Customer Review

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Future Of Bicycle Lighting Has Now Arrived!!, 8 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Cateye Nano Shot Plus - 600 Lumens (Sports)
I purchased this replacing a damaged light, a Cateye HL-EL320, through my own fault, having carelessly left the batteries in it all summer long, it must have been all the excitement of the Olympics.

This is my first rechargeable light, having started many years ago with D cell lights. I don't cycle in a rural environment but a regular commuter in central London which makes this "urban". With all the traffic and commuters you need the brightest lights possible, I typically cycle with two lights in front, one flashing the other constant. The reason being that with just one light alone drivers often "claim" they cannot see you, with this light hopefully they will.

First thing is the size it is much smaller and lighter than my Opti Light (HL-EL320) which is a plus, second it is bright, much brighter and it throws a wide stronger beam compared to my previous light that was much more a narrow beam. I am impressed by this so far, but it is still early days, as I have not had any real dark mornings, evenings or fog to cycle in. I love the fact that it uses the same bracket as the EL320, I do hate when manufacturers change simple parts for no reason especially when it brings no additional benefits. As the previous light used four AA batteries, which made it heavy, this is much lighter.

I am also impressed by the charging times, as it has charged much faster than the claimed eight hours - it was just under five hours for a full charge at the start. I have not yet drained down the battery and charged it to see how long it takes for a full recharge, but so far the times have been good. It will also be interesting to see how the Lithium battery performs next winter, after a summer recess. Although, it should be noted that this would only be useful to someone that owns a USB products, otherwise you would be stuck trying to charge this.

Typically when things are new people tend to give them five stars, often without thinking through the practicalities of how they will use it. I am not giving this five stars is for two reasons, first the USB cable is too short, at only 11 inches, (28cm) if you are a regular commuter like myself, there will be days when you may need to charge your light at work and my desk has a base unit, which is located in a difficult position, hanging under the desk, with such a short cable it would be near impossible to use it, I have to use another cable.

The other issue is that the actual switch is a bit too fiddly, considering that the majority of times I will be using this light is during the winter time and our winters tend to be cold, therefore we require gloves to operate the switch. The switch is just too cumbersome enough without wearing gloves. It may have been better to have perhaps a separate switch from high to low, rather than incorporate it into a single switch. If I had a wish list, I would have preferred to have a quick tap switch to get the high beam, for five seconds, especially when approaching junctions.

Don't get me wrong this is still a great product and whether you like it or not this will soon be the standard for all bike lights, but as this is currently being sold a premium product these minor things should have been picked up, as it stands it doesn't warrant the full five stars - if I could have given this four and a half star I would.

To summarise the product:

Pros:

Great wide beam with a strong white light.
Compact solid feel to the product, not weak plastic build
Uses the same brackets as earlier Cateyes products
So far, this charges up quickly

Cons:

USB cable too short
Switch too fiddly

UPDATE: Three weeks on - just a quick note to say that that I wanted to provide some additional feedback on the performance of this item.

I am extremely impressed because I have just managed to get 4 hours -26 minutes out of the battery, on a single charge; using this unit to commute for work, no more than 30 minutes a time - morning & evenings.

I charged this item last Friday and have used it every day and managed to get to work on Friday without additional charging - which is impressive. And I still feel there is at least enough juice left for around 15 minutes. This still took just under eight hours to recharge which is not too bad considering this is by USB.

During my commute this week twice people have commented on how bright the light is, useful as these winter days get shorter.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Feb 2013 02:52:24 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 18 Sep 2013 23:19:03 BDT
MACoat says:
Thanks for this - really helpful to have a proper review and subsequent feedback on a product after having used it for a while.

Posted on 27 Sep 2013 11:19:03 BDT
Kevo says:
Very good review JR, not just a basic 'sound bite' review (that Mr Williams seems to prefer). Update added value too.
I wish more reviews were like this.

Posted on 30 Jan 2014 14:00:00 GMT
Colin_M says:
Interesting to see your comments about the switch being difficult to use with gloves. I have just bought the cheaper Cateye Nano Shot RC (£50) and it also has this problem, plus the fiddly control to detatch from the bike that's mentioned on other reviews.

I was wondering if I should have paid more for the next model up but looks like that wouldn't have helped.
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