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Verdict: 
Lovely design & genuinely clever, useful functions, but too wide and way too expensive
Weight: 
61g
Contact: 
www.patterrn.com
Blink Steady Rear Light
6 10

From Brooklyn, New York comes the Blink/Steady, a sleek and stylish LED light that came about after a successful Kickstarter campaign over a year ago. It functions well with a motion sensor automatically switching it on and off when you start riding, the battery life is good too, but it's extremely expensive and it's hard to see the benefit over a more affordable light.

The Blink/Steady LED light is very nicely machined from aluminium and is very compact. Fitting it requires removing the seatpost and tightening up the tiny Torx screw, the tool for which is supplied in the box. You have a choice of flashing or steady mode depending on which way you orientate it. I went with blinking mode.

Once it's fitted to the post it's very secure, and certainly poses less theft risk than most other rear lights, because getting it off is a bit of a fiddle and most multi-tools don't have a the relevant Torx tool you need. A potential thief is going to have to be pretty determined, but there's nothing to stop them just taking the whole seatpost away. And with it your £115 light.

Inside are two AAA batteries which the manufacturer claims is good for 200 hours. I didn't have the opportunity to test the light for that period of time, so I'll have to take their claim at face value.

 

There are no on/off buttons on the light. Instead, the light is activated by motion, with an internal accelerometer. It doesn't take much movement to switch the light on, just moving the bike in the hallway kicks the light into life. Left stationary, the light switches off after about 30 seconds. That's enough to cover any stops at traffic lights, and given how sensitive it is to movement, I never had it switching off when I was paused at the side of the road.

There's also a photosensor that means the light can distinguish between day and night, so it doesn't switch on during the day. It's pretty sensitive, I found it activating on a particular gloomy and cloudy day recently. That's good, because I often ride with lights on dull days when the level of light is low.

The unit houses two 0.5W LEDs. It's not the brightest combination and there are much cheaper lights that are brighter, and really that is the number one criterion for rear lights isn't it? That and battery life and durability, both fronts which the Blink/Steady does redeem itself.

As a fit-and-forget light though, it works brilliantly and not having to worry about switching the light on or off is strangely something you easily get used to. It's a lot better looking than most other rear lights, which tend to have a cheap plasticky feel. This one feels solid and robust. My only gripe is that it's quite wide, and you can feel it occasionally brushing the inside of the thighs when pedalling.

The light is fully waterproof and and weighs just 60g with a 25-27mm seatpost clamp. It's available from www.patterrn.com/shop; the price includes VAT and delivery.

Verdict

A lovely piece of design and genuinely offers good functionally, but it's too wide and intrusive when pedalling for me to want to keep it on my bike, as nice as it looks. And as nice as the light is, that price is hard to justify

road.cc test report

Make and model: Blink Steady Rear Light

Size tested: Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Easy, Secure, Beautiful. Machined from solid aluminum, the Blink/Steady bike light turns on automatically and shuts off when you're not riding. There's no need to remove it when you lock up because it's secured by your seatpost. Our elegant, low-profile design is the bike light you've been waiting for.

On and off – on its own. The Blink / Steady bike light uses an accelerometer that knows when you're moving, and a light sensor that knows when it's dark enough to turn on. After you lock up your bike, it turns off after 30 seconds. No buttons, you'll never have to think about your bike light again.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Blinking or Steady. No more clicking through blink patterns because Blink / Steady has two dead simple, but equally effective options. Blink / Steady operates in Blink Mode if installed one way; flip it over and it works in Steady Mode, holding a bright, but evenly distributed light. Using its accelerometer, it knows which way is down.

Sensors. The Accelerometer and the Photosensor work together to figure out when the bike is moving and when it's dark enough to turn on. Through extensive testing, we've created a lighting system that won't be fooled by headlights or accidentally turn off at a traffic signal. The sensors and processor spend most of their time in an incredibly low power sleep mode and won't needlessly drain your battery.

