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Verdict: 
Nice beam shape but bracket is a let-down and it's much too expensive
Weight: 
116g

The Specialized Flux Elite has an impressive beam pattern and plenty of power for the lanes, but the package as whole isn't appealing, especially at the recommended price.

In the box you get the light itself, a Mini-USB charging cable (as opposed to the now much more common Micro-USB) and a three-piece metal mount. Two of the bits clamp around your bar using two 3mm Allen bolts and the other holds the light. It has a release button that depresses a ball in the shaft, which locates in a hole in the light body. So you press the button, slide the light on and click it into place. Once in place the light looks pretty elegant, although if you're on the OCD scale it'll either annoy or perpetually torment you that the mount isn't quite long enough to centre the light in front of the stem.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

The best thing about the Flux Elite is the beam. It has a good quality cut-off beam; I'm not sure it's StVZO (German bicycle lighting standard) tested or compliant, but imagine a German-style dipped beam and you won't be far wrong here. It throws plenty of light onto the road without blinding other road users, but there's enough spill (just) to light up road signs along the way. It's plenty for clipping along unlit lanes and it's town-friendly too. There's a window on each end of the light for a bit of side visibility, although it could be brighter.

Specialized Flux Elite - beam shot.jpg

The bracket, on the other hand, is dreadful. It's fiddly to fit, and once the light is in place there's enough play between the bearing and the hole it sits in to make it rattle over rough surfaces, and for the beam to bounce around enough to make it annoying.

After a few wet rides the light seized against the bracket and had to be persuaded off with a generous dose of WD40. One bit is steel and one aluminium, so you'll need to watch out for that if you leave the Flux Elite mounted for a long time.

Not that you will, because the battery life is pretty average. I charged the light up to full and set off for an hour and half of riding on the medium beam setting – there's full, medium, pulsing and flashing modes – and after that 90 minutes the button on the top was glowing red (in a sequence of green - amber - red - flashing red) indicating that it would like to be charged again, please. Another 35 minutes the next day and that was that. Full beam lasts not a great deal over an hour. In a world where you can buy an £80 light with a similarly bright low power setting that'll run all night, that's not really competitive.

> Check out our guide to the best front lights here

Also not competitive is the price. Okay it's nicely made, but all that money spent on an over-engineered and under-performing bracket is pretty much wasted, and the RRP of £150 is a long way over the odds for what you're getting. You'll probably get it for less than that online, but there are really good lights out there for less than half the cost of this one.

Verdict

Nice beam shape but bracket is a let-down and it's much too expensive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Specialized Flux Elite front 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?

Specialized says: "Be seen, day or night. Compact and lightweight, the Flux Elite headlight is compact and bright. Think of it like riding with a small car headlight on your bicycle."

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

Sculpted beam pattern puts light where you need it and maximizes every lumen.

Down-firing reflector creates smooth 180-degree wide beam for excellent peripheral vision.

Sharp cutoff illuminates objects 1/3 of a mile away without blinding oncoming motorists and cyclists.

Quick-release mounting system for perfect alignment, every time.

Patent-pending all metal mounting system centres light in front of stem.

Wide variety of mounting options to fit all flat bar and drop bar cockpits.

Works with Flux Expert remote control (sold separately).

USB rechargeable 2200mAh Li-Ion internal battery (60% more capacity than previous iterations).

Charges in less than 2.5 hours with supplied high power cable in any phone charger (3.5 hours in a laptop USB port).

Four operating modes: Full Power, Battery Saver, Surge, Flash

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made, light unit and mount are both well built and sturdy.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
6/10

Light is simple to use, mount considerably less so.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
3/10

Overcomplicated, seized in wet conditions.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
6/10

The light was fine, the mount wouldn't release the light once it had been through some weather.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
6/10

Battery life is ok but other lights are better.

Rate the light for performance:
 
5/10

The actual beam is good but the package as a whole isn't.

Rate the light for durability:
 
6/10

Disappointing mount.

Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Fine for a front light.

Rate the light for value:
 
3/10

£150 is well over the odds.

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

Beam is good but that's about the only plus point really.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Beam shape and power.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Mount is poor, battery life average.

Did you enjoy using the light? Not really.

Would you consider buying the light? No

Would you recommend the light to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your score

This could be a good light with a better battery and a redesigned mount. As it is, it's hard to recommend.

Overall rating: 4/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

4 comments

Avatar
therevokid [1023 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

specialized ... overpriced ... never  1

s-works audax shoes anyone ????

Avatar
stevie63 [81 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I hoping that the Ding light that i backed on Kickstarter is going to have a similar pattern to this. It was about 1/3 the price mind.

Avatar
DaveE128 [1010 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I bought one of these for about half the RRP. The beam pattern is indeed excellent. The battery life in cold conditions isn't great but fine for 3/4 of the year. The mount isn't so bad actually. It does have a tiny bit of angular play between mount and light, pointing the light up or down a degree or two, but it doesn't cause any issues when riding and doesn't audibly rattle. The only problem I've had with the mount is an o-ring going missing, and it's had a few good soakings. I have oiled it occasionally having read this review. I don't leave it on the bike as I need to take it off to charge it. The USB port is slightly tricky. Mini is more robust than micro so I'm happy with that, but the flap is quite clost to the connector so pushing some leads in is difficult. It also seems to do funny things to some computers and I've even had it strobe upon plugging in once (I think this is the light horn that can be activated by the remote).

I'd still buy it again at the price I paid - there aren't many half decent lights with a beam pattern anything like as good as this.

PS please could this be added to the new beam comparison engine as a point of reference for beam shape? Thanks! Also one of the B&M Ixon models would be good.

Avatar
brooksby [5291 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

So has Specialised tried to trademark "flux", "elite", or "front light" yet?  3