Whenever the night time visibility question comes up in my mind I think three things:
- Bike lights
- Maintaining a prominent road position even if it inevitably annoys some drivers
- Establishing eye contact with the car behind you every 3-4 seconds (keeps their mind on you)
Today, I’ll be dealing with the first. The other two have been dealt with before.
Which rear bike light is right for you?
This is a good question to ask yourself as a number of factors come into play:
- Where does your evening commute take you? If it’s down dark country lanes you are going to want something very bright that lets drivers know what’s up ahead. If your commute is more through central London which is mostly covered with some street lighting then you can opt for a less powerful rear bike light.
- Re-chargeable rear bike lights are becoming more common. Often via USB. Is this a convenience you’d appreciate having or would you rather stick with AA batteries that last longer?
- Rear bike light mounting – do you want the mounting to detach quickly to fit on your other bikes?
- Size – If your cycling bag is already looking overburdened then you may appreciate something a smaller light that doesn’t compromise on brightness.
- The hub dynamo effect – Dynamo lights have a strong, devoted following and may suit you if your bike can be adapted to fit one.
The best rear bike lights
Of course “the best rear bike lights” is always going to be subjective but I’ve tried to roundup rear bike lights here that have either been consistently mentioned by blog readers, have overwhelming positive reviews or I have a positive experience with.
This rear bike light ticks so many of the boxes, it was impossible it wouldn’t be the first one I mentioned. USB chargeable (no more expensive batteries!), bright despite it’s small size and can quickly be mounted and dismounted. It also features a battery life indicator meaning it won’t suddenly let you down. Waterproofing is excellent and so is the price on Chain Reaction Cycles. Only downside: As this light uses rechargeable batteries the life isn’t huge so you’ll have to charge often – however thanks to USB attachment it’s easy to do this when you get to work.
The Exposure Flare stands out for a number of reasons. To start with its a bright bike light but it also has an innovative mode that continuously glows and has a pulsating beam. This is great for attracting attention and making you visible. The light is turned on through a twisting motion which prevents it accidentally turning on in your bag. The mounting is also quick and easy. If you are looking for maximum visibility you may well opt for the Exposure Flare. Downside: the high price!
I’m currently running the Knog Skink on the back of my bike. I find the amount of light it provides combined with the quick and easy mounting to suit me well. I’ve also been very impressed with the battery life – I’ve yet to replace the batteries since purchasing. Some people have reported water getting into the unit during heavy downpours although, personally, I’ve never had this happen. Perhaps the best part of the Knog Skink: Price. Just £13.99 on Amazon.
Your rear bike light?
If you are using a rear bike light you’d highly recommend then please leave a comment with the price, the brightness and what you like/dislike about it.
- Bike lights guide
- Bike lock guide
- Helmet camera guide
- I think I’ve found the perfect bike light
- B&M Ixon IQ review
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.