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review

Lucas KOTR R15 Sport rear light

9
£25.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Neat and compact rear light, with a good beam and battery life for its size; fair price, too
Weight: 
23g

The Lucas KOTR R15 Sport rear light is very neat and compact, with a good beam and battery life for its size. It's ideal for clipping on your bike to alert drivers of your presence when daytime conditions are gloomy, and so you've got a back-up if your afternoon ride goes on later than planned.

Lucas lights might be better known in the world of motoring, but this manufacturer has a very long cycling heritage, first producing King of the Road acetylene lamps way back in the 1870s. The King of the Road (or KOTR) brand is now applied to a new generation of bike illumination, including this natty little R15 rear light, part of the Lucas Sport range (the other ranges are Classic and City).

As the name implies, the bulb gives off 15 lumens, which isn't massive compared to some of the rear lights you can get these days, but it's not a glimmer either.

The light unit itself is a little cylinder, about 3cm long and 3cm in diameter, which you fit to your seatpost with a grippy rubber loop that connects to a hook. Even the rubber loop is neat, with an extra little hook to make sure you haven't got any spare bits of rubber flapping around in the wind.

The KOTR R15 light unit is made from aluminium and weights just 25g. With the strap the whole thing weighs in at 33g on the road.cc scales.

The lens doubles as the on/off button, and is also used to toggle between modes. It's big enough to operate while wearing winter gloves.

You get three modes: full power constant, low power constant, and flash. The run-times are a claimed 3 hours, 6 hours and 25 hours respectively, and on tests all these claims were proved to be true. In fact the KOTR kept on flashing for about 30 hours.

The light is powered by an integrated lithium-ion battery. Charging from 'empty' to 'full' takes about 2.5 hours with the mini-USB plugged into a socket in the wall. You can also charge it up off a PC, but this takes longer.

On costs, the KOTR R15's recommended retail is £25. There are cheaper lights available, but for this price you get a combination of compact size, easy fitting, solid construction, bright light (for the size) and long run-time (for the size) which all adds up to good value.

This light won't be suitable for everyone. For full-on night riding, such as a long audax, or for regular commuting, you'll probably want something brighter instead (or as well), but it's a recommended option for day-time visibility and as a 'get you home' for unexpected cycling after dark.

Verdict

Neat and compact rear light, with a good beam and battery life for its size. Fair price, too.

The light comparator

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lucas KOTR R15 Sport rear light

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

This product a rear light, aimed more at occasional users rather than cyclists who ride all night, or need to be more visible from behind, if commuting for example. The Lucas website says: 'The KOTR R15 Sport bike light delivers 15 lumens of rear light from its sporty, compact, lightweight aluminum body. Its simple push lens operation, toggles light modes for between 3 and 25 hours run time form a quick 2.5 hour USB recharge. The KOTR Sport bike light range has been designed to complement the design of modern road bicycles and offers an unobtrusive, solution for the style conscious rider. The R15 sport mounts quickly and securely thanks to its integral silicon strap and leaves no ugly brackets on the bike when not in use. Pair with the F40 Sport or F500 Sport bike light for ultimate performance. '

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

The Lucas website goes on to give the following Technical specifications:

"LED Type - 1 high Lumen LED giving 15 Lumens output

Power Source - 220 Ah Li-Polymer Battery

Light Modes - 3 functions (high, medium and flash)

Run Time - Long run time upto 25 hours

Charge Time - 2.5hrs, Weight - 29g

Extra Features - USB Re-charge

Mounting - Quick release rubber strap

This easy to fit rear LED bike light offers the cyclist peace of mind that visibility to other road users will be assured. In flashing mode this light will give extended use. To ensure complete safety and visibility to other road users it is advisable to use 2 rear LED bike lights, one in flashing mode and one in constant mode. It may be a legal requirement in your country to use a light certified to a specific standard or an international equivalent. Most lights sold on Lucasbikelights.co.uk are certified and labelled with a European CEN standard. Please check your country's requirements to see if this is sufficient, some lights may need to be used with an additional legal backup light."

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Construction is very good - a solid aluminium body and sturdy rubber loop.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10

Design is very simple, and the light is very easy to use.

The rubber loop is plenty strong enough for the weight of the light unti, and the extra little hook to stop the loose end of the loop flapping around is a nice touch.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

This light went out on some very wet test rides, and was absolutely fine. To reach the mini USB port to recharge the light you unscrew the cylindrical unit into two sections (battery in one side, bulb and lens on the other). Take care when screwing it back together again so as not to damage the rubber seal.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10

Battery life and recharge times were as claimed (or better).

Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10

At 25 quid, this light is not cheap, but the price is good value for the combination of compact size, easy fitting, solid construction, bright light (for the size) and long run-time (for the size).

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Compact, neat, light, bright, good run-time, easy to operate on the go.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Yes.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?

Overall, the KOTR R15 ticks all the boxes it you want a neat and easy light for day-time visibility and as a 'get you home' for unexpected cycling after dark, and on that basis would score a perfect 10. The price, although very fair, is not an absolute bargain, and the need for careful re-assembly after recharging might be an irritation for some users, which together dock a point, giving a well-deserved total of 9.

Rate the light for value:
 
8/10
As a compact unit with a relatively bright liht for its size, performance is very good.
At a mere 33g all in, this is a great weight for the levels of illumination and battery run-time provided.
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
9/10

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 53  Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm  Weight: 11 stone / 70kg

I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, an old Cotswold steel classic, an old Jensen steel classic  My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex carbon (can you see a theme here?)

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Trail riding, gravel riding and rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)

 

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