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The Topeak RedLite Mega rear light is reckoned to be the brand's most technically advanced safety light and I found it to be one of the best performers out there.
It's a surprisingly compact, coffin-shaped design measuring 8x4x3cm so won't hog too much seatpost space and attaches via a cleverly sculpted resin bracket and sturdy rubberised doughnut bands. You should be able to get it onto most seatposts, and also mono-stays, helmets too if you're prepared to take the zip-tie route. There's also a seatstay and clothing option, the latter being most effective while leaving the light much less vulnerable to damage/misalignment.
Plastics and build quality are reassuringly solid, the optical components employing precision lazer guiding technology for optimal projection. Access to its two AAA fuel source is via 2mm a Allen screw, which makes roadside exchanges more involved but along with the stodgy rubber band seal, conspires beautifully against the elements.
Suffice to say ours passed my garden hose and immersion tests with flying colours. Illuminations come courtesy of five LEDs, a single 'high flux piranha' with two red, two yellow band members, which contribute according to selected mode. Five modes in total are commanded by a sensibly located, yellow switch, allowing output to be tuned to conditions with some moderate trade-off in terms of economy. Thankfully this is the sort easily engaged in gloved digits but very unlikely to be blinking away in bags/pockets.
Unlike some there's no inbuilt memory, so constant remains default, next comes flashing followed by 'sequence 1 and 2' (think 'Christmas tree on acid') and finally 'hybrid blinking'; steady reds, pulsing ambers. Powering up produces a warm, rather than dazzling arc, which is very assertive as distinct from aggressive in tone, giving approaching vehicles a much clearer idea of your exact positioning.
Topeak reckon visibility is to around the mile mark and maybe so in ideal conditions-we reckon 850 metres tops and in flashing, dropping nearer 700 in steady on clear, unlit roads. Some suggested the sequence settings were gimmicky but in the main I'll beg to differ, especially through suburbs and town centres where the speed and distinctive colouring come into their own.
Another blisteringly effective rear light with replaceable batteries.
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Make and model: Topeak RedLite Mega rear light
Size tested: n/a
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?
Our brightest and most technically advanced rear safety light. "The RedLite™ Mega features 1 Piranha high-flux red LED and 4 additional super bright LEDs (2 red / 2 yellow) to provide an impressively bright and extremely visible signal to approaching motorists. 5 modes of operation alert drivers of your location on the road and maximizes your safety when cycling at night". No quibble here
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lamp 1 High-flux Piranha Red LED, 2 Super Bright Red LEDs and 2 Yellow LEDs
Battery 1.5V AAA x 2 (included)
Control 5 Modes
Burn Time (approx) Constant (50 hrs)
Blinking (100 hrs)
Sequence 1 (100 hrs)
Sequence 2 (100 hrs)
Hybrid Blinking (50 hrs)
Luminous Intensity 72 Candle Power/10M
Mount Seatpost and Topeak Bags
Size (L x W x H) 7.5 x 3.7 x 3.8 cm
3' x 1.5' x 1.5'
Good quality plastics, weather seals and mounting hardware.
44hrs in constant, 47 hybrid blinking. Blinking and sequences 1 &2 returned 87/89 hours respectively using premium grade cells.
Pleasant to use-even wearing hefty-pile winter gloves.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Red lite mega is another super blinkey offering searing performance for reasonable money. Casting a powerful 280 degree aura to around 850 metres on clear, crisp nights, frugal battery slurpage and ready supply mean its a good choice for touring too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Pretty much everything.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing of note.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 38 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)