Category Archives: accessories
Anybody who has followed my blog for any length of time should know that I am a firm believer in “being seen”. I use and highly recommend bright flashing headlights and taillights as well as highly visible and attention getting safety flags. Thru the years I have employed several different lights and flags. I have made several changes and always tried to improve what I have. I am well pleased with all the lighting and flags I now have. This particular posting is concerning my taillights. Believe it or not, I have 8 of them on my trike. Seven of them can be seen in this video. The 8th one is in between the seat back and the trunk bag and points downward toward the pavement. It is only for riding at night which I rarely do. Normally I only have one taillight on as I ride and it is the middle top one. I only use the others when I am riding somewhere that I am concerned about extra visibility such as busy/dangerous streets and roads. When I turn 5 to 7 of them on you can bet traffic sees me. I look like an emergency vehicle all lit up with bright flashing lights. If I were to come upon a situation along a trail where I stopped to do maintenance work or help someone who had an accident and was injured I would use the extra lighting to be sure other trail users are aware and exercise caution as they approach. Thus far I am talking about daytime use. At nighttime I would only use the lights on flash mode where again I want to be sure others exercise caution approaching the area. I would never use my headlights or taillights on flash mode at night time otherwise as it is offensive and distracting to motorists as well as confusing to them as well. My point is concerning the multiple taillights … I have them if I need them and they can and do come in very handy.
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I seldom recommend products to others. My reasoning is I don’t want them to be upset with me if they don’t care for their purchase. Just because I like something and have been well satisfied does not mean someone else will. Anyway, today while I was out riding I looked down at my headlight and thought to myself that I was very pleased and impressed with it. So, guess what? I decided to recommend it to others.
Anybody looking for a good USB rechargeable headlight and taillight combo? I highly recommend this one. It is a 300 lumen BV made in China (what isn’t anymore?). I have been using it for several months now and really like it.It is plenty bright for daytime use … really gets attention. The charge usually lasts me at least two full riding days. Even when the red light comes on indicating low battery the light still lasts me all day and remains bright. It is fairly small yet extremely bright for daytime use (flash mode). It can be bought at various sources including Amazon, Ebay and Walmart. The price varies from one source to another. Right now the best price I have found online is $12.99 with free shipping at IberaUSA (BikePakMart). The taillight is also quite bright but it only lasts me about one day on a full charge. I seldom use the taillights but there is certainly nothing wrong with them. https://iberausa.com/product/bv-super-bright-300-lumens-rechargeable-bike-light-set-water-resistant/ .
As lumen rating goes 300 isn’t all that much nowadays but I tell ya … I don’t think one would want or need anything brighter than this light for daytime use. It really gets attention! They advertise the taillight as”a bonus included free” and that is the way I look at it. I was buying a headlight not a taillight. It seems oftentimes headlights are advertised as a headlight-taillight combo. As I stated, there is nothing wrong with it. It too is quite bright and attention getting. I simply seldom use these taillights as I have other taillights I prefer over them. Believe it or not, I have 8 taillights mounted on my trike. I normally only use one but when I am riding out on a busy/dangerous road/street I turn others on to make sure traffic sees me. If I turn them all on I look like an emergency vehicle.
To the naysayers who say that ya gotta have a headlight of well over 1000 lumen I say to you that you don’t know what you are talking about. Keep in mind I am talking about riding in the daytime … not after dark. I would be the first to agree that 300 lumen is quite insufficient for night time riding. 3000 lumen would be more in order. BUT IN THE DAYTIME 300 LUMEN IS QUITE SUFFICIENT. Anything more is overkill and totally unnecessary. And brighter lights can be a menace to others. Even my 300 lumen headlight can be a problem for some people as they say it is way too bright and bothers them. It is rare for anyone to complain but it does happen. I just tell them “sorry, but I am trying to stay alive by being seen by motorists”.
So, if you are looking for a good headlight for daytime use (particularly in flash mode) I would think you would be well pleased with this light.
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For those who don’t care to venture out riding during colder temperatures there are “indoor trainers”. However nearly all of them are made for bicycles. They may or may not work on a tadpole trike. I highly recommend one that is made for tadpole trikes … the Sportcrafters trike trainer which is a set of rollers as shown above.
