Well the winter is approaching and in Seattle that means rain and darkness, so time to get ready for it. There are a few things that you need.
Well Garmin seems to be ruling the roost here, but if you need directions then the 1030 is the one to have. It is large enough to see what is going on. Otherwise, you can get the Bolt Element. If you use DC Rainmaker, then you can buy this from Clever Training for $600, but they rebate 10% for the next purchase, so with Clever Training, you string your purchases out from most expensive to least to use up the rebates.
The best thing about the 1030 other than it’s size is that like all late model Garmin’s you can download applications, so for instance there is an application that will calculate your FTP for you. (functional power threshold).
It is dark out there in Seattle and the more lights you have the better. The best kit is to have a helmet light so that you can catch the attention of people on the road. The Light & Motion VIS 360 Pro is a good example with lights on the front and the back. I’ve had the older VIS 360 for a while and it was light and worked well. They only warranty it for five years though, so for $130 it is not a great deal. At 600 lumens it’s also really bright.
Then for the bike itself, there are some cool ideas. One is from Garmin, they have the UT800 and you can get what is called Garmin VIRB X/XE Combo Mount. This is actually pretty confusing as the VIRB is their action camera, but it is also compatible with their light. Amazon has the mount for $35 or you can get it for $41 at Clever Training
An 800 lumen light is a little much for the road, but you can turn it down and the UT500 seems to be the same weight, so might as well get the brighter one. Some complain that the mount gets loose. The solution there seems to be to move to the K-edge Garmin Pro XL mount which has a GoPro mount underneath. You can get a GoPro adapter for the UT800 and you should be good.
For the rear you can get the Garmin Varia RTL510 Rearview radar detector plus back light. It actually shows on your Garmin computer when someone is behind you. It’s expensive at $200 but pretty neat.
What’s neat about the Garmin Varia UT 800 Headlight and the back light is that it can use the light sensor on your computer to turn it brighter and darker. It’s $149 and the same for the bike or the trail version, so might as well get the trail attachments.
The other option commuter light that is smaller and lighter and much less bright. The is Light & Motion Vya Pro Commuter Combo, while this is not using the Garmin computer, the light sensors are built in as is an accelerometer so it automatically turns on and off. For $100, you get both a front and back light and simple mount.
For an additional $25, you can get an undersea mount for the rear bike, this is supposed to be higher and easier to mount. If you are a real nerd, you can put this light and the Garmin Varia on the same bike and get two taillights.
And if you want to mount the commuter combo on your helmet (not needed if you have the Via Pro), then you can just order a GoPro Bicycle Helmet mount, this is a simple velcro strip with a GoPro mount on it. You have to pair this with a GoPro mounting kit and then finally the special mount for the Via Pro, so three components.