The Fabric FLR30 is an innovative and long lasting rear light that works well. It pumps out a decent amount of light, with four different sequences, but what really sets it apart is the accelerometer – others have tried adding 'brake light' capability to their rear lights, with varying degrees of success. The Fabric FLR30 seems to have nailed it.
The light itself is made from a nylon case which meets IPX5 standard in terms of waterproofing. Its cylindrical design sits vertically on the seatpost, and it'll fit on a helmet too, or seatstay – 'in one of 20 indexed positions' says Fabric. It's operated through a single button on the bottom and is charged through a micro USB cable, which attaches to a port on the bottom of the unit.
Light output is through a 30-lumen LED strip – not as powerful as some, but more than enough for most situations. I used it in the pitch black and in thick fog without feeling that I wasn't visible.
There are four sequences: full power, medium power, flash and strobe. Each is fairly obviously labelled and controlled through pushing the single button on one end of the light, which cycles through the options and also turns it on/off. It's simple to use and the button is easy to press even with thick full-finger gloves.
The thing that sets it apart, though, is the 'brake light' element, which uses internal accelerometers to detect when you are slowing down. You can see it in action here. I have used a few lights that are meant to do this and have always come away disappointed, but that wasn't the case here. It doesn't take much to make it brighten, and would start working even just coming to a gradual stop.
To attach it, a plastic mount clips to two grooves on the side of the light, and this is then attached to the seatpost with a rubber strap. It is simple to either remove the whole thing or just the light itself. While on the bike it stays in place securely.
Battery life is only slightly variable based on the lighting type used: 8 hours on full power or flash, 9 hours on medium power or strobe. This isn't bad given the size of the unit. Charging is also really quick, even from a laptop, taking around 90 minutes to go from fully depleted to fully charged. The only element of the battery I feel could do with improving is the button that also has the battery indicator element: if you fit the light the 'right way up' (with the Fabric logo the right way up) it sits facing the ground, so you can't see it, meaning you need to actively check it, rather than just glancing.
In terms of value, the RRP of £29.99 is good for a rear light whose brake light feature actually works, combined with its ease of use and small size.
Overall, I was really impressed by this little light. It gives out a decent amount of light, battery life is good, and the brake light feature works really well. Perhaps placement of the button could be better, but given that it's so good in other areas, this is easily forgivable.
A well-made, well-designed rear light with a brake light element that actually works
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric FLR30 Accelerometer activated brake light
Size tested: Width: 23mm Length: 74mm IPX5 water proof rating Tough waterproof nylon case Universal mount with rubber strap
Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It is a back light that also acts as a brake light.
Fabric says: 'A dual-purpose light that alerts traffic when you intend to slow down or stop. Compact, reliable & USB rechargeable. Designed to be mounted in multiple positions.'
This seems relatively accurate.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
IPX5 water proof rating
Tough waterproof nylon case
Universal mount with rubber strap
Seems solid and well made.
Very easy to use, although either logo or button should be the other way around.
Really good clamping system.
Seems up to the IPX5 standard that Fabric claims.
Battery life is good, especially for a £29.99 light.
Perhaps it could be brighter, but it does exactly what it needs to.
Well made and the strap seems strong, so likely to last.
Doesn't weigh too much at all.
Good value for a light with some innovative technology in it.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed well, giving off enough light, and the brake light element was also impressive.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The brake light element.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The button placement would be better on the other side.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Puts in a good performance, with some interesting features that work where several others have failed.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.