The One23 Extreme Bright Quatro 1600 front light is an extremely bright handlebar light with a separate battery pack and a mains charger. It's easy to control and has good battery life, but its dazzling beam intensity and limited side visibility make it more suitable for quiet lanes or trail use. However, the handlebar clamp is barely robust enough for constant rough trails mountain bike use.
One23 produces a wide variety of lighting systems for both road and off road use. The Quatro 1600 is a step down from the top of the range, dual beam Duo 2000, which costs £20 more. The numbers refer to the lumen output. It's a good enough light for clearly picking out surface obstacles on rough roads and trails, but opinion will divide about its suitability for regular road rides.
The beam intensity is enough to dazzle those coming the other way, depending on its positioning on your handlebar, and there are no side-on visibility windows.
The light and handlebar clamp weigh 170g together and the handlebar clamp is easy to use, with a thumbwheel for tightening and spacers on the inside of the ring bracket for different bar widths. The top of the clamp has a ratcheted swivel adjustment so that you can set the light at different angles, but it's hard to get the handlebar bracket tight enough for it to take the regular jolts of mountain bike use on rough trails without it shifting position from time to time. It's fine on the smoother sections of trail and on the road.
The battery pack is a separate unit weighing 370g. Connecting wires between the battery pack and the light are long enough for you to attach the battery to the underside of your top tube or stem with its wide and secure Velcro strap. It's block shape is not designed for curved tubes but it stays put and does the job. An adjustable head strap and battery to light extension wire are included for helmet torch use. The strappage is designed to loop through helmet vents and inevitably it works better on some helmets than others.
The plus side of a big powerful battery is long run time. Four hours full beam is claimed. I was getting just over three hours, but as you don't actually need full beam in most scenarios this can extend to a full night of use on the lower beam settings. There are high, middle and low beam settings plus three flash modes and a gradual dimming function via the big, and usefully illuminated, green buttons on the back of the light. On full charge the buttons glow green, then go through blue to red to flashing red to let you know how much battery power is left. They're easy to use wearing gloves too.
So far, the light has remained rain-tight. The beam uses four high power white cree LED bulbs and you don't notice any delineation between the direct spot and flood aspects of the very impressive amount of thrown light. Charging is very straight-forward with the supplied charger, but you need to be aware that long periods of use without charging will reduce battery life. You're advised to charge and run down the battery several times when you use the light for the first time, and when using it again after periods of non use.
In summary, a bright dependable light that will almost certainly attract off road riders more than road riders. Superb beam strength for dark lanes though.
Bright dependable light with superb beam strength for dark lanes but lacks side-visibility for round-town.
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Make and model: One23 Extreme Bright Quatro 1600 - Front Light
Size tested: Black/Red, Front light
Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's not listed specifically as a road or off road light but the lack of side windows might be enough to sway opinion towards more compatibility for off road use... although the impressive beam intensity and long battery life is very welcome of dark lane road rides. It's 1600 Lumen output is bright enough to dazzle oncomers though, and not necessarily in a good way.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
4 HI-POWER WHITE CREE LED
1600 LUMENS MAX OUTPUT
LITHIUM-ION 6600mAh RECHARGEABLE BATTERY
RUN TIME - UP TO 4 HOURS HIGH BEAM
5 MODES HI, MID, LOW BEAM & FLASHING
AND STEPLESS BRIGHTNESS SELECTION
TOOL FREE FITTING
QUICK RELEASE BRACKET
Excellent build quality and seems weather-proof
Separate battery attachment means it's not as straight forward to use as an all-in-one light/battery, but the bar mount is good and an extra connection lead means you can helmet mount it and have the battery in a bag or rear pocket.
Easy to use bracket/clamp but helmet attachment is more fiddly and will depend on helmet design. The clamp did shift occasionally on rough off road trails.
It remained watertight during the test
Recharge from empty was just over two hours but regular top up charges are encouraged. I was getting an impressive 3 hours use on full beam. The lower beam settings extend this to a full winter night.
Superb beam intensity with a sharp centre spot and a good spread.
So far so good.
Not a bad weight for a light with a separate battery pack but the battery itself is a pretty heavy unit simply because it needs to be in order to offer so much light life.
Better value than some, but overkill for riders who only need a light for road use.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Superb beam strength that picks out holes and bumps better than most. Easy to use and well lit button.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Personally I've become a fan of all-in-one lights, without separate battery packs.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, with reservations about needing to fit and remove the battery to the top tube.
Would you consider buying the light? No.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? No.
Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?
It's a powerful light that performs on high beam for longer than most and has enough reserve power on lower beams for all-night rides. But I've grown to love the new generation of all-in-one lights simply because of their no faff fitting and removal.
Age: 58 Height: 181 Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Merlin Ti My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,