CatEye Create Brightest EVER Trail Light

6000 lumens in industry first, plus phone operated GPS gets smarter

We all know Cateye pretty well – but mostly as the provider of commuter lights that get us home when the clocks have changed and we’ve had to run in to a bike shop at lunch time to purchase some ‘get me home’ blinkers.

Somewhere along the line, CatEye came of age – in a pretty major way. They’ve been creating ‘seeing’ lights up to 1000 lumens – enough for you to see where you’re going on unlit roads – for some time, but for 2016 they’ve gone all out and launched an industry first.

The Volt 6000 provides – you guessed it – 6000 actual lumens. That’s a lot brighter than a car headlight, with most producing around 3000 lumens per pair (though it does vary drastically).

The key design  challenge was keeping the light from overheating, when producing such a high beam – and CatEye managed this with an inbuilt cooling fan. When on full power, you can actually feel the fan buzzing away, and its this that allows the light to remain at 6000 lumens until the battery runs out, rather than gradually losing its brightness as heat increases.

Hopefully – it goes without saying that the 6000 mode is for trail use only and should not be used on the road – ever. In this mode, the light lasts one hour, so over a long night ride, you might want to switch between modes, using the brightest over more technical sections.

After that, you can use 4000 lumens for two hours, 2000 lumens for four hours, 2000 lumens for 4 hours, 1000 lumens for 8 hours (1000 lumens is enough to commute on unlit roads) or 500 lumens for 12 hours.

The light, which weighs only 100 grams, is powered by a battery pack which comes in at 550 grams. It can be mounted on the helmet, with the battery in your backpack, or on your handlebar.

The only drawback? Ahem – it’s retailing at around £650. This said, give it time and new technology will always trickle down to more affordable price points.

Another interesting development from CatEye is their new Padrone Smart+ Computer. They’ve been making smart phone compatible cycling computers for some time, but the new version offers a backlight, customisable data screens – and MAPS.

As well as collecting data from bluetooth enabled devices (heart rate monitors, power meters) this computer will also display maps and directions, all via your phone.

Data screens are customised via your phone

Because your phone screen is ‘sleeping’ the usage shouldn’t drain its battery, and CatEye told us newer phones would work for eight hours, whilst older phones would last around three hours. To use the computer, you need to download an app which works on most I-phones and Androids.

The Padrone Smart+ retails for £79.99 – which, it has to be said, is a lot cheaper than a self functioning GPS unit.

You can see these and more on the CatEye website.


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