Anything that positively affects rider safety is a good thing and this new OxyLED Rechargeable Bike Tail Light should be commended for doing more than simply providing a red tail light…
First up you may notice, it’s a bulky unit, twice the size of most of my other rear lights and also sports a rarely seen diamond (pentagon) type shape. Don’t let either of these facts put you off as there’s a good reason for both the size and the shape…
The top part of the light sports two buttons: first one operates the actual rear LED light, which is as accomplished as you’d expect at illuminating you and your bike from the rear via the tried and tested 8-LED strong tail-light set-up.
There are three modes with two flashing and one solid to suit your taste. It is a nicely bright light and the large diamond shape works well to get you noticed. The light apparently provides a useful ‘220 degrees of visibility from up to 1 mile away’…
But you can really see why this light is diamond shape when you switch on the second button. It’s then that the lower, sharp, pointy end of the diamond shaped light reveals that it houses two downward projecting lasers, creating two powerful red lines onto any solid object to either side of the bike. Obviously most of the time this will be the road surface but on our rides around London so far, has also included a wide variety of roadside paraphernalia.
The idea is that the two lasers project the two beams of light almost parallel to the rider, providing a guide for passing drivers to give more room to the side of a cyclist. A great idea.
Does it work? Well this jury is still out as to whether this makes cycling round a busy city, or even solo training on dark country lanes, any safer but there are certainly no ill effects.
I did notice more interest in me as a cyclist and possibly more room afforded to me by passing traffic than normal. However, it does not change your perception of cycling in traffic, as in it didn’t make me feel any less vulnerable, and certainly can’t replace caution, adequate looking behind you and clear signalling.
I did really expect to get more reaction from other road users and especially from pedestrians (kids) than I have received. There were a few passing comments, one brief chase through Croydon by some over-excited youths on mountain bikes (no chance lads), but on the whole most people don’t react strongly to it, more just muted admiration, which I have to assume was for the light not me, making me think it’s all good for the future of such ‘laser lights’.
In fact the only downsides that I have experienced personally are firstly the actual size of the triangular light unit. As mentioned it is a bit on the large side and sits close enough to the seatpost to interfere with my big thighs during pedalling, though even this minor gripe was mostly solved with a bit of positioning and fiddling.
Secondly, the bracket, whilst fine and able to hold the light in place, does not seem to be the most durable. While taking the actual light from the bracket is fine, if you were to regularly take the actual bracket on and off, to swap between bikes for instance, that may seriously affect its longevity.
On the plus side the light has a built-in, 1000 mAh, Li-ion battery and so is fully rechargeable via the standard USB, so no worrying about replacing batteries the whole time; just pop it on charge alongside your Di2, Garmin, powermeter, helmet, head-up display, etc. The manufacturers claim it will last for 6 hours on one charge and this seems accurate based on adding my commutes/training rides together between charges. There also the added comfort of built-in circuit protection.
All in all a great light. Bulky but well designed and with the lasers, probably (hopefully) a bit safer than most other rear lights.
Compare prices and buy lights from:
|Chain Reaction||Wiggle||Cyclestore||Evans Cycles|
|Hargroves Cycles||Merlin Cycles||ProBikeKit||Ribble Cycles|
|Rutland Cycling||AW Cycles||Biketart||Cycle Surgery|
|Leisure Lakes Bikes|