I would have one if I had the money to spend on one but I don’t so I stick with my bicycle trainer. It works but I know that the rollers would be far superior. I don’t usually ride indoors anyway. I go out thruout the winter months and ride boldly ride.
The Sportcrafters rollers come in two different models for tadpole trikes. They no longer offer their basic model. Now they have all models with built in resistance to provide a true workout. Here are the two models available for tadpole trikes:
OverDrive Trike Trainer (MR110) $199
Resistance mimics real-road conditions, and is well suited for active trike riders who want to maintain fitness. Click HERE to read more about it.
Double OverDrive Trike Trainer (MR120) $249
So many customers have asked for more resistance from the OverDrive trike trainer for strong interval sprints that we are happy to offer the Double OverDrive trike trainer with two identical progressive resistance drums. Click HERE to read more about this model.
So if you are among those who don’t go outdoors and ride during colder temperatures and/or snow on the ground this is an option so that you can …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
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Trident offers several accessories for their trikes. One of the newest to be added to their offerings is a canopy which also incorporates a neckrest in its design. I have been seeing pictures of them lately. In 2019 Trident won the BentRider Recumbent Accessory of the Year Award for their canopy. I don’t know if there is any adjustment for the height but the frame is solid as in ‘not flexible’ so I don’t know how difficult it would be to get in and out of the seat since the canopy doesn’t move out of the way like those which are “spring loaded” and move up and out of the way when the front tie down is released. Perhaps it is short enough not to be in the way.
Without a front hold down I don’t know how this canopy would do in high winds or high speed. Definitely the canopy’s tubing framework would get a workout. The thickness of the tubing would come into play in this scenario. Hopefully it is thick enough not to bend when encountering wind. From my personal experience with my canopy I would be quite concerned about this canopy holding up to high winds.
I saw a picture of a tandem trike with two of these canopies installed on it. I would love to show the picture here but I don’t have permission to do so so I won’t. In the picture the canopies are low enough to offer more shade than they would be if they were high like the picture above.
Definitely canopies provide some protection from the sun and precipitation and help us to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
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I assume most of us have come across items others have lost and I assume most of us have lost items.. The old adage “finders keepers, losers weepers” come to mind. If we are fortunate it evens out but we are not always fortunate. Definitely I have not been one to have things even out. In fact, I think the only thing I have found while out riding that was of any real value was a Cateye taillight. It is not as bright as some of the ones that have come along since it was manufactured but still it is fairly bright. I seldom use it however. Recently I lost a headlight which I valued and do miss. I was using a universal clamp I have had for quite some time. It adjusts to accommodate various lights. I had switched to this headlight just this morning when I lost it. Apparently I did not have the clamp tight enough to securely hold the headlight. I assume somebody got a nice headlight out of the deal. I thought I knew where I lost it as I noticed it was missing just a short distance past the area I thought I heard something drop. I went back to look for it but didn’t find it. I ended up retracing my ride all the way back home and back again to where I first turned around looking for it. I even got off of my trike and carefully walked around looking for it. No one was around when I had heard the sound of something dropping. I was going across a boardwalk at the time and was nearly at the end of it. So if it did fall there I am quite sure no one else got it. And after a very careful look (three times) for me to have not spotted it would have to mean that it fell and rolled somewhere where it is very well hidden. I had just put brand new batteries in it and it was flashing very brightly which should have made it pretty easy to spot. It is kind of a sickening feeling when you lose something you value. Yes, it can be replaced. I just don’t like wasting money buying something I already had and was working fine. Anyway I immediately went to the LBS (local bike shop … or local bike store) and bought a new headlight identical to it. I like having at least one battery (AA or AAA) powered headlight and taillight as I can change the batteries while I am out riding if I need to. And the batteries last a very long time compared to the rechargeable type. They are another story and have let me down more than once with no recourse while I am out riding. Well, as they say … that is my story and I am stuck with it. So if you are riding along and see a headlight laying near the trail flashing away … well, no, it is not likely mine. That would be too far for it to roll. Hopefully you won’t loose anything … especially anything of value … while you are out riding. It is no fun, I tell ya. It is definitely not my idea of …
ENJOYING THE RIDE!
