Interbike 2015 – Garmin Varia Radar and Varia Lights, Edge Explore 1000 and Edge 520 Computers

by Brian Mullin on October 27, 2015

Varia Rearview Bike Radar

Garmin has some new Edge computers coming out this year, including the Edge 520 with Strava Live Segments integration and the Edge Explore 1000 with incident detection capabilities. The Varia is what Garmin calls their smart cycling devices, and it includes the rearview bike radar and smart bike lights, both which help create a safer riding environment.

Varia Rearview Bike Radar

 

The Varia rearview bike radar includes the radar tail light transmitter and a radar display unit, and the system can detect vehicles 140 meters away. The radar warns the bike rider of approaching vehicles on the default display unit or a compatible Edge computer, and it also warns the vehicles that there is a bicyclist up ahead using the integrated rear light. The display interface has a bar LED that shows the vehicle’s distance from the rider, with the bottom being the farthest point out and the top is the rider’s position. The radar display unit and compatible Edge computers (Edge 1000, 520, & 25) can show up to eight vehicles as they approach, indicating increasing risk with a change in color on an LED interface or using an overlay of the current data screen on an Edge device. The rear lights automatically adjust to changing conditions as well as the speed of the cyclist and the radar and lights work independently, or seamlessly integrate with each other. When a vehicle gets closer, the number of lit LED’s on the rear goes from the default two up to eight along with increased brightness.

The Varia radar tail light is available for $199.99, or $299.99 bundled with the radar display unit.


Varia Smart Bike Lights
 

Varia Smart Bike Lights

 

The Varia Smart Bike Light system consists of a 600-lumen headlight and a 22-lumen tail light. The system uses the GPS data from a compatible Edge bike computer (Edge 1000 & 520) and the headlight automatically projects further ahead at faster speeds during a ride and closer as the bikes speed decreases, lighting the road where it’s needed the most. The beam pattern is focused forward instead of all around and includes a high-beam cut-off feature to prevent blinding oncoming vehicles. The tail light can operate in two modes, either a solid or flashing, and using the GPS information it increases intensity when the bike decelerates to warn vehicular traffic. You can also add a second tail light and utilize the pair as turn signals. Everything can be controlled using a compatible Edge or the Varia remote, allowing the rider to switch turn signals, control patterns, intensity and on/off function of the lights. When used with the Edge computers the lights can adjust their brightness based on ambient light conditions.

The Varia smart bike lights are available as a bundle including the Varia remote for $299.99, or separately for $199.99 (headlight) and $69.99 (tail light).

Edge 520

 

Edge 520

The Edge 520 has most of the features of the top of the line Edge 1000, but it’s the first GPS bike computer with Strava Live Segments integration, which happened via a strategic relationship with Strava. With Strava Live Segments, users can upload segments directly from Strava to their Edge 520 to receive instantaneous data, compete for King of the Mountain or Queen of the Mountain titles, and improve their personal bests. “The Edge 520 boasts a myriad of advanced analysis features including time in zone, functional threshold power, cycling-specific VO2 max and recovery time1, indoor trainer support, cycling dynamics and in-ride segments through Strava and Garmin Connect.”

The Edge 520 uses a high-resolution 2.3″ color display, has a 15-hour battery life and can connect to GPS and GLONASS satellites. It integrates with compatible Shimano Di2 electronic shifting systems and ANT+ sensors, Varia lights and radar systems, remotes and VIRB POV camera.

The Edge 520 has a suggested retail price of $299.99 and $399.99 bundled with a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor, and speed sensor.

Edge Explore 1000

 

Edge Explore 1000

 

The easy to use Edge Explore 1000 is ideal for touring and adventure and comes preloaded with Garmin Cycle Map with routable road and bike paths, elevation data, points of interest and address search. You can use the round-trip course feature and by entering how far the rider wants to go, and a starting direction the Edge Explore 1000 will calculate up to three-course options. The Edge Explore 1000 is the first Garmin device to offer incident detection capabilities via an integrated accelerometer, the Edge Explore 1000 can manually or automatically send a cyclist’s location to emergency contacts in the event of an accident.

The Edge Explore 1000 uses a high-resolution 3″ capacitive touch display that auto adjust for low-light conditions, has a 15-hour battery life and can connect to GPS and GLONASS satellites. It integrates with compatible Shimano Di2 electronic shifting systems and ANT+ sensors, Varia lights and radar systems, remotes and VIRB POV camera. When paired with a Bluetooth device and the Garmin Connect Mobile app, the Edge Explore 1000 offers live tracking, incoming call and text alerts, and social media sharing, weather, wireless uploads and sending/receiving courses.

The Edge Explore 1000 has a suggested retail price of $449.99.

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