Fibre Flare Single Tail rear light  £29.99

8/10

Superb light system for anyone but better than most for tandems and similarly specialist configurations.

Weight 93g   Contact  www.extrauk.co.uk

by Shaun Audane   November 28, 2013  

Fibre Flare Single Tail

Fibre Flare's Single Tail rear light is a truly ground breaking, iconic lighting system that holds its own in pretty much any context. It uses fibre optic technology, a huge visible surface area and 'wand' shape that puts its visibility. You can see it from 425 metres in the sticks, dipping to 300 through rush hour traffic.

However, while it seems very likely to prevent sorry-mate-I-didn't-see-you hits, it is defined as a portable safety device, so pair it with a regular back light, especially if you've hung it on a rucksack or messenger bag to prevent an otherwise negligent driver wriggling away on a technicality.

Available in a range of colours and several lengths, it's consists of a phenomenally strong, flexible solid core with two high power LEDs, which are in turn, amplified by fibre optic components for captivating effect. It's powered by AAA batteries, a more practical choice for Audax and touring contexts as yo can get replacements anywhere, although the Single Tail's robust weather seals make roadside replacements a little fiddly.

The Fibre Flare Single Tail passed my hosepipe test and laughed at wet coastal roads despite being hung horizontally on a low-slung touring trailer. Its silicone 'ladder' straps wrap round tubing diameters between 10 and 60mm. If you don't like clutter, they're easily trimmed.

The shape and attachments straps open up plenty of possibilities for creative illumination. With a Fibre Flare down each seat stay and an extra light on my wedge pack I was able to mimic the highly visibly light layout of a contemporary French car.

Laying a Fibre Flare horizontally along my trailer's top rails was similarly effective and eliminated moments of going stealth when turning right or entering traffic flow. Of its two modes, flashing has been my default and is distinctive enough to avoid being lost among competing light sources .

The steady mode is hardly impotent but consumes juice at nearly twice the rate, though the run times are pretty frugal at 28-33 hours in steady mode against 62-68 hours in flash, depending on cell type and quality.

The switch is positive enough that you're unlikely to turn it on or off accidentally, but it's a faff if you're wearing winter weight gloves.

Verdict

Superb light system for anyone but better than most for tandems and similarly specialist configurations.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Fibre Flare Single Tail rear light

Size tested: n/a

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 is a personal safety device rather than bike light in the traditional sense. "o 360 Degree Illumination - Be Seen from All Angles!

o Massive Illuminated Surface Area for Ultimate Safety

o Ultra Bright - Visible from Over 300 Meters

o Super Light Weight - Only 80 grams (including batteries)

o Excellent Burn Time - 75 Hours Strobe or 24 Hours Constant

o Silicone Attachment Slings - Fits all Bikes, Clothing & Bags

o 2 x AAA 1.5V Batteries

o 12 Month Warranty"

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

Solid core employing two LEDs whose intensity is amplified to phenomenal effect by fibre optic technology.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Very well made. I've been running one for several seasons without the faintest hint of trouble.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

Incredibly simple to use, although the switch can prove a little tricky to locate and engage wearing heavy tog winter gloves/mittens.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

Resisted wet coastal roads, hosepipe torture testing etc handsomely.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

Managed between 62 and 68 hrs in flashing, 28-33 steady depending on battery type/quality.

Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the light for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

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

So long as all urges to bend or contort the wand are resisted, Fibre flare is a phenomenally effective means of illuminating bike, rider or indeed accessories and is particularly well suited to trailers, tagalongs, recumbents and tandems too.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Pretty much everything.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Nothing, though the switch can prove a little obstinate.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Definitely.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Without hesitation.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  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,

 

18 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Used these for years now ! As they do several different colours, my favourite addition is a blue (OK could do green for legality but I did ask a policeman about the blue one and he shrugged his shoulders and said it was OK) one strapped to the top tube ... instantly visible from BOTH left and right as an extra warning to vehicles etc. coming out from side roads or pavements. I hang one from my backpack and many car drivers have noted how visible it is. The movement helps as you get out of the saddle, too.

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [227 posts]
28th November 2013 - 15:42

17 Likes

have used these in the past to good effect, but they don't really like the wet in the long-term... the electric contacts corrode and eventually give up.

posted by markscarfe [12 posts]
28th November 2013 - 16:43

13 Likes

I have one, used for a couple of years commuting hanging off backpack in conjunction with a fixed non-strobe rear light. Great side to side visibility. Very happy with it.

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [390 posts]
28th November 2013 - 17:07

20 Likes

have used for two years now all year round commute in proper northern weather not that light softy southern stuff - excellent light, had comments backing this up, never had any issues with it whatsoever regarding corrosion and mine gets wet, although it has always hung vertically from backpack rather than horizontally - very good value for money & excellent if you cycle any unlit roads

posted by bfslxo [149 posts]
28th November 2013 - 17:41

33 Likes

I have three. Two reds on the seat stays and one blue on my rucksack.

