6 of the best: rear lights

We’ve worked through a ton of rear lights to find our favourite six

Cycling during the winter months means you'll probably be riding during the darker hours of the day at some point. So having a good set of lights is essential, and we've put a bunch of rear lights to the test and picked six of our favourites below.

CatEye Rapid X3

Cateye Rapid X3
Cateye Rapid X3

BikeRadar score4.5/5
  • Price: £60 / $60 / AU$90

Cateye’s three Rapid series lights use a slimline curved design with optional deep-finned back piece and selection of rubber straps to mount securely on deep, sharp-pointed aero seatposts.

With a 150-lumen max from two COB LED strips the 51g X3 is powerful and all-round visible for the busiest roads. Run-time is 1 hour 20 mins on max power.

Alpkit Tau

Alpkit Tau
Alpkit Tau

BikeRadar score4.5/5
  • Price: £14 / $19

Alpkit’s value 20g Tau mounts most places with twin-hooked rubber bands. The single 20-lumen COB LED strip gives two constant modes, pulse and two flashers to grab attention with useful side coverage, with a run-time of 3 hours 30 mins on max power.

The switch is backlit to show full or low charge and it powers up quickly.

Moon Nebula

Moon Nebula
Moon Nebula

BikeRadar score4.5/5
  • Price: £40

Moon’s 63g COB LED gives great visibility up to a 100-lumen max through four constant and four flashing modes, and, from experience, the metal casing aids durability.

The range of mounts — hinged O-ring strap, secure belt/clothing clip and saddle rail clip — and a cabled remote option make the Nebula a user-friendly package.

Knog Blinder Mob V Mr Chips

Knog Blinder Mob V Mr Chips
Knog Blinder Mob V Mr Chips

BikeRadar score4/5
  • Price: £38 / $45 / AU$60

The 44-lumen 43g Mr Chips is part of a huge range of lights using the silicone wrap strap design Knog pioneered for easy fitting.

The hook section includes the USB charger ‘tongue’ for easy plug-in recharging. Multiple modes manage visibility and run times (2 hours 25 mins on max power) and it’s waterproof.

Bontrager Flare R

Bontrager Flare R
Bontrager Flare R

BikeRadar score4/5
  • Price: £45 / $60 / AU$80

This one-eyed, 47g Minion lookalike gets an angled bracket to point its range of steady and flash modes in the right direction.

Additional LEDs throw light sideways and forwards and it can be controlled and synced with Bontrager front lights via the £44.99 Transmitr wireless remote or via your Garmin. Run-time on max power is 4 hours 50 mins.

Exposure TraceR MK1 DayBright

Exposure TraceR
Exposure TraceR

BikeRadar score4/5
  • Price: £40 / $55 /AU$89

It’s not a universal fit option but this 49g UK-built light uses an angled round post/tube compatible bracket to aim its 75-lumen max output.

It can be switched between three sets of constant and pulsing modes to tune its long run-times (3 hours 10 mins on max power). The metal-bodied build is backed by a two-year warranty.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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