I’m fortunate to live somewhere quiet. Rush-hour is generally defined by seeing more than three cars and a tractor in any half hour period but that still doesn’t stop me from being a little wary when venturing out onto the roads. Unlit, narrow, twisty country roads might be quiet but their character makes them potentially as hazardous as any other road. I’m not in anyway a ‘militant’ cyclist, I don’t segregate road users into ‘them’ and ‘us’ and I’m very well aware that any altercation involving a car and me is going to result in me coming off worse … there’s a reasonable chance that the car driver would be to blame but moral supremacy doesn’t mend broken bones so I’m always willing to try and minimise the potential for a ride in the air ambulance by any means possible.
|Light, mounting bracket and charging cable.|
Bike lights both front and back have come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years. The balance of performance versus cost has never been better yet, many lights only appear to cast a cursory nod towards the issue of side visibility. Cars don’t always approach you directly from the rear, they can sneak up on you from every direction and if your light is only visible from directly behind you, then sometimes you’ll be largely invisible. Some manufactures have responded but Guee gave taken things further than most with their Mini-R and Mini-RS lights.
|This is the lens at the base. As you can see, it directs a pool of light downwards and outwards.|
This is the Mini-RS. It has just three modes (how many do you need really?) and is usb rechargeable in under three hours. It has a run time of up to eight hours and best of all, it provides full 360 degree visibility. As with just about every rear light, the main lens faces rearwards and in this case it also protrudes beyond the body so it can be seen from the side. That’s good but it’s not all … the real difference between this and other lights, is the secondary lens at the base which sends a 360 degree pool of light both down and out.
|You’re viewing the light from the side here. Without the bottom lens you wouldn’t know it was fastened to a gate.|
Obviously, this second lens increases how visible you are from the side but it also helps provide ‘shape’ and a certain scale to you and your bike when seen from any angle. Guee believe that this allows drivers to make better judgements about your position in the road which will hopefully lead to them giving you more room when they pass. It seems to work, maybe in part that’s because it’s something a little unusual that most drivers haven’t seen before? I don’t know but it certainly can’t be a bad thing no matter what the reason.
|Charging port cover and yes, Channel 4 employ my hands as a stunt double for Guy Martin.|
The Mini-RS has a plastic body whereas the Mini-R is a little larger and made from aluminium. Quality appears good, the mount secure and the silicone top which acts as both switch and charging port cover feels like it ought to keep any water on the outside – although I’d not be adverse to putting a smear of vaseline on there for a little added security.
Retail is around £28 but as ever, have a shop around and you’ll probably find one for less.