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Ravemen CR600 front light

8
£54.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Really solid mid-power light for winter training and commutes, and can (just) handle unlit roads too
Compact
Decent pool of light
Sensible modes
Solid build quality
Ability to plug in power banks
Short run time in the highest setting
Weight: 
105g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Ravemen CR600 is a medium-power and usefully compact light aimed at 'urban riding and daily commuting.' The full 600 lumens is arguably a bit fierce for town work, and I'd go for something nearer 800 lumens for serious unlit road use, but for commuting and winter training, the solid build quality and useful modes are great.

Measuring 82x29x32mm, the main body is aluminium, finished in Type III (aka hardcoat) anodising. Aside from being very durable, this serves as a heat sink, giving the diodes and the 1600mAh, 3.6V lithium-ion battery a sporting chance of living long and productive lives.

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There's a thermal cutout should the light get too hot, too, to stop it damaging itself. Overheating was never an issue through testing, though.

The rear port and bracket are made from 'durable plastic' and feel similarly robust, and it's weatherproof to IPX6 – which is enough to withstand high pressure jets or heavy rain without letting in 'harmful' quantities. Charging is via the ubiquitous micro-USB cable, which most of us have an abundance of.

There are two small but really significant features that I really like about Ravemen lights. The first is the ability to plug in an external power bank to extend the runtimes, and the second is the remote switch. It's wired, but still a big help when toggling modes.

Some folks don't like exposed wires and if that's you, it can always be run beneath the bar tape (it's easily unplugged to remove the lamp).

2021 Ravemen CR600 USB Rechargeable front light - remote button.jpg

Up front, the single LED is projected through a second generation anti-glare lens. It's a hybrid of close-up flood and long-range spot, and creates a T-shaped beam Ravemen says is 'assertive and powerful,' yet won't dazzle other road users.

The whole thing secures via a simple and user-friendly watch-type strap that's compatible with diameters between 22mm and 35mm, and even long enough for some helmets. The rubbery strap loops hooks into place reliably, and the light slides into the grooved channel, locking in place with a subtle 'click.'

2021 Ravemen CR600 USB Rechargeable front light - mount.jpg

The switch incorporates a binary charge indicator (it goes from green to red at 30 percent left), and is easily commanded in winter gloves without being easy to accidentally switch off or on. The wired remote makes things considerably easier still.

Recharging times are convenient too: 2.5 hours from the mains, or three hours from a laptop port.

2021 Ravemen CR600 USB Rechargeable front light - USB port.jpg

There are six modes: four steady (600/300/150 lumen plus an 'eco' 50 lumen) and two flashing – namely Pulse and Rapid. Whatever mode you're in you can always access full beam very rapidly; the instructions don't give much away, but a conversation with the UK importer reveals that holding the remote switch down will boot your straight to 600 lumens in emergencies.

Output

While the full 600 is a little overpowered for town and suburbs, if my experience is any gauge it's unlikely to raise hackles either should you forget to click down. At the other extreme, it's just a little underpowered for backroad blasting. Still, I found it possible to navigate unlit lanes at 18mph and get reasonable warning of holes and other hazards, but for faster stuff – or extended periods – 800-900 lumens is a better bet for the backroads.

It gets you noticed, too. Other traffic seemed to pick me out at around 50-60 metres, maybe 70-80m through semi-rural sections and 4-50m in suburbs and towns – still a decent distance.

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The flood is good peripherally, and especially useful at junctions and roundabouts. I found myself defaulting to the 300lm medium through built up areas, although I could certainly get away with the 150lm Low setting, I preferred the additional punch of Medium, especially entering the flow of traffic or tackling roundabouts.

That said, the 150-lumen Pulse has an edge over its steady version in these contexts. It's reckoned to be a daylight mode and very effective. Other traffic seemed to take note at 100 metres, or 125 metres at dusk.

Run times

My timings proved very close to official figures – within seven minutes in some cases, which is reassuring, while the charge indicator is similarly dependable. The option to plug in a power bank can compensate for the short run times at full power, too.

