Friday tech roundup: Garmin's camera-equipped Varia, classic De Marchi jerseys, Smith's latest aero lid and some budget sunnies from California

Garmin packs the latest tech into its new tail light while De Marchi celebrates its glorious past - plus more selected tech highlights of the week

Tech round up hero
(Image credit: Future)

Garmin's new radar-equipped tail light now includes a video camera that captures close passes or worse as evidence.

Then we're time travelling with De Marchi's new website back to cycling's golden era - and once you've been there you can buy the jersey.

Meanwhile MAAP's new collection is more of an interpretation than a replica of the 1980s and the 1990s - which might be a good thing depending on your point of view.

Tester and tri types might slice a couple of watts off their CdAs and a good few grams off their wallets with Smith's new $375 Jetstream TT helmet - and it's got double protection too, with Smith's own Koroyd construction and MIPS too.

Lastly, beardy Texans ZZ Top sang about cheap sunglasses. They might have compared them to rhinestone shades but we don't think they jumped out of a plane to test them, which is what California brand Goodr did with its $49 Wrap G glasses.

Let's kick off with the new Garmin Varia - could it be a game changer?

New Garmin Varia tail light includes a video camera as well as radar

Rider using Garmin Varia

(Image credit: Garmin)

 Garmin’s new radar-equipped Varia RCT715 rear light now includes a camera that records high resolution video of what’s happening behind you.

And in the event of an incident, the device’s automatic incident detection feature saves footage from before, during and after.

By high resolution Garmin means up to 1080p/30 fps - enough frames per second to allow users to see in detail what happened, crucially capturing a registration plate.

Garmin Varia RTL715

(Image credit: Garmin)

As with the previous version, the Varia rear-facing radar supplies visual and audio alerts to your compatible head unit (it doesn’t have to be a Garmin) or the Varia’s own head unit when a vehicle is approaching from up to 140 metres.

Garmin says the light itself, 65 lumens on day flash, is visible from up to a mile away.

Battery life naturally suffers slightly due to the addition of the camera and there’s no longer the 16 hours of day flash that the non-camera-equipped RTL515 offers: Garmin says the Varia RCT715 provides up to four hours of battery life with radar and tail light on solid high or night flash and up to six hours with radar and tail light on day flash – with the camera continuously recording at 1080p. 

It weighs 147g compared to the non-camera unit’s 71g and almost costs twice as much too: the non-camera RTL515 retails at £169.99 while the new Varia RCT715 has a suggested retail price of £349.99/$399.99

We’ve found rear-facing radar incredibly useful, especially for group riding. Keep an eye out for our review of this latest unit.

Find out more about the Garmin Varia RCT715 at Garmin's website (opens in new tab).

New De Marchi website celebrates cycling's golden era

Francesco Moser after the 1978 Amstel Gold

(Image credit: De Marchi)

Italian clothing brand De Marchi has launched a new website (opens in new tab) that celebrates its long history of supplying the jerseys in some of cycling’s best known images.

The photo of an exhausted but defiant Moser in the world champion’s jersey in 1978, surrounded by journalists and fans after losing Amstel Gold to Jan Raas, or a young Merckx fooling around with Gimondi - those are De Marchi-made jerseys.

Through the new website you can buy high quality replicas made in Italy from wool or cotton and in some cases even made using the original machinery.

De Marchi supplied perhaps the most legendary jersey of all time - Molteni. There’s a story about Merckx’s team in the ‘Journal’ section of the website that also mentions the limited edition replica jersey De Marchi made in 2018 from the same wool yarn from Zegna as in 1970, custom-dyed to match the exact shade of Merckx’s jersey and with the same fit. They sold out almost instantly and became a collector’s item.

The Heritage line includes jerseys made by the brand in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s and includes replicas of the De Marchi jerseys worn by Merckx, Gimondi, Moser, Basso, Koblet, Adorni, by the Atala, Bottecchia, Cinelli, Filotex and Wilier Triestina teams and the national teams of Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, France and Belgium. 

If you’re planning on riding the Eroica Britannia (opens in new tab) this August- or just want to feast your eyes on some classic and evocative jerseys and read some epic tales - (opens in new tab) is definitely the place to go.

MAAP goes back to the 1980s and 1990s with Axis and Fuse collections


(Image credit: MAAP)

Melbourne apparel brand MAAP is a bit newer on the scene than De Marchi but is still keen to get in on the retro action with its latest “design-led capsule” that features two collections, Axis and Fuse.

