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Here's a great little rear light that you will find very useful. The Moon Alcor is simple, bright and has a nifty magnetic mount.
Light season again already? Actually, I use a back light almost all the time, perhaps excepting on the finest of high summer days. Bright sunlight, especially when the sun is low and the roads are wet, is not the friend of the cyclist and an attention-grabbing strobe like that provided by the Moon Alcor is a valuable aid to daytime visibility.
That's how I've used this most of the time during the test period, and it was a bonus that the day-flash mode gives over 34 hours of battery life (I never did find out exactly how many hours because I had to go to bed). Moon reckons that on the low-power single-flash setting you should get 70 hours. That's still plenty bright enough for night riding on dark roads, by the way.
There are five modes altogether: besides the two already mentioned there's a high-power single flash (good for riding under street lights) and two steady settings, which are bright without being blinding. To my tastes, that's plenty and it makes life easy when scrolling between the settings. It also helps that the Alcor remembers which setting you were using last and returns to it when it is next switched on.
The single button is in the centre of the light and is big enough to use with gloved hands. Press to turn on, press to scroll and press-and-hold to turn off. That's it. It's covered with a rubber seal that stayed secure and kept the water out. I used this on some mountain bike night-rides, just to make sure it got thoroughly wet and muddy, and it didn't miss a blink.
Charging is via USB, with a simple bayonet at the top (or bottom, depending which way up you hold it). To my mind that's much better than a covered socket, which I find makes it difficult to keep the water out. A wipe with a hanky is enough to keep this clean and working. It's protected by a slide-off rubber cover which is a bit of a slack fit. I was worried about it falling off in use, so kept it pointing upwards and all was well.
The mount uses a magnet to hold the light in place. Moon seems to lack the courage of its convictions, adding a twist-lock action as well, but I thought the magnet itself was plenty secure enough and certainly makes it easy to centre the light on the mount should you want to fit it while riding along. The mount is simple, with a couple of sizes of rubber bands to fit various seatposts. Moving between bikes couldn't be easier, though the little rubber wedge between the mount and seatpost is, again, a bit loose-fitting and might get lost.
It's a great price too, and overall definitely a light to consider if you want an all-rounder for improved visibility and simple functions.
Bright, simple, great battery life and a good mount – just try not to lose the rubber bits
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Moon Alcor
Size tested: 31x54x18mm
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?
Moon lists these features:
Ultra brightness red LED
Light mode memory
Magnetic mounting RB-29-R
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
250mAh Li-Po Built-in
Max. Lumens: 15
Recharge time 2 hrs
Size (W x D x H): 31 x54 x 18mm
Mode Lumen Runtime (hours)
MODE 1 3 8:00
MODE 2 6 4:00
FLASH 1 3 70:00
FLASH 2 8 40:00
DAY FLASH 15 30:00
It's a tidy unit, apart from the slightly sloppy fit of the USB plug cover.
Very simple, just how I like them. Press to turn on, scroll through the functions, press to turn off. It remembers the last setting you used. Easy to operate without looking at it.
Moon doesn't seem all that confident in its magnetic fitting, opting for a secondary twist-fit action, but I found it secure and quick to use. And easy to switch between bikes.
Very good, so long as that rubber cover stays in place. Even some trawling around in the muck and filth on the mountain bike hasn't bothered it.
Well over 30 hours on the 'day-flash' mode, and recharges in a couple of hours.
Bright, with a small but useful number of functions.
I'm worried about losing the rubber cover from the USB stick, which could result in corrosion. Otherwise, it's keeping the elements at bay.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Easy to fit and operate, even when you are groping around behind you for the button. The light is bright and the functions are useful. Battery life is excellent.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Easy to fit and use, bright, useful functions. Good side visibility. Long battery life.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The loose fit of the rubber cover.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Just a little tweak of a couple of the rubber fittings and this would be a perfect little light for any kind of riding.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking