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Garmin Intros New Cycling Radar With Integrated Camera

Sort of a dash cam for bikes, the Varia RCT175 continually captures rearview video while the radar shows you cars approaching.

Garmin Varia RCT715
The Garmin Varia RCT175 is available now for $400.
Garmin

For a lot of bikers there's always some concern about a car hitting you from behind. That's where Garmin's rearview radars come into play, warning you that cars are approaching. Now Garmin is adding a video element to the equation with its new Varia RCT715 ($400), which has both a built-in taillight as well as a camera with 1080p capture capabilities.

The RCT715 is the third model in Garmin's Varia line of cycling radars, which includes two models we reviewed a couple of years ago: The taillight-equipped RTL515 ($200) and the radar-only RVR315 ($150) for those who already own a taillight. 

All the rearview radar models are designed to be paired and send visual information to Garmin's Edge cycling computers (and other bike computers from companies like Wahoo), Garmin's smartwatches and smartphones using the Varia app for iOS or Android. Meanwhile, Garmin says the built-in camera on the RCT715 continuously records your surroundings and "provides video evidence of an incident," should you ever need it.

No, the RCT715 isn't cheap at $400, but it should give you some additional peace of mind while riding and hopefully we'll see some discounts on it that bring its price down a bit. 

Varia RCT715's key specs, per Garmin

  • Built-in camera captures footage at up to 1080p/30 fps during a ride
  • If an incident is detected, video footage from before, during and after the event will automatically be saved.
  • Easily access video footage, transfer videos or customize camera settings, such as data overlays from the Varia app.
  • Visual and audible notifications warn of vehicles approaching from behind, up to 153 yards away.
  • The taillight can be seen up to a mile away, which can make it easier for drivers to see a cyclist before the radar sees the vehicle.
  • Compatible with a Garmin Edge cycling computers, Garmin smartwatches or the Varia smart device app.
  • Battery life: Up to 4 hours of battery life with radar and taillight on solid high or night flash and up to 6 hours with radar and taillight on day flash -- all with the camera continuously recording at 1080p.
  • Price: $400