The Cateye Volt 200 XC pumps out a decent amount of light, is easy to use and has a relatively good battery life. It sits nicely on the bar but could be easier to remove and attach.
- Pros: Price, decent output, simple three-mode operation
- Cons: Only three modes, slightly fiddly to attach/remove
As you can see from the photo, it's a plastic tube-shaped unit with a single rubber button on the top as the means of operation. Not the prettiest light perhaps, given how it sits on the bar, but operation is simple because of its design.
To attach the light it has a laddered rubber strap and plastic clip that sits underneath the handlebar. This connects to the base of the light, which is rubberised with a curved design to help it sit more comfortably. The base also lets the light rotate if wanted and, unlike the Volt 80 XC that I have previously tested, doesn't spin too easily, so doesn't twist into strange positions.
Removal is relatively simple, but can be a bit fiddly because you do not attach the light to a solid base, instead the clip is at the bottom between two rubber straps. This isn't too time-consuming, but isn't as quick and easy as other lights I have used.
There are three settings: High (200 lumens), Low (30 lumens), and Flash. They perform well enough, though it might be nice to have a slightly larger selection. The brightness is adequate for being seen, but it certainly isn't designed to be a trail light, so don't expect it to light up dark paths effectively.
When you look at the beam comparison engine above, the Volt 200 XC doesn't have a huge amount of spread but it is fairly bright, even when you compare it to lights that are meant to have a higher lumen output. It's not the best light for dark, unlit roads, but for urban areas it works just fine.
Battery life is a claimed 1.5 hours on high, 4 hours on low, and 20 hours on flash, which seems about right. I did the trusty 'leave the light in a shoebox and check whether it's dead' trick for both the high and low options and these numbers seem to be accurate; having generally used the light on flash mode, I charged it once every two weeks or so, so seems correct.
Charging is through a mini USB port and requires a cable, which is fine but not as useful as the integrated USB you get on several other lights this year, because you need to have a cable with you whenever/wherever you need to charge it. Charging itself take around three hours, which isn't overly long. I could just plug it into my laptop at work in the morning and it was charged by lunch.
One big improvement over last year's light is the RRP: £26.99 rather than £36.99. At this new price it's a much better proposition all-round. Overall it's a decent light, and does what's needed with little fuss.
A decent, robust light that's good value at its new lower price
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cateye Volt 200 XC
Size tested: 200 lumen
Tell us what the light is for
A well powered light that gets you seen for not a huge amount of money.
Cateye says: 'The Cateye Volt 200 Xc has a 200 lumens bright white beam pattern to keep you noticeable from far away. A convenient top button lets you cycle through the 3 different modes depending on the conditions you're riding in. Quick and easy to charge using a computer, laptop or usb wall plug.'
This is fairly accurate, it does what it needs to and is robust and reliable.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
3 modes: High / Low / Flash
Runtime: 200lm: 1.5 hr, 30lm: 4 hrs, 100lm: 20 hrs
Recharge time: 3 hours
Seems well made with a decent body, good choice of materials and robust strap.
Very easy to use, two brightnesses through pressing the button once, and flashing by pressing it twice.
Clamping system keeps everything in place well, but takes practice to remove the light.
Used it in heavy downpours without any impact.
Took 3 hours to recharge and lasted 20 hours on flash.
Worked well, providing a decent amount of light, reliability, and simplicity of use.
Seems well made, but would be useful to have a separate base so that can be replaced.
A much better value proposition at £26.99 than last year's £36.99.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It worked well, providing enough light to be seen, while still being easy to use and relatively robust.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Ease of use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The attachment is a little fiddly.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes at this new price.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes at this new price.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It does what it needs to and will enable you to be seen, without breaking the bank. I said when I reviewed it last year that the price bracket wasn't quite right and which put it at a 6; Cateye has remedied that, which is reflected in the score.
About the tester
I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.