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Fenix BC05R LED Bike Taillight Review – feat. USB Type-C + Battery Indicator

December 4, 2019


Thanks for tuning in, this is The Sweet Cyclists. Today we’re gonna be looking at the Fenix BC05R rear taillight. Here we have the Fenix BC05R tail light, at its face value this is not a very exciting taillight with only 10 lumens. However Fenix has packed a lot of cool features into this light at this price point. I want to thank Fenix for providing this light to be reviewed, let’s take a look at the packaging. You can see it’s plastic on cardboard and I’ve ripped this open already. It has a bright orange color and clear graphics, the tail light is really prominently displayed. On the back we have information about what’s included, size, weight and some features let’s go ahead and take it out of the package and go over some of the specs. The taillight has 10 lumens of output and four different output modes. It’s USB Type-C rechargeable which is a very cool feature considering that’s only $20 and a 240 mAh battery that’s rechargeable integrated into the taillight. It also has a battery indicator here to quickly check the battery status. Lets go ahead and take everything out of the packaging. Aside from the box you get a USB Type-C cable, and again this is a really cool feature especially at such a low price point. We have a user manual and the taillight itself. It doesn’t have a very exciting name, it’s a BC05R. We have the strap to attach it, and you can see the strap mounts are actually integrated into the taillight itself with these little hooks on the side. We have this body clip and this is great for clipping this onto your backpack or a saddle bag. Now let’s take a look at the weight of the Fenix BC05R, this is a really tiny light if you just see it in my hand it’s really tiny. It fits in the palm of your hand, it’s a lot smaller than you expect based on the photos. If we look at the weight of the taillight by itself it’s 18 grams and if we add the rubber strap for seatpost mounting. That brings it up to 22 grams so really light weight overall. It’s a really interesting tail light at 20 dollars it packs a lot of features you don’t typically see. You can see it’s composed of three LEDs, if I turn those on you can see they’re each individually operated and you have a single button to operate the light. A long hold will turn it on and off, a single press while it’s off will actually show the battery status which is a really cool feature especially at $20. It’s surprising to see that they’ve invested a little more in the electronics to integrate this kind of battery status and it’s also great for riding to check the battery status before you embark rather than riding and ending up with a dead battery. You have the Fenix logo on the bottom, one downside to this is the actual lens itself is not raised which means when the light is on you don’t really get very much side visibility. It would be nice if they had some cutouts or more reflective elements instead of this opaque plastic. On top we have the exciting BC05R name printed and on the sides we have the integrated mounting hooks. It’s an interesting design feature that reduces the bulk of the light. On the bottom side of this we have these thick rubber pads and the USB type-c port here. Again this is a really cool feature you don’t see in the bicycle industry very often, and especially a 20 light is very surprising to see. Now let’s look at the mount that they include. The first mount you get is a rubber strap, this is really thick, typically they’re a lot thinner than this. I imagine this will last pretty long and it’s very simple you just wrap it over the hooks and around your seat post. One downside is this is only designed for a round seat post, if you have an aero seatpost this will wobble back and forth. Fenix doesn’t provide an extra pad or anything to accommodate that. Another interesting aspect of this is they include the body clip. This is great if you want to wear this while running or attach to your backpack or saddlebag. What’s interesting about this is the design, it’s constructed in such a way that the mounting strap hooks on the light actually fit into the clip itself. You don’t have to attach any additional pieces or use a tool to do it, and this clip I found is really nice compared to my other bike lights that I clipped to my backpack. Those often times come loose or fall off, this one has this nice little hook here, it’s a little raised portion that ensures that the hook doesn’t fall off. It’s very secure and is made of plastic but a lot thicker and more durable than I would have expected. On the left is a Topeak Redlite Mega it’s a more traditional tail light with AAA batteries. It has a large form factor, and on the right I have a Magicshine Seemee 60 that has some smart sensors and a COB LED design. Comparing the Fenix versus the traditional kind of Topeak taillight you can see it’s significantly smaller. In fact the Fenix is about the size of the AAA battery by itself so it has a much smaller footprint. It’s significantly lighter but one downside is with more traditional tail lights you get a lot more side visibility and reflective elements, while the Fenix is just opaque black. Comparing it to the Magicshine which is brighter at 60 lumens and also has smart sensors. You see it’s more similarly sized in terms of height and thickness to the Fenix. It is slightly thicker because it has the mount actually built in, but the surface size is much smaller. [Music] Now let’s look at the light output of the BC05R, there are two constant modes a high and a low. The high has 10 lumens and the low has 2 lumens with 10 hours of runtime. There are two flashe modes, a slow flash at 2 lumens with 40 hours runtime and a fast flash at 2 lumens with 72 hour runtime. Now if we compare the high output versus Magicshine Seemee 60 which is a 60 lumen light at probably 15 or 20 lumens. You can see that the COB LED design of the Magicshine has a larger surface area for better visibility. I wouldn’t really recommend the BC05R for daytime use due to the lower power output. Now let’s go over the pros and cons for the Fenix BCO5R, there are a number of things that make this tail light really standout. The $20 price point is really affordable, its definitely in the lower price spectrum end the USB type-c charging is really impressive to see. The battery indicator is a feature you just typically don’t see anymore, and also the compact form factor makes it really easy to mount with the posts directly built into the light itself. All you need is a simple rubber strap and the body clip which are really easy to use. Some of the cons for the light are the poor side visibility with the opaque extruded plastic design. There’s no way for the light to escape, so you only see it from the rear. It also lacks a lot of smart features that are becoming more common these days. Finally it’s not compatible with aero posts with the mounting that they provide. It’s only good for a round post and I don’t see any accessories for GoPro or Garmin compatibility. Now let’s give the light a final rating out of 10. I would give it a 9, this is really a modern version of the classic taillight. They’ve replaced the AAA batteries with lithium ion, and you get a very simple user interface with a battery indicator. At $20 it’s a steal especially considering that it has USB type-c charging as well. I consider this a really great secondary taillight if you want to put on your backpack or one you can easily travel with. Thanks for watching this review don’t forget to like and subscribe to support the channel. Follow us on Instagram at @thesweetcyclists and visit our website at thesweetcyclists.com for more content. This is The Sweet Cyclists reminding you to enjoy the ride! [Music]

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