At the brightest end of Kryptonite's front light series, the Alley F-800 torch-style light is bright enough for picking out potholes and broad enough for good peripheral vision. It also overdelivers on its claimed 90 minutes of high/steady visibility and provides almost exactly 24 hours on economical flash.
Pros: Bright and broad beam, overdelivers on battery life
Cons: The clamp is on the chunky side
With the F-800, Kryptonite has packed more lumens into an almost identical compact body to its 150 through to 650 – making this a simple upgrade if you've already got the attachment sorted on your setup.
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That resin and aluminium body is nominally longer than its F-300 cousin which I tested earlier in the year, but width remains the same. The feel of this unit is one of sturdiness. At 162g, it's not the lightest 800-lumen front light out there – the Lezyne Lite Drive Stu tested is smaller and lighter at 151g – but it soaks up knocks and drops without issue.
The F-800's bracket is sturdy too; a little chunkier than the Cateye Volt 800 or Ravemen PR800's clamps, and more reliable than rubber band systems. I found it a little cumbersome – as with the F-300 I tested – but once you get to grips with it, it proves exceptionally fast for grabbing the light and running for the train/office/coffee shop. The light is swiftly removed by depressing a quick release button, and easily snapped back on.
The widely used Micro USB charging port for the lithium-ion battery is hidden under a rubber bung for waterproofing. This proved successful in shielding the unit from any water damage on test, from rainy rides to considerably more water from the hose.
The F-800 has identical settings and features to the Kryptonite F-300. Its six modes are designed to take you from daytime to total darkness, comprising a high (800 lumens), medium (400) and low steady (140), plus a daytime and night time pulse (800 and 400) and an economical flash (170). There's also a handy memory feature which switches back on to the mode you left it in, so you don't have to.
Its six-mode setup feels simple to get to grips with. More so than the identically priced Ravemen PR800 which offers nine modes. Yet the F-800 also provides a broader and brighter range of pulses than the PR800, with a full 800-lumen pulse versus the Ravemen's mere 100.
At full whack the beam is bright and broad. I could pick out potholes ahead, while road signs and parked cars are easily picked up in the periphery.
The low steady setting at 140 lumens was bright enough to pass oncoming commuters without losing visibility, or for passing through well-lit areas. Lasting for its full 10 claimed hours, this mode would suit long days in the saddle, too.
The 800-lumen daytime pulse mode, with its nice steady pace, is very bright – overkill perhaps for fine days. The night-time 400-lumen pulse felt adequate for most conditions, but the 800 comes in handy on particularly dreary early mornings.
> Buyer's Guide: The best front lights for cycling
The traffic light system for battery life is a well-thought-through feature on Kryptonite's lights, giving you a very fast indication of where you're at – both when on charge and on the bike. The power button on top of the light glows green, amber or red to provide information that the light has a respective 100-50, 50-25 and 25% or below battery life remaining. When it sinks to 10% battery, the unit switches itself to economical flash mode to get you home. The light hits 50% full in 58 minutes, and fully charged in 100 – very handy for busy commuters.
Claimed run-time is almost identical to the F-300 I tested. As with its other units, Kryptonite claims 90 minutes on full power before changing itself to economical flash. On test, though, it outperformed. Full power lasted over 2 hours.
At 162g, the F-800 sits in the middle of the weight range; Cateye's Volt is on the lighter side at 140g, while at the heavier end the Ravemen 800 comes in at 190g (though its more torch-like CR700 is just 129g, the CR900 130g).
With an RRP of £74.99 the F-800 is not the cheapest around, but it's not the most expensive either, and its well-thought-through features add value. It's the same price as Ravemen's PR800, £15 cheaper than the Cateye Volt 800, but Blackburn's DayBlazer 800 is £54.99.
Overall, the F-800 is a bright and sturdy front light whose six options provide versatility and safety without overcomplicating things. It overdelivers on battery life and the traffic light system is a genuinely useful feature that now I've tried I wouldn't want to do without.
Versatile and hardwearing front light with a broad beam, impressive illumination and useful auto-economy mode
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Make and model: Kryptonite Alley F-800
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?
The F-800 is made for seeing on non-illuminated routes, with enough settings to have riders covered from day to night. In practice, this is spot on, with good brightness and battery life.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
- Side illumination ports allow cyclists to be seen when riding across traffic lanes
- Power saving function with auto switch to lowest output when the battery reaches 10%
- Built in battery indicator (traffic light system)
- Run time up to 24 hours
- Memory Function-Light turns on at the last mode it was turned off
Rate the light for quality of construction:
A neat torch-style lamp encased in a smooth, durable and waterproof outer. The easy on/off is a treat.
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
The six modes provided all I required from morning to night without the complication that more modes can bring. The button makes it easy to turn on and off without the worry that it will accidentally turn on in my bag. The traffic light indicator is very helpful once you start using it daily, while the easy on/off mount system is fast, which helps me when running for the train!
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
Setting the bracket up in the first place is fiddly and it's a bit bulkier than I'd like.
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
Has withstood knocks, rain and several blasts from the hose. So far so good.
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
Overdelivered on full, and the stated 24 hours on eco mode.
Rate the light for performance:
Rate the light for durability:
Withstood being dropped, getting wet and being abused in my bag for a month of winter commuting – all without a hint of an issue.
Rate the light for weight:
It's in the middle of the range of 800s out there but there's only a few grams in it. A little bulkier than some but not noticeably heavy.
Rate the light for value:
It's neither cheap nor expensive for what you get.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As intended. I was visible – with super bright flash mode or opting for the lower setting on some commutes. The full beam is bright and provides good peripheral visibility.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The traffic light system, auto eco mode, and the easy on/off mounting port.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The fiddly initial set up and chunky bracket.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The F-800 is in the ballpark range for an 800-lumen front lamp. We have recently tested 800s from £54.99 to £89.99.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, I really did.
Would you consider buying the light? I would.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The F-800 performs as intended and does not disappoint. The simple modes, genuinely helpful traffic light feature and over-delivery on battery life make this a 'very good' light.
Age: 0 Height: 172cm Weight: 60kg
I usually ride: My Scott Foil My best bike is: Oldie but the goldie, CAAD 8
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, triathlon, audax
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