Cateye Rapid 5
  • 15h reported battery life
  • 72 g
  • flashing mode
  • no pulse mode
  • 1 brightness levels
  • internal AAA batteries
  • removable battery
  • Included mounts: Seatpost, Rack
  • Optional mounts: Clip

Review: A wider version of the Rapid 3

Review by , March 5, 2012, midnight

The Rapid 5 is also a new product, and is very similar to the Rapid 3 (above). Cateye claims that it uses the same lights as the Rapid 3, but adds an extra 2 chip LEDs, one on either side of the light. From my testing, it appears that the central high-power LED on this light actually puts out less light than the Rapid 3 does. The overall measured light output from the Rapid 5 was about 2/3 of the Rapid 3. This measurement is partially due to the light from the Rapid 5 being more diffuse, due to its wider design - the light meter does not measure wide angles quite as well. Overall though, even just from looking with the bare eye, this light is less bright than its smaller brother.

Despite being dimmer than the Rapid 3, this was still one of the brighter lights, clocking in at 8150 lux from the front, and an impressive 600 lux from 45 degrees. Battery life was also much better in the Rapid 5, which started to dim after about 74 hours on rapid mode, and didn't die completely for another 30 hours after that. Batteries are also very easy to replace in this light: a small cover can be pulled off by hand, and the batteries slide in horizontally. The Rapid 5 had more flashing options as well: solid mode (which only uses 3 of the 5 LEDs), a steady pulsing mode which alternates between partial and full brightness, rapid mode which quickly alternates all 5 LEDs, and a flashing mode which blinks all 5 LEDs at once.

This light only comes with the flex mount (same as the Rapid 3), which is a shame since the light is shaped perfectly to mount under a seat or on a rear rack. I placed it on my cargo rack using the rack mount that comes with the Cateye Reflex Auto and it fit perfectly. Fortunately, you can order almost any kind of mounting bracket you might want from their small parts store, and for reasonable prices, but for this light in particular they should have included more mounting choices by default.