Cateye Volt 400 XC front light - review - Road Cycling UK

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Cateye Volt 400 XC front light – review

Bright light for commuting let down in a couple of areas

The Cateye Volt 400 XC is an effective, bright and robust light – but the mount isn’t the slickest we’ve used and the light is a little short on settings.

The Volt 400 XC, as the name suggests, has a maximum output of 400 lumens, but it also has three other settings: low (100 lumens), hyper (a constant beam punctuated by a flash) and flash.

On full beam, you get just about enough light for use on unlit roads, although certainly not enough for anything off-road or technical. That places the Volt 400 as a powerful commuting light and one for occasional trips into darker territory, but not a dedicated night riding light.

Cateye’s Volt line-up includes a wide range of lights, from 80 lumens to 6,000 lumens

By and large the Volt’s settings do everything they need to but other lights within this price bracket have a larger number of options. It’d be handy to have a ‘medium’ setting between 400 and 100 lumens and while the hyper mode fills that gap to a degree, having to use that rather than a constant beam isn’t always ideal, especially when on shared use paths.

In terms of construction, the light is a cylindrical shape with a single button on the top as the means of control, as well as housing a battery indicator LED. It’s a sleek unit, thanks to the black colour and compact size, so it sits fairly inconspicuously on top of the bars.

  • Specification

  • Price: £49.99
  • Maximum output: 400 lumens
  • Website: Cateye
  • UK distributor: Zyro-Fisher

Attachment to the bars is via a rubber strap, which feeds into the mount. Unusually, the mount itself is physically attached to the light, rather than the light clipping into the mount, so when it comes to removing the Volt, the entire thing needs to come off, rather than just the unit itself. It’s a bit frustrating, because the mounting system isn’t the easiest to use.

On the plus side, the mount does allow the light to rotate through 360 degrees – whether that’s necessary is another matter, but it’s useful to have some range of movement.

Battery life is a claimed one hour on high, eight hours on low, eight hours on hyper and 20 hours on flash. It’s ok but, once again, at this price point you can get lights that last for longer on the highest setting. It also takes seven hours to charge, which is quite a long time considering you can then run it down fairly easily in only one hour. Charging is via a USB cable which connects to a port at the rear of the light, covered with a dust cap.

With a maximum output of 400 lumens, the Volt is certainly bright enough for commuting and occasional unlit stretches of road

Conclusion

The Cateye Volt 400 XC pumps out a good amount of light for commuting and the odd unlit stretch of road but it’s let down in a couple of areas, namely the mount and battery life on the highest setting, particularly given the £50 price tag.

Pros

  • Bright enough commuting and occasional unlit roads
  • Sleek, compact design

Cons

  • Fiddly mounting system
  • Battery life could be better
  • A medium setting would be useful

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