Use of Safety Cameras on Bikes

Are those battery life figures based on continuous camera recording? If so, how much extra life do you get if it’s set to only record when it detects a car? (I realise it would depend on how many cats you encounter but would be interested in example figures.)


Those battery life is based on camera recording only when radar detects a car.
Most of my rides are away from the suburbs, ie not high volume traffic, therefore pointless to have it recording in a loop, that’s my thinking anyway.

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I’ve been super tempted to buy a Varia, after all the praise people give it, but I just can’t figure out what the actionable use is of it.

If it’s beeping a car is coming, what do you different? I already ride about 6 inches to a foot from the white line at most. I just can’t figure out what it would make me do that I don’t already.

What I do differently… if I know there’s something coming - I won’t go for the drink bottle just yet. I won’t choose to go right around the next pothole ahead (I’m in AU, we ride on the left). I might give a head check to see what’s coming… if it’s a car/truck/bus that’s stepped out and given me a ton of room, I’ll give them a wave. If I’m on a single lane gravel road I’ll assess the room and maybe jump off the road to let the car/truck/thing pass. Sure I can ‘claim the lane’ and be a total arsehole about it… but I get a LOT more respect on the road being courteous and acknowledging passing traffic.

It really depends on where you’re riding, the traffic, the road surface etc. The usefulness on gravel has been more than I expected too. Gravel is loud. I don’t expect vehicles… and can go for hours without seeing any… but on the rare occasion someone creeps up on me, the radar will beep well before I hear them.


So many reasons, but here are a few scenarios:

  • Knowing when have to pay attention, i. e. I won’t drink, play with my Wahoo or try to grab something to eat.
  • Electric cars have become very quiet on the road and are much harder to hear.
  • If two or sometimes three cars come in close succession, not keeping proper distance, my Varia will correctly show me the number of cars and how they are spaced. But if I relied on my ears only, I’d typically only hear one car.
  • It works in fog whereas eyes do not.
  • On quiet roads where you don’t expect cars, it is really helpful if you are warned that there is traffic against all odds.

I was in a Zwift ride a few years back when one of the riders died. Very sad.

Fair point. You might see if somebody local will lend you one for a group ride.

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From an old thread

Having a radar is a no brainer. The mirror helps a lot too.


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The high-speed warning is also very helpful, sometimes the speed differential is huge (some of the crazies do 100 km/h on very narrow, windy country roads), so you have very little time to react.


All of this, plus with wind noise I get the notification before I hear even a combustion vehicle, never mind an electric vehicle.

I’d actually also say, it’s a very good rear light on it’s own!


Thanks for that Shane, appreciate the thoughts. The out in the middle of nowhere part is one area I can get my head around some as you can be lulled to sleep out there.

Thanks for chiming in. Most of that just doesn’t do much for me, I’m typically riding in traffic constantly on my routes, so I am always eating, drinking or doing something or other next to a car or three. You have to just ignore cars or you would never do anything. I don’t really listen for cars to start with, they are always there so not much point. I have ear buds in set to a volume that I can hear honks, loud talking, whistles etc… but not an approaching car.

The fog bit is interesting though for sure.

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That’s a good point, my experience is the same: I noticed that my Varia warns me way earlier than I hear most cars.

Besides all of the above, the Varia’s light pattern changes when it detects an approaching vehicle. That, in itself, helps make you more noticeable. If the driver isn’t paying attention, they are more likely to when they see something changing in their peripheral vision.

In my experience, I get far fewer close passes when using the Varia vs. not using it.


Blockquote I’m typically riding in traffic constantly on my routes, so I am always eating, drinking or doing something or other next to a car or three.

Radars aren’t really useful in constant traffic - I sometimes mute mine when riding in certain areas for that reason. I think most riders actively seek out routes without traffic, meaning radar can be beneficial for most people. If you always ride in regular traffic I agree it won’t be very useful, but that doesn’t sound like a very fun place to ride!


It’s not too bad, it’s pretty much the main cycle route in the whole city, right down at the beach here. 35 mph speed limit too. Typically though most high traffic areas definitely suck!

As a few have already mentioned, one of things I really like about the Varia is that it’s a really good light. It has a good flash, and when it senses traffic then it starts pulsing much faster to try and attract the driver(s) attention.

I like the radar part for letting me know if there’s one car about to pass me, or several, so I’ll know not to look over my shoulder after the first car.

Every little bit of information helps :sunglasses:


I bought the varia because it had a good battery for a rear light. Kept it for the radar. I have the beep disabled, but knowing what is going on behind is one glance away.

I too like that it pulses more whan there is a car coming.


My Edge 1030’s sound doesn’t work 99.9% of the time. I also like

I’ve used my 130+ which has sound occasionally but I prefer being able to monitor things in colour on the larger screen of the 1030.

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In fairness though, the car will hardly slow down in the impact. It’s not like all of those joules get transferred to you :grin:

Cycliq have now brought out a new rear light / camera:

Looks like a chunky beast - about double the weight of the previous version, and so about the same as the Garmin. Battery capacity much higher than previously though, which probably largely explains it. Specs are impressive, with 4k video, image stabilisation, little OLED screen for info, claimed easy viewing and transfer to app via WiFi.

Would be interested in a review (@GPLama ?) , but given Cycliq’s reputation I’m not tempted to be first! I’d much rather have similar specs on a V2 Garmin with radar…