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
Oh by the way … since this happened I have removed the universal clamp mount (shown in the picture below) and am using the mounts that came with the lights I am now using. I added another mounting post opposite the one which Catrike has on the front derailleur post. It is working out well.
I have written articles about bicycle lights before. Here goes another posting about them. With the invention of LED lights and the development of various lights over the years I think it is safe to say “we’ve come a long way”. It is my understanding that a standard automotive headlight is about 1200 lumens. A lumen is a measurement of brightness a light produces. I won’t bother giving the exact definition here as it is too technical for most of us to grasp much about what they say. HERE is a pretty good explanation of the whole enchilada which is easier to understand.
There are bicycle lights available that are way over the 1200 lumens of a car headlight. The NightRider 3600 Pro is claimed (by NightRider) to be the brightest headlight available currently (at the time I am writing this). 3600 lumens! Wow! That’s more than twice as bright as an automotive headlight. With that kind of brightness one could certainly OWN THE NIGHT.
If one is riding somewhere all by their lonesome away from others out in front of them having that kind of brightness is fabulous, especially at night time in the dark. However, if others are involved out in front of that bright light … well, first of all I pity them … and secondly shame on the one who would expose them to such brightness which most definitely is blinding. To make matters worse for some reason unknown to me most manufacturers of bicycle lights sold here in the United States shine up high rather than have a built in diffuser lens to prevent the light from doing so. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I seldom ride at night but when I do I am not looking for owls up in the trees so I sure don’t need my headlight to shine up high illuminating the trees. Even in the daytime bicycle headlights can be a problem for some folks who are out in front of these bright headlights that shine up way too high.
And the brighter the headlight the more of a problem they cause others. In flash mode in the daytime they could trigger seizures in some people. I think it high time that we cyclists unify and let the bicycle light manufacturers known that they need to do something about this matter. Our lights should be like the bottom illustration above.
Below is a picture of a bicycle headlight that is definitely blinding to anyone out in front of it. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS! This person should receive a ticket from a police officer. Such a cyclist is a menace!
Here is a picture of my own trike with my lighting all turned on in the daytime. As you can see it is blinding and I don’t even have any of these powerful lights I am writing about here. My brightest headlight in this picture is only 350 lumens. And I might add that the camera doesn’t really capture this like looking at it with one’s eyes. It is truly annoying, obnoxious and offensive. I have many times come upon bicyclists who have blinding lights on and it is really hard to see the pathway ahead because of it. One can try not to look at such lights but they still cause serious problems.
I don’t have a problem with these extremely bright lights so long as they are not shining up into my face. I am all for them as long as they are being used properly. What little night riding I have done on my trike most definitely I have experienced poor lighting vs. good lighting. I will take good lighting over poor lighting every time I am out there riding at night by myself in total darkness. Crashing into trees, riding over a cliff, etc. is not my favorite activity. BTW, I have written about blinding headlights before.
As I said, I don’t have extremely bright lights on my trike as I really don’t have need of them since most all of my riding is in the daytime. Here is the lighting I used to have … with the brightest headlight being 350 lumens. I had three headlights at the time this picture was taken. They were the same three that were in the picture above.
Actually I don’t even have any of these lights on my trike anymore as I have bought new lights since this picture was taken. My brightest headlight I have is 450 lumens with a diffuser lens but I seldom use it. I usually just use a 350 lumen headlight and it doesn’t have a diffuser lens. And I usually only have one headlight mounted at a time although I have others I could quickly add if I needed them. I would do so if I were to ride at night. I like the idea of owning the night and being able to see quite well where I am going.
Here are two 450 lumen headlights on my trike. They have a built in diffuser lens which keeps the light beam from shining up high blinding others. The red arrows point to the two headlights. The fence in the background is about 112 feet away.
UPDATE … I went out riding at night to test these lights. In the picture they look pretty bright but when I rode with them I was disappointed as they didn’t do the job as I had hoped. I certainly did not own the night with these headlights. In total darkness I certainly could not safely ride very fast as they just didn’t do the job. I even added one more light to these two and it made little difference.
One of my very favorite websites for viewing and comparing various headlights is HERE. You can select from a drop down list a headlight and then select another one from the other side. They will display side by side. Just use your cursor to move the blue divider from side to side to view the other light. And HERE is a similar website.
