Exposure Strada Mk4 light review£269.95

Front light unit for road cycling

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Exposure pioneered the idea of high-power, self-contained lights for proper fast riding rather than just commuting. The Strada, Exposure’s first road-specific model, has been deservedly popular for a while and there’s a new version out.

The Strada Mk4 has a claimed maximum output of 800 lumens from a pair of Cree XPG R5 LEDs, up from 645 from the Mk3. There’s also a big bump in battery capacity, from the old model’s 5200mAh to a substantial 8700mAh, although the increase in power means that the battery life remains unchanged at three hours on full. Impressively, considering the bigger battery, the new Strada is slightly lighter than the old one.

The most important change, though, is the new Optimised Mode Selection system. The Mk3 had two modes, High and Dip, with Dip being a lower-power setting primarily to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers. OMS means that you can set the Mk4 up that way too, or a whole bunch of other ways. 

There’s a High/Dip setting that drops the power a little on both modes to give five hours on High and 15 hours on Dip, or a choice of High/Medium/Low programmes, or a much-reduced-power Commute setup that should do a week of sensible-distance commutes (under an hour each way) on a single charge. It’s an impressively flexible and versatile system, and means that the Strada can turn its hand to almost any kind of use.

A very neat remote switch lets you flip between modes without having to fumble around at the back of the light, although the wire’s only long enough to put the switch on the tops. A remote button accessible from the hoods or drops would be a useful enhancement. The redesign has also introduced a new array of indicator lights – five blue LEDs show the state of charge, three red ones keeping track of modes.

On the road, it’s very impressive, with a useful beam pattern. The higher output is nice to have, although the real benefit is that you can get away with a lower setting more of the time and get longer battery life.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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