What Third Party Bike Tracking Apps are Compatible with Garmin Varia Radar?

Cadence and Ride with GPS are the only third party apps on the market that are compatible with the Garmin Varia radar, allowing cyclists to see approaching vehicles live while riding.

Update March 21, 2024: Cadence is now the first third-party app to also support the Bryton Gardia R300 radar. It works just like the Garmin Varia as described on this page.

Many bike computers such as Garmin, Wahoo, Edge, and Karoo integrate with the Varia tech as well, but if you prefer the simplicity of an app on your phone, then you really only have those two options. 

If you’re an avid cyclist who wants to prioritize your safety, but also wants to track your rides and be able to see real-time statistics for your activity, Cadence is the right choice for you! While Garmin has a first party app that will show you your Garmin Varia’s radar data, it can’t track your workout like Cadence can. 

Let’s dive in deeper and discuss how the Garmin Varia can keep you safe and how it integrates with the Cadence app. 

Prioritize Your Safety With the Garmin Varia Radar

With the Garmin Varia you can see and be seen! The Varia is a taillight that allows you to be seen by cars and other approaching vehicles from up to a mile away. Even more exciting, the Varia shows you oncoming traffic (up to 8 vehicles) from up to 153 yards away. 

While it’s a vehicle’s responsibility to avoid you, accidents happen and you can never be too safe. Too many accidents are caused by cyclists not being seen or by plain old irresponsible driving. With the Varia, you can be seen; and if for whatever reason a car doesn’t see you, you can now easily stay aware of the car’s presence as well. 

How Garmin Varia Radar Works With Cadence

To make sure your rides are safe and fun, Cadence integrates with the Garmin Varia RVR 315 and the RTL 515. Once you’ve secured the Garmin Varia on your bike, just connect it to the Cadence app through Bluetooth. Now, you’ll be able to see how many vehicles are approaching and how fast they’re approaching.

What You’ll See

Seeing oncoming traffic is one thing, but being able to see both oncoming traffic and how your workout is going at the same time is an added bonus. Cadence guarantees that you’ll get that added bonus and see both! 

Screenshot of Cadence with Garmin Varia radar showing no vehicles
All clear!
Screenshot of Cadence with Garmin Varia radar showing seven vehicles approaching at a moderate speed
Caution, several vehicles are approaching at a moderate speed
Screenshot of Cadence with Garmin Varia radar showing multiple vehicles approaching at high speed
Warning, high speed vehicles are approaching!

When you start tracking your workout, you’ll see the customized stats screen layout you’ve chosen for yourself. On the left side, you’ll see a thin sidebar and that sidebar is where you will see oncoming traffic. A solid green bar means you’re in the clear and no vehicles are approaching. An orange bar means that one or more vehicles are approaching at a moderate speed (you will see a little car moving in the sidebar so you can visualize how close the vehicle is). A red bar means watch out because one or more vehicles are coming up on you and they’re coming in hot!

What You’ll Hear

Garmin Varia Settings in Cadence

To increase safety and awareness, turn on audio cues and Cadence will alert you via audio signals of oncoming traffic. This way, if you’re deeply focused on your ride and not looking at your mounted phone, you’ll still be able to stay aware of your surroundings. 

Get Started and Choose Safety Today

So, what do you do to get started now that you’re ready to focus on your safety? Here are some steps to take if you’re wanting the peace of mind that comes with having this technology on your rides:

Cadence is free to download and easy to use. You can customize your stats tracking screen and choose from over 100 different stats to get the most out of your ride. Join the Cadence community today and download Cadence from the App Store or Google Play store.

Note: various product links may be affiliate links, so if you purchase through them, I’d make a small commission.

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