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  • stevecowles

CatEye HL-EL135 Front Light for Summer

The lighter evenings are here so it is time to change the front lights around on my bikes, why would I want to do this? Basically, it comes down to cost and convenience.

Front bike lights basically come in two types, those for seeing with and those to let other road users see you. Light for seeing with are expensive (many hundreds of pounds in some cases), they also have large batteries and are heavy. I've got a couple of sets of these in the mid-price range and do use one of them on my shopping bike in the winter but feel that I have to remove them for security whenever I get to the shops, this is a pain. For the summer they become a spare set to take with me on my other bike for longer night rides in places where it is pitch black with no artificial background light when they are pretty amazing.

'Being seen' lights are available very cheaply from the Internet, most of the very cheap ones are actually a false economy though as they tend to fail quite soon if they get wet. The CatEye HL-EL range is of far better build quality.

The shopping bike never really leaves town and a cheaper but not too cheap alternative will see me through until the clocks change again. I'm using a CatEye HL-EL135.

I do like this light, it is small and very light and runs off two AA batteries (slightly fiddly to change as I need to remove the light from its mount), I use rechargeables and they last several weeks in flashing mode and it is easy to have a spare set of batteries in the saddlebag anyway. I also like the feature this light has of remembering the last mode you used it in and it provides some visibility from both sides too, actually it is a good all-year daylight running light in this mode.

These cost around £16 usually and are stocked by Halfords but I got mine much reduced on eBay as the box was damaged. If your riding is always on lit urban roads I think they provide a pretty solid choice.

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