Why buy a rear bike light?
As bikes move slower and have smaller silhouettes than cars, drivers often overlook cyclists out on the road. A rear bike light will increase the probability that you’re seen while on the road and help you avoid getting in an accident. The more visible you are, the better. The same holds true for trail or mountain biking at night. With a taillight, cyclists coming up behind you will also be able to react before there’s an accident.
What should you look for in a rear bike light?
- Brightness: It’s all about the lumens! Of course, bike headlights require higher lumens, but rear lights should be bright, too. You want to shoot for a rear bike light between 100 to 200 lumens. It helps to have a selection of light settings to choose from as well. Some, like the pulsing mode, are more readily seen by a motorist, but also require more battery energy.
- Battery: To have a reliably safe ride, you need a rear bike light with a good battery. Ideally, the battery will be USB rechargeable for easy maintenance. Also, with a rechargeable battery, you don’t need to carry extra batteries with you, and fewer batteries make it to the dump. But you also need a battery that runs for several hours to avoid burnout while on the road.
- Visibility: Certainly, the brightness of your rear bike light makes you more visible, but you should consider the degree of visibility. Cars aren’t always coming straight from behind, but at angles, especially when changing lanes. The same holds true for other cyclists or runners approaching you from different angles. Look for rear lights that offer about 260 degrees of visibility.
What else should you know about rear bike lights?
Many people are surprised to know that 75% of cycling accidents happen in daylight. That’s a lot! Fortunately, you can improve your visibility easily by keeping your rear bike light on during the day. The higher the lumens, the better. Of course, riding safely at night is still critical. Most fatal bike accidents occur between 6 and 9 p.m., so be extra vigilant when riding during those hours.
BLITZU Bike Lights Front and Back
A great rear bike light that comes with an equally great front light. Both are rechargeable.
Pros: It’s nice when two good things come together as one. This front and rear bike light set features a rechargeable front light and battery-powered rear light. When fully charged, the front light is good for up to six hours depending on the setting you select. Choose from four lighting modes (high, medium, low, flashing) for the front light and three for the taillight (steady, strobe, and flash). Both lights have high lumens to make you more visible during the day and night; the headlight is 320 lumens, and the rear light is 80 lumens. Traffic coming toward you will see you as far away as 1.2 miles; traffic behind you will see you from 700 feet away, or roughly a few blocks. The light set is easy to install, water-resistant, and impact-resistant.
Cons: The batteries may not last as long as expected, even on the lower energy settings, and the rear bike light is not rechargeable.
Bottom Line: Another attractive aspect to make note of is that you can remove the front light from your handlebar and use it as a flashlight for camping, changing flats, and more. Use it with the great rear light and ride safer both day and night.
BLITZU Cyborg 168T Ultra Bright Rear Bike Light
This 180-lumen ultra-bright rear bike light increases your visibility day and night.
Pros: At 180 lumens, this rear bike light is as bright red as can be and gives drivers 6,200 feet of warning distance. You’ll be safer out on the road whether day or night. This safety technology requires no batteries, which means you don’t have to cart around batteries in case one dies on your ride. It only takes two hours to fully charge with a USB and lasts for six hours. Hook the light to clothing or attach it to your bike or bike helmet with the 40-degree tiltable mount.
Cons: You might be disappointed with its small size if you were hoping for a larger light.
Bottom Line: In addition to the attachment possibilities listed above, you can mount this rear bike light to skateboards, scooters, strollers, and even wheelchairs. The rear bike light’s 260-degree visual angle offers even more assurance that you’ll be seen.
Ascher USB Rechargeable LED Rear Bike Light
A two-pack rear bike light set allows you to double your visibility.
Pros: This two-pack rear bike light gives more protection for less money than similar products. Not only do you get two rear lights, but you also get two USB cables, two silicone mounting straps, and an instruction manual. The lights run on lithium batteries that are rechargeable with USB ports. Choose from four light modes: full brightness, half brightness, fast flashing, and slow flashing. The five LED chip rear light has a wide-angle beam to increase visibility. You’ll be prepared for wet weather, too, as this rear bike light is water-resistant.
Cons: The mounts aren’t the sturdiest.
Bottom Line: The Ascher rear bike light is a great deal in terms of price and performance. And it’s easy to install. All you need are silicone mount straps, and you get them with the bike light set. It’s easy to dismount, too, with just a touch of a button.
CANWAY Ultra Bright Rear USB Rechargeable Bike Light
This 168-lumen rear bike light features both red and blue light options.
Pros: This USB rechargeable LED rear bike light has all the trappings of comparable products. It’s super bright at 168 lumens. It has a favorable 260 degrees of visibility. It’s also lightweight and IPX4 water-resistant. What features make the CANWAY stand out from the rest? This rear bike light isn’t just red but blue, too, which adds a bit of fun to what is otherwise a must-have safety technology. You choose between several modes: red, red flash, blue, blue flash, and red-blue flash. The charge lasts between two and four hours depending on the setting you choose.
Cons: The battery life could be better.
Bottom Line: With such an easy-to-install and versatile light mount that allows horizontal or vertical placement and 360-degree rotation, this rear bike light is a winner. Attach it to the handlebars, frame, or your helmet with a simple rubber strap.
BV LED Rear Bike Lights
This rear bike light is an easy solution to increase your visibility; it can be seen by drivers up to 1,500 feet away.
Pros: Need a simple step toward increasing your bike riding safety? Check out this affordable rear bike light set by BV. The ultra-bright rear lights make you visible to drivers up to 1,500 feet away, just shy of a quarter of a mile. Catch their attention by choosing among three modes: steady, flashing, and blinking. Quickly mount the bright red rear light, and you’re off and running! You have two mount options: a screw mount and a rubber strap mount.
Cons: The BV rear bike light is not USB rechargeable and requires two AAA batteries.
Bottom Line: While these rear bike lights may not have the mind-blowing lumens and energy-saving USB rechargeable features, they do the trick. And they work great for running or walking the dog at night. If you’re a regular commuter or often on roads with traffic, you may want to check out a more advanced rear bike light system.
If you like to ride your bike, invest in a rear bike light. There’s no reason not to; increasing your visibility makes it safer for you and others. Now you have some excellent products to consider.