Kryptonite’s Alley F-650 and R-50 Cob light pairing is ideal if you’re looking for a light set for urban riding and commuting.
Kryptonite’s Alley F-650 front light
As you’d expect from Kryptonite, makers of locks as well as lights, the F-650 front light is a sturdy affair, made from tough resin and CNC-machined aluminium, with a rock-solid mount to match too.
The F-650 has been around for a few years – I’ve still got one that’s been working for a number of years now – and while it has less power than some newer, similarly priced lights, its modes are well chosen.
The six modes include three Steady modes (high, medium, low) two pulse modes (daytime and nighttime) and an Eco flash mode.
At its max 650 lumens, the single LED puts out a circular beam with a pure central bright spotlight and a diffused floodit section around it, which is powerful enough for riding unlit surfaced routes at well over 15mph.
The second-highest Steady mode of 325 lumens offers plenty of illumination for poorly lit urban streets, while the lowest Steady mode setting of 100 lumens is okay for well-lit urban riding.
The high 650-lumen Steady mode has a claimed running time of two hours, and while mine started to fade slowly a little before that, it didn’t drop out entirely and was still putting out reasonable illumination after two hours and 40 minutes.
The 650-lumen Daytime pulse mode provides a claimed eight hours of illumination, while the 100/300-lumen Nighttime pulse is claimed to deliver an excellent 10 hours.
The 100-lumen Eco-flash has a claimed run-time of 26 hours, and makes for a decent get-you-home emergency option, coming on automatically when battery life falls below 10 per cent.
The top-mounted switch doubles as a traffic light-style red/yellow/green warning light, with the red coming on when the battery falls to less than 10 per cent and the 100-lumen Eco-flash kicks in.
The F650 is pretty quick to charge, going from empty to full in two hours and three minutes from a main’s USB charger – this may vary, of course, especially if you’re using a computer or power bank for charging.
A pair of small peripheral windows give some sideways illumination, though less than some of the newer lights I’ve tested recently.
The fitting is a secure ratcheted strap, which pulls tight, and it was resolutely unmoved even when hitting major bumps and dropping off of kerbs.
It takes a while to get used to releasing the light, but once familiar it becomes quick and second-nature. You just press a button underneath the light and it clicks free – just remember to take it with you.
My older light has survived two winters of rain, and so far this newer light has shrugged off plenty of attention from the garden hose.
Kryptonite Avenue R-50 Cob rear light
The 50-lumen Avenue R-50 Cob rear light is an equally well-considered product with half a dozen modes.
These include a couple of Steady modes at 10 and 25 lumens, an economic 10-lumen flash and a top-power 50-lumen flash.
The NightTime Pulse puts out 10 and 30 lumens and the DayTime Pulse 50 lumens.
Run-times are on the short side, but I did hit the claimed two hours 15 minutes at full power.
There are mounts for bags and seatpost, and the USB port has proved impervious to the garden hose too.
Kryptonite Alley F-650 overall
Kryptonite’s Alley F-650 is the star performer of the pair, with a good beam of light and well-chosen modes make it a tough, good fitting system.
Running and charging times on the front are decent too, and my old model has proved durable over the years.
The rear is a more modest affair, with slightly disappointing run-times and brightness when compared to some of its competitors, but together they’re a well-considered combo with good waterproofing.