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Verdict: 
Fantastic all-purpose light for road and gravel riding that doubles as a handy charger for your devices
Weight: 
211g
Ravemen PR1200 USB Rechargeable DuaLens Front Light
9 10

I never thought I'd find a worthy replacement for my fantastic Cateye Volt 1200, which has given me three years of near-faultless service. But crikey, this Ravemen PR1200 is a cracking bit of kit. It would be getting a perfect 10 if the mount was a bit better and the display told you the charge state when you're using the USB port to charge stuff. But apart from that, full marks.

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Ravemen make a bunch of lights and this is their most powerful. It's solidly made, with a double LED design and integrated battery housed in a high quality anodised aluminium casing that's well-finished and waterproof. There's two buttons: one turns the light on and off and switches between mountain bike (dual beam) and road (single beam) modes, and the other adjusts the brightness. Both buttons glow in the dark, which is a nice touch.

Ravemen PR1200 -2.jpg

Ravemen PR1200 -2.jpg

The 1,200 lumen headline brightness is only available when you're using both of the CREE XM-L2 LEDs, of which one is a high beam and one a dipped beam. A proper road friendly dipped beam. See, everyone? It's really not that hard. A simple lens change and you get a squared-off beam that's great for road use, and because nearly all of the light is going down onto the road and not into the trees, and the eyes of oncoming traffic, it feels a lot brighter than the 600 lumens that Ravemen claim.

Ravemen-1200-dipped.jpg
The dipped beam has a square profile
ravemen-1200-spot.jpg
The spot adds a bright, circular beam

There are times when you want the full power of both beams though, and Ravemen supply the PR1200 with a remote, a sustained press of which gives it both barrels. It's useful for picking a line on fast corners in the dark, and probably would also be good for giving an eyeful to drivers who don't dip. I couldn't possibly comment. The remote plugs into the charging port on the back of the light and you can position it pretty much where you want. If I was using the PR1200 on just the one bike I'd probably run the cable under the bar tape and stick it somewhere I could access it from the drops, but it's simple to fit on top with O-rings if you're moving it between bikes.

Ravemen PR1200 -3.jpg

Ravemen PR1200 -3.jpg

Up top there's a simple LED display that tells you what mode you're in (mountain bike or road) and how long you've got left before you're plunged into darkness. This ranges from a couple of hours in full-beam, 1,200-lumen mode to 21hrs in 100-lumen road beam. That's three nights' worth of light, and even the 100-lumen setting is enough to ride on the road at night at a useful pace because pretty much all that light is going where it's needed. The 200-lumen setting is the one you'd use for a single-night ride: 9.5 hours is what Ravemen claim, and I managed not far off that in testing. In total there are eight modes: 600, 400, 200 and 100 lumen road modes, 1,200, 600 and 300 lumen high beam modes and a 100-lumen pulse flash.

At the back, next to the charging port, is a 1.5A USB output that you can use to charge your phone/Garmin/GoPro. The battery, at 5,200mAh, is big enough to charge most phones at least twice and still leave some juice for getting you home when darkness falls. One of the issues I had with the PR1200 is that when you're charging stuff you don't really get an indication of what it's doing to the battery. On the Ball Buster Audax I successfully recharged my phone, GPS and action camera from the light, and it was only when it started flashing 'Lo' that I realised I wasn't going to have an awful lot left for finding my way home in the dark. Even then, the Ravemen still managed the half-hour trip home in the gloom in 100-lumen low mode with no issues. When you're charging, what I'd like to see is a simple battery level indicator, from 99 down to zero, so you can make a judgement about what you can use for filling up your devices and what you need to leave for night-time shenanigans. Also, the silver finish makes it hard to see in the daylight, so you need to cup your hand over it to confirm that it's charging your stuff.

Ravemen PR1200 -4.jpg

Ravemen PR1200 -4.jpg

The thing that lets the PR1200 down a bit is the mount. The junction between the light and the mount isn't quite snug enough, so it rattled around a bit. If you've got a bit of Sugru lying about then a little bit in the rails of the plate will fix that: work some in to the channels on the plate, fit the mount and remove, then leave it to set. The mount swivels for correct beam placement, which is handy, but you can't really tighten it up or stop it from moving, which isn't. It generally doesn't move on its own but can it you knock it out of centre.

Update: I originally wrote that the mount can slip due to the lack of a shim, but it turns out there's an adhesive rubber strip in the box to counter that, that I'd missed.

