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.
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 Flare is the self-sufficient rear light from Exposure, a development from their Red-Eye rear light that sucks power via a lead out the back of one of Exposure's powerful Joystick off-road lights. The tidy little Flare runs off a single CR123A battery - a squat camera battery to you and me. It pushes out a bright 75 lumens of red light via a Seoul P4 LED. Exposure say there's 9hrs of constant light to be had with a disposable battery and 3hrs with rechargeables, or 22hrs and 8hrs respectively in flashing mode.
Waiter, waiter, there's an RSP micro flex light rear in my soup...Keep you voice down sir; they'll all want one. Superb weather seals, shapely, tactile design and impressive power to size ratio, the flex light ranks high in my back up lighting hall of fame and should be of particular interest to winter time trialists or road racers who don't want to find themselves cheated by the sudden onset of darkness.
Bright, brash and now USB chargeable, Knog’s Boomer is certainly bright enough for city and suburban streets and dark lanes with reliable output and charge-times- it even survived five minutes continuous onslaught from the garden hose but so do many others and the silicone bracket is neither secure, nor particularly versatile when it comes to mounting the rear version tested here – we've also included technical details of the front though because USB recharger apart it is identical to the Boomer front light we've already tested.
Bigger in some cases is certainly better and very apt when describing RSP’s new Tourlite. Designed to bolt directly to the rack platform, it might be portly but the half- watt LED flanked by two smaller units and integral reflector pack a mighty punch. Raleigh claims it’s visible from a mile and friendly acquaintances suggest this is no idle boast.
This Onethelight 900-lumen headlight from Spokeshirts is a very bright light, and not an expensive one either. If you're just looking for bangs per buck, then it should be up there on your wishlist. It's not perfect and there are little niggles, but overall it's a good performer for the money.
You’re going to like these Magicshine lights, I did. I’m getting this test report out as quick as I can because, you might need to strike something off the Christmas list and convince yourself or your significant other, that you need a present just like this.