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review

Topeak Taillux 25 USB

7
£19.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Simple, very waterproof and effective, but not quite powerful enough for very bright days
Compact
IPX6 waterproofing
Easy charging
Not powerful enough for bright days
Easy to turn on accidentally in a bag
Weight: 
38g

The Topeak Taillux 25 USB is pretty simple as far as rear lights go, with just three modes, great waterproofing and a low-ish 25 lumen output. The USB connection means it plugs directly into a laptop or charger without a cable, making it ideal for commuters – or in fact anyone looking for a no fuss little light. It's not really bright enough for daytime use, though.

Topeak claims the Taillux 25 weighs 30g with its mount, although we measured it at 38g. Nevertheless, this is hardly a heavy light, and it's compact too at 63 x 27 x 25 mm.

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Okay, that's slightly larger than the Vel 20 rear light which also has a built-in clip, but the Topeak beats its run times.

Brightness

Despite punching out 25 lumens (five more than the Vel 20), the visibility isn't as impressive. This might be because manufacturers use various ways to measure lumens (especially with red lights), or it might be down to the source of light: the Vel usies a chip on board (COB) design, whereas the Taillux has two larger LEDs.

Whatever the reason, the Topeak is more than bright enough for the majority of rides, but I did feel it struggled to stand out on particularly bright days.

Modes

Some would argue that with just three modes, the Taillux 25 is under-equipped. Personally, I didn't find this was the case, and instead found the simplicity quite refreshing (especially against the uber-complex 'smart' lights I'm currently testing).

These modes can be toggled using the on/off switch on the top of the light. The raised profile of the button makes it easy to both turn on and change modes whilst riding, even whilst wearing gloves, and the minimal modes mean I actually knew which one it's in. By extension, I also have some concept of how long the light will last.

That said, I did find after popping the light in a backpack it had managed to turn itself on.

Run times

The three modes are a constant, blinking and blink sequence, with burn times of three hours, 30hrs and 40hrs respectively. With that in mind if your jam is long group rides, this probably isn't the light for you, as a longer burn time in constant mode would be desired.

However, for the average commuter these burn times are more than adequate, and exceed those of similar lights. For example, the Vel only lasts 1.5 hours (20 lumens constant) and the Knog Plug rear light manages three hours (10 lumens constant).

Charging

When charging, the indicator LED is solid green, and turns off when fully charged. This seems a bit backwards to me – solid green on most lights means fully charged. It's also worth remembering that, if you do plan on charging from a laptop, charging takes 3-4hrs instead of the claimed, mains-charged two hours.

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The simple silicon straps are easy to attach and detach on both round and aero posts (up to 34.9mm and 25.4mm respectively), and the mount even has a clip for saddle bags.

The two shapes of pad and three sizes of silicon strap mean fit is easy to tailor. The pads do a good job of protecting carbon seat posts from scratches and overall, the 'engineering grade polymer' case feels high quality.

The IPX6 water resistance rating is impressive – this is often overlooked at this price point. IPX6 means it can resist high-pressure and heavy sprays of water from all directions, and some fairly foul conditions failed to faze it.

> 18 best rear bike lights for 2020 — boost your day & night visibility

Thanks to the clear side panels, the Topeak light boasts 240-degree visibility, which helps at junctions and roundabouts, and is again higher than many competitors.

Value

At £19.99 the Taillux 25 sits at a competitive price point for commuter lights. For the same price, the Bookman Block Rear Light offers only 180 degrees of visibility and seven fewer lumens. I was and still am a big fan of the Vel 20 – though rated lower, it seems brighter than the Topeak and the twist lock clamp is very clever. However, with the Taillux 25 you get a proper IP waterproof rating and better run times.

Overall, the Taillux 25 is a pretty ideal package for urban commuters. The waterproofing is great, side visibility is good, and the design is simple yet effective. The light output is good enough too – so long as it's not very bright daylight, anyway.

Verdict

Simple, very waterproof and effective, but not quite powerful enough for very bright days

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak Taillux 25 USB

Size tested: 25Lumens

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?

Topeak says: "The TailLux 25 USB design features convenient cable-free charging with a direct USB port plug."

It's a simple rear light that's ideal for commuters. It's not quite bright enough for bright daylight use but run times, side visibility, and water-resistance are right up there for this price.

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

From Topeak:

MAX LUMINOUS INTENSITY: 25 Lumens

LAMP: 2 super bright red LED's

BATTERY: 3.7 V 320mAh Lithium Ion (integrated)

CONTROL / BURN TIME (APPROX)3 modes: 3 hr (High) / 30 hr (Low) / 40 hr (Blinking)

CHARGE / CHARGE TIME APPROX: USB port / 2 hr

LAMP HOUSING: Engineering grade polymer

STRAP MOUNT: Fits aero or round seatposts (ø25.4 ø34.9mm), seatstay, and Topeak bags

WATERPROOF: IPX 6

SIZE: 6.3 x 2.7 x 2.5 cm / 2.5' x 1.1' x 1'

WEIGHT: 30 g / 1.06 oz (w/ mounting clip)

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Feels high quality.

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

Just three modes – very refreshing and simple.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10

The three straps allow easy mounting to a wide range of seat posts, although are easy to misplace. The clip works well too.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

IPX6 is rare at this price – it's high.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10
Rate the light for performance:
 
6/10

Its okay: run times are good, but output is only average. It's by no means dim, just not up there with the best.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Seems well built. Although I have had problems with USB stick lights in the past, the quality here is reassuring.

Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10

Light, though heavier than claimed.

Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

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

It's good – reliable, and bright enough for the majority of rides.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

It's simple nature.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Switch is vulnerable to accidental presses

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

As mentioned in the review, it's not bad. Though the output is middling, it offers above-average run times and a IPX6 waterproof rating which most competitors don't.

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

It's a good product with lots of features ideal for commuters, such as wire-free charging, strong waterproofing and good side visibility. If it were a bit brighter – it's a little underpowered for daylight – and the raised button wasn't so vulnerable to being switched on in your bag, it would be an eight. As it is, it's a seven.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 6ft  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019  My best bike is:

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, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

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