CatEye Volt 1200 light review£150.00

Powerful, compact spot beam

BikeRadar score3/5

If you’re looking for the nearest thing to a lightsabre for your bars or helmet then CatEye’s Opticube lens creates an impressive shaft of long-reaching illumination from its 1200 lumen output.

Built-in regulating circuitry also means the output stays consistent even as the battery drains rather than gradually fading with the remaining amps as some cheaper lights can.

CatEye’s easy-to-fit thumbwheel-and-strap bar mount handles retro inch or the latest 35mm bars and stays impressively stable and secure in use. There’s a helmet mount available for small extra outlay, which is useful given the super focused beam.

Unfortunately peripheral coverage is poor, limiting the volt's applications:
Unfortunately peripheral coverage is poor, limiting the volt's applications:

It's a shame that peripheral coverage is poor, limiting the Volt's applications

Previous self-contained Volt lights have shrugged off all kinds of weather, swamp dunks, crashes and accidental drops without flinching. Battery life is better than claimed and relatively good for a light of this size and power. You can even replace the built-in battery if you wear it out.

Unfortunately, while its ability to pick out potential trouble a long way down the trail is impressive, the sharply focused beam gives you an extremely blinkered view with no clue of general terrain context or what’s happening next. The flashing and mixed flash modes in the five-step menu are irritating too, but useful if you regularly mix trail and tarmac.

  • Weight: 236g
  • Run time: 2:30hr

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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