The Infini Sword Super Bright 30 COB rear light is a super-sleek, inline design with five modes and a total output of 50 lumens. It's very user-friendly and, for the most part, plenty powerful enough for most types of riding. My only real bugbear concerns the rigid, rubberised strap.
- Pros: Sleek design, bright, easy to use
- Cons: Strap is a stretch (literally) to fit 27mm seatpost diameters
In keeping with its contemporaries, Infini has gone the chip on board (COB) route, cramming 30 diodes on the circuit board. A strip of aluminium is designed to dissipate heat build-up. We get proportionately brighter lights, since more diodes can share the same space, and the heat sink supposedly means there's no trade-off in terms of lifespan.
The Sword is fuelled by a lithium polymer battery, which in practical terms is at least two years' hard use. There is a useful battery life/charge indicator which flashes to denote low power in the two steady settings and turns constant when reserves are dwindling in the three flashing modes.
Body and lens composites feel really solid. It also employs a rubberised press-fit shim, rather like the Cateye Rapid X. There is a choice of two sizes, which ensure a flush fit against the host tubing. This seemingly offers the charge port some additional protection from silt and spray. Since we're on the subject, it meets IPX4 standards for waterproofing, which is heavy rain in the real world. I've had no problems, even when it's been in situ while I've been washing and rinsing the bike down.
Charging shouldn't be a frequent event if run in the two flashing settings, which are reckoned good for 200 hours apiece between charges. The cable is a bit on the short side, fine for refuelling from laptop ports but not ideal for mains. Bargain on three hours from your laptop, 15 minutes less from the mains if you've run the battery pancake flat.
This is the familiar, watch-strap type that slips around two lugs either side of the light's shell. On the plus side, it's designed to achieve reliable tenure to all sorts of tubing diameters, from seatstays to seatposts, and it is positively leech-like, so no risk of it moving out of alignment. It's not very stretchy though, and persuading it to embrace standard 27.2mm diameter posts proved surprisingly difficult even with some careful pre-stretching. A softer material would be welcomed.
Ironically, the switch is less positive than many but intuitive to use, even in the dark and wearing winter-weight full-finger gloves. A continuous, two-second press powers up, subsequent nudges shift it through the modes, and a further two-second press powers it down. The memory function sees it default to that last chosen.
Fifty lumens is quite intense but stops short of being overpowering, although I've been inclined to staircase down to the low steady setting on social rides. It also chomps through reserves pretty quickly. Infini cites an hour, so not particularly practical. I've managed between 56 and 58 minutes, so close to the claim.
As my only source of rear light I've chosen this mode for shorter, misty runs and it's effective, visible from 100 metres or so, nearer 200m on a clear night/early morning along open roads. Bargain on 125/150m through town.
Low steady seems around the 20 lumen, maybe 25, mark, which returns 2 hours and is still very assertive. Open road punch is around 180 metres, 100m through suburban stretches.
In common with others of this shape, peripheral prowess is good rather than great. It's not a patch on Cateye's Rapid X, which has proportionately more presence when tackling roundabouts and junctions, but is superior to some, such as NiteRider's Sabre 50.
Pulsing has been my default, since it's bright and oscillates at just the right pace. Infini reckons six hours' run-time and again, that's about what I've got from a full charge – enough for almost a week's middle distance commuting between charges. Visibility to others seems to be around the 180/100 metre mark, in the sticks and around town respectively. Oscillation snares driver attention quite nicely at junctions and roundabouts.
At this point you're probably getting the impression that it's level pegging with a wealth of similar models but not exceptional. That was my feeling too, but what's notable here is the unbelievably frugal flashing modes.
I was convinced the 200 hours cited for the flashing 1 and 2 was a misprint; 20 hours would have been impressive and perfect for all-nighters, a week's touring or just general riding. Suffice to say, after three weeks or so of testing ours is still going strong, with no hint of fade, although I've had another powerful blinkie on standby these past few night rides just in case.
When all's said and done, the Infini Sword offers tremendous bang for very modest buck. If you want to run a sleek single rear light it's a reasonable option for most types of riding.
Sleek rear light with some lovely touches, but the mounting strap needs revising
road.cc test report
Make and model: Infini Sword Super Bright 30 COB rear light
Size tested: 30 chips COB red led
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?
Infini calls it a "Super bright rechargeable rear light."
I would describe it as a very bright, sleek rear light with generally impressive performance and two super-frugal flashing modes. However, the strap needs revising, since getting it to embrace 27.0 and 27.2mm posts, let alone anything bigger, is a struggle.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
* 30 chips COB red led
* Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery with micro USB port
* Runtime 1 - 6 hours
* Pocket sized, compact, sleek design with five modes - constant high, constant low, flashing 1, flashing 2 and a pulse option
* Push button switch operation is easy to operate, even with winter gloves
* Supplied with USB cable and 2 rubber mounting pads
Generally well made, and what I'd expect of this price point.
Generally well made and user-friendly.
The rubberised strap, while very secure, is a struggle to fit around standard 27.2mm diameters.
Survived a diet of wet roads and sudsy bucket washes without missing a beat.
Good generally, and amazing in the lowest flashing settings.
Peripheral bleed is better than some but not a patch on the Cateye Rapid X.
No obvious weaknesses as yet.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Sword is a bright light with some lovely touches. Peripheral bleed is better than I was expecting but still lags behind Cateye's Rapid X and others using a dome type lens. Run-times are a little average, save for the lowest flashing, which are still bright and almost unbelievably frugal – perfect for week-long rides, let alone all-nighters!
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Brilliant blend of presence and frugality offered by the flashing modes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Strap needs upgrading.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes, with an upgraded strap.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Well worth a closer look, provided the strap fitted.
Use this box to explain your score
It's a sleek and versatile light with some lovely touches, but a higher score is scuppered by a silly strap.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)