Review: Sparse Fixed Bike Lights

It’s a problem many bike commuters face on a daily basis: What do you do with your lights once you’ve reached your destination? If you’re like me, you either carry them around with you or forget and leave them on your bike, vulnerable to any thief.

Enter Sparse, a front and tail light pair that installs permanently on your bike’s headset and seatpost.

Installing these lights is not the easiest job in the world. If you’re not experienced tinkering with bikes — or don’t have the proper tools — you’ll need a bike shop or a properly equipped friend to help.

Designed in San Francisco, Sparse lights are sleek and subtle. They blend in with your bike, both visually (depending on the color) and functionally. And they’re made with security in mind. Theft of bicycles and/or bicycle parts is common in cities like San Francisco. But rarely is it dark enough that you need a floodlight, which is not the Sparse’s intended use. Though it’s plenty bright at 3 watts and 220 lumens (front), it’s less useful for lighting your way than it is for making you visible. Unlike with some removable lights, there is no way to adjust the tilt or brightness — the Sparse lights are either on, off, or blinking.

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