The Oxford Ultratorch Pro R25 LED Tail Light is a strip rear light that performs the basics very well at a competitive price.
What do we want from a rear light? For me, there are only a few central criteria that it needs to fulfil to hit the spot: it needs to be bright, make you clearly visible, and fit securely to the rear of the bike. Next comes battery life – something easily taken care of usually, thanks to the lower power requirement of a tail light compared to a front beam – profile on the bike, and waterproofness.
The Ultratorch meets pretty much all these criteria. A single button atop the unit operates the light, in which you can cycle through four different settings with a single click – three static brightness settings of 25, 50 and 100 per cent of the 25-lumen maximum output, and a 12-lumen flash setting from the Cree LEDs.
It really is simplicity to use, and the unit itself comes with the simplest of wraparound brackets to fit, ideally, on a 27.2mm seatpost. It seats securely in the belt-like fastenings, and handily shines the light at an upward angle if you use the wedge fitting to compensate for the natural angle of the seatpost.
That's great, and the clip can also be used to hook the light to suitable saddle bags. It's not as secure, naturally, but I never had any issues with the light coming away or loose. As long as the bag is fitted securely to the underside of your saddle and seatpost, the Ultratorch points just below horizontal – good enough, if not perfect for maximum visibility.
The charge port is on the underside of the unit, with a secure rubber cover protecting it. I'm convinced that it'll keep out water in even the heaviest of punishment, while the connection with the supplied micro USB cable is solid. That said, it's worth saying that it's only rated as water resistant to IPX4 standard, which means it'll resist splashes and showers, but not immersion.
The cable is only a few centimetres in length, which won't be ideal if you're trying to charge out of a series of particularly clogged up ports, but you can always use another generic micro USB cable if you need the extra length. You'll know the status of charge via a green LED that shines when battery power is good or full, and a red one signifying low power, or that the unit is currently charging.
Not that you'll need to charge it much. It lasts for nearly nine hours if you leave it flashing constantly (one hour longer than claimed), and the full beans static setting is good for just over the claimed two hour life. Not bad, considering how svelte the unit is.
That's all there is to say about the Oxford Ultratorch Pro R25 Tail Light. It's good for use in any scenario, with the possible exception of prolonged static use during an overnight ride (in which you'd need to run it at the flashing or 25 per cent static setting to make it last), but considering it costs a very sensible £24.99, we can forgive this.
Effective light that keeps it simple and is all the better for it
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Make and model: Oxford Ultratorch Pro R25 LED Tail light
Size tested: 25 lumen tail light
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?
A simple strap-on tail light with four modes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
- Four modes
- 25lmn max output
- 8 hour battery life
- Easy-fit clip with angle adjust mount
- IPX4 water resistance
Rate the light for quality of construction:
Its a tidily built unit, with no 'loose ends'.
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
it was just about as easy as they come.
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
Sometimes simple is best, and this is excellent.
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
Water resistance to IPX4 (protects from splashing) isn't the highest rating, but I found it resilient in heavy weather.
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
Battery life is good, while it recharges quickly.
Rate the light for performance:
Good all round performance is hard to criticise. Maybe the flash setting could be a little more powerful.
Rate the light for durability:
It feels very solid and well-made.
Rate the light for weight:
41g can't be bad, can it? There may be lighter units out there, but do you really need it?
Rate the light for value:
Considering the quality, I think £24.99 is very good value.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Design, build quality, ease of fitting.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? Yes - in fact, I plan to carry on using it.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, absolutely.
Use this box to explain your score
I really like the simplicity of this light. It just works well, at a good price. Isn't that what we all want?
Age: 27 Height: 188cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
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