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Verdict: 
Bright enough to show the way as well as get you seen, with a flashing daytime mode and good run-times
Weight: 
131g
Exposure Strada 600
8 10

The new Exposure Strada 600 is a tough light that's bright enough for most circumstances on the road, and it offers generous run-times.

  • Pros: Bright, several programs and modes, daytime flash mode
  • Cons: Not cheap, no mid-ride angle adjustment

I've been using both the Strada 600 and the £289.96 Strada 1200 over the past few weeks in order to compare the two. The beam patterns are almost identical but for the fact that the Strada 600 is less intense across the board – which you might have guessed.

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I headed up into the hills with both the Strada 600 and the Strada 1200 mounted to my handlebar, and swapped between them.

The Strada 600 provides easily enough light to see by on unlit roads, illuminating the full width from verge to verge. In the majority of circumstances I felt I could ride normally without making any compromises to the night. The only exception was on fast descents when I sometimes found myself squinting into the darkness or braking to a speed where I felt I could stop comfortably before running into anything unexpected that might loom up in front of me – you know, potholes, vast chasms in the road surface, werewolves, that kind of thing (your mind can do funny things at night).

All other things being equal, I'd rather have the extra oomph of the Exposure Strada 1200 for those fast descents, but you have to pay £90 extra for the privilege (the Strada 900 splits the difference at £244.94).

All of the Stradas have two different lenses: a spot and a wide, flat flood. The LEDs are driven individually on the circuit board so that when you change between the modes the wide flood beam remains, but the spot beam is reduced to avoid dazzling oncoming road users.

I used the middle of the Strada 1200's three modes most of the time, whereas I used the Strada 600's high setting much more often, which probably won't surprise you. That's because I do most of my riding on rural roads. In town, switching to a lower setting not only avoids making enemies of people travelling in the opposite direction, it saves the battery.

Get with the program

Like the Strada 1200, the Strada 600 offers five different lighting programs for you to choose from, allowing you to tailor the function. Exposure calls this its Optimised Mode Selector. Program 1, for instance, gives you approximately three hours of use in high mode, 10 hours in medium mode and 24 hours in low mode.

If you choose Program 3 you forgo the medium setting and get three hours of high mode and 10 hours of low mode (so, the same as the two higher settings of Program 1).

One new feature I need to tell you about is the Day Bright setting, which you get on all the Strada models. This is a flashing mode designed to get you noticed in broad daylight.

You swap between modes either by pressing a raised metal button on the back of the light – which is very easy to locate even in chunky winter gloves – or using Exposure's remote switch that you mount somewhere on your handlebar (you can run the lead under your handlebar tape if you're likely to use the light regularly). This makes things easier if you're frequently dipping your light as traffic approaches.

Switching between programs is easy and the details of each are printed on the light's aluminium casing, which is just as well because if you're anything like me you'll never remember them. To be honest, you'll probably just choose the most suitable program and stick with it.

> Buyer's Guide: The best 2017/2018 front lights for cycling

One really good feature is that the program you're currently using is shown on the back of the light when you turn it on, and then the display shows the mode you're in and the amount of run-time remaining, which I found to be pretty accurate. This saves a lot of worrying about whether there's enough juice left in the battery to see you home, and if you reckon you're going to run out of light you can take evasive action by changing down a mode – unless you're already in low mode, in which case you'd better pedal faster or get on the phone. Run-times in constant modes range all the way from 3 hours right up to 36 hours, so there's really no reason to get caught out.

The Strada 600 charges much more quickly than the Strada 1200: about 4hrs rather than 9hrs. Chances are that you'll get into the habit of recharging it overnight, so that's probably not going to be a huge benefit, but who knows?

The Strada 600 looks a lot like the Strada 1200 and the overall dimensions are similar – 100mm long with a 42mm diameter as opposed to 106mm with a 44mm diameter – although the 600's central section is slimmer and the light is quite a bit lighter: 131g versus 249g. I wouldn't get too bothered by any of that, though. In use, the differences are small going on negligible.

Mounting

The Strada 600 sits on Exposure's tried and tested bracket that attaches firmly to your handlebar (as long as it's a round section) via a hex key. Fixing the light unit to the bracket takes a second and removing it is equally quick, the only slight niggle being that there's no quick way of adjusting the angle of the beam mid-ride – you have to get out a multi-tool and move the mount, or leave it just loose enough that you can push it.

If real estate is at a premium you can turn the bracket upside down and fit the Strada 600 underneath the bar, in which case the display still reads the right way up thanks to an accelerometer which detects the position and flips it. That's a cool little feature.

Value

My only real reservation about the Strada 600 is the price. It's £90 cheaper than the Strada 1200 but it's still more expensive than all the non-Exposure lights tested in our beam engine this year. There are a lot of other very good lights out there at cheaper prices, such as the Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 (£99.95) that I'm also reviewing, which offers plenty of power, albeit with shorter run-times. The Strada 600 is a classy piece of work – well made, durable, and easy to use. You might feel that the high quality and the fact that Exposure makes its lights in Britain justifies the price. You are buying a really good product here, but you're also paying a lot for it.

