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How to choose the tail light of the road bike is considered by lighting time

Last Updated 2021.02.04

Key points on how to choose a road bike taillight

Road bike taillight header
What I feel riding a road bike at night is that the road bike in front of me is unexpectedly difficult to see from the car in the back or the bike. Road bikes and cross bikes that do not have tail lights on, such as when you are in a car, may find it difficult to notice until the headlights of the car illuminate the road bike or cross bike in front.

If you are riding a road bike or cross bike, you may think that cars and motorcycles will be illuminated by headlights, but there is a delay in the perception that cars and motorcycles are difficult to notice on road bikes and cross bikes that do not have tail lights on.

Be sure to turn on the tail lights to show off your presence to the surroundings, not just those who do Brevets and long-distance cycling, but also those who run at night. Even if the headlights are bright, it is dangerous if the tail light is not on.
Even on dark roads without overnight runs or streetlights, I would like to raise the point of how to choose a safety-oriented tail light without problems.

How to choose the tail light of the road bike emphasizes the length of the lighting time

Tail lights for road bikes have various concepts of taillights, such as design-oriented and brightness-oriented. Recently, there are many models that pursue brightness as well as headlights, and some models have a brightness of 100 lumens with tail lights.

On the other hand, there is a disadvantage that the tail light is bright in Brevet and long distance cycling, while there is a very merit in safety. It means that the lighting time is short.
On average, the lighting high mode is 1 to 3 hours, and when the tail light is in on mode for 3 to 5 hours in the lighting low mode, the battery does not have when running through the night like overnight run.
If you think about how to choose a tail light from the viewpoint of Brevet or long distance cycling, you will need to choose one that emphasizes the length of lighting time rather than brightness.

Especially if you are thinking of participating in a Brevet, the tail light is required to be turned on, so choose a tail light that emphasizes brightness and duration in lighting mode instead of flashing mode.

Is the tail light dry cell or microUSB rechargeable?

Some use batteries as a rough classification of taillights, while some are built-in rechargeable batteries that are microUSB-charged and used. I will list the rough features of the dry cell model and the internal rechargeable battery model.

Characteristics of dry cell taillights
  • Many models have a long duration in lighting mode (some products last 40 hours in lighting mode)
  • The brightness is darker than the built-in rechargeable battery type.
  • Rechargeable batteries can be replaced when the battery is out and the lighting mode can be used for a long time.
  • Easy to obtain replacement batteries at convenience stores when batteries are out
Features of built-in rechargeable tail light
  • Many models have a short duration in lighting mode (about 5 hours at most in lighting mode)
  • There are many models that are brighter than dry cell models.
  • When charging is out, charging with microUSB is required for each unit.
  • When the charge is out, the main unit must be replaced with a fully charged one or another tail light must be used.

Dry cell taillights are recommended for Brevets and long distance cycling

If you are not traveling on a road bike at night, it is okay to choose a tail light with emphasis on brightness and design, but for those who need night driving and overnight running for Brevet and long distance cycling, I think it is better to choose a dry cell tail light.

The length of the lighting time and the fact that the battery can be easily replaced with a dry cell type will be safe in terms of safety for night driving.
If you turn the batteries into rechargeable batteries, it is economical to charge and use repeatedly, and if you prepare a replacement rechargeable battery, you can rest assured even if the battery is out.

Recommended tail lights for Brevet and long distance cycling

Road Bike Taillight Header 2
Here are some taillights you can recommend when you're assuming an overnight run in a Brevet or long-distance cycling.

CAT EYE

キャットアイのサイクルコンピュータやヘッドライト、リフレクターなど製品情報。
OMNI 5 (Omni 5) TL-LD155-R

Battery used: 2 AAA batteries
Usage time: Lighting 60 hours Flashing 90 hours Rapid 120 hours
Mounting band diameter: diameter 12.0mm to 32.0mm

60 hours of lighting with AAA batteries is the top class duration among tail lights.
The 5 LEDs provide plenty of brightness and are recommended for the first taillights of road bikes.

TL-LD170-R
キャットアイ TL-LD170-R (526-10193) テールトライト CAT EYE

Battery used: 2 AAA batteries
Usage time: Lighting 30 hours Flashing 200 hours
Mounting band diameter: 16.0mm to 40.0mm

The lighting time of 30 hours is the standard level in the dry cell type.
I think that the brightness is the minimum with three LEDs.
Because it is vertical, I think that I will get lost in the mounting place.
Personally, I think that it will be refreshing when attached to the seat stay.

RAPID 5 (Rapid 5) TL-LD650

Battery used: 2 AAA batteries
Usage time: Lighting 15 hours Flashing 100 hours Pulse 50 hours Rapid 50 hours
Mounting band diameter: 12.0mm to 32.0mm

Lighting 15 hours is short as a dry cell type.
I think that it is necessary to prepare a spare rechargeable battery when inging an overnight run.
There is a mode called pulse mode that flickers while lighting, and when two or more tail lights are attached, I think that the safety side will go up if one is always on mode and the other is an auxiliary light of this pulse mode.
Five high-brightness LEDs are built-in, so the brightness is sufficient.