So by all means if you are riding at night by yourself you can OWN THE NIGHT too. But please don’t blind others … daytime or nighttime. We all want to and need to be safe out there and courteous to others. It can be done amigo. Does that sound like a spaghetti western? Oh never mind!
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
I have had several different headlights and taillights over the years. I have liked all of them except one. I have always had what I considered bright and effective lights as far as “being seen” … which, of course, is what it is all about. This year I have had a new friend who bought a tadpole trike and we ride together sometimes. I could not help but notice his lights as they are quite bright … brighter than mine and I always thought my headlight was pretty bright and attention getting on flash mode. When I asked him about them he told me how cheap they are. I have been using lights which take AAA batteries. They are excellent lights and I am continuing to use them as back up. These lights my friend have are USB rechargeable. The light I had which I didn’t like was USB rechargeable and the battery didn’t last nearly long enough for my daily rides so I stopped using it. It was super bright for riding at night but it had a pulse mode instead of a flash mode. The pulse mode was about worthless. I ended up throwing the light away recently as it stopped working … would no longer turn on at all. It was the most expensive headlight I have ever bought so I was not a happy camper nor was I impressed with its failure which happened all too soon. Anyway that is past history now. I bought two sets of these lights like my friend has. They are amazingly cheap … only $12.99 for the set on Amazon. They have a one year warranty which the company is quick to honor.
As you can see the taillight is rather small but don’t let that fool you. That thing is very bright. The headlight is 300 lumen which is not an extremely powerful light for night riding but in my opinion one doesn’t need anything more than this in the daytime. It has excellent lens optics so it is super bright. I have found that the lens optics in lights make all the difference. One can have more light from 300 lumens with high quality lens optics than another light with 1000 lumens has with poor quality lens optics. I wish I could demonstrate this light set to you as I am sure you would agree and be very impressed.
It is said to last about 7.5 hours on flash mode and that is what I have been experiencing. Amazon shows 12 plus hours but the manufacturer’s website has 7.5 hours. The taillights are suppose to last about 5 hours on flash mode which is what I have been experiencing. My friend says that his last about 7 hours but I am skeptical of that.
For those in need of lights I recommend these. They get the job done and one certainly can’t complain about the price. For daytime riding they are superb … like I said … they are all that is needed. I don’t ride at night normally so I can’t comment about how well the headlight is for night time riding. Certainly with only 1.5 hours battery life on full steady on power mode it isn’t going to be a very long ride. Hey, at only $12.99 get at least two sets and have twice the brightness out there for night riding.
Here is what is shown on Amazon about this light set:
- Micro USB rechargeable bike front light & tail light set – USB cord and a power source to recharge (computer, laptop or a cellphone Charger)
- 300 Lumen headlight with 3 light modes: Run time steady (1.6 hrs) – 1/2 steady (3+ hrs.)- flash (12+ hrs.). compact rear taillight with 3 modes – Run time steady (1.5 hrs.) – 1/2 steady (2+ hrs.)- flash (5+ hrs.), with side visibility
- Quick release – taillights: rubber straps attach and detach from bike easily without tools. Headlights: quick release mount allows headlight to removed from mount and used as a flashlight/ safety lights or for emergencies
- Durable & water resistant – solid construction and water resistant IP44 rating ensures the light will stand up to the elements
- 100% SATISFACTION : This product is covered by BV USA . We are so confident you will love this product that we offer 30 days money back with 1 year free replacement
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Note … since I wrote this article I bought another USB rechargable headlight which was suppose to 1000 lumen and also a free taillight. The price was just slightly more than these others I wrote about above. When I received it the literature which came with it said that the light was only 450 lumen and there was no taillight shipped along with it. So now I am waiting for the seller to do whatever he is going to do. So far he hasn’t done much of anything. I ordered this new light because it has a diffuser lens which helps keep the light from shining up high and blinding people. It appears to be a well made headlight. I just hope they get this all straightened out. I am happy enough with the 450 lumen but if that is what they are sending out they need to change the ad since it clearly states 1000 lumen.
