Can you PLEASE make the Varia Radars work with other activities than cycling?


I do rollerblading and rollerskiing, and would like to use the Varia for those activities. I've tried mounting on the back of the helmet, and it works, but only in a cycling activity on my Fenix 5. As it stands now, I have to use a cycling activity instead of cross country skiing while rollerskiing for the Varia to work. Why can't it just work with all activities when connected? Obviously it's not gonna be connected if I go out for an activity where I don't need a radar!

It would be good for running on a shared bike/walk path, too, mounted to the back of the shorts for example.

Using it when rollerskiing is even more useful than cycling, because 1) It takes more space on the road, especially if doing skate technique or inlineskating, 2) It will show cyclists approaching fast when on a bike path, and you can't hear those (road racers seldom have bells, even though they're mandatory here in Norway) and 3) It's harder to constantly look back when rollerskiing than cycling (my personal experience).

  • Just a question: if the F5 etc. is on your wrist and your arms are always moving, how will you recognize that there is something coming behind you in a normal loud surroundings? Via vibration? Always take a look on your wrist? Is the triggering good to feel?

    Basically a good idea (for a different use of the Varia radar).
  • On a bike path in relatively silent surroundings, and on the road if there are the occasional passing car, I would hear the beep. Also, if more traffic, when I hear a car approaching from behind, it would be useful to take a glance on the watch to see if it's only one car or several cars approaching. That's actually one of the things I like the most about the Varia radar when biking, to see the number of cars coming from behind.

    The Varia Vision is of course an option. Does it operate independently of a watch/head unit? But I still think it would be very easy for Garmin to just open up for using the Varia with any activity, and I can't see any downsides to it...
  • I own the Varia Vision and radar combo and I use them together with the Fenix 5 plus when bicycling.
    The Varia Vision is basically an external display. In addition to showing a number of datafields, varia vision displays approaching vehicles the same way it is displayed on a watch or edge device (along the left or right side of display.)

    (You don't actually need a watch or edge device for this to work too. Vision then show the data very much like the radar screen unit, if you bought a bundle.)

    I have not tested this setup with other activity types than bicycling, but I will test it over the weekend.

    I recomment the Varia Vision for satefy reasons. It shows almost everything you need, except maps.
  • I tried the varia radar with the Ski XC activity app. (The radar unit showed as connected in the settings menu.)
    No vehicle indicator shown on any of the data screens on the watch.

    I then connected the Varia vision, and it showed the vehicle indicator (as shown in the picture in my previous post).
    But what I then experienced was that the radar unit kept disconnecting all the time.

    Close but now cigar. Who should have the honours and report it to Garmin?
  • I found the activity files on the watch under Garmin/sports/…..I cant read it but it looks like a simple manipulation of the runningrun file adding the radar bit from the cyclingbike file would do it. The coding seems simple but I cant read it....any programmer out there want to give it a shot?
  • This is something I would be interested in and TBH is stopping me buying the unit without this feature (plus another one - audio prompts through headset)...
    I would love to use the Varia radar for cycling (it might be overkill, but would mean I am using a cycliq fly6CE and the radar on the back.. but don't mind that in the slightest).. but I think the activity I would get most use out of is running.
    Using the radar to indicate approaching cyclist on the paths I run on (I am one of those people who run with music.. sorry).. but that would only work with audio prompts also enabled that come through my paired headset (either via connect app or direct connection with Fenix 5+).. and the radar will also be a safety light.. daytime lights are also useful for runners

  • Hi again, 

    After a local shop dropped the price of the Varia Vision by 100€ (to €200) I took the plunge and bought one. I've now tested it running the XC skiing activity on the watch, and here it worked flawlessly. I didn't get any radar dots on the watch, but got both the data fields from the watch and the radar dots (and vibrating notification) on the Varia Vision. I have a Fenix 5 running FW 13.30. No problems with anything disconnecting (short ride of about 20 minutes).

  • I agree. I can imagine it being useful for running.