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Cateye is a Japanese company that manufactures cycle computers, lights, reflectors, toe clips, bottle cages and other accessories which sell worldwide. We did an exhaustive review of CatEye’s rear light, the Rapid X3 and here is what we think about the product.
The Rapid X3 is Cateye’s top-of-the-line rear light, and with it’s dual LED strips which gives a combined 150 lumens output is designed to ensure maximum visibility in both day and night conditions. Featuring the best side visibility in its class, it is a spread-it-around sort of light and you can mount it at any angle and it is highly visible, even from a side angle of more than 90 degrees. Using it, I felt pretty confident that other road users could see me from any direction, even in poor conditions, making it the ultimate safety light.
With 6 different operating modes, and options to control each LED strip separately, the Rapid X3 provides a huge range of patterns to choose from. The visibility is quite impressive, with the light being able to be spotted from more than a kilometer away at night and from at least 400 metres away in daylight. The light also comes equipped with a Mode Memory - Switch it off, and it'll come back on next time with the same mode that you were using previously. The light needs to be plugged in for as little as 3 hours for a full charge, which lasts anywhere between 5 to 30 hours based on which mode you use. The battery charges with a regular USB cable which is included in the box, and can be connected to any smartphone charger too.
The Rapid X3, weighing a minimal 44g has a sleek shark-fin design and fits discreetly behind the seat post. The 2 closely fixed vertical LED strips that make up the light can be separately controlled with each strip’s soft rubber on/off button placed on the side. A long press switches the light on/off and a single click changes the mode. We can switch on either one of the LED strips for lower visibility, or switch on both the LED strips for a higher visibility.
With the 3 different sizes of O-rings that are issued along with the box, the light easily mounts to almost any application including seatposts, seatstays, handlebars, forks and even headtubes. There's also an extra rubber skirt designed specifically for use on an aero seatpost, which I feel is a nice touch as aero road bikes are becoming more popular and some lights simply won't fit on an aero seatpost. The light feels a bit too bulky to be mounted on the helmet or on a saddle bag and hence would be mountable only on the bicycle. The Rapid X3 is completely weatherproof and can be used in all weather conditions, including heavy rains. There is also a tight rubber flap over the USB port that keeps all the water and mud out, so it can be confidenly used even in very wet and slushy conditions.
With the Rapid X3, you can go ride even in extreme conditions, confident that you’ll be seen by other road users behind and to the side of you. I’ve used various Cateye lights over the years and this is among the very best rear lights that have come from Cateye.
At Rs. 3,990, it's not exactly cheap for a rear light, but the price seems justified for the features that the Cateye Rapid X3 packs in, and would definitely be my first choice at this price range.