RAPID 3 AUTO (Rapid 3 Auto) TL-AU630

Battery used: 1 AA batteries
Usage time: Lighting 3 hours Flashing 80 hours Rapid 20 hours
Mounting band diameter: 12.0mm to 32.0mm

Lighting 3 hours is short and can not be used much even if it is dry cell type.
However, as a feature of this RAPID 3 AUTO, there is a function that automatically lights up when it becomes dark, such as entering a tunnel while driving, due to the built-in brightness and vibration sensor.
As the main tail light, the duration is short and can not be used, but I think that it can be used as a second auxiliary light by utilizing the function of automatic lighting.

Reflex Auto TL-LD570-R

Battery used: 2 AAA batteries
Usage time: Lighting 30 hours Flashing 100 hours Rapid 60 hours
Mounting band diameter: 21.5mm to 31.8mm

Lighting 30 hours is standard as a dry cell type.
In addition, it has the same brightness and vibration sensor as rapid 3 AUTO, and it is an excellent one that automatically lights up.
I think that it is an advantage in terms of safety that it lights automatically at the time of tunnel running and sunset.
In addition, since it is equipped with a reflector, it plays the role of both LED tail light and reflector in this one.

Topeak

RedLite Aero

Battery used: 1 AAA batteries
Usage time: Lighting 40 hours Blinking 80 hours
Mounting band diameter: 25.4mm to 31.8mm 31.8mm to 34.9mm

Red light aeros are available in dry cell type and built-in rechargeable battery type, which is dry cell type.
Lighting 40 hours is long as a dry cell type.
The brightness is a little dark with 3 LEDs, but the disadvantages will be eliminated if you attach one to the left and right of the seat stay and turn on two lights. Since the battery used is one AAA type, replacement batteries are also less, so it is an advantage that it can be operated for a long time.

RedLite Mega

Battery used: 2 AAA batteries
Usage time: Lighting 50 hours Blinking 100 hours Pattern lighting 100 hours There are other patterns
Mounting band diameter: 22.2mm to 26.2mm 26.2mm to 31.8mm

Lighting 50 hours is the top class duration even in dry cell type.
Since it is a vertical mounting style, the mounting place is limited to seatposts, etc.
If it is attached to the seatpost, it can be used as the main tail light, but since the mounting to the saddle bag is NG according to the regulations of Brevet, a tail light fixed to the frame with the main is required when using it in Brevet.

RedLite Race

Battery used: 2 CR2032 lithium batteries
Usage time: Lighting 70 hours Flashing 140 hours
Mounting band diameter: 25.4mm to 31.8mm 31.8mm to 34.9mm

Lighting 70 hours is top class as a tail light.
Because it uses the button battery of CR2032, the economical cost performance is poor because the rechargeable battery cannot be used.
Because it looks compact, it is recommended for those who want to balance lighting time and look.

RedLite II

Battery used: 2 CR2032 lithium batteries
Usage time: Lighting 60 hours Blinking 100 hours
Mounting band diameter: 22.2mm to 26.2mm 26.2mm to 31.8mm

Lighting 60 hours is top class as a tail light.
Because it uses the button battery of CR2032, the economical cost performance is poor because the rechargeable battery cannot be used.
It is recommended for those who want to balance the look and lighting time.

Blackburn, Blackburn

1975年に米国ウエストコーストで創業。ライトやポンプ、そしてラックやバッグなど、これまで数々のテクノロジーを刷新してきたサイクルアクセサリーブランド「Blackburn」。
LOCAL 10 REAR (Local 10 Rear)

Battery used: 2 AA batteries
Usage time: Lighting 70 hours Flashing 140 hours
Mounting band diameter: Unknown (mounting with silicon band supplied with the main body)

Lighting 70 hours is top class as a tail light.
Since AA batteries are used, long-term operation is also possible using rechargeable batteries.
Because it is vertical, I think that it will be a seat post or a seat stay as a mounting position.
Since the mounting band diameter has not been disclosed, it seems better to assume a diameter of up to 31.8 mm of general handle diameter.

CLICK REAR LIGHT

Battery used: 2 CR2032 lithium batteries
Usage time: Lighting 70 hours Flashing 140 hours
Mounting band diameter: Unknown (installation with silicon band supplied with the main body)

Lighting 70 hours is top class as a tail light.
Because it uses the button battery of CR2032, the economical cost performance is poor because the rechargeable battery cannot be used.
Because it looks compact and clean, it is recommended for those who want to balance the look and lighting time.

There are many tail lights that can be turned on for a long time if it is dry cell type.

The taillights mentioned in this article were introduced by taking up a fairly famous manufacturer in Japan.
I tried to focus on lighting time and dry cell type, but I'm surprised that there are more types than I thought.
I thought that the recent tail light was a trend of focusing on the built-in rechargeable battery type and brightness, so I was disappointed in a good sense.
Tail lights are more neglected than headlights, but it is important in terms of safety to be recognized from cars and motorcycles behind, so please refer to this article and choose tail lights.

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