The Cyclops has evolved from the original Fibre Flare, adding a bright rear-facing LED to the all-round visibility of the fibre optic main body. It's a great concept, especially for the urban warrior at rush hour.
Not many lights offer as large an angle of illumination as the Fibre Flare. With about half of its body length comprising the fibre optic rod, it lights up the bike, you the rider, or the ground depending where you have it positioned, as well as pumping light out in all directions for drivers to see – especially important at junctions and roundabouts.
For me, though, the original was never really bright or definitive enough to be used as a standalone light source. A great secondary, yes, but without that piercing beam to make it stand out.
It does now. A single LED sits at one end of the light, angled to suit seatstay or seatpost fitment. When it's strapped to the seatpost the LED is at the top and fires the light out horizontally. On a seatstay the LED should be at the bottom (not as photographed).
Fibre Flare doesn't claim any output figures but it's pretty bright, 20 or 30 lumens or so, I'd say, and FF claims it's visible for 2000m. That's a bit optimistic, but on a straight piece of unlit road it easily distinguishes you as a cyclist at 1km away, especially in flashing mode.
While we're on the subject of modes, you can set the Cyclops to be on either solid or flashing, or solid and flashing with both the LED and the fibre optic working independently. Both flashing will get you four hours of burn time, with solid halving that to two. They aren't massively long burn times really for the output, but will get you through a decent length ride – plus commuters can recharge it at work within two hours.
Fitment is by way of a couple of silicone straps through clips that can also be used to attach it to bags and clothing. Using either of those fixing options the Fibre Flare remains secure and in position. A neat little feature is the part of the silicone band that covers over the plastic clip of the light, preventing damage to your bike's paintwork.
The only real issue I can find with the Cyclops is that, being quite long in the body at 190mm, it needs quite a lot of seatpost to fit, so best suited to compact framesets.
You can of course run it on the seatstay with the LED at the bottom to get the correct angle, but for me I prefer it to sit up higher in a driver's line of sight.
The other thing is the price. At £34.99 it's right at the top end of what I'd be expecting to pay for a light with this brightness and short burn times. The build quality is impressive, though, and it doesn't struggle from water ingress in heavy rain.
Overall, I think the Cyclops is a well-thought-out light that has turned the Fibre Flare into a complete solution for riding in the dark. Check your seatpost length, though.
An excellent evolution of the standard Fibre Flare, an all-in-one solution
road.cc test report
Make and model: Fibre Flare Cyclops
Size tested: Length: 190mm, Red
Tell us what the light 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?
Fibre Flare says, "Combining the best of Fibre Flare Omni-Directional technology (Lensed SMT LED Driven Fibre-Optic) with an integrated Lensed SMT Uni-Directional LED (Focused Beam) in the Fibre Flare head.. All in a compact USB rechargeable package."
The Cyclops is a sensible evolution of the standard Fibre Flare as the new LED means it's now powerful enough to be a standalone light.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
- LENSED SMT LED's DRIVE THE FIBRE-OPTIC (Creating the brightest Fibre Flare ever made)
- UNI-DIRECTIONAL FOCUSED BEAM - FULLY INTEGRATED
- OMNI - DIRECTIONAL FIBRE OPTIC VISIBLE 500 MTRS+
- UNI - DIRECTIONAL FOCUSED BEAM VISIBLE 2000 MTRS+
- USB RECHARGEABLE 'AA' SIZED Li-POLY CELL PROVIDES SUPERIOR BURN TIME (4hrs Strobe - 2hrs Solid)
- REAL TIME CHARGE INDICATOR
- INTERNAL & EXTERNAL WEATHER PROOFING SYSTEM
- BEAM ANGLE TO SUIT FRAME GEOMETRY (Rear Stay or Seat Post Mount Options)
- Silicone Mounting Slings & USB Cord Included
You can bend it and twist it without ill effect plus all the components look well put together.
Charge it, strap it on, turn it on – it's that simple. Combining the LED light alongside the near all-round visibility of the main body means it's great for commuters.
Simple silicone bands to clamp round a seatpost or seatstay work well and keep the light in position. It can also be clipped to a rucksack or clothing.
Passed the rain and shower test with flying colours.
It's got quite a short burn time for a rear light of 2 hours on solid or 4 hours on flashing, but the Cyclops exceeded the manufacturer's claims by 10 minutes or so. Charging from flat only takes a couple of hours.
The LED is very visible to following motorists even though it isn't the brightest on the market, and when added to the main body's 360-degree glow it is a pretty complete light.
There is very little to go wrong. Being flexible and fitted with rubber end caps, it doesn't matter if it's dropped.
For its output and burn times it's a touch on the pricey side.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a main light I'd prefer it on the seatpost but you do need to be running quite a bit of that to get it to fit. I'd say it makes a great secondary light on the seatstay though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The side visibility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Quite long for seatpost use.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? No
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
I've used Fibre Flare lights in the past as secondary lights for extra side visibility, so the Cyclops is a great update for use as a main light. The only issue is that it's quite long to fit on most seatposts unless you are riding a compact. Other than that it's well built and will certainly stand up to the tests of winter. Well deserving of its 8/10.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Mason Definition
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.