Bontrager Flare R rear light review

Designed to help you be seen in day or night, is the Bontrager Flare R the perfect rear light for your winter riding?

(Image credit: mike prior)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Bontrager Flare R really is an excellent rear light. It might be a little expensive but you get what you pay for, with a super-bright light that has good battery life, and an easy-to-use secure mount, making sure that you'll always be seen whatever the conditions or time of day.

Reasons to buy
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    Good battery life

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    Multiple modes

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    USB rechargeable

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    Secure mount

Reasons to avoid
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When it comes to safety, having a good rear light is probably more important than having a good front light, so it’s worth shopping around to make sure you get a good one. A great choice would be this, the Bontrager Flare R, a perfect rear light for you autumn and winter riding.

45 quid might seem like a lot to spend on a rear light, but the Bontrager Flare R certainly justifies its cost. Designed to be used during both day and night (Trek Factory Racing used them on both the long stage 14 time trial in the Giro d’Italia, and the opening prologue of the Tour de France), the 65 lumen bulb is bright enough to be seen in all conditions, and has meant this light has been permanently attached to my bike with pre-work rides being a little misty lately. There’s also decent side-on visibility for when you’re riding past junctions.

>>> Best front lights for under £100

The Bontrager Flare R comes with four different modes: bright flashing and constant modes for daytime riding, and slightly dimmer flashing and constant modes for riding after dark. You switch between them using a button on the top of the light (which is also used to turn it on and off), making it easy to change even when riding.

Battery life is also good, especially considering the brightness of the light. On nighttime flashing mode Bontrager say you can get anything up to 23 hours usage, while the more energy sapping daytime constant will only get you just beyond four hours. In practice these stated time seem a little on the high side, but not by too much, and a battery save mode will kick in at 5 per cent to make sure you can get home safely with rear light still flashing away.

>>> Review: Exposure Blaze rear light

However, there really is no excuse to ever let the Bontrager Flare R test out its battery save mode, thanks to the fact that the light is USB rechargeable. There are few things more annoying than light manufacturers making their lights with normal batteries, leaving you having to guess when they might run out of juice, but with the micro USB recharger that comes supplied (although you’ll probably have one lying around anyway) it’s easy enough to recharge at work.

Mounting the light is just as easy as recharging it. The Bontrager Flare R comes supplied with a rubberized mount that fits easily to most seatpost and is nice and secure so I never had problem with it slipping down even on uncompliant bikes over rough roads. If you’ve got a really deep aero seatpost you might struggle to fit it, but that’s going to be a problem with the vast majority of lights, and the Flare R also comes with a clip to allow you to attach it to your rear pockets instead.

Head over to the Bontrager website for more details.

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