Just in time for the holidays, today we’re taking a look at two flashing red lights. Whether you’re looking to stay safe riding outdoors or commuting during these dark days and night, or need a great gift idea for the cyclist in your life, they’re both worth a look. Earlier we looked at the updated Cyliq Fly6 camera and light combo, but now we’re taking a look at a unique rear light from Cateye.

Cateye is one of the oldest names in the cycling industry when it comes to useful electronic accessories for your cycling needs. The company has been making bike computers for many years and it continues to innovate with its series of headlights, to-be-seen lights and even power meters. Today we’re taking a close-up look at the Japanese electronics company’s new Rapid X2 Kinetic rear light.

Cateye Rapid X2 Kinetic rear bike light. © Cyclocross Magazine

Cateye Rapid X2 Kinetic rear bike light. © Cyclocross Magazine

What’s so special about this rear light? The Rapid X2 Kinetic light uses a built-in accelerometer to detect when the rider is changing speeds and slowing down or stopping.

You can see the different light modes, followed by the accelerometer-triggered full brightness mode triggered when slowing down, in our quick video:

Cateye has a promotional video to show it in use below, as well as one in Japanese with subtitles here.

Besides its accelerometer, the Rapid X2 Kinetic Light also boasts great visibility from the sides of the light thanks to its contoured shape and design.

The company claims up to 30 hours run-time on the standard flashing mode, while the “Rapid” flashing mode yields 16 hours and the always-on mode lasts for 5 hours. It’s reasonable to expect that the more you brake, the shorter the run-times because of the extra-bright mode activated while slowing down.

Charging of the Lithium Polymer is via a micro USB cable (included) and takes about two hours depending on battery level and USB charger.

Cateye Rapid X2 Kinetic rear bike light. © Cyclocross Magazine

Cateye Rapid X2 Kinetic rear bike light. © Cyclocross Magazine

The company is careful to point out the 50 Lumen Rapid X2 Kinetic light is not actually a brake light, as there’s nothing to integrate with your brake lever, brake or cable or hydraulic hose. It simply detects deceleration.

In use, it’s done exactly what we expected it to do. It’s been reliable even with some “cyclocross conditions” use, kept its charge and stayed in place during use. The two rubber bands allow you to install it on a seat stay or seat post. We’re sure they’ll eventually break, but you could get replacement bands or just use a generic, appropriately-sized rubber band instead.

Cateye Rapid X2 Kinetic rear bike light. © Cyclocross Magazine

Cateye Rapid X2 Kinetic rear bike light. © Cyclocross Magazine

Needless to say, the extra visibility, especially when slowing down, might keep you or your loved one safer during day or night rides.

At almost $60, the Rapid X2 Kinetic isn’t cheap, but it’s both smart and bright and makes our ever-growing list of great gift ideas for the cyclist in your life.

The Rapid X2 Kinetic from Cateye is available from your local dealer now and has a suggested retail price of $59.99 although some shops and online retailers like Amazon sell it for quite a bit less. There’s also a matching Rapid X3 headlight that does not use an accelerometer.

More info:

Cateye Rapid X2 Kinetic TL-LD710-K Spec Highlights:

Dimension: 74.4 x 30.5 x 32.9mm
Weight: 32 grams (with batteries)
Light source: COB LED, 50 Lumens
Battery: Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery
-Low mode – 5 hrs
-Flashing mode – 30 hrs
-Rapid mode – 16 hrs
Recharge time: 2 hrs (USB2.0)
Mount size: Rubber band mount (fits φ 12.0-32.0mm)
Other: Kinetic mode, Battery auto save, Low battery indicator, Light mode memory

Looking for a light that will also enable movie night with the family or riding buddies? See our review of the updated Cycliq Fly6 rear light/camera combo also posted today.