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Fibre Flare's Single Tail rear light is a truly ground breaking, iconic lighting system that holds its own in pretty much any context. It uses fibre optic technology, a huge visible surface area and 'wand' shape that puts its visibility. You can see it from 425 metres in the sticks, dipping to 300 through rush hour traffic.
However, while it seems very likely to prevent sorry-mate-I-didn't-see-you hits, it is defined as a portable safety device, so pair it with a regular back light, especially if you've hung it on a rucksack or messenger bag to prevent an otherwise negligent driver wriggling away on a technicality.
Available in a range of colours and several lengths, it's consists of a phenomenally strong, flexible solid core with two high power LEDs, which are in turn, amplified by fibre optic components for captivating effect. It's powered by AAA batteries, a more practical choice for Audax and touring contexts as yo can get replacements anywhere, although the Single Tail's robust weather seals make roadside replacements a little fiddly.
The Fibre Flare Single Tail passed my hosepipe test and laughed at wet coastal roads despite being hung horizontally on a low-slung touring trailer. Its silicone 'ladder' straps wrap round tubing diameters between 10 and 60mm. If you don't like clutter, they're easily trimmed.
The shape and attachments straps open up plenty of possibilities for creative illumination. With a Fibre Flare down each seat stay and an extra light on my wedge pack I was able to mimic the highly visibly light layout of a contemporary French car.
Laying a Fibre Flare horizontally along my trailer's top rails was similarly effective and eliminated moments of going stealth when turning right or entering traffic flow. Of its two modes, flashing has been my default and is distinctive enough to avoid being lost among competing light sources .
The steady mode is hardly impotent but consumes juice at nearly twice the rate, though the run times are pretty frugal at 28-33 hours in steady mode against 62-68 hours in flash, depending on cell type and quality.
The switch is positive enough that you're unlikely to turn it on or off accidentally, but it's a faff if you're wearing winter weight gloves.
Superb light system for anyone but better than most for tandems and similarly specialist configurations.
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Make and model: Fibre Flare Single Tail rear light
Size tested: n/a
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?
Fibre flare is a personal safety device rather than bike light in the traditional sense. "o 360 Degree Illumination - Be Seen from All Angles!
o Massive Illuminated Surface Area for Ultimate Safety
o Ultra Bright - Visible from Over 300 Meters
o Super Light Weight - Only 80 grams (including batteries)
o Excellent Burn Time - 75 Hours Strobe or 24 Hours Constant
o Silicone Attachment Slings - Fits all Bikes, Clothing & Bags
o 2 x AAA 1.5V Batteries
o 12 Month Warranty"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Solid core employing two LEDs whose intensity is amplified to phenomenal effect by fibre optic technology.
Very well made. I've been running one for several seasons without the faintest hint of trouble.
Incredibly simple to use, although the switch can prove a little tricky to locate and engage wearing heavy tog winter gloves/mittens.
Resisted wet coastal roads, hosepipe torture testing etc handsomely.
Managed between 62 and 68 hrs in flashing, 28-33 steady depending on battery type/quality.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
So long as all urges to bend or contort the wand are resisted, Fibre flare is a phenomenally effective means of illuminating bike, rider or indeed accessories and is particularly well suited to trailers, tagalongs, recumbents and tandems too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Pretty much everything.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Nothing, though the switch can prove a little obstinate.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? Definitely.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Without hesitation.
Age: 40 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)