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review

Bookman Curve Rear Light

7
£39.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Well designed and well made, easy to use, reliable and effective – and looks cool too
Pretty bright
Solid build
Easy to fit/remove
Stylish looks
Good run-times
More expensive than many
Only really mounts on a seatpost/tube
Weight: 
47g
Contact: 

If design-led LEDs are your thing, look no further. The Bookman Curve Rear Light combines an output powerful enough for daytime as well as after-dark use, looks good, and is easy to fit and remove. It's not the cheapest, but it is well made and reliable.

Available in six different colours, there's no mistaking the Scandinavian design pedigree behind this wedge-shaped rear light. The light itself contains three LEDs, one superbright in the centre and one either side of that, all housed in a sturdy plastic case.

> Find your nearest dealer here

A shaped wedge at the back allows for seatpost angles when mounting, and a stretchy silicone band clips into the body of the light to fasten it in place. This fastening also doubles as the on/off and mode switch (you can see how it works in this online video), while on the other side of the light body is the Micro-USB charging port.

Because of the attachment band and the shape of the light, it's only really suitable for mounting on a seatpost or seat tube. It is possible to mount it onto a light loop on a bag or the like, but it does flop about a bit, thanks to its shape and weight. However, thanks to the wedge at the rear of the unit, there are no problems with the angle of the light once it's on the seatpost.

2020 Bookman Curve Rear Light 2.jpg

The silicone band makes mounting a doddle, and it's good and secure once on thanks to the inherent grippiness of the silicone. It stays put without any movement, and fits a variety of sizes and shapes of seatpost/tube.

The light has four modes and two brightness settings, with a simple combination of presses to toggle between. On its brightest setting the manufacturer claims 37 lumens, which isn't particularly high for a rear light, sitting somewhere in the mid-ground of power, but I thought it bright enough for daylight safety use – it was enough to elicit whinging from my fellow rider that it was hurting his eyes. The claimed life on this highest setting is two and a half hours and it delivered that reliably, and frequently with a bit more.

In its power-saving less bright mode or the flashing options, it lasts for up to 32 hours, which is plenty long enough for a few commutes or to ensure that most of the time it's simply a grab and go.

> Buyer’s Guide: 19 of the best rear lights for cycling

Charging time is nice and short, at less than two hours from dead, and a micro USB cable is included with the light, making it handy for the office or home.

One of the nicest features of the light, apart from its cool looks, is the curved shape that gives good light spill at angles as well as just straight back, making you more visible from all around. Coupled with that daytime visibility, it makes it a good choice for added safety on low-sun wintry rides.

In terms of value for money, the spectrum of rear lights is so diverse, it's very hard to judge. However, for a light of roughly equivalent brightness, it's looking in the right sort of ballpark, particularly in light of the build quality and that little extra design edge that you might be happy to pay a premium for. It's £10 more than the Ravemen TR30M rear light (£29.99) but that is marginally less bright at 30 lumens max and also has a shorter run-time on max. The Gemini Juno 100 rear light is also £29.99 and packs a massive punch of 100 lumens max power and a decent run-time. The Knog Lil Cobber rear light comes in at a pricier £44.99 for 50 lumens max.

There's a lot of personal preference in terms of features vs brightness vs sturdiness of build vs looks, though, and for me at least the Bookman came out pretty well in terms of being a good looking, straightforward to use and reasonably bright light with good battery life. I'd have liked a bit more flexibility in how it mounted, but it does a great job for low-sun additional safety and commutes, as well as being a good combo with a light mounted elsewhere (I love a two-light back-up setup).

All in all, it looks good, does a reliable and serviceable job of increasing visibility both after dark and in low sun/fog, and it won't break the bank.

Verdict

Well designed and well made, easy to use, reliable and effective – and looks cool too

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Bookman Curve 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?

Rear light for cyclists who want a design-led option. It looks good and does a straightforward and reliable job.

Bookman says, 'Rechargeable high power bike light with a brightness of up 37 lumen and a run-time of up to 32 hours. Easy attach and detach from the handlebar with the elastic silicone band.

'The battery indicator and 'on' button is situated on top which also doubles as the clasp. Press and hold for 0.7 second to turn the light on or off. One single click switches between the four modes available.

'On the brightest steady light setting, the light produces 37 lumen for a two and a half hours. In the power saving and flashing modes the light can last up to lengthy 32 hours. It takes only two hours to charge from flat to full via a convenient USB charging cable, which is included.

'The design of the glass, which spills over the sides, ensures a wide range of light, not only in front of the cyclist but reflects off to the sides. This results in cyclist peace of mind that the light provides them with clear visibility of the roads as well as being visible to other travelers at 180 degrees around them.

'The completely weather resistant light (IP-44) will show you the way through rain, hail or snow. Fits bar diameters from 22 to 42 mm'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Bookman lists:

Max brightness 37 lumen (for 2.5 hours)

Max run time up to 32 hours

Two hour charge time from flat

Charges via micro USB cable (supplied)

4 modes and 2 brightness/power settings accessed by button pushes

Silicone strap mount

Integral wedge to compensate for most seatpost angles

Curved design

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Very well made, from tough materials and good protection of charging port.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Super-easy to use.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

Limited to seatpost mounting but easy to mount and an integral wedge compensates for seatpost angles. Very secure once clamped, with no movement on the seatpost.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

No problems at all with bad weather.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

For a light that lasts 2.5 hours on high, the 2 hour charge time is nice and fast. With up to 32 hours on low-power settings, it's a handy grab and go option for commutes.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

It's not going to bring down planes, but it's bright enough to add to safety in low sun and after dark, and it's visible from a variety of angles. It's easy to use, too.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Should last well as it's solidly built and there's little exposed to the elements.

Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10

Not a bad weight given that it's quite chunky.

Rate the light for value:
 
5/10

Well-made and effective, plus it looks nice. It's not the cheapest out there, but I'd pay the premium for the looks and ease of use.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Pretty bright, solid, easy to fit/remove, stylish looks, good charge life.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

More expensive than some, only really fits on seat tube.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

For a light of this brightness, it's looking in the right sort of ballpark, particularly in light of build quality and that little extra design edge that you might be happy to pay a premium for. It's £10 more than the Ravemen TR30M rear light at £29.99, but that is marginally less bright at 30 lumens max and also has a shorter run-time on max. The Gemini Juno 100 rear light is also £29.99 and packs a massive punch of 100 lumens max and a decent length of run-time. The Knog Lil Cobber rear light comes in at a pricier £44.99 for 50 lumens max.

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 overall score

I think it's good, overall: it looks cool, does a reliable and serviceable job of increasing visibility both after dark and in low sun/fog, and though it's not the cheapest, it won't break the bank.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

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