LightSKIN is known for their innovative integrated bicycle lighting systems. One of their first products and winners of the 2010 Red Dot Design award was a seatpost with integrated lighting elements. In this review we’ll be looking at the latest LightSKIN S341 seat post which offers more output modes and an improved seat clamp design. Retail price of the seatpost is $99 and it features 5 flush mounted LEDs in either a matte black or a polished finish. Note the LightSKIN also offers the seatpost in a StVZO complaint S311 variations, E-Bike, Dynamo as well as 27.2 and 31.6mm diameters. The output of the seatpost is listed as 15cd and features an integrated 800 mAh Li-Po battery with runtimes that range from 10 to 100 hours depending on the selected mode. With the S341 battery variation, recharging is done through a convenient micro USB port near the seatpost clamp.
The LightSKIN S341 seatpost combines a dual bolt aluminum seatpost with five flush mounted LEDs integrated directly into the seatpost.
|Rating||8.5 / 10|
|Measured Weight (g)||366|
|Likes||+ Integrated design|
+ Multiple eye catching flash patterns
+ Recharge port is easy to access on seat clamp
|Dislikes||– Micro USB port instead of USB-C|
– Saddlebags can easily block the top LEDs
– Flush LED design has no side visibility
|Where to Buy (US)||LightSKIN|
The LightSKIN S341 integrated LED taillight comes in a simple long cardboard box with branding printed directly on to it. Inside the box you’ll find:
- S341 seatpost
- Extra long Micro USB charging cable
- User manual
The charging cable is long to account for the fact that you have to charge the seatpost while installed. We’d recommend using a powerbank to recharge the seatpost instead of tracking down a nearby outlet.
Installing the seatpost is as simple as any standard seatpost as the battery is hidden inside the seapost itself. The S341 simply slides into your frame and has a two bolt design that works with any saddle with round saddle rails. There is a clearly marked insertion depth minimum of 100mm to ensure the seatpost is properly anchored into the frame. What is unique about the LightSKIN S341 is that there is also a maximum insertion depth as well. LightSKIN recommends inserting the seatpost no deeper than the third LED from the top. This is to ensure the clamping force isn’t applied on the LED portion of the seatpost. Note, if either of the bottom two LEDs are inside the frame you should switch the seatpost to a 3 LED mode (i.e. hold the power button for a few seconds). Also, while installing the seat ensure the USB port cover is secured under the saddle’s seat rail as that holds the cover in place.
FIT & FINISH
Visually, the LightSKIN S341 looks like a standard aluminum seatpost with a two bolt seat clamp. The seatpost is available in both a polished finish as well as a matte black finish that we have for this review. Branding is limited to a small LightSKIN logo on the bottom of the seatpost that is hidden when installed. and a second one near the saddle clamp. What sets this seatpost apart from others are the flush five LEDs integrated into the seatpost. The small lenses are transparent and blend in when the lights are off but are bright red when they are turned on. There are only two small visible screws on the other side of the lenses that secures the LEDs in place. An 800 mAh Li-Po battery is also hidden inside the seatpost itself, a similar setup to the Shimano Di2.
The S341 version is the battery powered version which means there is a micro USB port that is accessible on the bottom seat rail clamp. A rubber cover protects the port from water damage and makes it easy to recharge particularly if you use a powerbank. LightSKIN has cleverly hidden the power button into the second LED from the top which is visually identical to the other LEDs. It’s a one-level interface that requires only a short press to turn on and cycle through the modes. There is no mode memory as you always have to cycle through the four output modes back to off to shut it off. The flush design of the button means you have to apply a fair amount of pressure to activate the button and it may be difficult to do with thicker gloves. Holding the power button for approximately 3 seconds with the taillight off also allows you to toggle between the 3 and 5 LED operation modes.
LightSKIN has incorporated four output modes into the S341 seatpost. The output mode names are chase, flashing, pulse and continuous. Chase mode illuminates LED in upward/downward directions and has a 20-30 hours runtime depending on whether you are in the 3 or 5 LED mode. Flashing simply turns all the LEDs on and off with a high frequency speed and has a claimed runtime of 20-30 hours. Pulse mode actually flashes two LEDs at a time in a random appearing sequence that is rated for 50-100 hours. Finally, the continuous mode illuminates all the LEDs together and has the lowest runtime range of 10-15 hours.
In person, the seatpost seems surprisingly bright even though the 15 candela rating (e.g. candela is brightness in a specific direction while lumen measures total output) isn’t as bright as many of the taillights on the market. It’s not daytime visible from miles like high output taillights such as the Moon Sport Helix Sense 450, but it’s visible from short to medium distances and it is eye-catching. We particularly like the chase mode as the shifting pattern and spaced out 5 LED configuration is significantly larger than most taillights. The main downside of the S341 is that the flush mounted LEDs limit the side visibility of the seatpost. LightSKIN does offer the S331 seatpost which has two protruding top LEDs which addresses this issue though. One of the other issues is that saddlebags can obstruct the top LEDs, so you’ll want to use a small saddlebag or consider using a frame bag like the Lead Out! Frame Bag.
Overall, we found the LightSKIN S341 seatpost to be a clever lighting solution. The five flush mounted LEDs look sleek on the bike and provide a theft-resistant design compared to quick release taillights. With its integrated design and 10+ hour runtime the S341 ensures you are always visible at night and won’t accidentally forget your taillight at home. We found the integrated design eliminates clutter and that the flash modes are eye-catching. The downside of the integrated design is that the LEDs are easily obscured by saddle bags and that at least the top 3 LEDs must be above the seatpost clamp. That said, the LightSKIN S341 and the various variations are something we’d recommend for a sleek and stylish urban or city bike setup.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by LightSKIN. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.