Lights - front
Blackburn's Voyager Click Headlight mightn't be leading the pack in the lumens race but rather like horsepower or megapixels, figures are only half the picture. Thirteen measly pounds buys two ultra bright LEDs, fiendishly user-friendly switch, battery sipping run-times and no quibble lifetime warranty.
The thing that comes to mind when picking Light & Motion's Urban 300 up for the first time is how small it is. Weighing in at just 114g it barely makes its presence felt at all, until it is switched on that is.
The Urban 300 is the middle light in Light and Motion's, new for this year, Urban lighting range, aimed at the road rider and commuter.
One23 Intense bright 1 is a remarkably solid, well-conceived compact commuter lamp with excellent optics, weather seals and peripheral illumination that shames some household names. On the flip-side, Halos limit effective navigation beyond 15mph and battery consumption is pretty poor by modern standards too, although you can of course use rechargeables.
Form definitely meets function with the Moon Mask 5.0 LED, which claims to delivers a whopping 70 lumens in the highest of five modes-just enough for tackling well surfaced lanes at 20 odd mph and a real boon for roadside repair, pannier rummaging and map reading. It certainly gave a punch performance in our beam test and the stats seem to bear that out too.
Billed as the ultimate commuter light Cat Eye AU-230 is a very neat hybrid of cutting edge and tried 'n' tested technology. At one end we have the clever automatic sensor shared with the brand's Reflex family that engages the five super-bright LEDs when it decides dusk, dawn or darkness have arrived. At the other and in stark contrast to the USB-or-nothing dogma, it's powered by four AA cells returning a very frugal 57 hours in flashing, 28 steady.
The Knog Gekko is a delightfully simple, yet bright and economical LED light fuelled by two AAA batteries and encased in a super tactile silicone shell. Our white samples allowed the bright beam to bleed through the casing as a ghostly glow that most traffic seemed to spot a good distance away in flashing modes when mounted around the bars. These are welcome get-you-homes should the swanky Uber lumen rechargeable systems do the unthinkable or as a cute dynamo companion, peripheral presence can prove a little hit and miss.
The BBB High Focus 1.5 watt LED is a remarkable light in so many respects. A compact CNC machined aluminium body houses a clever variable focus beam while a beefy silicone strap cum mounting bracket affords a universal fit across the spectrum of handlebar diameters and most sportier lids too.
Cateye's nano shot rechargeable front light is the answer to a svelte commuter/ winter road bikes' prayers. No hefty batteries to induce premature bottle cage fatigue, or contaminate a sportier bikes' clean lines, its slender fig biscuit profile and textbook build quality delivers a scorching 250 lumens, charges from the computer's USB in a matter of three hours all in exchange for £100!
The Exposure Strada is a serious light for road riding, putting in a strong performance across the board. It's a serious price too, but one that's justified if you do a lot of road riding out beyond the street lights.
Niterider's MiNewt 600 cordless is a compact and elegant light that packs plenty of punch, and is small enough - just - to go on your helmet as well as your bars. With good build quality and a super-simple clamp, it's a very good option for all your riding, so long as you don't want to pull an all-nighter.