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Trek CarBack Radar Rear Bike Light


nathrix

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One of the comments:

"Trek reinvented the Garmin Varia several years later. Now add an HD camera that records when it is triggered."

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don't bother

I'm usually more of a garmin hater, but I must say I eventually gave in and bought myself a varia (got a bit frightened by the rising amount of accidents recently and figured my life was probably worth the price tag), and even yesterday it the thickest fog I've ridden it, it was still seeing the cars from pretty far. And I've noticed a lot less close overtakes since I have mine, must have been riding with it for 2 weeks now, only had 1 car passing me close when I used to have that expenrience on the daily before. I charged it twice, including yesterday when the wahoo was still saying "Battery : Good" just to make sure.

Only problems I had with it was yesterday it disconnected twice for a couple of seconds (also why I decided to charge it, just in case), and also took me a while to figure out that the "auto light" setting I set on "5 secs" on the Wahoo was the reason why it was turning off when there was no cars behind. Once you figure out how to control it from your Wahoo, then you can really optimise battery life (for exemple on Gravel during the day I only set it to blink when a car is coming, the rest of the time it's off). Also pretty cool that it turns on and off on it's own on the start and end of a ride. 

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57 minutes ago, Dexter-morgan said:

Garmin's latest Varia also records video.

 

But the battery life is way too short to be of any practical use, on the video model

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7 hours ago, splat said:

Any idea on price and and availability here in SA?

To answer my own question: Not going to be here for a while. It needs to clear all sorts of hurdles with electronics and frequencies and permissions and red tape and admin.

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5 hours ago, splat said:

Its also a MASSIVE lump of equipment

You going to have to define massive...or is that supposed to be in italics?

Oh wait...you mean the Trek unit! Yes a bit bulky!

Edited by capediver
Derp
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11 hours ago, ChrisF said:

 

But the battery life is way too short to be of any practical use, on the video model

The battery life is a bit of an issue (about 6hrs if you have it on Daylight flashing) but not impractical and it can be hooked up to an external battery for longer rides...the pain is in the Varia app to read video files...just better to remove the SD card and check on a computer!

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13 hours ago, capediver said:

You going to have to define massive...or is that supposed to be in italics?

Oh wait...you mean the Trek unit! Yes a bit bulky!

I think that the 715 is chunky compared to the 515 (150 vs 70g)
Not that the weight is an issue, its just twice the size.
Perhaps, once its on your bike, you don't notice.
But I have a mate who had one on a mount below the saddle, and it looked massive.

In comparison, the Trek CarBack unit is 90g
Its shorter, but wider and fatter than the 515.

What I like about the Garmin units is that they 'panic' flash when a car is getting closer. Not sure if the Trek unit changes its flash pattern.

Garmin Varia™ RCT715 Rearview Radar, Camera and Tail Light - Picture 3 of 5Garmin Varia RTL515 Bike Radar Tail Light - Picture 2 of 3

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4 hours ago, splat said:

I think that the 715 is chunky compared to the 515 (150 vs 70g)
Not that the weight is an issue, its just twice the size.
Perhaps, once its on your bike, you don't notice.
But I have a mate who had one on a mount below the saddle, and it looked massive.

In comparison, the Trek CarBack unit is 90g
Its shorter, but wider and fatter than the 515.

What I like about the Garmin units is that they 'panic' flash when a car is getting closer. Not sure if the Trek unit changes its flash pattern.

Garmin Varia™ RCT715 Rearview Radar, Camera and Tail Light - Picture 3 of 5Garmin Varia RTL515 Bike Radar Tail Light - Picture 2 of 3

the 715 is slightly thicker that the 515...bigger battery to drive camera..but nothing out of the ordinary, fixed to your seat stem, its no more an issue than most other rear lights except those tiny button type which aren't very bright...the Varias are BRIGHT as F!! Also the 715 has a better more sturdy clamp adapted from their Camera VIRB camera mounting system, a whole more better that the 515 and its 1/4 urn Garmin style mount.

The functions of the Trek unit looks almost the same as the Garmin...reports do say its detection range is a bit of an issue...much shorter but it does have some sort of AI to determine lane position, something Garmin lacks...it just detects anything inside its signal arc and you can't tell if the vehicle is 4 lanes out or in your lane...they need to work on that! Otherwise, these types of "gadgets" are really useful...

