Diminutive in size, but not in brightness, Bontrager’s new Ion 100 R front and Flare R City rear bike lights are barely bigger than dice, but pack a wallop. Safety is always in style and now you can slap one on without cramping your style.

Bontrager Ion 100 R and Flare R City Features

  • Small size is easily mounted to bars or seatposts
  • Compatible with Blendr mounts
  • Optimized for extended daytime and short nighttime use
  • Charges via micro USB
  • Ion 100 R runtime: 100LM-1.5hrs, 50LM-3hrs,5LM-16hrs, Night Flash-7hrs, Day Flash-5hrs
  • Flare R City runtime: Day flash 35LM-8hrs, night flash 35LM-16hrs, day steady 20LM-3hrs, night steady 2LM-20hrs
  • MSRP: $39.99 each
The Flare R City is small but blinky.

The Flare R City is small but blinky.

Three cheers for visibility

Over the past few years, Bontrager has been leading the visibility charge and has gone as far as to equip their pro team with lights on select stages. While that’s cool and all, WorldTour teams don’t need the added visibility because they are racing on closed roads, but it serves as a good example to us all. But, since we’re the ones who need it the most, I can’t think of a better way to spend the next 80 bucks you have burning a hole in your pocket.

Mounting either the Ion 100 R or Flare R City is straightforward and simple. Just a single rubber strap pulls around any round bits on your bike. The 100 R is optimized for front and the Flare R City is optimized for seatpost use with a 16-degree offset. I’ve been testing the 100 R with Bontrager’s Blendr system as well and you can’t go wrong with either mount. Both hold securely and are easy to pivot or remove for charging.

Keep in mind that these lights are small in size, so the included batteries are limited in full-bore mode — particularly with the 100 R. That said, on some longer early-start rides, I did run the headlight into low power mode. But, I think it wasn’t fully charged.

The Ion 100 R is equally small and features solid on or blinky modes.

The Ion 100 R is equally small and features solid on or blinky modes. Shown with Blendr mount.

With a maximum of 100 lumens up front, you can see adequately, but if you ride at higher speeds or need a wider, longer beam, check out Bontrager’s other models (350 or 800 R).

I love being seen and really love Bontrager’s take on daytime blinking patterns. It’s certainly attention-grabbing and provides instant confidence when riding in traffic. While out on rides, I’ve had drivers ask about my lights, so that’s a good sign.

The Good

  • Optimized for daytime use
  • Nice blinking patterns
  • Several brightness and blinking options
  • Mounts and dismounts in a jiffy
  • Strap can stretch around large-diameter aero seatposts (like the one on the Dogma F8)

The Bad

  • At max power the Ion 100 R has a short runtime

The Bottom Line: Ion 100 R and Flare R City

Visibility is a no-brainer and these lights should be standard kit for all cyclists from now on. They are small, easily-mounted and can be seen from afar.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly 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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