We often bemoan lights for spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar, where mounts are concerned. Here I don't think the issue is scrimping on bracket quality, more that they just didn't get it quite right. It's not a deal-breaker: It can be hacked quite easily so they're not a problem. But it needs just a bit of a tweak.

Overall, I'm seriously impressed with this light. The beam pattern is nigh-on perfect for road riding, with the full beam really useful for fast nighttime fun. The fact that you can use it as a backup battery too, and the useful remote, also score highly. The LED display is really useful, although it could be more useful in charging mode. The bracket is the only weak link, and even there the problems can be fixed with a quick hack. It's not far off being the perfect light for a night ride or a weekend excursion.

Read more: Your guide to the best front lights for cycling + beam comparison engine

Verdict

Fantastic all-purpose light for road and gravel riding that doubles as a handy charger for your devices

road.cc test report

Make and model: Ravemen PR1200 USB Rechargeable DuaLens Front Light

Size tested: Dimensions (Headlight): 100mm (L)*48mm (W)*27mm (H);

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

1. DuaLens Optical Design for Road Biking Mode, providing broad closed range flood light with anti-glare low beam for commuting, no dazzle and glare for oncoming riders and pedestrians

2. HiLo Beam System for Mountain Biking and Emergency Modes, providing illuminating light similar to automotive headlight with far reaching high beam and low beam

3. LED real-time display to show remaining runtime in each brightness level

4. Micro USB charging port, compatible with most phone chargers

5. USB output port to charge other USB-powered digital devices

6. Intelligent thermal management circuit to prevent overheat of LEDs

7. Intelligent Memory circuit remembers the last used brightness level and mode when turned on again

8. Quick release design for easily slide in and out

9. Compatible with handlebar from 22.2mm to 31.8mm diameter

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

LED: 2*CREE XM-L2 with a lifespan of 50000 hours

Battery: 5200mAh/3.7V rechargeable Lithium-ion battery

Dimensions (Headlight): 100mm (L)*48mm (W)*27mm (H); Weight (Headlight): 213g

Materials: The front and main body is made by aluminum with Mil Type III Hard Coat Anodizing; the rear part and the handlebar mount are made by durable plastic

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Light is lovely, mount a bit less so

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10

Pretty simple really, some mode changes are a bit fiddly

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
4/10

Clamp has no rubber shim on a 31.8mm bar and has to be done up really tight to not slip. You can't stop the tilt rotating side to side and the the male and female parts of the mount aren't a close enough fit.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
10/10

IPX8 - you can chuck this in the pond. No issues during testing

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10

Fairly slow on the charge but it's a big battery and you can get a full night of riding out of a charge.

Rate the light for performance:
 
10/10

Great light. Can't really fault it.

Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10

Really well built

Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10

Quite heavy but I'll take that for the build quality

Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

Hard to beat for the money

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Briilliantly, if you'll excuse the pun

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Pretty much everything

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The clamp, the lack of info when using the battery for charging

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Without question

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Would be a 10 if they improved the mount

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

14 comments

Avatar
SimonS [32 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

A strip of helicopter tape/frame protector is normally thin enough and grippy enough to stop a mount moveing on the bar if there's no shim. 

Avatar
alotronic [509 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I love the remote switch on my Strada - an idea they've obviously liberated here - it's a real plus for keeping the battery drain low while still giving it the beans for fast downhills and pillocks with car lights on full beam. Not a gimmick  1

 

Avatar
unconstituted [2355 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
alotronic wrote:

I love the remote switch on my Strada - an idea they've obviously liberated here - it's a real plus for keeping the battery drain low while still giving it the beans for fast downhills and pillocks with car lights on full beam. Not a gimmick  1

 

 

+1

Avatar
Artem [31 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

no beam pictures?

Avatar
dave atkinson [6299 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

SimonS wrote:

A strip of helicopter tape/frame protector is normally thin enough and grippy enough to stop a mount moveing on the bar if there's no shim. 

update: there was a bit of sticky rubber tape in the box i'd missed, for that purpose

Avatar
Team EPO [92 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Or with a few less Lumens you can get the 900 for £87

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ravemen-Unisex-Bike-Light-Silver/dp/B01H396MPC?...