All in all, the Exposure Strada 600 is a neat light that puts in a great performance. The only significant difference between this and the Strada 1200 is the amount of light it's capable of dishing out. If you like tearing around unlit roads at night and you don't want to make any concessions to the fact that it's dark, the 1200 is the one for you, but for everyone else the Strada 600 is more than likely sufficient.

Verdict

Bright enough to show the way as well as get you seen, with a flashing daytime mode and good run-times

road.cc test report

Make and model: Exposure Strada 600

Size tested: Max Lumens 600

Tell us what the light is for

This is a road-specific light that's easily powerful enough for riding on unlit roads at night.

Exposure says, "New for 2018, the Strada 600 is the perfect partner for road cyclist who wants to keep the ethos of super lightweight without compromising on performance. Like it's larger siblings you get the widespread flat road specific beam pattern optimised for the road with a generous 600 lumen output, but at 135g you also get to keep your lightweight setup. Ease of use is assured with a remote switch to keep concentration on the road ahead."

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

All of the Strada lights now offer Exposure's Day Bright feature, meaning that they have a flash mode to help get you seen in daylight.

Exposure lists these features:

*Road Specific beam

*OLED Status Display (the panel gives program and mode information before switching to a burntime countdown)

*Remote Switch

*Smart Port + (it automatically recognises accessories allowing you to power additional front and rear lights, use the Remote Switch and charge USB devices on the move)

*Cable Free Design

*Intelligent Thermal Management (patented technology in the circuitry of Exposure Lights stop the light from heating up to a point where the light loses power due to the elevated temperature)

*Optimum Mode Selector (allows you to easily select from a concise number of programs to provide the optimum lighting for your ride)

*Fuel Gauge (accurately displays battery power and burntime information so you can see how long you have left to ride)

*QR Bracket

* 2 Year Warranty

*Made in the UK

* Battery: Li Ion 3,400mAh

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The tough aluminium shell provides good protection.

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

It's simple to find the program you want and to switch between modes. It could hardly be easier.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

It's solid, although I'd like the ability to adjust the angle of the light without resorting to a hex key.

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

Constant modes go right up to 36 hours and there's a countdown on the back of the light telling you how much more time the light is going to last, so there's no reason to find yourself out of power. It recharges in just four hours.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10

It's not as bright as the Strada 1200, obviously, but it's lighter and cheaper.

Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10

The aluminium shell will scratch if you drop it, but it's very protective.

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

It's a very good light but it's also more expensive than any of the lights included in our beam engine testing this year, aside from other models from Exposure.

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

It provides good illumination and a variety of different programs/modes so you can tailor it to your needs.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

I like the fact that you can switch easily between programs and modes, and the display that tells you how much run-time remains is useful.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

It's not cheap.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Possibly

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a really neat light with loads of capability, and it's £90 cheaper than Exposure's Strada 1200. My only real reservation is that there are a lot of other good lights out there at cheaper prices, such as the Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 (£99.95) that I'm also reviewing. You might feel that the high quality and the fact that Exposure makes its lights in Britain justifies the price. I'd say that price, build quality, ease of function and the overall performance balance out to an overall score of 8.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

13 comments

Avatar
DaveE128 [996 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
Quote:

but the spot beam is reduced to avoid dazzling oncoming road users.

except based on the beam pattern image, the oncoming road users still get dazzled because a wide flat flood still sends quite a lot of stray light above the horizontal.
An old version of the Strada was properly tested for this here (and didn't do very well): https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/chris-juden/bobby-dazzlers
Has the beam pattern changed drastically? It doesn't appear so to me.
Another beam pattern fail from a light intemded specifically for road use and yet another review that doesn't pick it up  2

Avatar
bobbypuk [60 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
DaveE128 wrote:

 Another beam pattern fail from a light intemded specifically for road use and yet another review that doesn't pick it up  2

Any ideas what we should be looking at? I'm after something that will replace my know defunct halogen lumicycle and don't fancy just sticking 3000 lumens of uncontrolled LED on my bars.

SImple requirements:

1) Controlled beam that won't dazzle other users

2) a full beam option for when they're not around

3) give enough light far enough away that I do unlit UK roads a 20-25mph without breaking a rim each week

 

I can't be unique in wanting this?

Avatar
Welsh boy [518 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
DaveE128 wrote:

An old version of the Strada was properly tested for this here (and didn't do very well): https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/chris-juden/bobby-dazzlers (

Dave, can you tell us what relevence an article reviewing 2012/2013 front lights and your assumption that a particular light was used has to the review of a new light is please?

Avatar
oldstrath [968 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
Welsh boy wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

An old version of the Strada was properly tested for this here (and didn't do very well): https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/chris-juden/bobby-dazzlers (

Dave, can you tell us what relevence an article reviewing 2012/2013 front lights and your assumption that a particular light was used has to the review of a new light is please?

Especially as what Juden actually wrote about the Strada was

Quote:

The current model is different, with a two-mode mode and a remote switch for easy toggling between highest and lowest. So provided one has the motivation and application to find and set that mode... it is possible to use this very bright lamp responsibly.

