The BBB High Focus 1.5 watt LED is a remarkable light in so many respects. A compact CNC machined aluminium body houses a clever variable focus beam while a beefy silicone strap cum mounting bracket affords a universal fit across the spectrum of handlebar diameters and most sportier lids too.
Powered by four AAA cells, there's no need to break into a cold sweat 'cos the laptop's two hours away, simply swing by the corner shop, supermarket or garage. However, this pushes running costs up in the long term, which might not be ideal for regular marathon moonlit meanders - you can use rechargeables though, and side windows allowing the beam to bleed through would be a welcome improvement.
Available in a choice of black or silver, the high focus produces 100 lumens at full power, tapering to a very average but town and suburb serviceable thirty- two in low and flashing beams. These are adjustable between 12 and 22 degrees to suit riding conditions, a sharp spot being preferable for road duties, rotating the fluted head accordingly produces a flood better suited to trail riding. This is a surprisingly smooth action, easily performed in winter weight road and mountain bike gloves. The same is true of the soft action switch.
Just the right side of spongy, it's positioned in the base and easily located with a podgy thumb and shows little sign of unintentional engagements when snoozing in the messenger satchel. Access to the battery tray is simply a matter of turning the fluted end anti clockwise. Beefy threads and O-ring seals afford a snug union, passing the hosepipe test so unlikely to fall foul of the elements, although the threads can benefit from a jot of synthetic, non-lithium grease.
The casings stocky profile looks at home on most genres of machine from mountain/cross mounts, fixers through to tourers. Talking of which, it's been possible to strap it securely around heavier gauge low rider/rack mounts as a compliment to the dynamo for some old school all-terrain touring. Run times are the upper end of middling, returning nine, 20 and 58 hours in high, low and flashing from the premium quality cells, although this dropped by twenty per cent with rechargeables.
Unusual but very competent light for commuting, training and beyond
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BBB HighFocus 1.5W LED Headlight
Size tested: Silver
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?
BBB give little away only to suggest the variable beam allows it to be tailored for use in both road and mtb contexts. In my book it doesn't compete with the uber lumen rechargable types but serves well as a secondary helmet lamp for the trail or bright, minimalist design for long commutes/winter training.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Headlight, Aluminum casing, uses a high power 1.5 Watt Luxeon Rebel LED.
Variable focus: from a 12 - 22 beam.
Rubber enclosed water-resistant-switch provides direct and responsive activation.
Water resistant casing.
Easy mounting, angle adjustable silicone StrapMount bracket included. Fits both standard and oversized handlebar diameters as well as the BLS-69 HelmetMount helmet bracket.
Weight: 160 gr.
Uses 3 'AAA' batteries (included).
Extremely well executed for the money.
Heavy duty silicone watch type-a simple, secure fit in seconds around handlebars and helmets.
Passed the garden hose testing.
Run times are impressive since it's fuelled by three AAA cells, although received wisdom suggests there's a 15-20% drop using rechargeable nicds.
169g by my scales.
Pleasure to use.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The quirky high focus is a remarkably competent little light that fills the gap between simple seen-bys and retina burning rechargeable trail types perfectly. Adjusting between the spot and flood settings is a doddle- even on the fly. Simply rotate the machined lens shroud to suit. The ultra refined movement shames models twice the price and there's plenty of oomph for navigating unlit roads at twenty odd mph. It's a fair trail companion too, although regular nocturnal forest frolics should be accompanied by a more powerful 'parent' system.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Excellent build quality and performance for the money. Consumes nominal handlebar space for an uncluttered look on minimalist mounts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Very likely.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)