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Ridden & Reviewed: Bontrager Flare R Tail Light

June 11, 2015

Tail lights. Not exactly the most exciting product out there. But perhaps the one of the most important aside from a helmet. A quality tail light keeps you visible when riding, and when riding after dusk or before dawn keeps you in compliance with Austin’s city ordinances regarding bike lights. Of course with bike lights options abound. There’s all manner of light for every budget, but some lights, like the Bontrager Flare R really stand out in the crowd.

The Bontrager Flare R is designed as a daytime tail light. Yes, you read that right. Daytime. Visibility is not just a matter of being seen in low light conditions. And the Flare R is up to the challenge of being seen in Austin’s typically abundant bright sunshine. The light is designed with balanced optics and 270 degree visibility with two day-time visibility modes and two night modes. It offers 65 lumens of visibility with a claimed range of 2 km. That’s a good long way to be seen from–a good thing when were talking distracted drivers and the like. At $59.99 the Flare R offers a lot of light for the money.

Perhaps the biggest selling point for me is the running time. The day steady mode will give you a claimed 4.25 hours of run time, the night steady mode 21 hours, the day flash mode 5.75 hours, and the night flash mode a whopping 23 hours (claimed). I ran my Flare R for 8 hours with no issues and then used it again the following day for another 2 hours and the light never went into its “safe mode,” where it runs a lower output and simpler pattern once the battery is depleted to 5%.

The Flare R sports a nearly ubiquitous mini-USB charging and an easy on/off mount that can be positioned vertically or horizontally on posts up to 35mm in diameter. It also comes with a clip mount for placement on a backpack, saddle bag, or jersey pocket. My only gripe with the Flare R is the small rubber cover for the USB mini port. It doesn’t stay closed too well, at least on my light. It’s not the biggest deal, and it hasn’t affected the light’s performance. But I do get nervous about getting the charging port contaminated when riding in wet weather like we had last month.


The Flare R comes neatly packaged with all manner of mounting options.

All in all the Bontrager Flare R is the right light at the right price. It does more than the minimum to comply with Austin’s bike light ordinance, is easy to use, and truly offers exceptions visibility.

Stop by and let us show you how to be seen.

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