Friday, April 27, 2012

Cateye Rapid 5 Rear Light

Subtitle: Marcus uses a stapler!

This is a review of the Cateye Rapid 5 Rear Cycling Light  In a word: disappointing, but not quite useless.

The benchmark affordable and powerful rear light to me is the Cateye TL-LD610 5 LED . Mine dropped off and was lost about 2 weeks ago so time for a replacement.

The rapid 5 is product TL-LD650 so I thought I was in for an upgrade.  Oh dear:

  • Form factor is excellet as with earlier TL-LD610
  • On the long sides of the light is a small button to switch on and change the flashing
  • BUT, the 5 uniform LEDS have been replaced by 1 large LED and 4 smaller
  • The blurb talks about 3 LEDS and 2 sidemounted but I did not see any side positioning change over the 610
Now the killer disappointment:  Recall flashing cycle lights, well flash in order to save batteries and draw attention.

They have reprogrammed all the flashing modes to be bloody annoying. 

a) Rapid mode is like you are in an acid house disco in the 1980's
b) Pulse mode, is the best of the bad, like a weak Nightrider
c) Flashing mode, looks like you just had an accident

Leaving d)solid mode, thus draining the batteries and not drawing enough attention, and not being as good as 5 large LEDs solid.

It would not be possible for another cyclist (e.g. Agata) to follow me with this flashing light.  Not without murderous intent and  / or a headache developing.

So now I have to try and return the Rapid 5 and hope TL-610 lights are still available since they have disappeared from the Cateye website.

And so, what about the stapler?  Well yes the light was packed in an aggressive mix of cardboard, sharp plastic and held together with staples.

In my paperless world I'm ashamed to admit I still keep my pre millenium stapler, used I hope for the last time this century.

Cateye Rapid 5 Flashing Modes