Which rear light?

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  • Which rear light?
  • Premier Icon prettygreenparrot
    Subscriber

    I was eager to ride to work this week but I’ve ‘misplaced’ my Cateye TL LD1100 rear light. What’s the brightest/best replacement rear light?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Smart 1/2w or 1w – plenty bright enough on flashing – get two and stick one on your helmet as extra insurance.

    For me it’s the Holy Hand Grenade of Cateye (TL-LD1100) or the rather impressive RSP Astrum. The latter has a less than brilliant mount, so I would recommend the HHG on the bike and then the Astrum on the helmet/bag/whereever.

    jordie
    Member

    +1 for the smarties

    aP
    Member

    I’ve found that over the last few years Cateye lights are too unreliable for everyday use. I currently use a mix of electron, NR & fibre flare.

    surazal
    Member

    +2 Smart 0.5w or 1.0w. Had my 0.5w for a couple of years and it’s great.

    Premier Icon iwluap
    Subscriber

    NiteRider Cherry Bomb is da bomb!

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
    Subscriber

    My RSP Astrum had one of the LEDs give up and now lasts a very short time. It might be the same fault of the batteries might be that rubbish, but I’m going to give a Smart 1/2 Watt a try.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I’ve been running a Holy Hand Grenade of Cateye (TL-LD1100) for a couple of years now. Still going strong.

    I like that I can buy several mounts in various sizes, so I can stick it on any bike.

    The Fopster
    Member

    Happy with my Blackburn Mars, but only on the proper mount. Had one tagged onto pack and lost it in the woods. Oops. The Mars 3 isn’t expensive and seems decent to me.

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    the holy hand grenade is ‘ok’, but pretty old tech now. i have two which live on my offroading pack. aa batteries, well sealed, very reliable, good vis all round, but not all that bright. the cateye 1/2 w is very good, the 1w excellent, IMHO. had no trouble with either the cateyes, and i have 3x 1/2w ones, and recently bought two 1w ones. it is advisable to put a cable tie around the lamp itself and the clamp however – i used to have 4x 1/2w ones….

    druidh
    Member

    NiteRider Cherry Bomb has a much better beam pattern than the Smart lights.

    bobblehat
    Member

    +2 for HHG ….. one on steady on the rack and one flashing on the seat post. Not seen anything better for side visibility … and the rear ouput is not that shabby despite its older design …. in fact it takes some beating. Several years very reliable use in all weathers. Eneloop AAs are a great match and give long run-times.

    OK there are just a few that beat it out the rear (OoooW! Err Missus!) but its the overall package (as Miketually and others say) that works for me.

    I recently played butterfingers with one of mine and dropped it (more like juggled it and fumbled in a true cricket style dropped catch 😳 ) from at least 5ft onto concrete …. still worked but cracked the end cap. A quick email to Zyro and a “non-stock” replacement cap was supplied for £3 inc post within 2 days ….. now that’s service! 😀

    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot
    Subscriber

    Mmm seems like the Cateye TL LD1100 still rocks. And I like the moniker ‘holy hand grenade’ 😆

    The cherry bomb was in my sights. I’ve shied away from Smarts – probably for no good reason at all.

    The Exposure Flare popped up as I was browsing. No one mentions that so either 1. it’s pricey or 2. it’s not as ‘good’ as the cateye HHG or the cherry bomb or the Smarts.

    By the time I make up my mind maybe it’ll be BST and I won’t need lights 😳

    29erconvert
    Member

    magicshine do one it’s very bright!!!!!!!

    Steve-Austin
    Member

    ld610. very bright, Its got a random flashing mode that will get you seen by even the most myopic driver

    Popped into Ilkley on Sunday (in the car) just before midday – it was peeing down with rain and rather dingy.

    Was stuck behind a group of roadies and the guy at the back had 2 flashing smart half watts. The lights were very visible, so much so that I’ll be buying a couple.

    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot
    Subscriber

    Ah, magicshine has a lead. I want minimum faff getting the light on & off the bike.Seems Smarts are leading. And no mention, other than mine, for the Exposure.

    mrchrispy
    Member

    for the money it had to be the smarts but if your feeling flush the exposure flare is mint.
    I have a serious rear light fettish so I’ve tried loads, my dinnotte is still the daddy but the flash wins on handiness

    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot
    Subscriber

    mrchrispy you’ve just opened it all up again. The dinnotte looks astonishingly bright on the distributor’s site. The flare is very appealing – especially with the flash & the charger. Still, cheapness prevails for now – I ordered a smart 1/2W to see me into spring.

