The 3 Best Bike Tail Lights in 2018

The Best Bike Tail Lights 2018

Are you on the lookout for a set of bike tail lights to get you going for 2018?

As someone who has been through numerous bike tail lights buying process, I know there are many questions in your mind right now, such as:

  • How bright or how many lumens do I need?
  • How long will the battery last me?
  • Can I mount it on my seatposts, seat stays or even helmet?

Well, it's normal to have those questions. In fact, you SHOULD be asking these questions.

So before you go out and buy your next set of bike tail lights for 2018, here are some of the things you might want to to take into consideration.

Factors to Consider When Buying A Bike Tail Light

Brightness

The tail light's brightness is the most important aspect you should consider before everything else.

Generally, the higher the lumens rating, the brighter it is. On the flipside, it would also consume more battery power.

TIP 1: Get a tail light with at least 50 lumens for you to be clearly visible during the day and night.

Battery Life

Today, most bike tail lights by reputable brands usually have a long battery life. You can expect up to 20 hours of battery life if you run them on flashing mode.

If you're on a tight budget, there are still bike tail lights that runs on replaceable alkaline batteries but they're getting lesser these days. 

TIP 2: USB rechargeable Li-Ion are the preferred batteries.

Type of Bulbs

You’d agree with me that the era of using lights bulbs is coming to an end, and everyone is changing to the use of LEDs.

LEDs are much brighter while consuming less power, last almost forever and doesn't get hot.

TIP 3: Go with LED's.

Mounting Options

You might want to consider a tail light to give you various mounting options. Some of the common mounting locations are the seat posts, seat stays, helmet or on the bike racks, if you have one. 

Things get a little complicated if you have an aero or flat shaped seatposts where you choice of will be reduced.

TIP 4: Go with a rubber strap mounting as they are stretchable over a range of seat post sizes and shapes.

The 3 Best Bike Tail Lights for 2018

TOP PICK - Knog Blinder Road R70

Buy this if... 

You're looking for a sleek and stylishly designed rear lights.

The Knog Blinder Road R70 is my top pick as it ticks all the boxes perfectly in terms of design, usability and brightness.

ALSO GREAT - Cateye Rapid X3

Buy this if...

You want a rear light that provides you with maximum visibility on the road.

The Cateye Rapid X3 is among the brightest rear light in the market today at 100 lumens. Combine this with its sub 50g weight, you're looking at a rear light that gives you the best Lumens to Weight ratio.

GREAT - Cygolite Hotshot 100

Buy this if...

You want a very bright rear light on a budget.

The Cygolite Hotshot 100 is the favourite among those with a tight budget. has the thickest shackle among all at 18mm.

You still get all the functionalities of a premium rear light but minus all the stylish and sleek design.

Knog Blinder Road R70

Knog Blinder R70 Rear Lights

Knog Blinder Road R70

Overall Score

Brightness

70 Lumens

Weight

52g

If you are in the market for a tail light that is brilliantly bright coupled with a sleek design, then look no further than the Knog Blinder Road R70.

With a total output of 70 Lumens, the Knog Blinder R70 makes you highly visible and will definitely grab the attention of drivers behind you.

The Blinder R70 also brought a lot to the table by giving you the option to choose between 5 different modes and runtime. My preferred mode is the Eco Flash as they last much longer at 20 hours and has a flash beam that attracts attention.

Knog Blinder R70 Run Times

The LED's are carefully placed at an angle don't blind the drivers, but grab their attention instead.

Besides, I also like the fact that it's 100% waterproof, dustproof and securely sealed.

Pros

  • Bright and visible for everyone to see
  • Fits both round and aero seatposts
  • Offers free replacement straps should they get broken

Cons

  • Rubber straps are prone to breaking when stretched over aero seatposts overtime

Cateye Rapid X3

Cateye Rapid X3

Overall Score

Brightness

100 Lumens

Weight

46g

One thing that makes the CatEye Rapid X3 stand out is its Lumens to Size ratio.

The small, yet stylishly designed Rapid X3 delivers 100 Lumens at its maximum brightness. This is more than enough for you to be seen both during the day and night.

It's solidly built as you would expect from any Japanese brands and especially from Cateye who has been in the business for more than 50 years. 

Another thing I like about this light is you can mount it on both the seatpost and seat stays. It comes with rubber straps of various sizes to cater for this.

My only gripe with this model is that the rechargable USB port is covered by only a thin piece of rubber and prone to getting wet if you're caught in a heavy downpour. I've had one sent in for warranty replacement due to this.

Pros

  • Super bright at 100 lumens
  • Small, sleek and light
  • Mounting fits round/aero seatposts and seat stays

Cons

  • USB charging port is not properly sealed and it prone to getting wet

Cygolite Hotshot 100

Cygolite Hotshot 100

Overall Score

Brightness

100 Lumens

Weight

59g

If you're looking for a tail light that is bright and doesn't blow a huge hole in your pocket, then this you should consider the Cygolite Hotshot 100.

At 100 lumens, this tail light stands shoulder to shoulder with most of the premium bike tail lights like the Knog Blinder Road R70 or the Cateye Rapid X3. 

By now you might be wondering what makes this light the budget option then?

I reckon it's probably due to its design. It's neither stylish nor sleek, but it definitely works and does its job well.

You can mount it on both the seatposts and seat stays with the 2 different mounts provided. The mounting system gives you the flexibility to tilt the light to your preferred angle, but it's definitely not pretty.

It comes 6 different modes, which you easily adjust using a 2 button operation. The battery run time ranges between 2:30 hours and up to a whopping 270 hours running at minimum brightness.

Pros

  • Best price to lumens ratio
  • Fast recharge time - 3 hours
  • Long lasting battery life

Cons

  • Out of date design and mounting system

Which One Should You Buy?

If I'm in the situation where I'm purchasing my next set of tail lights, I would definitely go for the Knog Blinder Road R70 again. I've been using this light for the past 2 years and it's been very very reliable. 

Alternatively, you can also consider the Cateye Rapid X3. With the Cateye's, you know that you'll be getting Japanese quality products and they've been around for more than 50 years.

Having said all that, both tail lights I mentioned above are on the premium side of things. If you're on a budget, I strongly encourage you to consider the Cygolite Hotshot 100, which pumps out similar brightness but at half the price. 

The catch is - It's looks ugly. But if you don't mind that, it's a great value.