once I've been surprised by a car coming up behind me while I've been concentrating on the road ahead. Sure, I've trained myself to look back frequently and listen for traffic, but that isn't always enough. Garmin's varia RTL 500 bike radar adds an entire new dimension to cycling safety. This tail light is the first to have an integrated radar sensor, sending information about oncoming traffic to your compatible Garmin Edge cycling computer.

Note: You'll need a Garmin cycling computer to serve as a display for this tail light. The RTL 500 works with these Garmin models: Edge 1000, Edge Explore 1000 (coming soon), Edge 810, Edge 520, Edge 510, and Edge 25 (limited support).

Information at a glance

When vehicles approach from behind, an overlay display appears on the screen of your computer, changing color from green to red as the vehicle approaches. The RTL 500 can even track multiple cars from up to 150 meters away, displaying the relative position of each with a dot on the display. And with battery life of up to 10 hours, you're set for safety for even your longest rides.

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Product highlights:

  • ANT+ enabled cycling tail light with radar
  • seat-post quarter-turn mount and charging cable included
  • steady and flashing light modes
  • 10-hour battery life in flashing mode
  • compatible with Garmin Edge 1000, Edge 25, Edge 510, Edge 520, Edge 810, Edge 820, Edge Touring
  • dimensions 2.9" x 1.7" x .9"
  • weight 2.2 oz
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # 010-01509-00

What's in the box:

  • Varia RTL 500 (radar tail light)
  • Seat-post tail light mount (with thin and thick rubber collar)
  • Universal tail light mount (with 2 rubber pads and 2 O-rings)
  • USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and Micro USB on other end)
  • Instructions
  • Important Safety and Product Information

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More details on the Garmin varia™ RTL 500

Mark G.

Product Research

Features

Overview: Garmin Varia Rearview Radar is the world's first cycling radar that warns you of vehicles approaching from behind. Because getting hit from behind is the leading cause (40%) of cycling fatalities in the U.S. (according to a study by the League of American Bicyclists), Varia radar helps protect you by giving you an extra set of eyes watching behind you. This package includes the RTL 500 Rear Tail Light radar unit.

Varia Smart Bike Lights: The Varia line of cycling awareness products includes smart tail lights, smart head lights, and dedicated display units. This RTL 500 rear tail light can detect vehicles approaching behind your bike, and wirelessly display the relative speed of approach and threat level on compatible Garmin Edge cycling computers. The RTL 500 also brightens and flashes to notify the approaching vehicle of your presence.

RTL 500: The RTL 500 rear tail light mounts high on the seat post on your bicycle. The RTL 500 uses low power radar to detect up to 8 vehicles approaching from the rear, and alert you through a dedicated Varia Radar Display Unit (RDU) or a compatible Garmin Edge bike computer (such as the Edge 1000 or Edge 520). The radar detects approaching vehicles up to 153 yards (140 meters) away, at speeds between 6 and 99 mph. The radar beam width is 40°, to provide coverage for typical bends in the road. The tail light features eight red LEDs. The four middle LEDs flash at all times. When a vehicle is detected, additional LEDs progressively turn on and the flashing frequency intensifies to alert the approaching vehicle of a cyclist ahead. You can also switch the LEDs to solid mode, if desired. The RTL 500 uses 2.4GHz ANT+ technology and wirelessly links to the RDU or Edge unit. Dimensions of the RTL 500 are: 2.852"W x 1.71"H x 0.913"D. It weighs 2.2 ounces.

Garmin Edge Compatibility: The RTL 500 is compatible with the Garmin Edge 1000 and Edge 520. These Edge units will indicate the detection of a vehicle approaching from behind through a series of LEDs along the right edge of the display. The single Threat Level LED changes color based on the potential level of the threat: green (no vehicle detected), amber (vehicle approaching), or red (vehicle approaching at a high rate of speed). A column of LEDs indicate the position of the approaching vehicle. The lit LEDs move up the column as the vehicles get closer to your bike.

Rechargeable Battery: The Varia RTL 500 is powered by a built-in rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. The battery life is approximately 5 hours in constant illumination mode and up to 8 hours in flash mode. The battery charges in approximately 2 hours via USB, using the included Micro USB cable.

Mounting: The RTL 500 is equipped with two "quarter-turn" mounts, a universal mount and a seat post mount. These are the same type of mounts used by many of the Garmin Edge bicycle computers, and allow you to easily attach or remove the tail light.

Water Rating: The RTL 500 has an IPX7 water rating, making it suitable for use in rain or snow. It can withstand incidental exposure to water, but is not suitable for immersion.

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Customer Q&A

Q
Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?
A
New technology. Looks cool. May keep me safer. [ Dave  Aug 06, 2017 ]
A
Safety [ Mark  Dec 13, 2016 ]
A
Awesome for rural paired with the edge 1000, works great as light and radar is super helpful. In a busy city it may give false readings or the cars would be too many to pick up. Nice piece of technology. [ K  Jun 12, 2016 ]

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