- Highly visible from 2km away, even in bright sunlight
- Great for day or night riding
- ANT+ and Bluetooth smart
- 5 visibility modes: 3 daytime, 2 nighttime
- Fits BlendR rear magnetic mount on Bontrager Circuit MIPS helmet
- IPX7 waterproof rating and updated easy open/close USB port
- Long-lasting USB-rechargeable battery
- Connects with Bontrager Transmitr and select Garmin computers
- Clip mount for saddlebag must be purchased separately
Also Available at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DIbm7q
How Obtained: Company sample
Availability: Online and retail
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 1 month
- Both day and night flash or steady modes
- Features a CREE® LED
- USB Rechargeable
I’ve been using Bontrager’s Flare R since it launched about 3 years ago and purchased the Flare RT back in May. Recently, Bontrager came out with a new and improved version of this rear light and they included it in my swag bag at the Trek Women’s Advocate summit. So I was able to compare 3 generations of the light.
The new light is 36% smaller, 30% more powerful, 40% more Lumens, and runs 20% longer than its predecessor. They also updated the USB port to seal out water. Wow, didn’t think they could improve this great light.
Bontrager’s ABCs of awareness is A=Always on, B=BioMotion, C=Contrast. Always on means lights both day and night. I’ve been running a rear light consistently for over 5 years and added a front light (Bontrager ION 800 RT) more than a year ago. I know for a fact that riding with daytime lights has saved me from getting hit numerous times. Drivers just see you better and sooner. The statistic that 80% of cycling accidents occur during the day made me realize that I needed to be noticed by drivers.
When cars added daytime running lights accidents were reduced by 25% and for motorcycles a drop of 13%. From Trek’s research with Clemson University, it showed that the best thing a rider can do to be more visible on the road is to ride with a flashing light. Studies have shown a 270% increase in driver recognition of a cyclist with a flashing rear light compared to without. An additional study showed a 33% decrease in accidents for cyclists equipped with daytime running lights.
Focus, Flash, Range
There are three components that make up an effective daytime running light.
- Focus. Bontrager intensifies the light beam to extend its range. Some lights may appear bright but, in the daylight, may not be noticed.
- Flash. To increase noticeability, the Flare RT uses a varied output and an interruptive flash pattern (90 Lumens).
- Range. This rear light is visible from 2km away in daylight. This gives drivers more time to react to your presence.
Checkout the Bontrager’s videos on Daytime Running Lights and Clemson University research partnership.
The new Flare RT provides a full 12 hours of runtime with all-day flash mode and battery save mode provides 30 minutes of additional runtime when battery life reaches 5%.
Day flash: 90 Lumens – 6 hrs Day
All day flash: 45 Lumens – 12 hrs
Night flash: 5 Lumens – 15 hrs
Day steady: 25 Lumens – 4.5 hrs
Night steady: 5 Lumens – 13.5 hrs
Additional features of the Flare RT include a built in ambient light sensor to automatically set the light to the best mode for conditions. A Lock Mode can be set to ensure the light always stays in the preferred mode.
Wireless Control via Garmin Edge, Bontrager Garmin Edge and Bontrager ANT+ Devices
The Flare RT connects to certain Garmin Edge models, Bontrager Garmin Edge and Bontrager ANT+ devices to turn lights on/off, select mode, view real-time light battery status, and more.
You can control this light wirelessly using the optional Transmitr ANT+ remote (additional $39.99). The Transmitr wireless remote controls up to 7 Transmitr-ready devices and attaches to the handlebars. One interesting use for the Transmitr is to pair with multiple Flare RT rear lights for turn-signal configuration.
If you already own a Garmin Edge (select models) or Bontrager Garmin Edge, you don’t need to buy the Trnasmitr. The light is easily paired for wireless control and battery status. When I reviewed the earlier model, I noticed the battery life was reduced when paired with a Garmin. I figured it was due to the Bluetooth connectivity with the Garmin and light “talking” to each other constantly. According to the engineers who developed the new Flare RT, “variance in the temperature would cause more fluctuation in run time than if connected to a Garmin.”
Mount to Your Bike or Helmet
The IPX7 waterproof rating and updated USB port protects the light from downpours, tire spray and even temporary immersion up to 1m. So, no worries using it on your seat post or helmet. The Flare RT comes with a rear Quick Connect bracket to attach to the bike or slide it on the BlendR Magnetic mount that comes with the Circuit MIPS road helmet (see my review). An optional Tail Light Seat Pack clip ($4.99) lets you mount the light to your saddle bag. Just make sure that the light is perpendicular to the ground to maintain proper visibility to drivers.
The Bottom Line
With distracted driving on the rise, being visible on the road is the number one concern of mine. Thus, I never ride without daytime running lights both front and rear. I had been using the original Bontrager Flare R rear light for over 3 year and now started using the new version of Flare RT on my Circuit MIPS helmet. I feel more visible to drivers which translates to being safer on the road. The new light is now lighter weight, smaller and more powerful than its predecessor. Being rechargeable via USB and visible from 2km away during the daytime, Flare RT is the perfect light to choose for all your road riding.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio.