The world’s smartest bike tail lights

Creativity and technology being applied to tail lights for rider visibility and safety

Lights

Spylamp2

SPYLAMP2

Spylamp MapWhat’s cool about it: The SPYLAMP2 has a built in GPS so you can track down your bike if someone steals it. You can then alert authorities and get the baddies arrested. Here is a map (right) of where your SPYLAMP and your bike’s recent locations are.

What is it: The SPYLAMP2 covert bicycle GPS tracker disguised as a bicycle tail light notifies you by SMS if your bicycle moves, online tracking works as a tail light.

More info: www.integratedtrackers.com
Price: $150

Dinotte Quad RED

Dinotte Quad Red

What’s cool about it: This light puts out a staggering 200 lumens in a small and efficient package. Visibility is maximized and is available in all weather conditions.

What is it: The Quad RED is a fully integrated 200 lumen tail light in a small that uses a quick release system allowing the taillight to quickly come on and off the bike.

The DiNotte Quad RED has has three steady and three flash modes similar to most of our lights except we removed the On/Off Flash and put in a 1/2 inensity rapid pulse. The three current flash modes keep the background lit at all times with a rapid pulse or strobe like burst. Brightness always wins, Dinotte says.

More info: dinottelighting.com
Price: $190

Continue to Page 4 for more tail lights »

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Denis K says:

    This article should have be titled; “Over-engineered overpriced taillights”. Come on people, 100-200 dollar taillights, really? My cell phone, purchased without a service plan barely costs that much. This is ridiculousness at its best. I own a $30 tail light (cateye) and had to really press myself to spend that much. Who is buying these lights? Do not get me wrong these are wonderful devices and the ingenuity amazes me, but 200 hundred bucks? I have to work 2 and a half days to make enough to afford one of these! Leave it to MTBR to do a full 4-page article on high-end boutique taillights. I can go on and on about why these gadget taillights are not practical, but why bother. What the “Average Joe” consumer would like to see are moderately priced products that are affordable and that you will not cry over when they are stolen or break. Bottom line is that we as the consumer are not getting these as free as samples for review and actually have to pay for them. So my apologies to the author/founder of MTBR and road bike review about my rant, we do not all make six figures and cannot afford these products. What is more appealing to us is literature on practical and affordable accessories. You can even give it a catchy name like the “Average Joe’s bike accessory review”. Your review and product introductions remind us of how other media review exotic sports cars. While we drool over how beautiful they are and fantasize about one day being able to afford one. Of course we know that we will most likely never be able to. Can everyone please realize this and come to terms with the fact that that the average annual household income in the US is just slightly over 50k.

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      >> Denis K September 18, 2014 at 2:44 am (Edit)
      >> This article should have be titled; “Over-engineered overpriced taillights”. Come on people…

      Not interested in a tail light that can record a driver who assaults you on the bike, or a tail light that can locate and arrest a thief who steals your bike?

      That’s cool. We just wanted to showcase the great minds and products that are working to make cycling safer.

      We’ll also review, photograph and measure as many under $50 tail lights that we can get our hands on in the upcoming Bike Lights Shootout.

    • Jim E. says:

      Denis K. Time to find a new job.

  • Average Jones says:

    “Average Joe” consumer would like to see are moderately priced products that are affordable and that you will not cry over when they are stolen or break. Bottom line is that we as the consumer are not getting these as free as samples for review and actually have to pay for them. So my apologies to the author/founder of MTBR and road bike review about my rant, we do not all make six figures and cannot afford these products. What is more appealing to us is literature on practical and affordable accessories. You can even give it a catchy name like the “Average Joe’s bike accessory review”.

    I am so tired of people that bemoan the likes of what they cannot afford. I, honestly don’t care if you cannot afford these lights. I welcome the spirit of invention and engineering put forth by companies like Lupine and Lezyne and the futures that are possible because of them. I enjoy, for example, reading about supercars made by Mercedes because in 12 years their technology will be in just about every car. So broke, bitter, average Joe readers take notice: You may not be able to afford this light, but someone else can; and in a few years time, maybe you will too. If your blinkie light isn’t a priority (as is not your cell phone if it only costs $100) don’t bemoan the editors, authors, producers etc of such content. For some affordability (or even safety) is not the point– innovation is the point. These lights are not out of reach of “normal commuters”, just commuters that would rather state their stinginess outloud than think “how could this improve my commute”. They are only out of reach if you’re not willing to embrace them and reach for something greater. And if this is the case, stay where you are and enjoy mediocrity. -Average “Jones” (the people Average Joe’s don’t want to bother catching up with).