HOWEVER...as I always remind others, NEVER let it replace a quick eyeball behind you if you intend turning or deviating from your line....

Edited by capediver
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For those curious on size, Varia RTL515 vs Trek CarBack Radar (via Reddit).
Pity the mounts aren't the same in the photo (both seatpost)

The Trek one seems very chunky indeed!

r/TrekBikes - For those curious on size, Varia RTL515 vs Trek CarBack Radar.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi guys

 

I need your help on this. My son just got his first road bike. He is straining for half iron man, also doesn't help him and me watching Giro each day Duuuh....I am rather petrified about him training on the roads, that's the beauty with mountain biking, but lets not get side tracked here.

I feel its safer to have one of these rear lite radar things. He only has a Huawei GT3 watch, no Garmin of any sort, and his trusty samsung s22 phone. So what to do???

My thoughts, of not really knowing Garmin head units, and i dont have bucks to spend big now.

Should i try find a good deal on either the trek or garmin radar. I thought the garmin once came with a small screen that showed different lights, or do you need a garmin unit, or could it pair with his phone, how would he get notifications of cars and so on?

What entry level bike head units / computers are there which can pair with these devices ?

Just want to mention, his GT3 Watch with the app is actually dam impressive, 12 days bat life, shows all the stats you need, he has strava on his phone as well, seems the watch links to that just fine.

He has no power meters or anything, bike is naked, but i want him to be safe. Maybe someone has second hand, not even sure what i should be looking at.

What do you gents suggest, who is using which one and where do you think we must start with hardware wise?  

 

 

 

Edited by Spafsack
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33 minutes ago, Spafsack said:

Hi guys

 

I need your help on this. My son just got his first road bike. He is straining for half iron man, also doesn't help him and me watching Giro each day Duuuh....I am rather petrified about him training on the roads, that's the beauty with mountain biking, but lets not get side tracked here.

I feel its safer to have one of these rear lite radar things. He only has a Huawei GT3 watch, no Garmin of any sort, and his trusty samsung s22 phone. So what to do???

My thoughts, of not really knowing Garmin head units, and i dont have bucks to spend big now.

Should i try find a good deal on either the trek or garmin radar. I thought the garmin once came with a small screen that showed different lights, or do you need a garmin unit, or could it pair with his phone, how would he get notifications of cars and so on?

What entry level bike head units / computers are there which can pair with these devices ?

Just want to mention, his GT3 Watch with the app is actually dam impressive, 12 days bat life, shows all the stats you need, he has strava on his phone as well, seems the watch links to that just fine.

He has no power meters or anything, bike is naked, but i want him to be safe. Maybe someone has second hand, not even sure what i should be looking at.

What do you gents suggest, who is using which one and where do you think we must start with hardware wise?  

 

 

 

 

The Varia will still track vehicles, and alter its strobe function.

 

Having a bike computer adds a visual representation of how many vehicles are approaching, approximate relative speed, and how far behind you they are.

 

It also adds an anoying beeper function ... promptly switched it off.

 

 

 

On a related note .... many Ironman participants end up using a watch with a serious battery life .... might be worth investigating this while considering a Varia ....

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To simplify things slightly, the Trek light isn't available here yet.

There is a basic version of the Garmin radar without the warning lights. I don't know if it will pair and work with the Huawei watch
https://www.easybike.co.za/garmin-varia-rearview-radar-rvr315.html

But there is a Magene radar with lights like the Garmin version. I don't know what it pairs with though.
https://www.bicyclepower.co.za/products/magene-l508-radar-tail-bike-light-rechargeable

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Hi Chris, shot for the quick reply man. His GT3 Watch does have insane battery life, i have the new one GT4, 2 weeks battery life, and stunning screen, but enough about that, so what do you recon i should do here. Find the Garmin at the best price, then pair with his phone? That phone sits in his cargo pants [ciovita pocket], so doubt that will help much 😕

I guess i must look for a head unit then, the most basic, cheapest? What is the difference between wahoo and garmin? Or could you maount his samsung phone and use that, just scared of theft... 

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