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Along with the Elite wrist band reviewed last month, the good people at Road ID sent out their new Supernova safety light to help us safely through a winter of training for 24-hour racing. Claimed to be “the brightest, lightest, most durable security light in its class,” the Supernova is powered by two CR2032 batteries (the same sized used by many bike computers). At 20g, Road ID’s little light comes in four lens colors (white, red, blue, and green) and is waterproof to three hundred feet. Fortunately, all of its use so far has been above the surface. Click more to find out where the Supernova is hot- and where it’s not so hot.
I’m going to go ahead and get this out of the way: Road ID‘s Supernova should not be your only tail light. Regular commuters will do well to spend a bit more for a high-output non-rechargeable tail light (Planet Bike’s Superflash comes to mind) or more still for a bada** rechargeable model (Exposure’s Flare and Light & Motion’s Vis 180 are excellent choices). If you spend any amount of time in nighttime traffic, a tail light is nowhere to save a few dollars or grams.
So where does the Supernova excel? As a backup light and as a secondary light mounted on a bag or helmet. The small package, without any protrusions, makes it ideal for tossing into the big bag for when epic rides are more epic than expected or bad weather forces a road bailout.
The Supernova’s bag/belt clip has a little hook on it that makes it extremely difficult to remove from blinky tabs- even intentionally. It shouldn’t be revolutionary but it is, and it really does set the Supernova apart. The axisymmetric lens does mean that some light will inevitably be wasted- but it also makes the Road ID largely forgiving of funky mounting positions on packs and messenger bags.
For $13 ($16 with a bike mount), the Supernova is a great little backup light. The claimed 250 hour (claimed) run time is impressive given the small batteries. The tenacious clip means that it’s stayed happily on my big mountain bike bag on rides that would have quickly jettisoned other lights. It’s since moved to an inside pocket, waiting for an opportunity to be deployed on this summer’s misadventures.