We've tested and been impressed by the smaller Xeccon Link 300 front light, but if you need more brightness the Spear 900 turns the dial right up, making it ideal if you have to tackle some dark country lanes on your ride home. Good brightness and run-times mark it out as a very decent buy, but it's slightly let down by the bracket which isn't the most stable.
The construction of the light is impressive for the price: all plastic as you'd expect for £50, but with a zinc alloy cowling. It feels solid and has proved to be durable – I even accidentally dropped it and it didn't shatter into a thousand pieces. It's also well sealed from the elements with an IPX6 rating; a ride in torrential rain last week was a stern test for the Spear 900, and it passed admirably.
Operation is easy, with a single rubber button to turn it on and cycle through the three brightness modes, low, medium and high. It starts in the lowest mode. There's also strobe setting accessed by pressing down the switch for three seconds. If I'm being picky I'd like the button to have a bit more of a tactile feedback when pressing it, and it requires a firmer press than you'd expect to activate.
The light makes good use of the 900 lumens emitted by the single Cree XM2-LED, with a usable beam pattern on the road, a nice spot putting lots of brightness right where you need it, and usable flood at the sides. The design of the case includes a little hood over the top of the light to help direct more of the lumens down at the road and not into the eyes of other road users. There's no side illumination to speak of, which you often get with smaller commuter lights for city riding.
There's ample reach for travelling at a reasonable lick of speed, and plenty of sideways illumination for keeping out of the gutter, without too much light being wasted lighting up the hedgerow. I found the full beam was necessary on pitch black lanes when riding at speed and to be able to sight hazards in enough time to be able to steer around them. Knock your speed back a bit and you can get away with the middle brightness setting.
The one thing I've learnt from testing lights over the years is that there are many different ways to mount them to the handlebar. Some are great, many are rubbish. The Xeccon falls somewhere in the middle. It's a tool-free design with a nicely knurled dial to tighten the clamp, enabling you to fix it firmly to the handlebar. Once in place it's reasonably sturdy, but there is a bit of bounce on rougher ground and at higher speed. The angle of the light can be adjusted but there's no way of fixing its orientation, and while it didn't shift about of its own accord, it does contribute to its less than rock solid performance.
The light can be unclipped easily from the bracket so you can take it to your computer or a mains point to charge via a USB lead, with a full charge taking five hours. The main button glows when it's being charged; it also acts as a battery level indicator, but it's not quite as advanced as those found on more expensive lights.
The 2600mAh delivers good run-times, with about an hour and a half on the highest mode, easily extending to a couple of hours by powering down the brightness. The middle setting gets close to four hours and the low setting is nearer six and a half. That strobe mode delivers 35 hours, and is a good option for urban cycling.
The Xeccon Spear 900 offers more brightness than many lights at a similar price – it's twice the output of the slightly cheaper Moon Meteor-X Auto Pro for example – and it's easy to use, with good battery run-time.
I'd like to see a more stable mount and more tactile button with better battery level indication, but those tiny niggles aside it's a commendable light for the money. Even better, shop around and you can find it discounted by a fair amount.
Very good light with ample brightness for city to countryside commutes, but the bracket could be improved
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Xeccon Spear 900 front light
Size tested: 900 lumens
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?
Xeccon says: "The rechargeable and replaceable 2600mah custom battery provide as longer running time as you expect. That's the Spear 900, free you from the limits on weather, conditions, runtime, just enjoying the riding and your lifestyle.
"Utilizing the newest CREE LED, with no filament to break or burn out, projects a beam pattern that provides a generous long-distance spot and a wide flood beam pattern of 600 brilliant lumens.
"With super compact aerodynamics body design and excellent self-cooling system, Spear 900 provides enough brightness and different options that it can be used in many riding conditions.
"Its outstanding IPX6 waterproof ability, gives safe riding at terrible raining.
"Quickly fit and remove mount for you to enjoy riding journey and save the time."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
LED: 1*Cree XM-L2 LED
Max Output: 900 Lumens
Run Time: 1.5-35 Hours
Mode: Low – Mid – High
ON/OFF Mode (Hold 2 seconds) / Strobe Mode (Hold 3 seconds)
Material: Zinc Alloy + Plastic
Battery: 2600mAh Internal Rechargeable Battery
Charging Time: 5 Hours
Waterproof Level: IPX6
Weight (w/ Battery): 124g
Run time :
Low : 6.5h
Mid : 3.8h
High : 1.5h
Tool-free and easy to use, but could be more stable and less wobbly.
I got it soaked in some heavy rain and it didn't konk out.
Reasonable run-times and charge-times.
A decent output and good beam pattern for the money.
Passed my accidental drop test just fine.
You get a fair amount of lumens for the money, more than some other lights, and it's an even better deal if you shop around.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Delivers good performance in the city or countryside, being bright enough to see where you're going at speed, and with usable run-times.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Easy to use, good brightness and beam pattern.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
I'd prefer a more stable mount and more tactile on/off/mode button.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Maybe
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Probably
Use this box to explain your score
You get a lot of lumens for your money with the Spear 900, and it's a good choice for anyone who wants a light that will cover urban riding and dark country lanes.
About the tester
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, mountain biking
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.