Well-made compact lightset for commuting although there are limited lighting modes and the separate rubber straps could get lost.
Easy to fix and remove from bike
Compact and light
Quite pricy for a commuter light set
Risk of losing the separate rubber straps
By Paul Norman
The Mini USB Combo set provides compact front and rear commuter lights in a single package. The front light has two LEDs. Switch it on and it starts off in flashing mode. There’s another flashing mode and a single constant mode too. This hints at the lights’ commuter orientation: the light output isn’t bad for such a small unit, but you wouldn’t want to rely on it on unlit roads. Topeak quotes 60 lumens.
There’s a bit of side visibility due to the shape of the lens and a small hood to reduce the chances of dazzling yourself.
The rear light too has two blinking and a constant output mode. Viewed straight on it’s pretty bright and should attract attention. It mounts vertically on your bike and the sideways visibility from the curved design of the translucent casing is also good.
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Both lights attach to your bike using rubber strap fastenings which attach to hooks built into the lights’ bodies. This works well and the straps clip in firmly, although since they are not attached to the lights there’s always a risk of mislaying them when you take your lights off your bike.
The front light has a dished section in the bottom of the body to match the curve of your handlebar. There’s a rubber cushion on this, although this fell off somewhere and I lost it. The rear light has an in-built hook to clip onto a light loop on a bag or to your clothing as well as the hooks for the rubber strap mount, so it’s pretty adaptable.
Watch: Buyer's guide to bike lights
The rubberised switch on the top of both lights works with a solid click and should be reasonably easy to work with gloves on. There’s a USB port in the base of each light unit behind a rubber cover. The cover is a bit fiddly to get on and off, although the plus side is that it should be reasonably waterproof once closed.
Battery performance is pretty good: we recharged via a computer USB port in 2 hours and run time on the constant setting was 3.5 hours for the front. The rear light managed 2.5 on constant and 5 when flashing. There’s a red low battery indicator on the top of the lights to warn you that they’re about to give out and the loss in output is gradual rather than sudden.
In summary, the Topeak Mini USB Combo lights make a nice compact package for commuting on lit roads, although the price is quite high for a “to be seen” light package.
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