The One23 Flash front LED light is something of an 'everyman' model. Clutter-phobic roadies will swoon over its diminutive 66 x 29 x 22mm dimensions, 50g weight and 300-lumen output, while the fuss-averse will marvel at 59 hours in flashing from a single charge.
Its materials and construction are equally impressive. The nicely finished aluminium body is flanked by rugged polycarbonate and ABS plastics; sturdy stuff that optimises output while giving the delicate LED and switch the best possible chance of long, happy service.
Internally we have a super bright single Cree LED fuelled by similarly dependable lithium polymer cell. Fully juiced in 2.5 hours from a wall charger (add another 25 minutes from a laptops or the like). The USB port is well protected and although cabling's a bit stingy, it's easily hidden when topping up at work.
According to the blurb, the watch-type strap accommodates fork blade or handlebars between 20 and 40mm in diameter, but ours struggled on oversized bars. Removal proved frustrating particularly while wearing gloves.
By contrast, the positive centre mounted switch-cum-charge level indicator is bang on; demanding a definite press, yet user friendly while riding. Maintaining pressure for two seconds unleashes the full Monty and a remarkably pure beam, devoid of halos or similar imperfections.
The light output is sufficient for less challenging semi-rural or poorly lit suburban stretches to approximately 14 and 18mph respectively. Alas this setting has a drastic effect on the run time, exhausting the battery within 54 minutes.
Medium and low settings are better choices through built up areas, sipping reserves in 2 hours 53 minutes and 5 hours 51 minutes respectively. There's enough clout for map reading, pannier rummaging and roadside repair too. The flash and quick flash are by far the most visible, snaring driver attention from around 160 metres - nearer 200 on clear nights.
These modes make best use of the wide beam throw and have been my default companions with dynamos that lack standlights. You get run times of 11 hours 47 minutes and 58 hours 48 minutes from them. Both are extremely distinctive, although the quicker tempo helps identify one as a cyclist when tackling shared-use paths or forest tracks.
Versatile backup light with powerful settings but a longer mounting strap and charge cable would be welcomed
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road.cc test report
Make and model: One23 FLASH Front LED Light
Size tested: Black
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?
One23 feel this is pretty self-explanatory. I'd describe it as a highly versatile, user friendly secondary lamp with decent navigational bite should a main system conk out unexpectedly.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
FLASH 1 LED FRONT
USB RECHARGEABLE WITH CABLE INCLUDED
WATER RESISTANT & TOOL-LESS ATTACHMENT
BURN TIME-1 HOUR (CONSTANT HIGH) 3 HOURS (CONSTANT MEDIUM)
6 HOURS (CONSTANT LOW) 12 HOURS (FLASH SLOW)
60 HOURS (FLASH FAST)
580mAH LI-POLYMER RECHARGEABLE BATTERY
Nicely made and finished.
Ours struggled with oversized diameters but otherwise limpet like.
Port is better sealed than many and resists torrential rains handsomely.
Generally excellent, especially in its most frugal flashing setting. However, unleashing the full 300 lumens depletes reserves in around 54 minutes - a godsend in emergencies but rather thirsty for commuting.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, One23 flash has impressed me with its versatility and generally frugal run times. However, a longer mounting strap and charge cable would be welcomed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Varied and genuinely different modes, user friendly switch gear and generally generous run times.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Longer mounting strap and charge cable, please.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? Possibly.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Definitely one to consider on account of its versatility.
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)