The Blackburn Super Flea commuter light is the latest incarnation of the brand's small but mighty lamps, delivering an impressive 120 lumens from an hour's charge - perfect for clipping to work in the early morning gloom.
Sharp, angular styling and build quality is classic Blackburn but despite my initial excitement, I've had some reservations about the fact that you have to remove the silicone-backed Velcro strip and cart the docking station along to charge the light - minor, but irksome nonetheless. But a 'no quibble' lifetime warranty gives peace of mind if you think you might not get on with it.
The Super Flea will fit to any handlebar diameters, and it's tiny enough to please the style-conscious.
A tiny lithium polymer battery powers a single, super efficient CRE XP-G LED while the surprisingly glove friendly switch features a traffic light 'fuel gauge' system denoting battery life at a glance. Somewhat predictably, green confirms a full charge, things dip to amber between 75 and 25% whereupon it turns red, giving a short but sweet fifteen minute warning before cutting out.
Such incidents should be pretty infrequent, at least for desk-bound commuters who can charge during the day. Despite some initial reservations, the magnetic base ensures excellent connectivity with the charger from USB ports.
The lights are are better sealed from the elements than most, enduring horizontal rain without batting an eyelid and even a provocative sixty-second blast from the garden hose couldn't cause any mischief.
Broad angular lenses project an ultra crisp, road friendly beam that is just good enough for navigating the concrete jungle to around 15mph. I've tended to use mine as a back-up light though.
Peripherally it's pretty good too, although flashing is the best mode for grabbing attention, especially in slow moving traffic. Visibility averaged 300 metres.
Versatile and powerful light let down by fiddly Velcro handlebar mount.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Blackburn Super Flea front light
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?
"This light is so small but pushes more light then others many many times it size
- You used to need a battery the size of a water bottle to get this much light from a bike light
- This is one super compact, rechargeable Li-Polymer headlight
- Super-bright White CREE XPG R3 LED
- 120 Lumen output
- Magnetic USB smart charger
- Flexible and compact mounting system works for any handlebars
- 1.1 hr High, 2.5hr Std, 5hr flashing runtimes
- LED charge indicator
- Also works with the Flea helmet, head and hat mounting kit - EH2024357
- Blackburn no-quibble lifetime warranty".
Great power to size ratio means it behaves beautifully in most contexts so long as regularly charged.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
· Super-small - 2.20" Lx1.30" W x.90" H
· Super-bright White CREE® XP-G LED
· Brilliant 120 Lumen output
· Rechargeable Li-polymer power
· Easy hookup magnetic USB smart charger, waterproof charging ports
· Versatile hook-and-loop strap mounting system
· LED fuel gauge/charge indicator
· 1 hr High, 3hr Std, 5hr flashing runtimes
· 34 grams
Trademark Blackburn,let down by a bargain basement Velcro mount.
Very impressive-passed my hosepipe test with flying colours!
Broadly faithful to those quoted- we've consistently managed 58minutes in top, 2hrs 37 standard and 4hrs 43 in flashing.
Lovely to use, aside from the handlebar mount.
Reasonable when you consider the build quality and lifetime warranty.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Super flea is a small but capable contingency light that lends itself particularly well to calorie/clutter conscious best bikes but with enough presence for urban commuting. Weather-proofing is to an enviable standard too. However, run times are distinctly average-especialy in the highest setting and there's no excuse for sloppy fitting kit at this end of the spectrum.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Smart angular styling, commendable output and build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Low rent handlebar mount.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? Yes but not at full RRP.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Quite possibly but competition is pretty fierce at this end of the market.
About the tester
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)