Small, Secure, and Waterproof. Blink / Steady is small, not much bigger than the two AAA batteries inside of it. The bracket is made from the smallest possible amount of material and deforms to grip your seatpost when tightened. The nylon tipped setscrew won't mark your seatpost (even if it's carbon) and the clamp won't loosen up from vibration. Blink / Steady fits most common seatposts from 31.6 to 30.8 and 27.2mm down to 25mm diameter. A Lexan window in the rear and an o-ring between the bracket and housing keep water out.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Handmade in the US from aluminium it's well built, solid and durable. Very sturdy clamp design.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

It works flawlessly, is activated at the merest hint of movement, and provides a good range of light. Not the brightest though, certainly for the money. And it's too wide, so it hits your inner leg when pedalling. Annoying.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

This light scores well on this front, it's more durable than a cheap plastic light.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Doesn't weigh much at all.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Yes it's very nicely made, and works well, but at there are a lot of options for brighter lights at half the price.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Worked as it intended to.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Never have to worry about turning it on and off.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's too wide. You have to remove the seatpost to install it.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? No.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

15 comments

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themartincox [553 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

You have a typo in here, you've got it down as £115, surely you mean its £15?

surely

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dafyddp [437 posts] 3 years ago
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Interesting. Have just read the review of the POC Octal Helmet and as with this light, there is criticism of the cost (or should that be value). It seems cyclists will readily fork out significant dosh when there's potentially some 'marginal gain' to be had, but we're much more canny when the product in question is safety related.
Although it's a shed load of money for a rear light, at least this one is genuinely innovative, whereas the helmet is fundamentally just a re-styling of a very established product.

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Mr Agreeable [181 posts] 3 years ago
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For near enough the amount of money this costs, you could purchase a dynamo setup, including a very bright front light that switches on automatically, better standlight time, infinite battery life and even a motion-sensitive back light that brightens up when you brake. Another pointless Kickstarter project to add to a very, very, very long list.

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rix [175 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

It doesn't take much movement to switch the light on

So... it turns on when bike is transported by train or on the roof rack... or even, maybe, if you live in the near proximity to railway lines.

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workhard [399 posts] 3 years ago
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Mr Agreeable wrote:

Another pointless Kickstarter project to add to a very, very, very long list.

Only pointless if it doesn't make money for the people that kicked it off.

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vfast1 [3 posts] 3 years ago
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There just can't be people out there who would pay this much for a rear light surely? SURELY?

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bazzargh [152 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I've said it before:

http://www.cateye.com/intl/products/detail/TL-LD570-R/

Does exactly the same thing, for under £25. Doesn't look as nice, granted.

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Wookie [241 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
bazzargh wrote:

I've said it before:

http://www.cateye.com/intl/products/detail/TL-LD570-R/

Does exactly the same thing, for under £25. Doesn't look as nice, granted.

And the Cateye remains on for 50 seconds (Still not long enough) when stationary unlike this light which only remains on for 30 seconds.

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andyp [1498 posts] 3 years ago
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'So... it turns on when bike is transported by train or on the roof rack... or even, maybe, if you live in the near proximity to railway lines.'

which is less mental, of course, than riding with a light which you have to manually switch on, yet *choosing* a mode which means that the light is off for half of the time that you're moving.

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MKultra [393 posts] 3 years ago
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Wrong material. Solid billet ally bolted to a seat post is going to shake the circuitry to bits in a few weeks flat. Plastic and silicone is used for a reason.

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BikeBud [256 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't find switching my lights on particularly taxing, nor removing them from my bike when leaving it.

For £115 I could turn my bike into a f****** Christmas tree with "Smart" rear lights!

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MKultra [393 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I have similar doubts about machined aluminium Garmin mounts as well. You need something with a bit of flex in.

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jollygoodvelo [1663 posts] 3 years ago
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BikeBud wrote:

I don't find switching my lights on particularly taxing, nor removing them from my bike when leaving it.

For £115 I could turn my bike into a f****** Christmas tree with "Smart" rear lights!

Agreed, my wife made the mistake of looking into my Smart R2 when I turned it on once. Ten of those would be positively antisocial.

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arowland [163 posts] 3 years ago
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By the looks of it, it doesn't show much to the side. That is what you want from a rear light: good all round so you can be seen by cars coming at you from side roads. One half-watt LED is more than enough to the rear. A couple of others to give side visibility instead of the second half-watter would have been better. Too many rear lights these days can actually dazzle drivers, which doesn't help overall road safety.

Avatar
arowland [163 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

By the looks of it, it doesn't show much to the side. That is what you want from a rear light: good all round so you can be seen by cars coming at you from side roads. One half-watt LED is more than enough to the rear. A couple of others to give side visibility instead of the second half-watter would have been better. Too many rear lights these days can actually dazzle drivers, which doesn't help overall road safety.