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [312 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Having seen the beam of the 900 version that is no better than the Sigma buster 600 which is only £54 and the fact you can buy two B&M IXON IQ premiums for less than the price of one of the 900s and the B&M is operated by removable batteries for me this is a far better option and more flexible.

Sure if you need to use your light to charge your stuff up the Raveman is okay but has its obvious drawbacks that are mentioned but why not just carry a proper power bank, a decent 10,000 ma/h can be had for under £20 that can charge two gadgets at the same time, give you an indication as to amount used and charge your primary light should you need to top it up on long night runs. to disharge your primary light and have no indication as to the amount you've used is frankly plain stupid as this could leave you in the shit big time.

As for the bracket, if you are wanting to use this off road and the beam is vibrating all over the place then that's ridiculous, how can you give something with a poor bracket that needs to be fettered to be properly usable 4.5 stars? I've sold lights on for exactly those issues. You might put up with inferior crap but there are plenty that don't want to spend £100 for something that doesn't have a solid mount that can cause issues with the beam and with safety as a consequence.

Avatar
Team EPO [92 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

oooh Garmin are doing a light now, very in depth review from the mighty DC Rainmaker  but I bet the $149USD becomes £149GBP

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/04/garmin-varia-ut800-smart-bike-light-...

Avatar
tomascjenkins [56 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Used the PR900 this evening - with the provided sticky back EVA (Dave!!). Light solid as a rock. Took it down a bridleway off the White Horse, no movement at all.

Avatar
dave atkinson [6299 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Having seen the beam of the 900 version that is no better than the Sigma buster 600 which is only £54 and the fact you can buy two B&M IXON IQ premiums for less than the price of one of the 900s and the B&M is operated by removable batteries for me this is a far better option and more flexible.

Sure if you need to use your light to charge your stuff up the Raveman is okay but has its obvious drawbacks that are mentioned but why not just carry a proper power bank, a decent 10,000 ma/h can be had for under £20 that can charge two gadgets at the same time, give you an indication as to amount used and charge your primary light should you need to top it up on long night runs. to disharge your primary light and have no indication as to the amount you've used is frankly plain stupid as this could leave you in the shit big time.

As for the bracket, if you are wanting to use this off road and the beam is vibrating all over the place then that's ridiculous, how can you give something with a poor bracket that needs to be fettered to be properly usable 4.5 stars? I've sold lights on for exactly those issues. You might put up with inferior crap but there are plenty that don't want to spend £100 for something that doesn't have a solid mount that can cause issues with the beam and with safety as a consequence.

the Ixon is a decent enough light, but it's not really comparable to this. haven't tried the sigma, so can't comment on that.

charging-wise the ravemen is great because it gives you versatility. if you're on a long ride where you're definitely going to need light all night, you can easily pack an extra battery. if you're just doing a day ride, or starting pre-dawn, and you realise you forgot to charge your phone/garmin/etc then you have a usable powerbank attached to your bike.

see update on the bracket: i missed the adhesive strip for 31.8mm bars. the fact it rattled a bit on the mount was more annoying than it was issue-causing, and easy to fix.

Avatar
oldstrath [758 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Sounds good, but how does the road beam compare to the Ixon? Also, you mention the need for "a simple lens change" - does the other lens come with the light, or a special order, do you know?

Avatar
dave atkinson [6299 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

oldstrath wrote:

Sounds good, but how does the road beam compare to the Ixon? Also, you mention the need for "a simple lens change" - does the other lens come with the light, or a special order, do you know?

 

ah no, i mean a change from a standard clear lens. you don't actually have to do anything. one led is dipped, one is full beam. apologies if that's not clear.

the road beam is nicely squared off but still gives plenty of throw and you get a bit of light escaping to light up signs and that. 

adding a couple of beam shape shots to the review now

Avatar
zedthegreat [36 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

It looks enormous! But I think I'll get it anyway! Thinking about it actually suprised I've not seen something like this before.

Avatar
oldstrath [758 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
dave atkinson wrote:
oldstrath wrote:

Sounds good, but how does the road beam compare to the Ixon? Also, you mention the need for "a simple lens change" - does the other lens come with the light, or a special order, do you know?

 

ah no, i mean a change from a standard clear lens. you don't actually have to do anything. one led is dipped, one is full beam. apologies if that's not clear.

the road beam is nicely squared off but still gives plenty of throw and you get a bit of light escaping to light up signs and that. 

adding a couple of beam shape shots to the review now

Thanks for that.