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Pumping out a very respectable 550 lumens in top mode, Silva's Pavé Sport bike light is the sort you can scoot around the suburbs in standard/flashing before clicking into top and indulging in some seriously spirited back road scratching. Not impressed? Well, how about 183g for the whole shebang-battery n' all?
Mounting is courtesy of a beefy silicone strap that engages with the lamp and accommodates the full spectrum of handlebar diameters beautifully - even my Univega's oversized Godzilla drops couldn't give it indigestion. From here, a short cable run routes the battery very tidily along the top tube. Despite some initial scepticism, it hasn't been a problem during sharp turns - and measuring 8x5cm only the most neurotic would consider the 7.5volt cell an affront to their bike's clean lines.
The same goes for the fossil-shaped 5x3cm lamp, which is even more efficient space-wise since it sits vertically. Its sturdy white aluminium housing hosts rubberised switch, circuitry, two super bright LEDs and concave lens.
Intelligent lighting is a brilliant concept that means the flood and spot beams run simultaneously in all but the lowest setting, thus providing a pinpoint spot for the road, while the flood ensures a generic overview. Conforming to IPX6 (meaning it's designed to survive all water, bar immersion) it has laughed at torrential downpour and hosepipe testing alike.
Pressing the switch once gives you the full Monty, prod again and you've standard, whereas strobing seems quite shy. Not that this matters frankly, since in everyday contexts, it serves only to dazzle rider and oncoming traffic. Standard is best for suburban stretches, conserving juice while still providing plenty of presence - especially when helmet mounted, since the beam is aimed where you intend travelling.
I'd still be inclined to decorate my bars with a blinky or two to keep the bike conspicuous. It's a little underpowered, too, as a main system for serious green lane/singletrack antics. Navigating country lanes was possible at a steady 25mph, the spot giving a clear view of conditions ahead to fifteen feet.
Run times have been within seven minutes of those quoted from a full four-hour charge too - but isn't ideal for audax since it can't compete on level terms with the latest generation of super dynamos.
Quirky but extremely versatile and surprisingly powerful light for commuting and training.
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Make and model: Silva Pavé front light
Size tested: n/a
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 Silva Pavé is an extremely lightweight and compact bike light with great light output for the advanced mountain biker or road biker. The lamp unit is in aluminum for optimal cooling. Two high power LEDs provide you with Silva Intelligent Light – light where you need it. Silva Pavé can be worn on your helmet or mounted on the bike handlebar. The integrated rubber strap makes it extremely easy to mount and dismount to the handlebar. No extra tools needed. An external rechargeable battery pack that can be attached to the bike frame, ensures you have enough power for your evening or early morning bike ride. Pavé has a large on/off button that is easy to operate even when wearing gloves".
Agree on most points bar suggestion its adequate as a main system off road.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Light modes - Max, Min, Wide, Blink
Batteries/type � 2,5Ah 7,4V Li-ion
Discharge time (Max/Min/Wide/Blink) � 2h 30min/10h/10h/20h
Light distance � 90m
Waterproof � IPX6
Lumen � 550
Weight (excl. Batteries) � 50g
Bulb type � 2x High power LED
Beam pattern: � Intelligent Light®
Hardware generally excellent but helmet mount let down by poor adhesive.
Passed my usual tests hands down.
Run times have been broadly faithful to those quoted and the system automatically kicks down to flashing when suitably depleted. However, four hour mains charging isn't ideal - especially in crowded offices.
Impressive given the dimensions - great for back road scratching but wouldn't be my primary light off-road.
183g. This sort of power to weight ratio was unthinkable only a few years back-just the ticket for svelte winter/club steeds.
Aluminium housing displaces heat really efficiently, spelling an end to singed digits.
Very reasonably priced given the spec but ultra sophisticated dynao lamps are more practical for Audax and similar endurance riding.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tipping the scales at 183g, this sort of performance was unthinkable just a few years back, let alone from such a tiny system. Two economy settings mean you can zip frugally to work before indulging in some serious back road or singletrack detours en route home.
Even with the hybrid beam pattern, 550 lumens struggle to keep pace sans asphalt, although mountain bikers will be pleased to learn it's a very competent helmet companion. Roadies needn't worry-we've been effortlessly navigating twisty lanes at 25mph plus, spotting holes and other hazards fifteen feet ahead.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Low weight, minimal clutter and remarkable output.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Nothing aside from the helmet mount's poor adhesive.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? Yes.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.
Age: 38 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)