I’ve already had 3 relatively quick rides with the RTL 500 (and the Edge 820).
It’s a compatible accessory for top-end Garmin Edge devices that provides a rear light and radar-based alerts to your Edge.
It works surprisingly well with the latest firmware.
When a vehicle approaches from over 100m away your Edge beeps and a little dot appears on the right-hand side of the Edge’s screen. As the vehicle gets closer the dot moves higher. I think the rear lights also flash more quickly to the vehicle as it gets closer as a warning.
It does seem to detect most vehicles but not all. Multiple vehicles ARE detected although sometimes a second vehicle close to the first is missed.
I have used it in light traffic (perfect) and medium-to-heavy (good). But I don’t commute to London much so I’m not sure how it would cope with an increased and permanently high level of traffic.
I have had issues with the sensor losing a connection intermittently. No doubt further firmware updates will eventually rectify this.
I might give it a go in the Pru Ride London on Sunday. Apparently, the RADAR will not detect bikes. With several tens likely to go past me (OK hundreds) then this will be a test to see whether the RTL 500 keeps annoying me with beeps for a whole 100 miles. Or I might not take it, just in case.
I got the impression from questions to a Garmin staffer that sales of these are not super high BUT sales are sufficiently robust that Garmin is continuing R&D on evolving the product line.
You might think of buying one to protect your kids but the reality is that your kid wouldn’t have an Edge 820 is almost every case. So, instead, you might have to buy one for your partner and their commute to work 🙂
This is a loan item from Garmin. I probably wouldn’t buy one myself as I tend to avoid cars where possible. It only takes one car though.