Bontrager Ion 100 R and Flare R City daytime lights

These small lights pack enough lumens for you to stand out a bit more on the road during daytime hours.


26 grams





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As the days get shorter and the gloomy weather moves in, we’re reminded of just how important visibility is for anyone hitting the road on two wheels. Whether you ride midday or are out in the dim light of dawn and dusk, lights can help you be seen. But not all lights are created equal and those nighttime lights you’ve been running might not work that well for daytime use.

According to Bontrager, day-running lights need a more focused and directed output to intensify the beam. This extends the range of the light so you can be seen from farther away. The lights should also have a flashing pattern that changes in its timing and intensity so drivers can’t tune it out as easily.

We strapped up our daily rider with Bontrager’s new Ion 100 R front light and Flare R City rear light, which puts the company’s daytime running features to use. Out on the road, we felt more visible and saw drivers take notice before turning out in front of us. But whether this was due to the lights or to our own extra awareness as we tried to measure any differences, we can’t say for sure.

What we did notice was that these tiny, 26-gram lights provide a punch of light when we hit the road around Boulder at any time of day. The lights change brightness depending on where you’re riding or how sunny it is outside, so they provide the optimal visibility in different conditions. This built-in ambient light sensor increased the brightness of the lights when we rode through a dark underpass or when some serious cloud cover materialized. It went back to normal when the sun reappeared.

The lights are meant for city riding at 100 lumens for the front and 35 lumens for the rear. So you’d want one of Bontrager’s bigger, more powerful daytime light options if you usually ride beyond town, up canyon climbs, or out on country roads. The Ion 100 R can be seen up to 500 meters away during the day and it has five different running options, including a flashing pattern and steady state at different intensity levels. On the lowest output setting, the light can last up to 16 hours since it’s only using five lumens. The other four options range from 50-100 lumens and will only have enough charge for 3-7 hours of run time.

The Flare R City rear light has four running modes — two steady and two flash options. This light can last up to 20 hours on the lower setting and 3-8 hours when on high, and it provides up to 400 metes of visibility.

We like that both lights are USB rechargeable so we don’t have to keep buying and replacing batteries. And they attach to the bike with Bontrager’s easy to use Quick Connect bracket and silicone strap. Simply place it on your handlebar or seat post and stretch the silicone strap around to secure it with the plastic bracket hook. These unobtrusive lights are so easy to attach to our bike and quick to charge that there’s really no excuse not to ride with a little extra visibility all year long.

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