According to MAAP, these are inspired by the “maximally expressive jersey designs found in professional racing's heyday” - that’s the 1980s and 1990s in MAAP’s view.

Both collections are available in men’s and women’s versions of the company’s signature Pro Jersey (£140). Axis also comes in long-sleeve options (£150). 

Each jersey is made from majority recycled yarn in a combination of three materials that MAAP says maximises its breathable, lightweight and moisture-wicking qualities. There’s also a matching Axis Team Bib Evo (£195) along with musettes, bottles, and a Pro Air Cap. 

“With the Axis collection we’re connecting cycling design heritage with a contemporary MAAP point of view. We had a rich pool of influences to draw upon from the world of ’80s and ’90s team racing, as so many radical kits captured our imaginations. We really wanted to rip up the rulebook with this collection,” said Misha Glisovic, MAAP COO.

The MAAP kit’s grey seems inspired by the least colourful panels of the La Vie Claire jersey while the logo suggests TVM and there’s another logo on the sleeve that almost recalls Colnago, but the really “maximally expressive” jerseys of the era were surely the retina-searing Z team kit, the strange dungarees of Castorama, maybe the brain-befuddling car crash of stripes and colours that was Toshiba jersey…

Check out MAAP's website for more details. (opens in new tab)

And don't forget to take a look at our own buyer's guide to this year's summer jerseys (opens in new tab) for more inspiration.

New Smith Jetstream TT lid gets to the point

Smith Jetstream TT

(Image credit: Smith)

Smith has launched a sharper, pointier time trial and triathlon lid to replace the old and more sausage shaped Podium TT.

The US brand says the teardrop style helmet (opens in new tab)was extensively developed and wind-tunnel tested to provide less air drag from every direction to obtain faster, more efficient speeds. It says the longer shape creates an aerodynamic system that interacts with the rider’s back more completely than rounded profile helmet designs to reduce turbulence at the trailing aspects of the helmet.

With the Jetstream Smith seems to be moving away from the stubby-style lid that aimed to be aerodynamically efficient in a wider range head positions. The teardrop shape of the new Jetstream TT will undoubtedly be faster as long as the rider can hold their head in the optimal position.

The Jetstream TT uses Smith’s zonal Koroyd impact protection but also now has MIPS - meaning it could also perform pretty well in a crash.

There are five strategically placed vents that Smith says keep you cool without adding drag “so you can put all your focus into securing your place on the podium.”

It has an integrated magnetic visor, as all modern TT lids should, for easy lens changes between the colour-enhancing ChromaPop bright sun lens and secondary clear lens for low light conditions (it comes with both lenses).
There’s Smith’s VaporFit dial adjustment system offering 270-degree fit adjustment with the turn of a dial, Ionic+ antimicrobial lining for sweat-activated odour control, and a low-profile Y-strap divider for a secure fit while reducing wind noise and aerodynamic drag.

Weight is 410g in a size M and price is $375/£299.

And finally… it’s a Wrap G from Calfornian sunnies brand Goodr

Goodr glasses lifestyle photos

(Image credit: Goodr)

Californian based and “budget-friendly” sunglasses brand, Goodr, has just released its pair of wrap-around sunglasses, the Wrap G (funnily enough). The huge lens brings a modern look to the range while also promising to offer better protection against the elements and debris, as well as providing a wider field of view without obstruction or blindspots.

Goodr has given the grips a “special coating” to boost their resistance to slippage – their testing included giving a bunch of skydivers the glasses as they jumped out of a plane, and the sunnies stayed put.

The frame comes in two sizing options to prevent bouncing on those with smaller heads and the nose piece is removable. Goodr claims that the anti-fog coating it uses is “extremely effective” at preventing moisture build up on the inside of the glasses.

With a retail price of $45 (UK pricing is yet to be confirmed) the Wrap G sunglasses are also notably cheap. If the performance is as good as claimed, they stand to be a very interesting option. 

We’ve got a set coming in so watch out for our review. In the meantime, you can check out the sunnies on Goodr’s website (opens in new tab).

And why not take a look at our own guide to the best sunglasses (opens in new tab) while you're here? We don't claim to have jumped out of a plane but we've definitely been out on our bikes testing them.

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