Garmin's New Bike Light Looks Farther Ahead the Faster You Ride

Illustration for article titled Garmins New Bike Light Looks Farther Ahead the Faster You Ride

As part of its new Varia line of smart cycling devices, Garmin just introduced a couple of lightning options that promise to make it safer for cyclists riding at night. And not only when it comes to visibility but also because they help riders keep their eyes glued on the road.

When connected to one of Garmin’s bike-centric Edge GPS devices, the Varia headlight will use the cyclist’s speed to automatically adjust the throw of light. When they’re riding slower, it casts a wider glow to illuminate more of what’s around them, and when they’re riding faster, it will shine farther ahead to make approaching obstacles more visible.

There’s also a smart tail light in the Varia line that uses the bike’s speed data to automatically adjust the intensity of its flashing LEDs. As a cyclist slows down, it gets brighter and more intense so approaching traffic knows to be more cautious. A pair of them can actually work as turn signals with an optional handlebar-mounted remote, and when connected to a GPS device, both the head lights and the tail lights will automatically adjust their intensity based on the ambient lighting conditions to help prolong battery life.


If you want to jump in with both feet, the Garmin Varia head light, tail light, and remote control will cost you $300 for the bundle. But separately the head light is a cool $200 while the tail light is $70 on top of that. Pricey, but if it means you avoid becoming roadkill, the investment just might be worth it.

[Garmin via Engadget]

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Don’t quite understand the logic of making tail lights dimmer when you go slower. Also for this kind of money you can buy some very very nice lighting kits that are 10x brighter and will run for much much longer. If you’re urban riding it’s one more thing to have to take off the bike because $300 is a lot to have some junkie run off with. I just fail to see the value here.