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Verdict: 
Another blisteringly effective rear light with replaceable batteries
Weight: 
93g
Contact: 
www.extrauk.co.uk
Topeak RedLite Mega rear light
8 10

The Topeak RedLite Mega rear light is reckoned to be the brand's most technically advanced safety light and I found it to be one of the best performers out there.

It's a surprisingly compact, coffin-shaped design measuring 8x4x3cm so won't hog too much seatpost space and attaches via a cleverly sculpted resin bracket and sturdy rubberised doughnut bands. You should be able to get it onto most seatposts, and also mono-stays, helmets too if you're prepared to take the zip-tie route. There's also a seatstay and clothing option, the latter being most effective while leaving the light much less vulnerable to damage/misalignment.

Plastics and build quality are reassuringly solid, the optical components employing precision lazer guiding technology for optimal projection. Access to its two AAA fuel source is via 2mm a Allen screw, which makes roadside exchanges more involved but along with the stodgy rubber band seal, conspires beautifully against the elements.

Suffice to say ours passed my garden hose and immersion tests with flying colours. Illuminations come courtesy of five LEDs, a single 'high flux piranha' with two red, two yellow band members, which contribute according to selected mode. Five modes in total are commanded by a sensibly located, yellow switch, allowing output to be tuned to conditions with some moderate trade-off in terms of economy. Thankfully this is the sort easily engaged in gloved digits but very unlikely to be blinking away in bags/pockets.

Unlike some there's no inbuilt memory, so constant remains default, next comes flashing followed by 'sequence 1 and 2' (think 'Christmas tree on acid') and finally 'hybrid blinking'; steady reds, pulsing ambers. Powering up produces a warm, rather than dazzling arc, which is very assertive as distinct from aggressive in tone, giving approaching vehicles a much clearer idea of your exact positioning.

Topeak reckon visibility is to around the mile mark and maybe so in ideal conditions-we reckon 850 metres tops and in flashing, dropping nearer 700 in steady on clear, unlit roads. Some suggested the sequence settings were gimmicky but in the main I'll beg to differ, especially through suburbs and town centres where the speed and distinctive colouring come into their own.

Verdict

Another blisteringly effective rear light with replaceable batteries.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak RedLite Mega rear light

Size tested: n/a

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?

Our brightest and most technically advanced rear safety light. "The RedLite™ Mega features 1 Piranha high-flux red LED and 4 additional super bright LEDs (2 red / 2 yellow) to provide an impressively bright and extremely visible signal to approaching motorists. 5 modes of operation alert drivers of your location on the road and maximizes your safety when cycling at night". No quibble here

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

Lamp 1 High-flux Piranha Red LED, 2 Super Bright Red LEDs and 2 Yellow LEDs

Battery 1.5V AAA x 2 (included)

Control 5 Modes

Burn Time (approx) Constant (50 hrs)

Blinking (100 hrs)

Sequence 1 (100 hrs)

Sequence 2 (100 hrs)

Hybrid Blinking (50 hrs)

Luminous Intensity 72 Candle Power/10M

Mount Seatpost and Topeak Bags

Size (L x W x H) 7.5 x 3.7 x 3.8 cm

3' x 1.5' x 1.5'

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Good quality plastics, weather seals and mounting hardware.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

44hrs in constant, 47 hybrid blinking. Blinking and sequences 1 &2 returned 87/89 hours respectively using premium grade cells.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

Pleasant to use-even wearing hefty-pile winter gloves.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

The Red lite mega is another super blinkey offering searing performance for reasonable money. Casting a powerful 280 degree aura to around 850 metres on clear, crisp nights, frugal battery slurpage and ready supply mean its a good choice for touring too.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Pretty much everything.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing of note.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

5 comments

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a_to_the_j [118 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I have one of these. quite simply super robust, well made an highly visible, would recommend it greatly.

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vbvb [620 posts] 3 years ago
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4 clicks to turn the light off, 9 clicks sometimes, when you miss yr stop. Not ideal, that.

Good point about alignment hassle of rubber band fittings.

Dinotte 330r = billion watts, £130.
Niterider Solas = 2 watts, great broad beam pattern, £36.
Smart lunar r1 = 1 watt, £8.
Topeak Redlite Mega 0.5w (?), £25.

They're all good but I'd only buy the Topeak if I particularly wanted the easy-to-remove rubber band fitting.

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leqin [181 posts] 3 years ago
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Had one of these for almost 18 months and for the first year it was great, but just over 12 months in and it began being temperamental - wouldn't switch on, but then decides it will just as soon as I have struggled undoing the fiddly tiny screw and then just as soon as its re-assembled it stopped working again... and so I stripped it down again and it started working again... wash and respin... even cleaning and de-moisturising didn't help and then mysteriously the fault went away and it worked okay again... until this morning when I was just about to set out to work on a wet and windy Sunday morning and its gone on strike - fiddle with screw again - strip thing down - put in new batterys - fiddle around more and just about to say sod this and whatelse have I got I can slap on my bike and bingo its working and then part way through my ride it stopped working again, but luckily I had taken the precaution of bolting on my old battered and trusty Smart light from my spares box and it was still working like a champ.

So the Topeak is a nice light and it makes lots of bright sparkly patterns, but it isn't designed to be the kind of light you can open up easily in the dark and the cold and wind because its got a silly fiddly screw and a backplate that slides on so tightly any thought of opening it up when your out on a ride is just a total no no.

Nice concept, but it is totally spoiled by its execution and even if the people who designed it think it is sealed against the elements - well that obviously didn't include the kind of weather and battering the UK can dish out.

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Wolfshade [197 posts] 2 years ago
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Mine arrived in the post earlier last week.
My goodness it is very birght, or at least compared to the previous ones I was running.
The waterproof housing feels very sturdy, the light operational modes are ok, though I tend to use fully on or flashing which is fine. Not sure when I would use the others mind.
Whilst I've only had it a week, I've had no issues with the alignment or the rubber rings thus far.

Chunky enough to be able to operate with gloves is luxury.

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Chuck [566 posts] 2 years ago
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Wolfshade wrote:

My goodness it is very birght, or at least compared to the previous ones I was running.

I'm not sure the increasing brightness of rear lights is such a good thing. Last night as I came up behind another cyclist in a dark park I was properly blinded by their light- I had to back off from overtaking until we came to a lit part of the park because I just couldn't see.

I suppose on a lit, busy street this wouldn't be so much of an issue, and maybe a good thing, but I wonder if the super bright ones are just massive overkill.

She told me it was a Cateye rechargeable BTW.