SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MARCH 18th
OXFORD BRIGHT STOP REAR LIGHT 32g £14.99
The Oxford Bright Stop Rear LED light has proven a lot better, than its specification might suggest. The stop refers to a “brake light”; which senses when you’re slowing down but otherwise, there’s only one (steady) mode. Surprisingly potent when helmet mounted, I’d want to pair it with something like the Oxford Ultratorch R50 Slimline rear light on very dark nights.
Pros: Cheap, cheerful and quite effective as a secondary light.
Cons: Moderate peripheral punch, build quality could be improved.
The reinforced plastic lens and body feel reasonably solid, though less so than the Oxford Ultratorch R50 Slimline rear light tested recently. The watch strap bracket feels very secure, providing solid tenure to most diameters of tubing, including 31.8 posts, seat stays, and, to my surprise box section types, too (such as that used in my Bob Yak homage).
No COB (Chips on Board) technology here. Rather a domino pattern of diodes and naked circuitry. Very different compared with the sleek, seamless aesthetic of most, contemporary rear lights.
This is a small black button. Relatively intuitive/easily located even in the dark and wearing gloves. A definite, single press turns the light on/off and ours hasn’t engaged accidentally, when holidaying in my pocket/day bag.
Powering up, you’ll notice a gentle blinking. That’s the motion sensor. This works to the same principle as those in burglar alarms and of course that tech used in Xeccon Mars 30 COB rear light and its 60 lumen sibling. If you slow, or are indeed stationary, this blinks before triggering all the diodes. Accelerate and they’ll go out, leaving only the single, main diode.
Battery/Compartment/ Weather Sealing.
Access to the AAA cells is by a simple coin slot (flat bladed screwdrivers, typically found on multi-tools will also work nicely). Though plastics aren’t overly soft, go gently to avoid “chewing”.
Sprung open, you’ll find the solitary cell and no seals. I would’ve been happier seeing the “rubber band” type. Oxford reckon it meets IPX4 (Rain, to you and me). I added some Vaseline to the contacts, popped the casing back on and ignored it, save for battery changes. Subjected to wet roads (not to mention, the odd soggy stretch of bridle path and forest track) there’s been no evidence of water/ingress to date.
This isn’t an exact science and will depend on several factors. Battery quality and the amount of stopping/starting. Factory fitted, basic cells are there to “get you going” so I wasn’t surprised when ours packed up after 2.5 hours; two rides, with a mixture of open road and congested town work.
Premium brand replacements in similar contexts returned 13 hours. Potentially inexpensive, if bought at bargain basement retailers. Rechargeable, top quality Ni-cads work out best value, although I’ve kept a couple of dry cells handy, just in case.. 12hrs 30minutes seems typical, using better quality rechargeable cells.
Unusually, Oxford doesn’t cite lumens, lux, or any other measure of output. On the one hand, pleasantly surprised by its punch. That said; there’s less bite than several 15lumen models, in my collection. Including this Revolution Vision COB .
Visibility along unlit roads, we reckon 50 metres. Some friends reckoned 85 on clear nights. Something I attribute to the “braking” function and intermittent tempo. Round town and in stop-go traffic, 30-35 metres: a little further, when helmet mounted, which is helpful. Especially when trailed by HGVs, buses and indeed 4x4s, at rush hour.
Despite claims - it projects a 270degree beam - peripheral presence was only reasonable. However, its more effective than Xeccon Mars 30 due the Xeccon’s bracket. Though I’ve never experienced any stealth moments, or felt overly vulnerable, (using the stoplight as my only rear light), I’ve been more comfortable pairing it with a dynamo, or second LED, along darker roads. Again, though happy enough using the Mars 60 as a single light for my trailer, the same is not true for the bright stop.
Despite some compromises, the Oxford Bright Stop Rear LED is a surprisingly practical, cost effective light. For some, town centric riders, it might be all the light they need.
For me, when paired to the R50, these have catered for pretty much every context. Nonetheless. In its present guise, if I only had the budget for one light, the R50 or Revolution Vision COB would get my money, every time.
Verdict: 2.75 Useful rear light but better as a secondary unit, in its present guise.
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2018
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH