The Ravemen TR50 is a decent lower-lumen rear light with a good spread of modes and some nice ideas, although in reality they're not quite as useful as they sound.
- Pros: Variety of mounting options, USB charging, surprisingly bright
- Cons: Minimal side vision, soft-touch mode button not easy to use with gloves, mounting mechanism a little fiddly
Whether it be summer or the dark days of winter, rear lights are a crucial part of your setup. However, it can be hard to find one that works for your bike, with some mounts not having the flexibility to meet the needs of your seatpost or apparel. Ravemen has got around this issue with its universal mount, which can be secured to standard and aero seatposts using thick rubber bands. The light can also be mounted on your helmet or seatstay, a rucksack or saddlebag.
It's not quite as simple as it sounds, in that you need to use additional shaped shims to fit the bracket to different shaped seatposts, which means it's not quite as transferrable as it could be. Moving the light from one bike to another isn't as straightforward as I'd like.
Although this rubber-band system is now fairly universal in rear lights, a nice addition is the hinge on the 'base mount', which allows you to set the light at the correct angle. This solves the problem of having a light on your seatpost that is pointing directly onto your rear wheel, or into your fellow riders' eyes.
The fact that the light has a clip which you use to stow into the totally separate base mount also means it can be clipped onto a saddlebag or rucksack, making it very versatile.
Modes and run-times
The light has a simple selection of modes: two steady, high (30 lumens) and low (10), and three flashing – a super-bright 50 lumens and two 10-lumen options, rapid flashing and pulse. The brightest flash emits a piercing pulse that is great for cutting through misty mornings or attracting attention in the middle of the day.
Given the size and luminosity of the light, it's a surprisingly dazzling flash, suitable for riding in urban areas with low streetlighting in the dead of night. For riding on pitch-black lanes, I'd feel more confident with something a little brighter.
The light is mostly focused on rearwards emission, providing little side visibility. Ravemen says it's designed to provide side as well as rear visibility, but this is something that could be improved.
The lower-lumen modes offer a good range of outputs that allow you to balance brightness with run-times, the greatest of which is supposedly 25 hours. I cannot say I've tested it over that duration, but I did leave the light on overnight as a test and it was still going strong in the morning, around nine hours later.
I did try the light on a five-hour ride to test out the claimed four-hour run-time of the super-bright flashing mode, and pleasingly enough it lasted about half an hour beyond that. One thing to note is that although there is a small low-battery warning light, and the light will automatically step down to flashing mode, from then you only get about 10 minutes before the light dies altogether, so be vigilant!
Recharging the light is simple, via the now par-for-the course USB cable. Charging the light from dead to full took around 90 minutes, with the battery indicator light referenced above moving from flashing to solid when the light is fully ready.
Touch pad control
To switch modes there is a very subtle touch pad at the top of the unit, but it can be a bit tricky to locate when you're on the move as there's no obvious 'button'. In summer – i.e. with no gloves on – once you've found the right spot, it's super-easy to use, with a sensitivity akin to a mobile touchscreen. However, I tried the light in thicker full-finger gloves and operation is not so easy, in which case it's best to select your mode before setting off.
Someone else commented that, when trying to locate the 'button' it's not immediately obvious whether you have or haven't touched it, and changed (or not) the mode... It's possibly a feature of the light that's not really necessary.
The light has a Mode Memory, so will turn back on in the last-used mode.
The light has an IPX4-rated anti-spray coating which provides a good degree of water resistance. I've ridden through puddles with the light and had it well coated in road-muck, and the light is continuing to function as it should. I also gave it a good testing under the shower head, spraying it as though under a heavy deluge, and it has remained functional.
At £34.99 the TR50 is on par with similar rear lights, such as the Infini Sword, and although you could save a tenner if you went for the similar-output Kryptonite Avenue R-50, battery life isn't as good.
To conclude, the Ravemen TR50 is a surprisingly powerful little unit, with a pleasingly bright flash and decent run-times. The mount can be used on various locations, though it isn't all that transferrable. Side visibility is a bit limited, and the soft-touch mode-operation button may be cleverer than it needs to be, but on the whole it's a good little light.
The TR50 has some great ideas behind it but doesn't quite pull them off, though it does the basics well
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ravemen TR50 USB Rechargeable Rear Light in Black (50 Lumens)
Size tested: Dimensions (light unit): 19mm (L)*35mm (W)*65mm (H)
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?
The Ravemen TR50 is a small rear light great for commuting or use in most conditions bar the dead of night.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Per Ravemen's website:
1. Dual rows high efficient COB LED with max 50 lumens
2. Specifically designed lens providing rear and side visibility
3. Sensitive touch pad to switch modes easily and promptly
4. Pulse flashing mode for group riding, no dazzle for following riders
5. Quick release design, compatible with round and aero seatposts
6. Convenient Micro USB charging port
LED: COB LED
Battery: 800mAh/3.7V rechargeable Li-ion battery
Dimensions (light unit): 19mm (L)*35mm (W)*65mm (H)
Weight (light unit): 41g
Mount size: φ 24-36mm seatpost and aero seatpost
It seems solid and reliable.
The 'soft touch' control button sounds like a neat idea but in practice isn't so great, especially when you're wearing gloves.
You need different shims for different mounting locations. It is generally easy to use, with a simple elastic band mounting method, but not that easily transferrable.
It's rated IPX4 and has an 'anti-spray coating'. It's withstood several heavy muddy splashes and a spray under the shower head.
The light surpassed the claimed 4-hour run-time of its brightest setting (flashing), and was going strong after an overnight test burn on a lower setting of around 9 hours. A full recharge takes around 90 minutes.
The variety of modes is good, and the brightest is pleasingly bright.
Early days, but no issues so far. It also survived a spray down under the shower without a problem.
It's not heavy at 41g for the unit itself.
Around the same price as other similar offerings on the market.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
All in, the light performs well, with a bright flash and a versatile mounting mechanism.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The versatility of the mount and the unit's brightness.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The soft-touch mode button isn't great with gloves, and the mount isn't easily transferrable.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
£34.99 is around the typical price you'd expect to pay for this type and brightness of rear light – the Infini Sword, for example, costs the same, although you can get cheaper: Kryptonite's Avenue R-50 is £24.96.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Probably
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Probably
Use this box to explain your overall score
The light offers decent modes and brightness and is a solid performer. It has some nice ideas behind it, such as the soft-touch mode button and mount mechanism, both of which would elevate it to an 8 if they worked really well, but they fall just a little bit short in reality, so I'm going for a solid 7.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding