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  #1  
Old 08-20-2020, 12:24 AM
mmendoza87 mmendoza87 is offline
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Designing my own Garmin Varia mount

I've been running the Varia RVR315 for a few months now. Besides my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, water bottles, and frame/handlebar/saddle bag, I won't go on a ride without the Varia. It's nice to have a little more awareness of the cars behind you. And it was one of those things I didn't feel I needed until I used it.



There's one thing that bugs me, the bulky, heavy, fiddly mount for the Varia. While it was designed to fit a variety of seatpost shapes thanks to its changable rubber spacers, it's clumsily overbuilt and the rubber bands don't do a good job keeping it positioned. I often take the whole mount off when I take bike photos.

There are options of mounting it under the saddle or clipping it onto a bag, but I didn't like those solutions either. I went off to design and 3d print my own custom Varia mount. I started by tracing the cross section of my Roadmachine seatpost which I then scanned and translated it to CAD:



Luckily i'm very handy with CAD surfacing and have designed many plastic/metal parts in the past:



It's a simple part that uses the included Garmin 1/4 turn interface (that is screwed onto the mount). A brass insert and M4 screw from Mcmaster to clamp it to the seatpost.



I also made a version that has a standard 27.2mm round cross section (right)




I gave the Varia unit a 3 degree upwards angle which you can kind of see in the side view.

As for printing: I sent it off to Shapeways. I went with "Versatile Plastic" which I have used before as a material to order a Blendr mount for my Wahoo to use on the BMC stem. It's fairly strong and holds up well under heat, with some flex to give if it gets knocked.



Total price (after Black color surcharge and service fees) comes out to about $19/pc.

It should be in next week. I'll report how it works and most importantly how much better it looks!

Last edited by mmendoza87; 08-20-2020 at 12:28 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2020, 04:30 AM
rlanger rlanger is offline
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Nice work. Looking forward to seeing the finished product on your bike.
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2020, 05:58 AM
Clancy Clancy is offline
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I am both impressed at your skills as well as jealous of them.

Will there be an opportunity to purchase one? I picked up a Varia awhile back and like you I won’t go on a ride w/o it. And like you I’ve found the stock mount lacking. Yours is very well designed.
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2020, 06:58 AM
jb_11 jb_11 is offline
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Nice work.

I just use Garmin's version of the same on my D shaped post:
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/521461

There's obviously a slight gap at the rear, but I can live with it.
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2020, 02:59 PM
mmendoza87 mmendoza87 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clancy View Post
I am both impressed at your skills as well as jealous of them.

Will there be an opportunity to purchase one? I picked up a Varia awhile back and like you I won’t go on a ride w/o it. And like you I’ve found the stock mount lacking. Yours is very well designed.
I'd be happy to put this on Shapeways for anyone to purchase and print once I test the finished product and fine tune it if needed.
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  #6  
Old 08-20-2020, 03:00 PM
mmendoza87 mmendoza87 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb_11 View Post
Nice work.

I just use Garmin's version of the same on my D shaped post:
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/521461

There's obviously a slight gap at the rear, but I can live with it.
Slightly better than the stock mount, though the two clamping bolts on either side of the seatpost look quite bulky!
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2020, 03:11 PM
SoCalSteve SoCalSteve is offline
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If anyone has a Pro Stealth saddle...I bought this and am very pleased with it. I had them design one a bitter longer so it fits behind my saddle back. Works perfectly!

https://www.shapeways.com/product/QS...onId=165478918
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2020, 03:49 PM
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bicycletricycle bicycletricycle is offline
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why didn't you integrate the garmin mount into your design?
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2020, 04:51 PM
mmendoza87 mmendoza87 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicycletricycle View Post
why didn't you integrate the garmin mount into your design?
Good question. There's really no reason I couldn't have integrated the Garmin 1/4 turn interface onto my piece. For this first iteration I wanted to test the concept and tolerances of the print before modeling the features of the 1/4 turn mount. For V2 I will do so which will make the whole unit even slimmer.
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2020, 05:02 PM
mpken mpken is offline
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nice work. Keeps your very good looking bike clean and functional.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2020, 11:11 PM
reconstyle reconstyle is offline
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Did you ever get the finished product?
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  #12  
Old 09-14-2020, 07:45 AM
Spaghetti Legs Spaghetti Legs is offline
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That looks good. One point of note, not sure if it would be an issue here. I got my son to print me up a Garmin mount on his 3D printer. When searching on line for designs, it seems one problem was the durability of the locking mechanism when printed in one piece. Maybe that’s printer quality dependent though. Anyway, we found one design that prints the mount in layered pieces that then screw together (I added some glue) and it works pretty well.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:45 AM
lucieli lucieli is offline
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Nice job! Surprised there isn't a material option for titanium. Would be super cool if they could provide the estimated weight with each material option. That might be useful when comparing various designs that you create.
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  #14  
Old 09-14-2020, 12:27 PM
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Veloo Veloo is offline
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Cool. I'll be curious to hear about material quality/ properties.
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  #15  
Old 09-14-2020, 05:13 PM
mmendoza87 mmendoza87 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
That looks good. One point of note, not sure if it would be an issue here. I got my son to print me up a Garmin mount on his 3D printer. When searching on line for designs, it seems one problem was the durability of the locking mechanism when printed in one piece. Maybe that’s printer quality dependent though. Anyway, we found one design that prints the mount in layered pieces that then screw together (I added some glue) and it works pretty well.
For a home 3d PLA printer I would, too, be concerned about the durability of the locking mechanism and would integrate the stock molded lock mechanism in the design, since it can be conveniently taken out anyway.
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