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Sometimes, it isn’t until you’re actually sat inside a car, trundling along a windy country lane, that you realise just how difficult anything other than another car is to spot … and that includes the self-propelled two wheeled adventurer. We could all wear hi-viz and day-glo but generally our attire has more in common with the man who delivers Milk Tray than it does a member of the law enforcement community … which probably doesn’t help in our pursuit of a long and healthy life.

If we’re not going to dress in something that catches a cars headlights, then we need something to catch the drivers eye instead and obviously that something is a light. Now, if you ride anywhere there are other road users and choose to do so without a rear light, you are an idiot. However, there are times when things conspire against you, leaving no real option except to continue without … I can’t be the only one that’s found themselves emerging onto a public highway and discovering that my flashing friend is somewhere in the undergrowth three miles back – can I?

After my third light disappeared, I decided that having a back-up might be a wise thing … yes, I appreciate that it’s hard to believe that it took the loss of three lights before I reached this conclusion.

What I wanted was something small and light, that I could easily attach or even leave in situ without it self ejecting into the night. Something else I thought might be nice, would be the ability to locate the light somewhere other than the bike. I know that might sound a little odd but my thinking was, that there are times when you’re not actually on your bike but you’d still like people to be aware of your presence.

Not big but quite clever.

Armed with a list of criteria, I began the search to see what was available. Unsurprisingly my attention was drawn to bike lights but after scouring the usual suspects I couldn’t really find anything that fitted the bill, so I consoled myself with the fact that summer was coming, the nights would be getting lighter and I’d have plenty of time to find something as the year progressed.

Every now and then something useful drops into your inbox quite unexpectedly. In this case, it was an email from a company wanting to sell me some running shoes and although I had no interest in shoes, something amongst the Nike and New Balance did catch my eye … a Nathan ClipLight.

The ClipLight appears to be pretty much everything I wanted. It’s compact, weighs only 8g including the clip and is intended to be attached to your clothing, bag, etc rather than a bike. Two sticky back mounts are provided which the light clips onto. Once the light’s in place it feels reasonably secure, although I’ve found adding a small piece of tape over the clip removes any doubt about whether it’ll remain that way if things should start to get rough.

Some kind of super hero feline sucking a lolly?

There’s no silly modes to wade through, press the reassuringly clicky button once and the light comes on, press it again and it starts to flash and another click turns it off – simple. The light is supplied by a single LED and the long clear bit acts as a lens, which means to a point, the light’s visible through 360 degrees. The light emitted certainly isn’t on par with a ‘proper’ rear bicycle light but is similar to an emergency ‘blinky’, so will certainly suffice in most instances, particularly if there’s very few other light sources around. Claimed battery life is 40+ hours on constant, so I’ll guess that probably equates to around 60, if you limit it to purely flashing … I can’t testify to this but I don’t see a reason to doubt it.

For the moment, I’m thinking that the back of my helmet makes an ideal attachment point, after all, it’ll be on my head whether I’m riding the bike, opening a gate or crossing the road following a late night raid on the Spar.

Available with red or white LED from the internet … Google’s yer friend.


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