Avatar
oldstrath [968 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
bobbypuk wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

 Another beam pattern fail from a light intemded specifically for road use and yet another review that doesn't pick it up  2

Any ideas what we should be looking at? I'm after something that will replace my know defunct halogen lumicycle and don't fancy just sticking 3000 lumens of uncontrolled LED on my bars.

SImple requirements:

1) Controlled beam that won't dazzle other users

2) a full beam option for when they're not around

3) give enough light far enough away that I do unlit UK roads a 20-25mph without breaking a rim each week

 

I can't be unique in wanting this?

You're far from unique, but it doesn't seem to exist except in the ebike specific Supernova M99. The Lupine SLA allegedly sheds lots of "controlled light", but no full beam. The best option appears to be pairing a STVZO light with a bright conical beam that can be switched on and off easily.  Such as, of course, the old halogen Lumis, or something with a remote such as a Maxx d or Strada

Avatar
me [98 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
bobbypuk wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

 Another beam pattern fail from a light intemded specifically for road use and yet another review that doesn't pick it up  2

Any ideas what we should be looking at? I'm after something that will replace my know defunct halogen lumicycle and don't fancy just sticking 3000 lumens of uncontrolled LED on my bars.

SImple requirements:

1) Controlled beam that won't dazzle other users

2) a full beam option for when they're not around

3) give enough light far enough away that I do unlit UK roads a 20-25mph without breaking a rim each week

 

I can't be unique in wanting this?

 

Ravemen PR 600/900/1200 depending on how bright you want to go?

Avatar
nbrus [577 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

A motor vehicle doing 60 mph needs a high beam, but on a bicycle that does 20 mph its really not necessary providing your STVZO light has a reasonably long beam and you aren't riding trails.

If you must have high beam, then the Ravemen PR1200 is good and reasonably priced.

Avatar
stevie63 [81 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
bobbypuk wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

 Another beam pattern fail from a light intemded specifically for road use and yet another review that doesn't pick it up  2

Any ideas what we should be looking at? I'm after something that will replace my know defunct halogen lumicycle and don't fancy just sticking 3000 lumens of uncontrolled LED on my bars.

SImple requirements:

1) Controlled beam that won't dazzle other users

2) a full beam option for when they're not around

3) give enough light far enough away that I do unlit UK roads a 20-25mph without breaking a rim each week

 

I can't be unique in wanting this?

Using the beam comparison thingy above it seems that the Raveman PR900 and 1200 lights fit the bill. At under £100 for either I don't know why you pay double that for one of these.

Avatar
bobbypuk [60 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

nbrus wrote:

A motor vehicle doing 60 mph needs a high beam, but on a bicycle that does 20 mph its really not necessary providing your STVZO light has a reasonably long beam and you aren't riding trails.

If you must have high beam, then the Ravemen PR1200 is good and reasonably priced.

Don't know what your roads are like but the Berskhire roads need quite a bit of concentration to ride. I prefer to have more than 2 seconds notice of a rim wrecker. Cars have got significantly more suspension, momentum and rubber to keep them going in a straight line over a pot hole.

I like the look of the Ravemen though.

Avatar
markfireblade [63 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

I have the new Ravemen CR900. It doesn't have the seperate high beam, just the single German-spec "dip", but it's beautifully made and has a good mount and a proper digital runtime dispay and a remote control and a momentary full-power override and a touchscreen style power selector that can be locked-out and charges quckly and cost £90.

Pretty good really.

Avatar
nbrus [577 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
bobbypuk wrote:

I prefer to have more than 2 seconds notice of a rim wrecker.

You're unlikely to find a rim wrecker up in the trees. Ravemen PR1200 is a good light with both dip and high beam.

http://road.cc/content/review/221409-ravemen-pr1200-usb-rechargeable-dualens-front-light

Avatar
earth [406 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

I have an 800.  Even on the half intensity setting it still dazzles people coming the other way yet provides no light to see by at all.  The lights on £1 YoBikes look brighter.  The flood is about 180 degrees but a more concentrated 120 degree flood would be more useful and if they can stop the light spilling vertically then they will have a good light.  As it is a light about a third the price literally out shines the Strada.

Avatar
rogermerriman [146 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
nbrus wrote:
bobbypuk wrote:

I prefer to have more than 2 seconds notice of a rim wrecker.

You're unlikely to find a rim wrecker up in the trees. Ravemen PR1200 is a good light with both dip and high beam.

http://road.cc/content/review/221409-ravemen-pr1200-usb-rechargeable-dualens-front-light

 

the Strada beam is fairly low and flat, even at full it’s far from lighting up trees, it appears at least on low to be about as nice as as is reasonable to be, it on the stop and get off the bike in a dark section to be fine, is it a bright light yes, is it glaring no, and with the remote it’s a doddle to flick between modes as needed.

 

Id agree that for fast dark hills and technical off road the 600 struggles even at full chat, but I have a Magicshine 858 which is good for that sort of blanket of light riding.