review

Cateye Volt 100 front light & Rapid X rear light

9
£49.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Smart looking lights bright enough for daily commuting and easy to mount to the bike
Weight: 
99g
Contact: 

For £50 Cateye offers the Volt 100 front light and Rapid X rear light, which together are a great combination for commuting with long battery life, multiple modes and are easy to use. They even look good too.

Up front, the Volt 100 pumps out 100 lumens in constant and 150 in flash mode. That's more than enough to be seen by, but it's not bright enough if you want to venture away from the lit streets of the city or town.

It's powered by an integrated lithium-ion battery charged by a mini USB lead, which is good for 2 to 30 hours, depending on the mode. There's a choice of high, low and flash modes. A low battery indicator ensures you don't run out of juice, and the low mode runs on just 30 lumens which lasts 6 hours so it's plenty long enough for most commutes.

The Rapid X rear light is stupendously bright and offers  good side visibility, and a range of flashing modes. The battery is good for up to 30 hours in flashing mode and 16 hours in the pulse mode which I tended to opt for. It's easily charged via a USB lead.

A nice feature is the fact that the light is intelligent enough to switch to from constant to flashing mode if the battery runs low when you're cycling, conserving the remaining juice.

Both lights are easy to mount to the bike. The rear light uses a simple rubber band approach, and fits easily to most seatposts, even aero ones. It's a very slim light and never obstructs pedalling and even looks quite good on the bike.

The front light uses the regular Cateye turn-dial ratchet mount that can accommodate different sized handlebars. The light can be removed by pressing the release button and sliding it off the mount, handy if you leave the bike outside the office.

For urban cycling and daily commuting, both lights are adequately bright and ensure you're visible to other road users. The battery duration of both is good enough that you don't have to worry unduly about burn times, and they're easily charged from a laptop when you're at the desk.

The lights are a good step from the smaller and cheaper 'emergency' lights such as the Lifeline USB LED lights (£19.99) with impressive brightness, battery life and easy to use mounts that makes them a good investment for the daily cyclist. They even look good, as lights go.

Verdict

Smart looking lights bright enough for daily commuting and easy to mount to the bike

The front light comparator

If you have a nice big screen you can click here for the widescreen version (1400x1000px)

The rear light comparator

If you have a nice big screen you can click here for the widescreen version (1400x1000px)

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Cateye Volt 100 front light and Rapid X rear light

Size tested: n/a

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?

Whether commuting in towns or riding the lanes, the Volt 100/Rapid X light set combines 2 high power USB rechargeable lights into one super safe set. Volt 100 front with up to 150 lumen output & Rapid X rear with 25 lumen's & up to 30 hours runtime.

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

Volt 100

USB rechargeable front light with up to 150 lumen output

Integrated Li-ion battery

Side visibility

USB recharge

Flextight handlebar bracket

Modes: High / Low / Flash

Runtimes: 2 to 30 hrs depending on mode

Weight: 65g

Rapid X

Ultra bright strip LED technology

Li-Polymer battery technology

Complex circuitry for safe charge and discharge

USB recharge (2hrs)

O-Ring attachment

5 modes: Constant / Flashing / Rapid / Pulse / Vibration

Runtime: Constant: 5hrs / Flashing: 30hrs / Run: 16hrs / Pulse: 16hrs / Vibration: 8hrs

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
9/10
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
Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

There are cheaper lights, and there are more expensive lights, these strike a nice balance. They're clearly very well designed, look good and are very reliable

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

Easy to use out of the box and easy to fit to the bike, and the switches are easily operatable

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Really smart looking lights with enough brightness for urban cycling or used as auxiliary lights to brighter main lights for riding in the country lanes

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Yes.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?

Really good lights bright enough for city commuting with long enough battery duration to not have to charge them all the time, and easy to fit to the bike and easy to operate

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

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