Tuesday, 25 November 2014

CATEYE Volt 300 - a new front light

Regular readers will already know that when I bought my new P type I made sure it came with a SON dynamo hub. This had been something of a revelation and I cannot think how I lived without the convenience of having front and rear lights permanently fixed to the bike. The upgrade to the Edulux II front light has only enhanced an already good set up.

Despite this, I always have an extra light mainly one that flashes - the brighter the better. This has been my trusty Hope Vision 1 - which is an excellent light. There has however been a slight problem with this light and the limited space of the P type handlebars.

Having the Hope Vision 1 fitted to the bars has been a struggle. The brake cables get in the way and it has been a bit of a squeeze. I have been looking for a solution and after much searching I found the answer in the CATEYE Volt 300.






As far as specs go it is more than an equal for the Hope Vision 1 and in many regards beats it hands down:

  • Maximum 300 lumens output (the Hope has about 200)
  • Compact and lightweight (120g making it less than half the weight of the Hope)
  • Cartridge battery (more convenient than 4 x AA batteries)
  • USB rechargable
  • Five light modes, with memory function
  • Fast charge well under 3 hours
  • Waterproof



Much easier to fit on my P type's limited handlebar space


The Volt 300 is well made and the silver parts are metal. The black portion is the cartridge battery section that simply screws out.





In terms of runtime the Volt 300 is pretty good:

High 3h
Normal 8h
Low 18h
Hyper constant 11h
Flashing 60h

The high setting is very bright as is the hyper constant which is much brighter than a similar mode on the Hope.






The light can be charged via a UBS connection. My pack came with a spare cartridge battery, desk charger and 2 x USB cables. This means that you could charge both simultaneously.





My pack came with the spare cartridge battery

Desk charger dock and 2 x USB cables


The small desk charger is very compact and the cartridge screws in. You can connect this to a USB port or any plugged USB charger.



Cartridge battery in the docking station


Charge light on


The CATEYE mount for the handlebar - also included naturally - is a tried and tested formula that works well. All is held in place very securely and there is little chance of things slipping. For me it also means that it is small enough to be left on the bars. Putting the light on and off this mount is quick and easy.


Standard bar mount


For me this is a win, win situation. I have a light that: is brighter, fits my P types handlebar space more comfortably, more compact, takes up less weight and generally more convenient.


Quite a size and weight difference

I have no intention of getting rid of my Hope Vision 1 as it is too good a light, however as far as my P type is concerned this new light is just a better fit in all regards.

5 comments:

  1. Been using this one for around a year now superb light. I brought it for my race bike but it now lives on my brompton as it is a perfect size.

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  2. I had a pair of these on my Dahon, one of which I foolishly loaned to my son when his CreeBay special packed in. Needless to say he's stayed with the Volt 300. Great light, really good review.

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  3. Also had the light for a year also, may upgrade to the cateye 700. Do you get much use out of the spare battery?

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    Replies
    1. Hi there Femi. Long time no see. I haven't yet but I might on an overnight ride. (Saying that the SON front dynamo plus light is so good I possibly wouldn't). Hope to see you on a ride soon.

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  4. just got mine yesterday. first impression was great; very bright, compact, installation and adjusting is easy (with no tool) yet it stays firm, and the color matches very well with my black M6L!

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