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Ravemen CR450 USB Rechargeable front light

9
£44.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Small and light and perfect for being seen, with useful extra features
Small and light
Remote switch
Long burn-times on pulse settings
Short burn-time on high
Remote switch weatherproofing is questionable
Remote switch doesn't allow you to switch the light on or off
Weight: 
105g

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Ravemen's CR450 front light is small and light, runs for ages on the lower lumen and flashing/pulsing settings, and is just about bright enough on high to see by in pitch dark. It has a useful remote switch, and you can keep using it while it charges from a battery pack. There's a lot to like here.

Shaun reviewed the 600-lumen version of this light a couple of months back. Just like the CR600, the main body of the CR450 is made from anodised aluminium, while the bracket is made from a 'durable plastic'. The light is rated to IPX6, which means it 'can resist high-pressure, heavy sprays of water'.

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The CR450 is pretty small; it's 82mm long and has a 29mm diameter, and on the road.cc Scales of Truth weighs 105g including the bracket.

Features

It comes with a wired remote switch that attaches to your handlebar with a rubber o-ring, and the 13in lead plugs into the micro USB charging port on the back of the light. While the remote switch doesn't allow you to switch the light on or off, it's still very useful to switch between modes on the go; it's a lot easier (and safer!) to find while keeping your eyes on the road than on the back of the light, especially in the dark.

Although the remote switch works absolutely fine, I'm not convinced that IPX6 rating still applies with the remote switch plugged in. On a long ride in heavy rain, I kept finding the light had switched itself to a different mode. This only happened on this one ride, and when I noticed it I unplugged the remote switch and all was fine; on other rides in drizzle or less prolonged rain, the remote switch was fine. I can't say for sure this was caused by the remote switch, but it's made me question its weatherproofing.

2021 Ravemen CR450 USB Rechargeable front light - USB port.jpg

Another useful feature is that you can keep using the light when it's charging; on longer rides you can plug in a powerbank if you are in danger of running out of juice.

Mounting

The bracket attaches to handlebars with a rubber ladder strap and feels secure. The strap is designed for handlebar diameters between 22.2 and 35mm. If your handlebar has an exotic shape, you might want to try before you buy.

2021 Ravemen CR450 USB Rechargeable front light - mount.jpg

The light slides onto the quick release bracket from the front with a positive engagement, and the bracket allows for a few degrees of rotation to accommodate bar angles.

Modes and run-times

You get six modes with the CR450: High beam (450 lumens) lasts for around 100 minutes, as quoted and as verified at room temperature. Mid (250 lumens) lasts for a quoted 2.8hrs; low (150 lumens) for a quoted 4.5hrs; and eco (50 lumens) for a quoted 11.5 hrs. Pulse flashing at 150 lumens gives you a quoted 26hrs of riding time and rapid flashing at 50 lumen gives you a quoted 33hrs.

The light turns on in the last mode you used, which is a nice touch.

Charging is done via the included micro USB cable and takes around 1.5hrs. The switch at the back of the light flashes red while charging, and turns constant green when fully charged.

2021 Ravemen CR450 USB Rechargeable front light - button and USB port cover.jpg

Similarly, the switch gives you an indication of the battery level when the light is in use: green means more than 30% power, red means less than 30% power, and flashing red means you need to charge or change lights very soon.

In use

While I would normally like more than 450 lumens for riding in pitch dark, I found the CR450 just about good enough to ride at normal-ish speed on the lanes in the dark. I suspect this is because of the T-shaped beam that Ravemen has designed. The lens also has an anti-glare feature to avoid dazzling other road users.

This light has been perfect for my use case; namely, rides that start in the dark but are mostly in daylight. I can start off in the high setting, and then switch to pulse flashing as soon as it's light enough. Thanks to the long burn-time, I can ride all day in pulse flashing and still have charge left over when I get home.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best rear lights for cycling

If I needed to ride in the dark for a significant amount of time, I would still use this light, but as a backup to a more powerful light. I would keep it on pulse flashing and use the more powerful light to ride by.

