Smart Tech for Your Road Bike – Reviews And Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
Your road bike is your vehicle for a fun Sunday ride around the neighborhood, your route to freedom. It’s for commuting on your bicycle, training at 70 mph on your favorite track, and transporting you about town in style. There are some key pieces of equipment that everyone who rides should have before the peak season in cycling begins.
Smart Tech for Your Road Bicycle
Bicycles have changed a lot since their inception in 1817. In terms of design, abilities, safety norms, and comfort, they’ve come a long way. And with invention comes progress. With so many accessories available to choose from, we’re spoiled for choice. From smart lights to conveniently positioned mirrors, these clever bike add-ons will transform every ride.
Varia Vision Insight Display by Garmin
The innovative, miniature Garmin Varia Vision bike display keeps you comfortable and safe while cycling, no matter the situation. This tiny device easily attaches to your sunglasses frame and transmits information from compatible Garmin devices directly to the sunglasses’ glass. You’ll never have to take your eyes off the road to find your workout targets, look for turns or track approaching cars behind you.
Stay informed of everything in front of and behind you. Throughout your journey, the Varia Vision In-Sight Display displays up to four information fields and various graphical elements with the highest level of detail. Data such as heart rate, power, speed and navigation tips are always in front of you. In addition, the wearable display can perform basic navigational functions, providing navigation cues with street names, directional arrows and distance to a turn.
All important events, such as completing a lap, exiting a training zone or receiving smart notifications are accompanied by a vibration alert. When used in combination with the Varia Rearview Radar, you will gain peace of mind and confidence because you will know in advance if a vehicle is approaching from behind.
View all the important information about your ride while staying focused on the road:
- The miniature and very lightweight wearable velodisplay attaches to the temples of your sunglasses, projecting all important ride information in your line of sight
- Displays sports information and navigation directions from compatible Edge bike navigators
- When used in tandem with the Varia Rearview Radar
- Reports vehicles approaching from behind in advance
- All key information about power, direction, incoming calls and messages is accompanied by a vibration alarm.
- The user-friendly control panel provides comfort when switching data fields and supports glove-operated operation.
- Garmin Varia In-Sight Display
- Innovative technology and lightweight design
The Varia Vision In-Sight Display weighs only 28 grams and therefore hardly feels on the glasses. The integrated light sensor ensures excellent visibility in all conditions. The picture stays clear and well readable even in bright sunlight. The powerful battery lasts up to 8 hours, so you can race even the longest, toughest races. Thanks to its water-resistant design, this compact, high-tech device can handle the vagaries of the weather.
Varia Rearview Radar by Garmin
Cycling becomes smarter and safer with the Varia RTL515 rear view radar. The device provides visual and audio warnings of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140 meters away.An important part of a unified security system. The Varia RTL515 rear view radar is part of a complete bike safety system. It connects to your compatible smartphone, Edge cycling computer, compatible Garmin watch or optional radar display.
The Varia app helps to improve your awareness by providing graphs with vehicle markings in three different colors and vibrating beeps that indicate the position and speed of approaching vehicles.
When used in conjunction with a compatible smartphone, Varia integrates with your favorite apps such as Ride with GPS to overlay maps on top of the radar’s information images. The radar alerts other drivers to your presence on the road with a daylight display that is visible up to 1.6 km away.
Be aware of cars approaching from behind and be visible to drivers on the road, day and night:
- A reliable rearview radar lets you see what’s happening on the road behind you.
- One radar. Multiple display options. Sync it with a compatible Garmin device, your phone, or two devices at the same time.
- The Varia™ app helps you if you use your phone as your primary or backup display.
- Lighting becomes brighter. Daylight visibility allows drivers of approaching cars to see you at a distance of up to one and a half kilometers.
- The radar is very compact, easy to install and compatible with almost any bike.
- Extend the use of your radar with up to 16 hours of battery life in daylight flash mode.
Easily mount the slim, compact Varia RTL515 radar on a pin under the seat of any bike. Its vertical design provides maximum convenience. The Varia RTL515 has several lighting modes, including a “peloton” mode in which the device flashes at a low intensity so as not to disturb other cyclists when you are riding in a group.
Don’t waste precious time charging. Get up to 16 hours of battery life in day flash mode and up to 6 hours in intensive mode.
Edge 1000 by Garmin
No matter what your goals are – to improve your own performance or to take part in competitions with professionals – Garmin Edge 1000 bike navigator will provide everything you need to realize your aspirations. Turn every ride into an exciting race by competing in Garmin Connect segments and viewing your results right on the Edge screen in real time, including start and finish alerts and leaderboards. Garmin Connect segments help keep your motivation high and push you to improve all the time.
