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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
Feels sleek and solid.
Very simple, easy use.
You need to remove the light to attach it, but once in place it's solid.
Survived the Shower of Doom unscathed.
Just over two hours to charge from a fast charger, battery run-time was slightly better than advertised.
It's a non-annoying commuter/long distance light, and it does the job very well.
Pretty good for the output.
£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
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.
About the tester
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.