I have written about this before but I did not have the personal experience then. It has turned hot here in northern Indiana recently. I am not a fan of hot weather. I hate it. In the past when it got hot outside I would start my rides earlier in the mornings so I could end by 11 AM or so … before the heat of the day really came on. As many of you know I installed a canopy on my trike just under 3 weeks ago. I have really been enjoying it. Today I got to try it out dealing with the summer heat. It is 87 right now (and climbing). I just got back home from a 43 mile ride where I remained out riding in the heat. Thanks to my canopy I remained fairly comfortable. Of course, I was riding 15 to 20 mph in order to create the breeze that helped keep me comfortable but the portable shade I had with me made a world of difference. There is no doubt about it. Mind you it is not the same as riding thru a well shaded area such as this …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
What do you think? How much protection from the rain can one expect from a canopy on a trike? I had always heard/read that canopies don’t offer much protection from the rain.
Personally I have only been out riding in the rain twice since I installed a canopy on my trike. The first time was in a light rain with very little wind. The rain was coming down relatively straight. I stayed pretty dry and was impressed and hopeful. However the next time it was raining harder and the wind was blowing quite a bit. I was hoping that at least my face would remain dry but I was drenched like a drowned rat. The canopy did absolutely no good whatsoever. So there is the answer … IT ALL DEPENDS!
Hey, even though a canopy doesn’t offer the protection from rain we would like it to it is still better than what this poor guy is dealing with …
Of course, there are things which can help. Some people mount their canopies up quite high. I don’t understand that as the higher the canopy is the less protection it offers the rider … even from the sun. When I installed my canopy I knew it needed to be lowered so I cut 4.5 inches off of the aluminum poles used in the frame. I am talking about cutting the vertical pieces, of course. That helped but it still wasn’t enough so I cut another 3 inches off. The canopy still is about 3 inches above the top of my head so it could have gone even lower. Every bit helps in the protection available. Certainly the physical size of the canopy comes into play. Obviously the larger the canopy the more protection it offers. The shape of the canopy also makes a difference. Some are quite flat while others are domed. Some are even concave on the top. Most are pretty much open in the back. A few are closed such as is mine pictured below. I have to admit that I really like having the canopy come down in back of me. It not only keeps the sun off of me but it definitely keeps the rain off as well..
One can add some sort of side pieces onto the canopy to offer further protection from both the sun and rain. And even a “windshield” could be placed on the front to help keep rain, bugs, and other foreign matter from coming upon the rider. I don’t think I would ever do that as I like having air hitting my face and body. I also would be concerned about the vision thru the windshield deteriorating over time.
Veltop offers considerable protection … at a price …
I can’t say I am disappointed with my canopy as I didn’t have my hopes very high in regards to rain protection. It works pretty good when it comes to sun protection and that is why I installed it. It definitely helps me to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
(in case you haven’t figured it out that is suppose to be a shade tree mounted on the trike)
As much as we may like the idea of having shade trees to ride under when it is hot and the sun is beating down on us I am pretty sure it is not likely it is going to happen. A portable shade tree is just not too practical. Many of us would like to have a canopy on our trike providing portable shade that goes with us, but we find the cost prohibitive. Some riders have made their own and have done so saving a bunch of money. Not everybody is gifted so that they could do so or for whatever reason they just don’t want to mess with it. (I haven’t because I lack the sewing skills as well as the sewing equipment. I recently ordered the $56 kayak canopy shown below. I expect it may prove to be a bit challenging to mount, but I am confident I can succeed at it.)
There are a few low cost alternatives to the DIY route. That being said be aware that there may still be some DIY work involved to get them mounted and functional. As one might expect “made in China” comes into play. I looked at two recently … both are made for recumbent tadpole trikes.
As I write this the $114 one is nearly out of stock (only 1 black color remains) and the $150 one is completely out of stock (sold out).
The side screens were added by the rider. They don’t come with the canopy. Here is a picture of what you get …
It is 4 foot long, 2 foot wide and the back vertical part comes 7.5 inches down.
Some riders have used baby stroller canopies …
Obviously it doesn’t extend very far forward so it only shades the head and possibly the neck and shoulders at times.
Here it is in the down position. It definitely would catch the wind.
