Got the new rear light today. I had glued the lens of the old light back together but it was only going to be a temporary repair until the new one arrived. I'll miss the old one but the new light is a fine replacement.
As you can see, despite both units coming from the Busch and Muller stable and including the word Toplight in their names, they look very different. The new light is smaller and much slimmer. In addition to appearance these are the main changes:
- It has a smaller reflective area and gone is the LED nodule. Instead, above the reflector is a strip housing a lens system which spreads out light from two LEDs, turning it into one line of light visible from 320°.
- Inside is a sensor which senses changes in current and then brighten the light when the bike slows quickly.
- It has a off switch, although I will continue to control it from the front light as I have been doing since I went dynamo lit.
Like the old one though it has a condenser and so will remain lit for several minutes even after a short ride (really good at traffic lights and junctions).
It was a doddle to fit. I unbolted the old light, removed the wires from the terminals and trimmed them. They attach to the new light either via spade connectors or snap fittings. I chose the latter, pushed the wires in and snapped the latch across, bolted the light to the carrier and spun the front wheel. Hey presto it worked! Took about 5 mins all told.
One thing I will not miss about the old light is the faff when fitting a pannier(s) to the rack it caused. Because it is so wide, it overhung the side of the rack and meant I had to manoeuvre the pannier fitting around it. Not hard when you got used to it but still a faff. The new light does not overhang and so faff is eliminated.
The one thing about rear lights is you usually only see other peoples in action. I intend to see how good this one is in proper commuter mode so I'll be getting my brother to ride around a bit a let me film him. Expect some footage in the future!