Review: BV Bike 2 LED Tail light

BV-L810 Bicycle TaillightThe BV Bike 2 Super Bright Red LED Waterproof Taillight (BV-L810) is an inexpensive, battery powered rear bicycle taillight with integrated standard rack mount. The light bolts directly to the frame without the more common clip-in style adapter used on many rack-mount taillights.

The light offers only two modes – on or off – without the common assortment of various flashing configurations. The integrated reflector adds additional visibility even when the light is not operating.

I personally found the simplicity of a single operation mode a plus. I prefer to not use blinking or flashing settings when riding, so a simple one-click on and off without needing to cycle through various settings was a positive. However, this will obviously preclude this light from folks looking for a unit that supports flashing.

One of the first things I noticed when installing the batteries was a complete lack of gasket between the lens cover and the back. I found this surprising for a light clearly advertised as a “waterproof” taillight. However, rather than a snap-in mechanism to hold the lens cover in place, this light uses a philips screw accessible on the front. One can reasonably assume that the “waterproofness” of the light is directly dependent on the tightness of this screw.

This screw actually was the source of my two biggest complaints about this light. Both of the issues are in the area or practical usability.

BV-L810 bicycle taillightFirst off, the use of a philips screw requires another tool specifically to allow you to change out the batteries should they die while you are riding. Philips is not a common fastener head on many bikes. In fact, on our test bike it was literally the only philips-head screw present.

Second, this screw fits into a threaded insert in the back of the light (the brass colored circle in the center of the image to the left.) I managed to push this threaded bushing out of the back of the housing and onto the floor unexpectedly on the very first battery installation. This is the type of issue that seems insignificant, but can be critical out on the road in the dark. Having to deal with this small loose screw and nut in the dark on the side of the road sounds live a recipe for riding home without a taillight when you drop something. However, the risk of loosing the threaded bushing could likely be mitigated when it is mounted on the rack if your mount point is a plate.

The brightness, in my opinion, also falls very much short of the advertised “Super Bright” claim. It is, however, very much in line with the expectations of a battery powered LED taillight in this price range.

Price is probably this light’s greatest strength. At $9.99 USD it is a reasonable option if you simply want a glow of red on the back of your bike. However, if you are looking for real visibility I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

 

Quality2 of 5 starsRight about what is to be expected for a light in this price range. However, the lack of a rubber gasket on a “waterproof” light caused concern.
Price5 of 5 stars$9.99 MSRP. But you get what you pay for.
General Usability2 of 5 starsPhilips head screw and nut that fall off seem like a disaster waiting to happen if you have to change batteries in the dar.
Style4 of 5 starsLike the rack mount, as well as simple one-button, one-click interface.
OverallRatingsThreeStars3 feels like a bit of a stretch here. But, if you just want a “make me legal” taillight this one does the job.