A good rear light forces other road users to notice you and encourages them to treat you like traffic. Here are five shining examples.
A red rear light is a legal and practical necessity whenever you ride on a public road between dusk and dawn. A flashing mode attracts attention best so is good around town under streetlights, while a steady mode shows your position better so is safer on unlit lanes. Modern LEDs are bright and efficient. As rear lights require less power than front ones, battery life is good even with disposables. Most rear lights attach to the seatpost, but some have brackets available so they can be clipped onto a pannier rack instead.
Bobbin Solo Rear Light
A light that bolts permanently to a pannier rack is a great fit-and-forget solution for commuting. The rack needs a bracket on the back, with two holes 50mm or 80mm apart. This light will fit to either size. It has an integral rear reflector so you won’t need a separate one. It runs on 2xAA batteries.
Cyclescheme Price: £9*
Busch & Muller Secular
This little (38x55mm) rear light bolts to a rear mudguard where a reflector would normally fit, so it’s always on the bike and ready for use. It’s highly visible despite its small size and single LED because the lens is cleverly designed, with a bright ring around the edge. It runs on 2xAAA batteries. There’s a version that attaches to the seatpost for £2.50 more.
Cyclescheme Price: £16.50*
CatEye Rapid Mini
A 22g rear light that punches above its weight, CatEye’s Rapid Mini emits 25 lumens from its three LEDs. There are four modes: constant, rapid, pulse, and flashing. The USB-rechargeable battery has an ‘auto save’. If it’s running low, it converts to flashing mode to save energy rather than simply going flat. Brackets are available to fit the light to a rear rack, seatpack, or saddle.
Cyclescheme Price: £18.74*
Lezyne Strip Drive Pro 300
On its brightest ‘daytime flash’ setting, this five-LED light puts out an eye-watering 300 lumens, hence the number in the name. There are loads of other settings, including an economy constant mode that will last a week or more of evening commutes. It’s USB rechargeable and, neatly, doesn’t require a cable. It attaches to the seatpost with a silicone rubber strap.
Cyclescheme Price: £37.49*
Exposure TraceR Mk2 ReAKT
As well as errant capital letters, this made-in-the-UK light has some unusual features: it flares brighter when you brake and increases in intensity if you enter a brighter environment. While there are only two modes – constant and pulse – you can choose from high, medium or low settings. It’s USB rechargeable. Normally it attaches to the seatpost, but a bracket to fit it to the saddle rails is available.
Cyclecheme Price: £44.96*