One of the annual traditions of Cyclocross Magazine is reflecting back on a year filled with reviewing products and award those that struck us as the best of the best in the realms of cyclocross, gravel and cycling gear. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be releasing all of the awards one day at a time. Be sure to keep checking back to see what products are most worth your hard-earned dollars. Issue 28 also has the Editors’ Awards and the Readers’ Choice awards, so be sure to order your backcopy today, which is also available on Uberflip, in the App Store on iTunes, and on Google Play for Android.
For 2015, there are several awards that we are releasing exclusively online, which you won’t find in Issue 28. We will be releasing a few of these throughout the week, starting with the Editors’ Award for the Best Light.
One of Cyclocross Magazine‘s bike gurus, Clifford Lee, revealed his tips for best training and getting home safe in the dark, by seeing and being seen. One of his final tips was the choice in his light. While he explained that there are plenty of 1200 lumen plus models out there, a 700 lumen light will light up the road or trail ahead of you just fine. Of course with some UCI races taking place in the dark, even pro riders might have to reflect on their choice of making the cyclocross course a little more manageable on race night.
The market is full of strong contenders, with Bontrager, Knog and Nightrider all making impressive models that meet the selective criteria for training with a dependable light.
For the 2015 Editors’ Awards, we opted for Cateye’s Volt 700 as our favorite way to tackle darkness. First of all, the beam is impressive, and echoing Lee, the 700 lumen are enough to let the rider discern the path ahead of him. Secondly, if a 10-50 hour run time isn’t enough for you, the Volt 700 is powered by a interchangeable cartridge battery, the real selling point of the light, which allows you to be forgetful to charge if you have a spare handy. The batteries can charge through a USB, and the model as a battery indicator to let you know when you’re running dry.
The Volt700 attaches to the handlebars with Cateye’s FlexTight Bracket, but can also be attached to a helmet for riders looking to see ahead to the nasty off-camber switchback their buddy decided was a good idea for the Wednesday Night World training course. While there are lights available that are a quick on and off with a simple rubber elastic arm, our experience has shown that these can move under the duress of an off-road course. A rider can always pick up another FlexTight Bracket if they need to interchange the light quickly from one bike to the next.
With five vastly different light modes, we seemed to always find the one we needed. Several different models come equipped to handle a variety of lumens, as can be seen on the Cateye produced video below.
Cateye Volt 700 Specs:
Run Time: 10 hours (all night mode), 50 hours (flashing mode)
Recharge Time: 5-11 hours
Claimed Weight: 140g (light and battery)
More info: cateye.com