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Verdict: 
A tidy package for the commuter or all-day cyclist, with good mounting options and the ability to run while charging
Weight: 
129g

The Ravemen CR700 is a compact, other-road-user-friendly light with a great anti-dazzle beam bright enough to ride quite fast with. The wired remote is basic but handy, as are the various modes. A good one for long-distance rides where you might need to charge while in use.

  • Pros: Excellent anti-glare cutoff beam, good battery life, robust, sleek design, remote button
  • Cons: Slightly fiddly mount, broad charge indication means uncertainty in use

The party trick of the CR700, like all Ravemen lights, is the excellent 'DuaLens' optics. As all the photons are travelling through the one lens, you're stuck with the pattern provided, so there's no high-beam blast that you'd want for fast or off-road riding. This light is squarely aimed at the commuter who doesn't want to annoy others.

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The mount is a one-size-fits-all-bars ladder strap affair, and you really need to remove the light first before attaching it as the hook is obscured by the light body – which could get a bit annoying if you were doing it twice a day. Once in place it's solid, with the ability to pivot the light 10 degrees left and right to position the beam just so. The light slides into place and is released with a thumb catch, all of which is rattle-free. One thing you can't do is mount it upside down, because of the directional lens. For £5 you can bag a very nifty GoPro mount that puts the CR700 well out of the way out front under your Garmin or whatnot.

Ravemen CR700 USB Rechargeable DuaLens Front Light - mount

The CR700 design is minimalist, with a single on-off-mode button at the rear above the micro-USB charge and remote port. On either side at the front are small orange windows into the main LED, giving some minor side visibility but unlikely to get the attention of a motorist.

Charging from a 2.4A wall charger took about two hours, advertised charging for 1.3A input is three hours. Run-time on the highest 700-lumen setting was 1hr 48mins, a bit over the advertised 1hr 36mins, although there was a noticeable but not severe degradation in output over the last 30 minutes.

Charging indication and in-use status is courtesy the LED-backlit mode button – green means better than 60%, red between 60 and 10%, and red flashing less than 10%. Those are pretty broad spreads, and you could be leaving home with a light you thought fully charged, which was in reality just over half. Not great, and one area for Ravemen to improve on.

The modes available range high-medium-low-eco, then two flashing modes of a 200-lumen flash over the top of a constant-on LED good for 17 hours. I could see most people using this during daytime as a frugal be-seen light, then there's a dedicated fast strobe flash at 50 lumens good for an audax-friendly whopping 38 hours. All modes are retained on switch-off, so when turning back on you don't need to cycle through the lot.

The micro-USB remote button can be attached to your bar or hoods, and lets you cycle through the modes or fire up a blast of High as long as you hold the button down. Given this light isn't designed for high-beam annoyance, the lack of a dedicated high/low switching function isn't an issue, unlike with some other Ravemen models such as the PR800.

The beam pattern is wide and low, with quite a sharp cutoff to keep light out of oncoming eyes. Short of a genuine German-approved light, the Ravemen DuaLens is perhaps the best thing for keeping other road users happy while still being able to see yourself. I found it good enough for slower rides, but if you're bombing a backcountry lane faster than 20mph-odd you'll be wanting something more focused to see far ahead.

> Buyer's Guide: The best 2018 front lights for cycling

An audax- or touring-friendly feature is that you can charge the CR700 while it's running – but there's a catch. When charging, only the mid, low and eco modes are available, not the two flashing ones. The High mode is only available once it's almost fully charged. Still, points for trying.

In terms of value, it's pretty good compared to others out there, and the level of build quality and the ability to run it while charging are big plus points. You can pay around the same for lower output lights, like the Knog PWR Rider (£54.99, 450 lumens), although the Lezyne Lite Drive 800XL is £57.99. Moon's Meteor Vortex Pro is another tenner, but it does have a useful Boost mode (to 900 lumens).

All in all, I was pretty impressed with the CR700. It looks good, is solidly built, has a great beam and as an all-day, into-the-night light it does the job, able to be recharged on the fly from a dynamo or battery pack.

Verdict

A tidy package for the commuter or all-day cyclist, with good mounting options and the ability to run while charging

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Ravemen CR700 Front Light

Size tested: 700 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?

It's a light for commuters and slower backlane riders or audaxers.

Ravemen says:

Key Features:

DuaLens optical designed low beam, providing anti-glare broad light for commuting

No dazzle for oncoming riders and pedestrians

Wired remote button to change brightness levels without releasing the grip

Built-in battery indicator and charging indicator

Micro USB charging port to charge the light easily

Durable anodized aluminum body with better heat dissipation

Quick release design for easily slide in/out

Compatible with handlebar from 22.2mm to 31.8mm diameter

Your ideal compact commuting light with output of 700 lumens

Side visibility function, which is helpful to increase the visibility of the light and the cyclists

Recharge capability while the light is being used, this function will enable users to extend the run time of the light

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

Specifications:

LED: 1*CREE XM-L2 with a lifespan of 50000 hours

Battery: 2600mAh/3.7V rechargeable Lithium-ion battery

Dimensions (Headlight): 101 x 29 x 32mm

Weight (Headlight): 116g

Materials: The main body is made by durable anodized aluminum; other parts are made by durable plastic

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Feels sleek and solid.

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

Very simple, easy use.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
6/10

You need to remove the light to attach it, but once in place it's solid.

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

Survived the Shower of Doom unscathed.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10

Just over two hours to charge from a fast charger, battery run-time was slightly better than advertised.

Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10

It's a non-annoying commuter/long distance light, and it does the job very well.

Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10

It's solid.

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10

Pretty good for the output.

Rate the light for value:
 
7/10

£60 isn't bad for this level of build quality and the ability to run it while charging.

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

Does a great job of lighting the road while not annoying others.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The beam.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Charging indication being so broad. Probably the mount, but it's a minor faff.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Knog PWR Rider is £54.99 (450 lumens) while the Lezyne Lite Drive 800XL s £57.99. Moon's Meteor Vortex Pro[/url] is another tenner, but does have a 900-lumen Boost mode.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The only letdowns are the broad-range charging indication, and the slightly-faffy mount. Otherwise, it's a cracking light you can charge while in use and the £5 GoPro mount looks genius.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is: Velocite Selene

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling.

1 comments

Avatar
mylesrants [500 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Have to give this 5 stars.

It was the only rechargeable light in my local IBS so i bought it for £65.

First class. 

gives you 80 mins at full bright but I run it at middle of the three intensities and enough to see the road ahead for 30 meters.

when the sun comes up i click again for flashing. the Remote control bit is for the bin with the packaging. 3 hours to full charge.