In this review, we are going to be taking a look at the Planet Bike Rojo 100 LED tail light. This is Planet Bike’s newest tail light and offers a daytime visible 100 lumens of output and is USB Type-C rechargeable. Building off the success of their Superflash series of tail lights, the Rojo 100 is a two LED design tail light that includes Planet Bike’s Courtesy and Superflash Turbo output modes. Based on specs alone, the 100 lumen output and $35 retail price of the Rojo 100 make it a strong contender in the crowded bicycle tail light market.
The Rojo 100 is an impressive USB Type-C tail light that offers a daytime visibility of 100 lumens and multiple output modes. The tail light can also be mounted on seat posts, seat stays and racks right out of the box.
|Category||Bicycle Tail Light|
|Likes||+ Daytime visibility with “Courtesy” and “Superflash” modes |
+ USB Type-C charging
+ Multiple mounts
|Dislikes||– Small power button |
– Lack of battery status indicator
– Bulky seat post mount requiring tools for install
|Where to Buy (US)||Planet Bike|
As with all their products, Planet Bike does an excellent job in terms of packaging and presentation with eye catching graphics and light prominently displayed. Also, the packaging is environmentally conscious with no extra plastic or wasteful elements. Inside, you’ll find:
- Rojo 100 tail light
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Seatpost mount
- Seat stay mount
- Rack mount and hardware
- User manual
Unlike most tail lights which only come with a single mount option, the Rojo 100 comes with three mounting options – one for seat posts, one for seat stays and racks, and a body clip. The body clip is directly built into the rear of the tail light itself, and is used as an attachment for the other mounts. Planet Bike has opted for a more traditional seat post mount, which is interchangeable with other Planet Bike tail lights that use a two-piece design. The first part attaches around the seat post, while the second portion is the mounting interface that attaches to the first using a provided screw. The second portion of the mount interfaces with the tail light itself and has vertical adjustability to ensure it is angled properly.
While this mount works well, it does not accommodate aero seat posts (there is a separate mount for that) and needs a screwdriver for installation. Compared to the typical rubber straps, the mount is also a lot bulkier and puts the Rojo 100 further away from the seat post resulting in a less sleek appearance. Planet BIke also includes a seat stay mount, which is a simple plastic part that reuses the screw from the seat post mount. The seat stay mount is a nice touch and lets you mount the Rojo 100 as a secondary light lower on your bike for extra visibility. Included with the Rojo 100 is also a rack mount with the hardware included which commuters with cargo racks will appreciate. While we haven’t tested the rack mount yet, the plastic backing plate and hardware appear to be high quality.
FIT & FINISH
The Rojo 100 design is visually similar to their iconic Superflash tail lights with some modifications. A two-LED design (Cree XB-D models) is used with the upper LED being more prominent than the bottom LED. The top LED has a wider housing, with a white dimpled lens for a more diffuse appearance, while the bottom LED has a transparent and focused lens. Side visibility is also excellent, as most of the housing is a transparent dark red. There is an opaque plastic housing on the back portion that hides the Lithium polymer batteries (which have 650 mAh capacity). With the integrated battery design, the Rojo 100 also boasts an impressive IP66 rating which means it is fully dust proof and can resist high pressure water spray.
The tail light has an oblong form factor that is fairly compact. Due to the body clip being integrated into the rear portion of the tail light and the extended housing, it’s thicker than other LED tail lights. On the top of the tail light is a small black power button to operate it. A long hold turns it on/off, and a short press will cycle it through the different output modes. The Rojo 100 has mode memory and will turn on in the same mode it was turned off. We found the power button difficult to press, especially with gloves on, as the overall size is small and has poor tactical feel.
The USB Type-C charging port is located on the bottom of the Rojo 100 and has a thin rubber cover. As with the power button, the cover itself is small and requires care when closing to ensure it is fully water tight. This is concerning as a loose cover, with the bottom mounted charging port could result in water or debris damage when riding on wet roads. The USB Type-C charging is a nice feature though, and it’s something we’ve only seen with the Fenix BC05R tail light (only 10 lumens and $20 dollars though). We weren’t able to confirm if USB C2C charging works, but the included USB Type-C to standard USB cable worked well.
With up to 100 lumens of output, the Rojo 100 provides excellent daytime and nighttime visibility. The two LED design also allows Planet Bike to have four distinct output modes. The first mode is a 25 lumen steady mode with a claimed 5 hour run-time. The second mode is Pulse mode that varies between 50-90 lumens and has 10 hours claimed run-time that alternates between the LEDs. In the Pulse mode, the bottom LED flashes twice while the upper LED is steady, then the upper LED ramps to a higher output.
Our favorite mode is the third mode, Courtesy mode, which varies between 30-90 lumens and has 12 hours run-time. With Courtesy mode, the upper LED ramps up in power and then shuts off while the bottom LED ramps down in power. This is the mode we would recommend for group rides or bike trails as it is provides some variability to attract attention without blinding any cyclists behind you. Speaking of blinding, the final fourth mode is Superflash Turbo which has the full 100 lumen output and the highest run-time of 15 hours. Visually, this is an erratic and high power mode that alternates between the two LEDs sporadically. This is an excellent mode for daytime riding but will annoy any cyclists behind you.
We prefer the Light & Motion’s SafePulse (as in the Vya Switch we reviewed) to Superflash Turbo mode, as it’s less visually annoying for cyclists behind you. However, the Courtesy mode on the Rojo 100 is a great compromise and has smooth ramping that isn’t often found on tail lights. The side visibility with the Rojo 100 is also excellent, with the transparent housing and reflective elements resulting in 270° visibility. The vertical adjustability of the mounts also means you can direct the light output of the tail light to ensure it is properly orientated.
Overall, the Rojo 100 is an impressive tail light with USB Type-C charging and daytime visible 100 lumen output. With the retail price of $35 it is also a great value in terms of lumens per dollar. Even though the Rojo 100 isn’t as sleek as some COB LED designed tail lights, the output modes like Courtesy and Superflash Turbo sets it apart from other tail lights on the market. Planet Bike also offers a variety of replacement parts to ensure you can continue to use the Rojo 100 for years to come.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Planet Bike. 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.