Bontrager Flare R rear light review£45.00

Safety through daytime brightness

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Safety lights used to be something for use in low light or at night. But recently, we’re seeing more and more brands recommending the use of lights to stay safe in daylight. The Flare R from Bontrager is just such a light and packs an attention-seeking punch to other road users no matter where the sun is.

    On its 65-lumen daytime flash setting, the light is so potent that a direct look into will leave you a little dazed. While this may seem dangerous – and perhaps it is to use this brighter setting at night – there’s certainly no risk of it going unnoticed as other lights can.

    The flare r claims 270 degree visibility, something we don't dispute: the flare r claims 270 degree visibility, something we don't dispute
    The flare r claims 270 degree visibility, something we don't dispute: the flare r claims 270 degree visibility, something we don't dispute

    The Flare R is visible from nearly any angle

    Bontrager claims visibility of 2km+ in daylight. We can neither confirm nor deny this claim – because during our testing we simply could not find a straight road long enough to properly test it. At a distance where the rider was no longer visible though, the light’s pulse was. With a wide 270-degree visibility range, it's not just the straight-on visibility that's impressive either.

    Brightness is one thing, and something that other lights can boast too, but the Flare R’s battery consumption is class leading given the unit's 35g weight. We got the full claimed 4.25 hours on full beam and an incredible 23 hours on nighttime strobe. When it does come time to recharge the Li-Ion battery, you'll need to use a micro USB cable (included).

    A simple button on top handles switching on the light and toggling between the four modes, something we found easy to use while riding.

    The included 24g Sync bracket is a good one, with the easy-to-use tool-free stretchy band holding securely onto rounded posts anywhere from 22 to 35mm in diameter. Deep aero posts though are unfortunately out of the question. Once mounted, the Sync bracket allows the light to be rotated on indents – something that happens to change the light’s angle too.

    One tester who’s easily annoyed by things on seatposts noted that the mounting clip and the light’s securing lever could be felt whilst pedaling, but it’s by no means the widest light out there and some more thoughtful placement on the seat post remedied this.

    In addition to the stretchy 'sync bracket', a metal seatpack clip is provided: in addition to the stretchy 'sync bracket', a metal seatpack clip is provided
    In addition to the stretchy 'sync bracket', a metal seatpack clip is provided: in addition to the stretchy 'sync bracket', a metal seatpack clip is provided

    A secondary metal clip is included and holds securely onto the reflective loops found on many seat-packs and backpacks

    Lastly, the mostly plastic and rubber construction is suitably water resistant and surprisingly solid, so far shrugging off our purposeful abuse.

    The Flare R isn't the cheapest rear light going and the bracket won't fit some of the more aggresive aero-road bikes; but its combination of visibility, long battery life, and simplicity has us impressed.

    David Rome

    Editor, Australia
    Having worked full-time within the cycling industry since 2006, Dave is a former editor of BikeRadar Australia. Riding and racing mountain, road and 'cross for over a decade, Dave's passion lies in the sport's technical aspects, and his tool collection is a true sign of that.
    • Age: 27
    • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
    • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
    • Waist: 79cm / 31in
    • Chest: 89cm / 35in
    • Discipline: Mountain, road and cyclocross
    • Preferred Terrain: Fast and flowing singletrack with the occasional air is the dream. Also happy chasing tarmac bends.
    • Current Bikes: Trek Fuel EX 27.5, SwiftCarbon Detritovore, Salsa Chilli Con Crosso
    • Dream Bike: Custom Independent Fabrications titanium, SRAM Etap and Enve wheels/cockpit
    • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
    • Location: Sydney, Australia

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