Thursday, November 2, 2006

MTB Review: CatEye HL-EL410 Compact Opticube headlight

Here is my birthday present from Jennifer. It is a CatEye HL-EL410 Compact Opticube headlight. Her way of forcing me into getting a front safety light!!

A reassuring sticker on the box claiming to be 100% brighter than the previous EL400 model only smacks in the face to those who previously paid for the older model (which is still on sale for the full price in some retail bike stores). Underneath the box are the words "MADE IN JAPAN / FABRIQUE AU JAPON". I am glad that CatEye did not source out the manufacturing to low QC China. Phew.

They didn't even skim on batteries, quality Toshiba triple-As included:

Bike geeks will be interested to know that the combined weight is only 78 grams.

Unlike other two piece systems(where the mount fixes semi-permanently to the bike), the bracket included allows a greater amount of flexibility for installation on different handlebars as well as helmet.

Mounted on my Trek helmet:

Mounted on a handlebar next to the CatEye LD210 safetylight.

If you want to go trekking in the middle of the woods then forget about using this alone. While it is bright enough for the darkest of alleyways, you should only use this as a backup light to be used with a high performance H.I.D., if you are planning on night trails. For city owls like us this works good enough.

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Fabian said...

How bright is it compared to the mini maglite?

I am considering one as a multifunction/backup ligth to mount on the bike or helmet.

Jon said...

Not sure about the new LED mini Maglites, but I believe my old mini (2 AA) is much brighter than the CatEye - but that is only when focusing the beam.

I would say it is comparable when set to flood. Having said that I prefer the CatEye for cycling due to the white beam.