Along with sports tasks and smart features, Edge 1000 offers the most advanced navigation functionality and mapping. The pre-loaded Garmin Cycle Map includes Open Street Map content with highways and cycle tracks, elevation data, as well as an extensive POI database and address search capability. Map data is stored directly in the memory of the bike navigator, so access to navigation and sports functions does not depend on cellular coverage. Map updates are provided free of charge.
Bike navigator Edge 1000 mini-siteThe function of calculating a circular route provides the most extensive opportunities for exploring the terrain when moving on roads or off-road. Just enter the required distance and Edge 1000 will calculate up to 3 route options specifically for your bike. Before choosing the most appropriate route, you can view elevation profiles.
The new route planning feature allows you to create routes directly in the Edge bike navigator using the map, POIs and Garmin Connect segments. Again, you can view elevation profiles before you start. If you get off track or decide to end your ride early, Edge will direct you back to your starting point or calculate the most direct return route, providing turn-by-turn directions.
Edge 1000 Bundle – bike navigator for competitions, outdoor activities and navigation:
- Complete with heart rate sensor and bicycle speed / pedal speed sensor
- Participation in competitions in Garmin Connect segments
- Preloaded Garmin Cycle Map with a large database of points of interest, navigation along roads and off-road
- Calculation of up to 3 circular route options
- Instant data upload to Garmin Connect Mobile for detailed analysis and sharing
- Synchronization with smartphone*: incoming calls and text messages**, live tracking, route sending/receiving, social networking, weather
Edge 1000 Bike NavigatorThe Garmin Edge 1000 bike navigator features a 3-inch, high-resolution color touchscreen display. To ensure the best visibility, the display of the bike navigator has a built-in light sensor that adjusts the brightness of the screen according to external conditions.
And unlike smartphones, the Edge display is glove-friendly and works great in the rain. During training, you can select up to 10 data fields and use action profiles to quickly adjust if you change the type of cycling (road, mountain or walking).
Garmin Edge 1000 is compatible with ANT+ sensors, including speed, cadence, heart rate, and is also compatible with ANT+ scales. It is the first Garmin cycling computer equipped with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting system 4, which allows you to display your current gear on the screen.
The Edge 1000 also supports the connection of ANT+ power sensors, including Garmin Vector, Garmin’s unique pedal power sensor that measures total power, left/right pedal balance and cadence. Training based on power data pre-loaded into the Edge 1000 will allow you to calculate your functional threshold power (FTP), which will help you identify power zones for training. In addition, the Edge 1000 provides a training calendar and supports complex workouts that can be created, scheduled and uploaded from Garmin Connect. When paired with a smartphone and the Garmin Connect Mobile app, the Garmin Edge 1000 offers a number of useful connected features, including live tracking, display of incoming calls and text messages, social networking, weather forecasts, wireless Bluetooth data uploads, and route and segment transfers/receives.
Immediately after the end of the trip, data can be automatically transferred to Garmin Connect using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. All these features allow you to stay connected and instantly share your ride with loved ones. And with LiveTrack, your friends and family can watch you race and train in real time. Invite people via email or social media to view your live data on the Garmin Connect tracking page. Once they receive your invitation, they can follow the link to watch your data and location on the map.
P1 Pedals by PowerTap
PowerTap announced not one, but two new power meters–the PowerTap P1 and the chainring based power meter. Unlike their older models, these newcomers aren’t meant to replace the existing line of PowerTap products. Instead, they’re seen as additions that provide more options for consumers (in fact, the hub also received new dual-capable caps). It’s similar to how a car company might produce different models of cars to cater to diverse consumer demands.
Not usually do I get too hyped about a power meter. It’s not because I don’t adore using them; rather, it’s because the majority of new units on the market today function properly and are quite dependable. They can, however, be difficult to install for those without extensive bike-handling experience. For example, my crankset installation abilities are only semi-functional due to power meter installations for reviews. And in general, it takes many attempts before you master it (especially if you have to replace bottom brackets).
Standard pedals are easy to install for anyone–all you need is a hex wrench. Plus, they’re accurate every time without fail. I also appreciate how quickly and easily I can move them from bike to bike as well as their durability. Of course, everyone has different preferences and requirements, so if you’re content with your current pedal/cleat type, then this obviously wouldn’t be beneficial for you.
In The End
The most useful cycling technology is designed to help you improve your riding skills. Whether you’re a road cyclist or mountain biker, the right gadgets can make you faster and smarter, while also providing safety features like emergency alerts and route mapping.