I run the two reds on solid together with a lezyne micro drive on flash.

I confess I also run the blue flare on flash. I shouldn't because a blue flash on the rear is illegal.

But, it's hugely effective and, if asked, I'll claim it has switched modes.

posted by bendertherobot [514 posts]
28th November 2013 - 18:41

15 Likes

Hopeless if you live anywhere that it rains. If you have £30 to burn for a light that is damaged by water ingress after a handful of rides fill your boots. Or you could buy a proper light like an Exposure Flare.

posted by Gman59c [80 posts]
28th November 2013 - 22:12

22 Likes

I had an Exposure Flare. Lovely light. Not as bright as my Lezyne Micro Drive though. Great for chucking it in a glass of beer for a laugh.

But, back to the fibre flare. I live in South Wales, commute just shy of 40 miles a day, 5 days a week. Cold, wet. I don't shy away from puddles or rain. My mudguards run close to the fibre flares and they get splattered with mud and water.

All 3 are 18 months old. All perfect, zero corrosion.

posted by bendertherobot [514 posts]
29th November 2013 - 10:00

28 Likes

Corrosion ? Well, one eventually failed, but no real problems. Like bendertherobot, I cycle in all weathers, in Gloucestershire, then London as my commute ... the clear bits get a bit grubby but a little spit and polish keeps them in good nick. Still love them.

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [227 posts]
29th November 2013 - 11:31

28 Likes

But according to a yougov survey, work-shy Northerners are more likely to pull a sickie and stay in bed when the weather gets bad whereas Southerners will man the f up and get on with it without moaning.... you're reading it on the internet, must be true Smile

posted by robertoegg [12 posts]
29th November 2013 - 11:37

18 Likes

I've used two of these on the rear stays during winter for years, and they offer great, all-round visibility.

However, for the price, they're just too expensive. I've had a number fail due to water ingress, and the build quality of the battery contacts seems incredibley shoddy and cheap.

I won't be replacing them any more now that I've found the Exposure Blaze MK1. An expensive light to be sure, but judging from the build quality it will last years; and given that I've spent ~£40/year on Fibre Flares for the last few years it was a justifiable upgrade for me.

posted by kitsunegari [28 posts]
29th November 2013 - 12:45

18 Likes

Silly question, but would a drop of silicone grease on the inside of the rubber caps not sort out any potential water problems ?

posted by JonD [316 posts]
29th November 2013 - 14:44

16 Likes

Because they are bendy, I have one sitting snuggly round the back of my helmet creating a head height red smile pointing at traffic coming from the rear. I've had a number of people say that this makes me signifcantly more visible than the traditional light under the seat (it just becomes another brake light ahead when cycling through traffic apparently).

posted by adscrim [131 posts]
29th November 2013 - 15:34

20 Likes

adscrim wrote:
Because they are bendy, I have one sitting snuggly round the back of my helmet creating a head height red smile pointing at traffic coming from the rear.

Cracking idea. Just done that with a spare

posted by VeloPeo [242 posts]
29th November 2013 - 16:14

14 Likes

yep, been doing exactly that for ages. Same theory as high-level brake lights on a car. So much more visible up there.

*fwiw I run one on each seatstay in addition to the Flare and Lezyne Micro on the seatpost and the Tacx Lumos in the bars...

posted by andyp [1365 posts]
29th November 2013 - 16:20

19 Likes

andyp, very similar setup to me!

BTW, bought these from Clas Ohlson this week.

This finishes things off nicely. One on each arm. Visible from the front and, when you indicate, from the rear.
http://youtu.be/WIRVD5jui-E

posted by bendertherobot [514 posts]
29th November 2013 - 19:30

14 Likes

JonD wrote:
Silly question, but would a drop of silicone grease on the inside of the rubber caps not sort out any potential water problems ?

That or putting a condom over the ends would probably work wonders, I'm just a bit loathed to be spending that kind of money on something that really hasn't been designed all that well.

posted by kitsunegari [28 posts]
2nd December 2013 - 9:42

10 Likes

Think the only time you're likely to get water inside is when you have to do an emergency battery change whilst the light is wet. If you forget to clean/dry the inside when you get home then you're going to get corrosion as you have damp in an fairly sealed environment that won't dry out

I also don't much care for the fiddly rubber attachment straps but they're worth living with as it's a fantastically visible rear light.

posted by VeloPeo [242 posts]
2nd December 2013 - 10:57

17 Likes

I got one of these at the weekend and having worked intermittently for a couple of days it doesn't work at all. The battery contacts seem very flimsy so I'm not surprised. When it worked it was good but there seems to be to many reliability issues or fundamental design issues with the internals.

posted by bohrhead [65 posts]
11th December 2013 - 15:07

13 Likes