Bontrager Flare R Tail Light Review


With all of the distracted driving going on lately, I decided to upgrade the front and rear lights on my commuter bike. I have heard good things about Bontrager's Flare R and Flare RT tail lights, and how well they can be seen, so I decided to pick up a Flare R. I went to the local Trek store and bought one for $59.95. While I was there, I also purchased an Ion 800 R front light, which is covered in another review.

Some of you may ask what the difference between the Flare R and the Flare RT? The Flare RT has a built in ANT+ transceiver that allows it to be controlled remotely with one of Trek's handelbar mounted remote controls. You can also control it with your Garmin 800 series bike computer. Here is the image of the Trek remote control for those of you interested in the Flare RT:


Here are the features and specs of the Flare R:

Here are the visible distances, and the products that Trek recommends, to cover those distances and roads:


There are five different modes, which are adjustable via the single button on the top of the tail light. They are:

Day Flash


All Day Flash


Night Flash


Day Steady


Night Steady 

65 lumen random bursts for 5.75 hours


35 lumens random bursts, with side lights turned off, for 10 hours


Always on with side lights turned off, with 65 lumen front and side short burst, for 23 hours


25 lumens always on for 4.25 hours


5 lumens always on for 21 hours

The claimed charging time is 2 hours from empty. I will measure this over my season of testing. When the battery is fully charged, the charging Led will change from red to green.

As long as the battery is at 25% or greater charged, the status LED color remains green.

When the battery level is between 5% and 25%, the status LED color is red.

When there is less than 5% battery life remaining, the status color blinks red. and the light automatically switches to the 5 lumen strobe mode. This will give you approximately 2 hours before the battery is completely dead.


Here is the dress box:


Here is what is in the box:



I installed it on my main commuting bike. It has a stretchy, adjustable strap that is meant to wrap around the seat post, but it worked fine on the commuter by wrapping it around the rear rack light mount.


Here is another view of the way I mounted the light:


Trek also offers a seat stay mount, part number 418932. I have one on order for $1.99 plus shipping.


Here is my main commuter bike, with both the Bontrager Flare R taillight and Bontrager Ion 800 R headlight installed.  Yes, this bike is an electric bike. It is a Trek 2010 Mendota modified with an E-Bikekit 500 watt rear wheel motor, a 48 volt battery, and fenders. I will cover the details of the bike in another post.


This video is quick, and shows some statistics on how daylight running lights decrease accidents:

This video goes into the design and thought process of Trek's lights:

This video gives some great shots of the Flare R in daylight, and how well it can be seen:

I like John Burke's passion on safety, and designing products that help make riders safer:

So, am I happy with my purchase? Definitely. I would buy again.This product is visible from a long distance, and keeps me being seen easily in daytime and early moring hours. This product has performed well, and survived rain, vibration, and sitting in the hot sun. If anything changes, I'll keep you informed.

As Always,

Enjoy the outdoors!