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Blackburn Mars Click tail light



Really well conceived rear light-a design classic.

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Blackburn Mars click is very hard to beat in terms of build quality, burn times, output relative to size and good old fashioned value for money.

Models with greater LEDs and larger surface areas are better choices for tag-alongs/trailers but prodigious peripheral visibility, brilliantly executed switch and universal bracket mean the Mars is a delight to use and won’t spoil the clean lines of sporty audax/winter training bikes.

Build quality is to Blackburn’s traditionally superior standards-well sealed in the weatherproof yet accessible sense. A good dousing from the garden hose made no impression but I resisted the urge to immerse ours for long periods and a slither of Vaseline on and around the contacts is good insurance for those riding in the worst weathers.

Cubes don’t sound synonymous with chic styling but in my opinion the Mars manages to pull it off, helped in no small part by the clever monocoque shroud and rubberised brackets that slip securely around seatposts, seatstays and clothing tabs-it’s one of very few that has proved compatible with the Univega’s volumous rack bag.

Powered by two CR2032 watch batteries, two tiny LEDs blink or glow at the press of the integrated lens/switch. Others come very close but Blackburn’s is the easiest to operate in heavily padded winter gloves and it won’t readily engage in a pocket or bag.

The more pronounced lens produces a one hundred and eighty degree beacon of light, visible from around four hundred metres on a clear night, falling to three-fifty in murky conditions. Flashing seems the most effective at signalling road presence, greatly reducing the likelihood of a SMIDSY when tackling poorly lit roundabouts or emerging from concealed entrances but I’m fond of running at least one static light with a couple of blinky friends.

Real world run times are refreshingly long and broadly accurate (we’ve managed sixty-seven and one hundred and thirty-three compared with 70 and 133 hours respectively) but this could fluctuate n warmer/freezing conditions. Battery changes are pretty intuitive so long as you keep a coin handy for opening the case and a couple of dry runs in the comfort of the kitchen are advisable before performing dead of night roadside changes in a howling gale.


Really well conceived-a design classic. test report

Make and model: Blackburn Mars Click tail light

Size tested: Black

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?

"The new Click technology offers modern styling, great features and the perfect price

Simple strap the light on your bars and with a quick 'Click' you're ready to go".

Simple, effective and a delight to use.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

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: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 36  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)

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Topcat | 10 years ago

I don't know how this gets 4 1/2 stars. I bought one as a backup light. The click to get it working was very unreliable. The two LEDs don't give the best light.

I never used my light in the rain but whatever moisture it did get used in got into the light and ruined it. I think I used mine twice in a year and then it didn't work when I needed it to.

jollygoodvelo | 11 years ago

I've got one of these, came as a set with the Voyager 2.0 front.

Good: it's really bright and the two CR2032s last for ages.

Bad: it's not weatherproof at all. Take it out in light drizzle or get a tiny bit of grit in it, and you can't 'click' it and turn it off. Which is rubbish.

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