Even kites have been used to make a canopy on a trike (…
And one can use a canopy made for a bicycle …
Lastly, an umbrella has been used as a canopy …
It is so high up it doesn’t offer near as much shade as it could if it were lower. And I am sure it would do very poorly in the wind.
I am adding this here as an idea as how to fasten the front of a canopy down. The front derailleur post can be used to anchor to by placing a rubber pipe plug with an eyebolt and adjusting lock nut into the top of it. First the plastic plug in the derailleur post needs to be removed.
A canopy should indeed help you to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
I can sum this up in just a few words … “wow, what an improvement!” When I bought my Catrike Trail in 2009 I ordered the full fender set which the dealer installed “half ass”. The fenders were the Planet Bike plastic which would break out small chuncks where the mounting braces attached. In 2013 when Catrike replaced my frame under warranty I had to settle for the new frame as they stopped making the Trail with the “space frame” (which I loved and much prefer). Over the years I have done various upgrades with better quality components. This past summer I ordered new front fenders and fender mounts. I had seen the new aluminum alloy fenders on new Catrikes the dealers had in stock so I knew they were an improvement over the old plastic fenders like I had. Upon getting them and installing them I was quite impressed and a “happy camper”. These babies not only look a lot nicer, but they are so much stronger. Just the fender mount itself is such a great improvement. No more braces are needed on the front fenders. Now a flat tire can be fixed without having to remove the front wheels. And the fenders are rock steady … no more flopping around.
Later during this past Fall I ordered the rear fender to replace my Planet Bike plastic fender. The rear fender still uses braces, but at least the fender is mounted solid. The Planet Bike rear fender moved all over the place all too easily. Thank you Catrike. You listened to customer complaints and suggestions and fixed the problem. I have to give credit to ICE and HP … they did it right to start with. The new fenders from Catrike are worth the money in my opinion. With my new fender set I am able to even moreso …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
Earlier today I received a pair of bar end mitts I had ordered a couple of days ago. I installed them after getting home from my daily ride, but I wasn’t feeling like going back out to try them. However, later on I decided to try them out. It is a good day for it as it is windy today and feels pretty cold as a result. They definitely made a difference as far as greatly reducing the wind I feel on my hands. In fact, I can’t say that I felt any wind on my hands so they are doing their intended job. I only wore a pair of wool gloves inside of them hoping that the wool gloves would be sufficient to keep my hands warm. They weren’t. This disappointed me as wearing anything more will be a little problematic as there just isn’t a whole lot of room inside of the bar end mitts. Having the bar end mitts installled presents problems as the handlebars are no longer accessable like they were before. I have to use the handlebars to lift my trike up and down out of the back of my truck. And using the locking brake lever is quite difficult now with the bar end mtts installed. I don’t know how much difference there is between brands, but these I bought just don’t allow much room inside. The brake levers are right up against the front of the bar end mitts making them harder to use. Also it would be best not to have my fingers come in contact with the bar end mitts when using the brakes as in doing so coldness is transferred via conduction. I have twist shifters and with the bar end shifters they are very difficult to use to shift gears. So the verdict is out at this point in time. I just wish they was a lot more room inside of them so that these issues were non-issues. If I have to use additional gloves or mittens on my hands to keep my hands warm using the bar end mitts is going to be even more problematic. I will let you know further down the road how it all works out. Meanwhile I hope to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
Cateye (not to be confused with Catrike) has out a new product some may be interested in … lights that mount on the safety flag poles. The cost is about $40 and they are 50 lumens. They are available in red and white (clear lens).
- COB LED (50 lm)
- Mounts securely to seatpost or seatstay with the rubber band (Ø12-32mm)
- Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery
- USB rechargeable (Micro USB cable included)
- Low battery indicator
- 6 modes * Charging time: 2h
- Mode memory function
- Battery Auto Save (The mode automatically changes to flashing when the battery power gets low.)
- Attaches to the existing CatEye bracket by using the optional Spacer X
The USB Rechargeable Rapid X provides a bright powerful glow with incredible side visibility. When the battery runs low the low battery Auto Save function automatically changes the light pattern from the current mode to flashing providing an additional hour of riding safety. 6 modes. 2 Hour charge time.
Includes Rapid X attachment base, one large and one small attachment band, and a micro USB charging cable.