The Kryptonite Avenue F-100 COB front light is a six-mode 100-lumen light with a tough build and better output than the numbers suggest.
- Pros: Bright, good value, decent run-times
- Cons: Side windows can be obscured by your hands
Thanks to the chip-on-board (COB) assembly pattern, which allows more diodes to share the same space, it's adequate in the highest steady setting for well-lit, shorter distance town riding. The rows of tiny chips crammed together on the same circuit board, combined with the decent wraparound lens, result in a bright, pure arc of light.
While superficially generous, the side-windows offer reasonable peripheral bleed on a flat bar but can be obscured by your hands on the hoods of a drop bar.
There are two 100-lumen modes, 'high steady' and daylight pulse. Sandwiched in between are four others, which in my view are sensibly chosen. Medium steady is 50 lumens, night time pulse 60/20 lumens, low steady 20 lumens and finally economic flash, which is also 20 lumens.
Output in the high steady is impressive, better than Moon's similarly powerful Comet. It'll also manage this for almost two hours – great for those (thankfully rare) occasions when I've had a main light fail.
In an emergency/out of town it's good enough to squint home on, and with just enough bite for map/sign reading, but crucially other vehicles and riders seemed to acknowledge me from about 80 metres, maybe 100 on clear nights on unlit, rural roads.
Medium steady is also very bright, superior to Moon's Crescent (in the latter's highest mode). I've had 4hrs 28mins from a full charge, which could be a godsend if you're a long way from home, or just fancied conserving reserves when riding along shared-use paths.
The low steady's 20 lumens isn't particularly impressive but it's a far cry from some filament front lights I used 20-odd years back. It's not something I'd use save for dire emergencies, but in those contexts I'd be very glad of it and the 11 hours 9 minutes it glowed for. And traffic and pedestrians picked me out at 20-30 metres.
I'm not sure 100 lumens is optimum for a daylight mode, especially on lighter days, but I've appreciated it on grey, cloudy afternoons. I seemed to register on most people's radars at 150 metres, falling to 100 in built-up districts. Its frugal 9 hours' run-time matched that quoted.
The night-time pulse is a new but growing trend, here comprising a steady 20 and pulsing 70 lumens. I was a bit sceptical to begin with, but these are growing on me. Other riders reckoned they could pick me out at 200 metres along the lanes, and some friends in cars suggested further still, even on moderately overcast nights. I found it really effective at dusk, when tackling roundabouts or entering the flow of traffic.
This mode will return a good 7hrs plus, more than adequate for dynamo pairings on a dusk-til-dawn ride, although in some situations, such as slow-moving town centre traffic, I've slipped to eco-flash. This is 20 lumens and, for me at least, hits the sweet-spot between assertion and economy. Kryptonite says it'll last 22hrs 30mins; I've yet to call its bluff, but on the strength of the other settings, I'd say you stand a sporting chance of it delivering.
If reserves do run low, at 10% the system automatically defaults to the lowest setting, which is a godsend should you be out longer than planned or forget to charge up.
Charge times are cited as 2hrs 30mins when fully depleted. Our sample seemed fully juiced around 2hrs 15mins. The switch-cum-charge indicator flicks from solid red to green when done.
That switch is a nigh-on pancake flat, rubberised square, a little tricky to locate in gloved hands but otherwise intuitive and positive enough to prevent unwanted engagements.
Press for two seconds to power up (and down). Subsequent nudges cruise through the six settings, and a memory mode defaults to your last choice.
The F-100 can be mounted either vertically or horizontally, depending on your preference or competing handlebar clutter.
Its bracket – a simple 'watch strap' design – achieves excellent, strain-free tenure across the full zodiac of handlebar diameters, or indeed the frame's head tube. With a bit of luck and lateral thought, helmet mounting is also possible.
I've had no problems with vibration, let alone more obvious movement, whether hustling through pock-marked high streets or, paired with a high power/dynamo setup, speeding through deserted lanes.
It's also easily whipped off when parking in the street, so remember to take it with you...
I can also confirm the light is water resistant. I've had no problems leaving it in-situ while giving bikes a sudsy bucket wash – just be sure that the port plug is fully seated after charging.
All told, the F-100 offers a decent blend of performance, economy and modes for most contexts and at a decent price. The lower settings are perfectly adequate for overcast days or wedded to a main light, though the side windows aren't as effective as their size suggests.
Defaulting to eco flash could be enough for a fortnight's middle distance commuting between charges or, at the other extreme, marathon all-nighters.
Competitively priced, competent front light with decent run-times
road.cc test report
Make and model: Kryptonite Avenue F-100 COB
Size tested: 100 Lumens
Tell us what the light is for
Kryptonite says "Modes include HIGH STEADY, MEDIUM STEADY, LOW STEADY, DAYLITE PULSE, NITELITE PULSE and ECONOMIC FLASH
FULLY USB RECHARGEABLE - No batteries to buy or replace
Run time up to 22 HOURS 30 MINS
Side illumination ports allow cyclist to be seen when riding across traffic lanes
Memory Function-Light turns on at the last mode it was turned off
Power saving function- 10% power or less, lights will automatically switch to lowest lumen output
Built in battery indicator- Red illumination = lower than 25%, Green = fully charged
Multiple mounting options-Vertical or Horizontal mounting options as well as clip for mounting to packs, bags, or belts"
My feelings are that it's a surprisingly powerful safety-cum-town light with decent output and sensible run-times.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
o High Steady: 2:15 Hours, 100 Lumens
o Medium Steady: 4:30 Hours, 50 Lumens
o Low Steady: 11:15 Hours, 20 Lumens
o Daylite Pulse: 9 Hours, 100 Lumens
o Nitelite Pulse: 7:30 Hours, 20/60 Lumens
o Economic Flash: 22:30 Hours, 20 Lumens
Sturdy composite body has withstood accidental drops onto hard surfaces without so much as a scuff.
Low-profile switch was straightforward to use, even wearing winter weight full-finger gloves. Memory function takes the faff out of selection.
Versatile and very study.
No problems with rain and when left in-situ during bike washing.
Relatively quick to charge and offers reasonable run-times, which have been faithful to those cited. The 10% automatic kick down is another definite plus, meaning there's a sporting chance of getting home safely, should you forget to charge properly, or power wane on a very long ride.
Good range of modes and outputs.
47g is good for the size and output.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I've been impressed by the F100. There are a wealth of very useful modes, the highest bright enough in its own right to pass as a main light if you're riding short distances through towns, or as a get-me-home option for a best bike. Flashing and pulsing modes are very distinctive and shouldn't get lost among other light pollution. Run and charge times are also very convenient. Peripheral bleed is also good but can be overshadowed by your hands when riding on the hoods.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Very bright, slightly quirky but funky styling, distinctive modes and in the main, good run-times. The 10% safety kick down is another definite plus.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Nothing in particular, although the side windows weren't as effective as their length suggested.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Slightly quirky styling but a very well engineered safety light.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb 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)