    Premier Icon Haze
    Subscriber

    Exposure Flare

    Premier Icon imn
    Subscriber

    I find the Cateye HHG too wide, so my legs brush against it. The Smart 0.5W is bright, small, cheap and only needs 2x AAA batteries; I’ve got the Smart Lunar R2 as well which shares most of the benefits but is dearer and the switch doesn’t seem as good. The Smarts are both better than the old Blackburn Mars.

    MRanger156
    Member

    As above the smart 1/2 watt is very good, the 1W must be very bright. I use the 1/2W with a Knog Frog on my helmet and had several positive comments about my viability on the dark roads.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    Fibre flare sticks seem the best to me, very visible but don’t blind people behind you (especially useful on club night rides)

    Premier Icon grtdkad
    Subscriber

    I see that the Knogs got mentioned by MR156. Just keep away from knog rear lights, or if you have one mount it high, away from spray. We’ve had three and they’re all useless in the wet or muddy uk conditions.

    kcr
    Member

    1/2W Smarts are v. bright but don’t stand up to heavy commuting use very well in my experience. I’ve had the switches fail on a couple because the sealing does not seem to be that great.
    Currently using a Cherry Bomb (extremely bright) and yet again the venerable hand grenade.

    SD-253
    Member

    I stick with cheapos but I do live rural and on a back road they would find it almost in possible not to see me. Furthermore I would not want to dazzle a car driver on a narrow country road. Not so sure they would be as safe on a busy A road. I bought a Job lot years ago (I have 3 bikes) and have a habit of losing things. Looking at the light from a distance (on a mates bike, maybe I don’t lose them but give them away?) they were more than adequately bright enough. I have at least one on steady and one on flashing which is built into the saddle (impossible to lose and difficult to steal). Don’t ever use rechargeable batteries unless you are certain they have sufficient charge in them (charge them before you leave) as they hold there voltage, so when they they go they go quickly and you will not know. Also try your best to buy one which takes AA batteries which have 3 times more power than AAA and quite often cost the same. Never buy zinc carbide batteries not value for money and have a terrible lack of capacity. Also note that all alkaline batteries have the same amount of power in them. Duracell are not better, as the advertising authority pointed out to Duracell (the adverts now compare there batteries to zinc carbides). The new Lithium batteries sound excellent but not tried them.

    MRanger156
    Member

    I’ve had my 1/2W rear light mounted on the seatpost for 2 years of all seasons commuting, never failed or even needed a battery.

    I mount my knog frog on my helmet so away from dirt. I think having two lights at different heights greatly improves your viability.

    Gary_M
    Member

    Cateye TL LD1100 user here too, been using two for the last three years with no issues at all. I do use them on a commuter with guards though but they get plenty of rain from above.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Hand grenade on the bike. Excellent light, irrespective of it being old tech.
    Smart 1/2 watt on rucsac (ziptied on)
    Tesco twinkly LED on lid.

    All set to flash.

    Having seen the fibreflare, I’m not massively impressed. It sort of glows, rather than throws out light, which is what I need on my commute (mixed urban, suburban, unlit rural).

    Luminous
    Member

    Another thumbs-up here for the Smart Lunar rear lights.
    😉

    OMiTN.
    Could you set at least one of your rear lights to constant, so when I’m driving my car, I can tell how far away you are, please.
    😀

    bristolbiker
    Member

    2 x Hand Grenades on flashing plus 1 x 1/2 Watt on constant. May be overkill, but the side visibility is pretty good.

    bobblehat
    Member

    Agree with Luminous about having one on constant. Noticed this myself on the few occasions when I’m driving at night insteady of riding. 🙂

    The problem seems to have got worse lately with all the weird disco flashing modes or chasing lights modes some of the rear lights have these days.

    AnalogueAndy
    Member

    Mix of urban and unlit rural here:

    Holy Hangrenade, one row flashing, one steady

    Smart Looner 2 x 1 watt on ‘pulse’ (visible from 1 mile plus)

    Electron 6 led on the back of the lid

    MrTall
    Member

    I have a selection of Cateye lights to switch between my bikes (and extra mounts so i don’t have to faff around changing those.

    Although i like the look of the Smarts, i had some a while back for commuting and they all died in wet weather so it’s not a brand i’d consider now (2 of 5 reviews on CRC for the 1W ones had their’s die in the rain).

    I guess it’s each to their own as some have had problems with Cateye but i am yet to have one fail on me in 10 years of use. I also have a light fetish and have around 15 rear lights of varying types in the garage. LD600’s, LD610’s TL LD1100 and the latest Cateye Rapid 3 which seems very good. And a Few Backupz which always come in handy. I tend to run 2 0r 3 lights with a mix of flashing and constant.

    Gary_M
    Member

    All set to flash.

    As others have said I would have at least one on constant, I set one row of each ld1100 to constant. I like the fibre flare on the seatstay, gives me a bit more ‘width’.

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