This year, the Trek Factory Racing team has been riding with a little something extra during individual time trial stages — a tail light. But, not just any tail light, the new Bontrager Flare R tail light that’s bright enough even for daytime use.

Bontrager Flare R Tail Light Features:

  • 65 Lumens provide visibility at over 2km day or night
  • 270 degree rearward visibility near and far
  • Two day-time modes, two night modes
  • Day Steady 4.25hrs, night steady 21hrs, day flash 5.75hrs, night flash 23hrs
  • Battery save mode at 5% life help ensure a safe ride home with depleted battery
  • Sync bracket allows for quick and easy adjustment, mounting, and removal
  • Includes: Sync bracket, seat pack clip, and USB cable
  • Sync bracket fits posts 22.2 – 35.0 mm and rotates for seatpost angle compensation
  • Price: $59.99

Bontrager Flare R Review

Blindside safety with the Flare R

While it sucks to think about, the majority of fatal accidents involving cars and bicycles are collisions from behind — the blind spot. Whether due to distracted driving, sun glare or excessive speed, it all results in a losing battle for the cyclist. Now, what if there was a chance to reduce those instances by better visibility? Bontrager has built the Flare R just for that purpose.

This little light is wicked bright in day flash mode. The blinking flash is hard to look at with the naked eye it’s so bright. No question, this light remains visible under all light conditions — even mid-day.

A few months ago, I was riding in the endless farmland of Southern Minnesota and South Dakota. The rolling highways and gravel roads have a chance for creating a death trap for a cyclist. Granted, traffic is minimal on these roads, but the up and down of the roads means that I wasn’t visible all the time. On one ride, a farmer pulled alongside me and said, “I love that light. I could see it from a mile back!” That solidified the power of this tail light right then and there. I’ve used it consistently in the daytime, in rainstorms and in low light conditions and it has worked and continues to work well.

Bontrager Flare R Tail Light Review

Recharging the Flare R is a breeze with the included mini USB charging cable — something we all have lying around anyway. I haven’t timed a full charge, but I’m sure it’s only a couple of hours. I usually plug it in at night, after a handful of rides. The only bummer is that the rubber cover that should protect the charging port now refuses to stay in place. So, it just dangles and exposes the port to the elements. I’m not super worried, but I suppose some damage could occur in extended rain.

Turning the unit on is easy and switching between modes is equally easy. All you need to remember is a long hold will power it on/off and a quick push changes between the four modes.

Mounting the Flare R is easy with the seatpost being the preferred spot. Every one of my bikes has ample seatpost exposure to accommodate both the light and a saddle bag and the easy quick release allows you to remove just the light pod for overnight charging.

The Good

  • Wicked bright — even in daylight
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to mount and stays put
  • Setting a new standard for visibility
  • Battery save mode is a nice touch

The Bad

  • Charging port cover no longer stays in place

The Bottom Line: Bontrager Flare R

Though it is small in size, the Flare R is very, very bright. I’ll take any extra bit of visibility I can get to prevent getting plowed from behind by a distracted driver.

Buy Now: Available at or Your Local Trek Dealer

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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