    • Denis K says:

      We didn’t ask if you cared. Thank you. My post was to the editor and not directed to you so please do not take offense. I would like to apologize for my “stinginess” as I do not make 6 figures and prefer to use my money to pay for and buy things that my 2 children need. So when I am looking at buying 4 new tail lights for my family its not my stinginess that that makes me buy the $20-$30 light. Don’t rush to get the tar and feather just yet, I do like technology. As a matter of fact I love new technology, I just do not see the need for a GPS, a camera or a vehicle notification system in a taillight. There is always room for improvement on even a taillight. If the companies want to impress us then do so by adding functional features and not just “wow” features.

      And in closing for the troll above who likes to call names (obviously this is condoned on this site) “broke, bitter, stingy, average joe readers” are the working class of America. We are the ones fixing your $100k car when it breaks down and we are the ones who are refraining from spitting in your coffee when you aproach us with that attitude. Wake up, you are not better than anyone because you can afford something that we cannot or prefer not to buy. This is what’s wrong with young pricks who’s mommies spoiled them and bought them iphones when they were 10.

  • Shawn says:

    The Serfas Thunderbolt covered in this article retails for under $50, is rechargeable and is a fantastic light in my experience. The Fly6 has my curiosity piqued with the innovative camera and endless loop recording feature for rear collisions. While higher priced than a low cost replaceable battery taillight which can be had for around $10, it represents a level of technological enhancement that serves as insurance in a worst-case scenario and would hopefully be the worst investment you ever made by never being necessary.

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      >>The Serfas Thunderbolt covered in this article retails for under $50…

      The Thunderbolt looks like a potato chip bag plastic sealer. And then you turn it on and it is just unbelievable how much light comes out of it in all directions!!

  • Sean says:

    Living in a highly populated URBAN area with horrible infrastructure and even worse urban planning (which could be the same depending on how you look at it) I find a 200 dollar bike light a small investment. When I compare that 200 bucks to the cost of my life it seams reasonable. Especially since I ride alone most of the time. I’m not saying that the light is going to save me from everything but if it gets the texting drivers or other distracted drivers attention onto me and off his/her phone then it’s a small price to pay. You can decide what price you want to pay as a consumer. Trickle down tech will have these high end lights selling for under 50 bucks in the next few years. Personally I feel like the Lupine is a huge bargain, at 110 US dollars, compared to the new Dinotte at basically 200 dollars. I only have Dinotte lights and love them, but 2x as much for their new tail light compared to the Lupine is a bit much.
    Francis, thanks for all of your hard work on this site. It’s very much appreciated.

  • CHnuschti says:

    There is another backlight that appeared recently, the See.Sense : https://see-sense.myshopify.com/products/see-sense-rear-light?source_app=shopify-widget
    Has also some smartness and worth to take note of it. Although it is a bit too much automatized for my taste.

  • Sean says:

    I’m sure this would drive the price WAAAAAY above the average consumer (though time will bring prices back to earth), but how about an all-the-above option?
    -Auto brake light
    -Auto brightness/dimming
    -Auto alerts with car proximity
    -rear facing camera
    -gps
    -etc.

  • Wilks says:

    Just saw this article. I commute 5K a year from NJ to NYC in various light and weather temps. I use the dinotte. As does all the commuter group that I belong to. Go ahead and use a cheap blinky or $30 tail light if you dare but I would recommend being as visible as possible. The dinotte can be seen in fog, rain etc. a cheap tail light is another story. Compared to the cost of the bike, and being a husband, father etc. $200 doesn’t seem much to me.

  • TakeNote says:

    I’ve dealt with one of the companies above and the quality of the product was really bad, matched only by the quality of the service from the company when something went wrong. It’s great to highlight the latest and greatest in lighting innovation, but it’s be even more useful to do a road-test review of these lights for a a few months, without the company knowing (ie go out, buy one and deal with their customer service) and then come back to us. I don’t mind spending good money on good lighting, but good money on bad lighting – that, I do have an issue with!

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