Cyclists all know that bight lights and visible clothing can make them more visible to drivers and thus safer against collisions, and Bontrager’s newest tail light is designed to cut through the distractions of daylight driving and make it even more difficult for drivers to miss seeing cyclists ahead. According to studies, 40 percent of cyclists’ collisions with cars are from being struck from behind, and having a tail light on during the day makes perfect sense.
The new Flare R light is a USB-rechargeable, 36 gram LED light that pumps out 65 lumens—that’s more than a car’s tail light. Bontrager studied flash patterns and intensity to choose exactly the one that will make it most visible to drivers in the clutter of urban lighting. Bontrager says it is visible in daylight from more than a mile away.
The Flare R has four distinct flash patters: two for daylight and two for night:
- Day Flash mode will utilize all 65 Lumens in a strategically placed random flash pattern designed to draw a motorist’s eyes. Fully charged run time is 5.75 hours.
- Day Steady mode uses 25 Lumens of steady illumination and is great for group rides. Fully charged run time is 4.25 hours.
- Night Flash mode uses an irregular flash pattern punctuated by short pops of increased intensity. Fully charged run time is 23 hours.
- Night Steady mode provides 5 Lumens of steady light great for consistent nighttime visibility. Fully charged run time is 21 hours.
One of the downsides to battery powered lights is that when the battery dies, you’re out of luck. The Flare R has a built-in safety system, whereby when 75 percent of the charge is used the LED indicator light on the unit turns from green to red. When it reaches 5 percent of its charge it automatically puts itself into a safety mode and dials back the intensity to give an extra hour or two of run time, just enough to get to safety. A full recharge takes only 2.5 hours.
The new Flare R light is available now in Trek and Bontrager retail stores for $60.
Cateye’s Volt 700 is a slick little light that offers a ton of versatility and packs a pretty good punch for its size. When you need to see, it pumps out 700 lumens with a two-hour run time. When you need to be seen, HyperConstant mode maintains enough light to illuminate your path, while also rapidly flashing 800 lumens to grab driver’s attention for seven hours of run time. In between are a 300 lumen setting with three and a half hours of burn time and 100 lumen “All-Night” mode that burns for 10 hours. If you need even more run time for nocturnal adventures, you can buy a second battery for $45.
With the broad variation in handlebar clamp diameters, Cateye’s FlexTight mounting bracket makes a ton of sense. Officially, it accommodates 22mm to 32mm handlebars with no additional shims, but I found it also works great for 35mm bars. The only downside is the possibility of losing the nut that snugs up the whole system as it’s not captured.
For $130, this light is hard to beat. It’s small, powerful enough for on road and mixed surface use, and very convenient to use. cateye.comTweet Print
Daylight hours are shrinking, but for many cyclists that doesn’t mean our miles have to follow suit. Finding a decent and affordable rechargeable headlight is getting easier, and the five-mode $99 Bontrager Ion 700 is one to consider.
The high-power Cree LED kicks out a full 700 Lumens, which Bontrager says will run bright for up to an hour and 45 minutes.
What’s Cree? It’s the company that first brought the blue LED to market in 1989, and today Cree’s XLamp LEDs exceed industry standards for brightness and efficiency. According to the company, Cree XLamp LEDs were the first ‘lighting-class’ LEDs – LEDS bright enough to be used in general-illumination applications, such as desk lamps, ceiling fixtures and street lights.
In addition, Cree’s extensive line of high-brightness LEDs are also introducing new performance levels to outdoor video displays and decorative lighting. Seems like Bontrager did some proper vetting when deciding on LED technology.
If you don’t want oncoming traffic to flash their high beams, bump it down to 450 Lumens for three hours of runtime, or 200 Lumens for six hours, 45 minutes. There’s also a 50 Lumen flash mode and an ‘irregular strobe’ that comes in handy for daytime use. Dual amber ‘windows’ bookend the face of the headlight, which is primarily made of metal, not plastic. A full micro USB recharge takes up to five hours.
A clever rubber bracket provides 20 degrees of adjustability, and fits handlebars from 22.2 to 31.8mm in diameter.
Check out this short YouTube video to get a feel for what the Ion 700 can do in real-world conditions:
Visit bontrager.com for more information on this and other commuting products from the mad scientists in Waterloo, Wisconsin.