The Blackburn Super Flea rear flasher stretches a good design to its true potential with excellent optics, weathertight casings and decent mounting hardware whether affixed to seatposts, clothing or accessories.
Measuring 33x23x46cm it's about as genuinely bijoux as you get while still doing the job on dark nights. Blackburn doesn't quote figures but it seems broadly in thirty-odd lumen territory. Run times are quoted as fifteen hours steady, twenty-eight in flash/strobing.
Before I cast shadows on some of these claims, let's concentrate on some of the uniquely superior engineering. Lifetime no quibble warranties are given but highly unlikely to be required. The Super Flea is genuinely waterproof as confirmed by warm water kitchen sink immersion and five minutes' high pressure hosing, primarily because this current is passed magnetically - ergo it can remain sealed.
Sounds ingenious on paper but in practice, the charge stick needs stronger magnets for more reliable connectivity with computers, and it's proved pretty hopeless from a mains converter.
Universal fit around most seatposts and luggage is assured by sprung clip or rubberised loop n' clasp that's just supple enough to achieve helmet mounting without escaping, although fiddly in gloved fingers. Not fiddly is the top mounted triangular switch cum battery indicator, which needs a definite prod but won't go off in your pocket.
Once for steady, twice flashing and third brings on a funky strobe. In common with Moon's shield reviewed last year, it's a painful light when followed at close quarters - say through slow moving traffic. Peripherally it's pretty virile too, although I've felt more comfortably conspicuous combined with a bigger unit or retro reflective accessories.
Great power to size ratio - the charger design needs revising though.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Blackburn Super Flea rear flasher
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product 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?
Ultra-bright, ultra-compact''1.30'L x .90W x 1.80'H
* Collimating lens makes central appear larger than life, enhancing visibility
* Compact, rechargable LI-Ion power
* Easy hookup magnetic USB smart charger, waterproof charging ports
* Versatile silicone strap mounting system
o Concave rear profile nests against seatposts to stay in place
* LED fuel gauge/charge indicator
* 15hr steady, 28hr flashing runtimes
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Li-on battery, waterproof ports, magnetic twin prong USB smart charger, collimator lens.
To Blackburn's typically high standards. No quibble lifetime warrantee should calm any nerves.
Nicely designed, sensibly located switch cum battery indicator.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
By far the most powerful and effective flea, I have been impressed by its build qualiy, output and road presence. However, run times have been nearer 13.5 and 25 hours-something I think could be bettered with a slightly revised charging system.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great power to size ratio, solid build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not sold on the charge magnets in their present guise.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, with revised charging system.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, with the above proviso.
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)