Cateye TL-LD100 review

 

I bought one of these lights three years ago and was so pleased, I got another for my second bike.  Overall I am impressed with it.

Description

There are two rows of LED lights on this good quality rear light.  Each row has three LEDs facing backwards and an LED on either side.  Each row is controlled by a single individual button.  It is supplied with two basic AA batteries and a bracket which attaches the light to a seat post.  In the above picture, it is attached to a pannier rack using a single self tapping screw – which has held it in place for well over 3000 miles without any problem.

Performance

The TL LD100 is very efficient and reliable.  In terms of being seen this is excellent – providing the light is correctly angled and the beam of light coming from the LEDs is straight and horizontal (not pointing up or down, left or right).  The lens effect is very powerful and can, according to my wife, be seen over a long distance.

The batteries seem to last a long time and there is a period of ‘grace’ where it still works but the brightness is fading.  Do be alert to this and I imagine it applies to other LED rear lights.

In use

One nice feature is the ability to toggle between the different modes, independently on both rows,  The sequence is flashing (all LEDs) > all on steady > side to side > random.  It is the first mode which is the most effective for being seen.  For economy, you could try the random mode where only one LED is on at any one time on each row and I quite like setting it for this mode, with both rows flashing – best of both worlds!

Neither lights have proved problematic in any way, in spite of being bashed a few times in the course of normal wear and tear.

Some other reviewers have commented that the plastic battery sleeve makes getting batteries in and out is difficult.  This can be true but the sleeve is supplied so that a slightly tighter battery can be taken out more easily.  On the whole, other cyclists like this Cateye and I tend to agree with them.

Accessories

Cateye does have the advantage over some other manufacturers of making a range of accessories, also of good design and quality, available.  Wiggle and Evans stock these but a typical LBS may be a little hit-and-miss.  Spare brackets are useful for swapping a light from one bike to another or simply because you want to have the light somewhere different.  These brackets, while generally good, do not necessarily solve every mounting problem.

Cost

Expect to pay £30 to £35.  Spare brackets are £2 to £5, depending on type.

Conclusion

  • Excellent LEDs, nice and bright.
  • Excellent lens effect.
  • Durable
  • Spare brackets available for different bikes or positions
  • Variety of static or flashing modes
  • Uses AA batteries
  • Not the cheapest light but in my view, it is worth it.


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