Durability

In common with other Ravemen lights, the CR600 feels solid, and the finish remains unmarked despite the usual, everyday carelessness. The IPX6 water resistance rating may not be the last word in weatherproofing, but it's dependable in the real (not yet submerged) world and passed my close-range garden hose test without missing a beat. The two-year warranty also inspires confidence.

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Value

£54.99 is good for a light of this specification. The Kryptonite Alley F-650 has an extra 50 lumens and similarly solid build but is bulkier and £20 dearer at £74.99 (it's gone up a tenner since 2017). The Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL front light also produces a maximum of 600 lumens and has a wider range of settings, although Jamie felt there were too many. It's also gone up a bit since that review – it's £55.

The Blackburn Dayblazer 800 Front retails at £59.99, has a bit more wallop, and is better suited to navigating darker lanes – but like most torch-type lights, run times in the highest settings are short.

Summary

The Ravemen CR600 is a solid choice for commuting, winter training and the occasional jaunt along unlit roads. Its compact dimensions also lend it outings where you want to be seen but time can slip away, and you find yourself need a proper light to cruise home on too.

Verdict

Really solid mid-power light for winter training and commutes, and can (just) handle unlit roads too

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Ravemen CR600 front light

Size tested: n/a

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: "CR600 is a compact headlight for urban riding and daily commuting. Using the wired remote button you can change the brightness levels safely without releasing the grip. The light body is made of lightweight yet durable aluminium and IPX-6 water-resistance for heavy rain."

It's a compact, mid-power light with a decent spread of modes and some nice touches.

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

Anti Glare: T shaped lens is the second generation anti-glare lens from Ravemen

T-shaped beam with anti-glare cut-off line creates no dazzle for other road users

Wired button allows you to change the level of brightness without releasing your grip

A long press on the wired button will activate maximum output for emergency needs

Extend the runtime of the battery by connecting an external power source for emergency lighting when the light is on low power

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 when it has low battery

Quick release design for easy slide in/out

Compatible with handlebars of 22.2mm - 35mm

Compact and lightweight with quick release function for convenient daily use

IPX6 water resistant anodized aluminium body for durability

Technical:

LED 1* high-efficiency white LED

1600mAh/3.6V rechargeable Lithium-ion battery

82 x 29 x 32mm

Weight: 87g

The front and main body is made of aluminium with Mil Type III Hard Coat Anodizing; the ear part and handlebar mount are made of durable plastic "

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Rugged and well-finished.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10

Intuitive and user-friendly. The wired remote means there's no need to move your hands from the bars to change mode.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

Similarly intuitive and very secure.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

IPX6 bodes well for the wettest road rides, and ours passed my garden hose test without missing a beat.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

As is common with this type of light, run times are short in the highest setting but charge times are reasonably quick. The ability to plug in a power bank to extend run times is a definite plus.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10

Generally very good. Errs towards general suburban and semi-rural commuting, but enough bite for shorter unlit bits. A good choice for rides when day can suddenly fade and you want some proper light to cruise home on.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Solidly made and remains unmarked, despite the everyday carelessness and the odd accidental drop on a hard (concrete) floor. The two-year warranty also inspires confidence.

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10

Solidly made but not overly hefty.

Rate the light for value:
 
7/10

Good in terms of performance, build quality, and specification.

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

It's reassuringly good.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Compact, solid and very user-friendly. Sensible modes and some unique features are another definite draw.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Run times are relatively short at the full 600 lumens.

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

£54.99 is good for a light of this specification. The Kryptonite Alley F-650 has an extra 50 lumens and similarly solid build but is bulkier and £20 dearer at £74.99 (it's gone up a tenner since 2017). The Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL front light also produces a maximum of 600 lumens and has a wider range of settings, although Jamie felt there were too many. It's also gone up a bit since that review – it's £55.

The Blackburn Dayblazer 800 Front light retails at £59.99, has a bit more wallop, and is better suited to navigating darker lanes – but like most torch-type lights, run times in the highest settings are short.

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

Likeable mid-power light with decent build quality, nice features and sensible modes. A good choice for general riding, but go for something more powerful if you're wanting to navigate unlit roads for any distance.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

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)

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