Fake Metal vs. Honest Plastic

Posted by: Jan Heine Category: Lighting

Fake Metal vs. Honest Plastic

Few taillights available today complement the aesthetics of a classic randonneur bike, where you want to see finely detailed components, typically in metal. Most modern lights are chunky black plastic, but one succeeds in being more understated: Busch & Müller’s Seculite Plus (above). So Compass Bicycles decided to sell that light.
The Seculite Plus is made from plastic. It is available in three finishes: The basic version is black plastic (above left). The “matte silver” finish retains the pebbly surface of the basic black version, but it appears to be coated with aluminum. The “polished silver” version is somewhat shinier (above right).
When ordering a light, it is easy to assume that the “polished silver” version would be a good fit for a classic bike. After all, racks usually are chrome-plated, and aluminum fenders are polished. However, I find the “polished silver” version the least appealing of them all. I don’t like it when manufacturers try to make plastic look like metal, and it is not always a success.
If I were to choose one of these lights, I would pick the basic black version. It’s honest about what it is: a plastic light. The “matte silver” color looks acceptable, too, and would be my second choice. In any case, we’ve stopped selling the “polished silver” version.
We would welcome a new product, if someone would make it: a nice, well-made generator-powered taillight.

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