For commuting in an urban setting, I can see that this light would be really useful; on the pulse or flashing modes, the battery would more than likely last all week.

Value

Priced at £44.99, it's good value for a 450-lumen light with these features.

You can get similarly powered lights for around the same price, such as the Cateye AMPP 500 at £39.99 and the Lezyne Classic Drive 500, now £45, but neither of these has a remote switch.

Topeak's Headlux 450 costs a quid more at £46.99, but only scored 5/10 in our review.

> Buyer’s Guide: The best 2021/22 front lights for cycling

You can spend more, of course. I reviewed Kryptonite's Incite X6 USB last year; it costs a lot more, £69.99 now, and is not as bright, not as good and doesn't have a remote switch.

It's worth mentioning you get a two-year warranty with the Ravemen as well.

Conclusion

Ravemen's CR450 is a small and lightweight light that gives long burn-times in the 'being seen' modes, and is bright enough on high to see by on dark lanes. It has a remote switch that makes switching between modes safe and easy and some other well-thoughtout features that make it well worth the £44.99 cost.

Verdict

Small and light and perfect for being seen, with useful extra features

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Ravemen CR450 USB Rechargeable front light

Size tested: 450 lumens max

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?

Ravemen says: "CR450 is a compact headlight for urban riding and daily commuting. With RAVEMEN new anti-glare optical lens, it creates a T-shaped beam that paves the road with flood light for close-range distance and bright spotlight for far distance while has no dazzle to other road users, helping you see better and being seen friendly. Using the wired remote button, you can change the brightness levels safely without releasing the grip. The light body is made of light-weight yet durable aluminum and IPX-6 water-resistance for heavy rain."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Ravemen lists these features:

Anti-glare lens with T-shaped beam, providing close-range flood light and long-distance spotlight

Extending battery runtime by connecting with external power source

Wired remote button to change brightness level safely without releasing the grip

Micro USB charging port, compatible with most phone chargers

Intelligent memory circuit remembers the last used brightness level and mode when turned on again

Battery level and charging indicators and auto power save mode in low battery

Tech specifications:

LED: 1*high-efficiency white LED

Battery: 1600mAh/3.6V rechargeable Lithium-ion battery

Dimensions (Headlight): 82mm (L)*29mm (W)*32mm (H)

Weight (Headlight): 87g

Materials: The front and main body is made by aluminum with Mil Type III Hard Coat Anodizing; the rear part and the handlebar mount are made by durable plastic

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10

The light is fine; the remote switch I'm less convinced about in heavy rain.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

While the light doesn't last much longer than 100 minutes (as advertised) in the highest setting, it does last all day on daylight flash. It takes about 90 minutes to recharge from completely flat.

A useful feature with this light is that you can plug an external battery and charge the light while it keeps running.

Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

As a light that is designed for "urban riding and daily commuting", it's very good indeed. On the "being seen" settings, the light lasts for ages, and the high setting is bright enough to ride in pitch dark conditions. I like the minimalist form factor and low weight, and the remote is very useful for switching between modes more safely, and works well even with big gloves on.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The small form factor, the remote and the long run-times on the pulse settings.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The remote switch acts up in heavy rain; the light doesn't last very long on the high setting.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's a good price for a light of this specification. You can get similarly powered lights around the same price, like the Cateye AMPP 500 (£39.999) and the Lezyne Classic Drive 500 (£45). Neither of them has a remote switch, though.

Topeak's Headlux 450 is £46.99, and Kryptonite's Incite X6 USB costs a lot more at £69.99 and is not as bright, not as good and doesn't have a remote switch.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's an excellent front light: small and light, with long burn times in the 'being seen' modes ideal for urban commutes, and is bright enough on high to work in the pitch dark. It's well priced against rivals, and includes features that many don't such as the remote switch that makes switching between modes safe and easy.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 1.78m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: All of them!  My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift

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