Every cyclist that rides at night, at dawn or at dusk needs a strong reliable light in order to ensure they stay safe and are seen by other road users. One of our favorites, as Rob has talked about before, is the Cygolite brand of lights. In the past, we discussed the 400 and 500 lumens version of this light but here I’d like to tell you all about one of Cygolite’s newer models, the Cygolite 700, and talk about why upgrading to this light is worth it.
For those who may not be familiar with this product already, the Cygolite is a small, black, light that is rechargeable and that clips onto your handlebars to deliver a reliable bright light as well as offering its user the option of switching between 6 different modes of light;
The light always starts off in low mode, and the user can use a simple one-touch button to cycle through the different light modes. Medium and high are, of course, simply brighter versions of low while Steadypulse alerts motorists to your presence at night while still lighting your path consistently. In Day lighting mode, this light emits bright beams of light to alert motor vehicles to your presence on even the brightest of days (think the sun glinting off a reflator or a mirror).
With so many useful modes installed in the lower lumen lights, we wondered why the company made the 700 as well – until we tried it and realized that innovation, improvement, and constantly pushing to be an industry trendsetter is simply a core part of Cygolite’s company culture.
Cygolite was founded in Irvine California back in 1991 by a group of engineers with a passion for cycling. They are still based in California today and have become widely recognized as the creators of both high quality and high-value products. Over the years, Cygolite has produced an array of fantastic bicycle lighting systems to impress their customers. The newest models – including the 400, 500 and 700 – feature a USB rechargeable one-piece design with an internal battery.
This company never outsources any part of the process of bringing a product to market, and its clear to the many happy and satisfied customers that chose to own a Cygolite that they are getting a good quality and long-lasting product for their money. Let’s discuss a few of the reasons why so many people are happy with these lights.
Stylish, unobtrusive, small and safety conscious
This light is very easy to pack and would be ideal for not only everyday use but also for longer multi-day trips locally or abroad due to its hard and durable casing and its small size – it only weighs 140g. This light is also water resistant, so if you frequently ride in inclement weather, the Cygolite will continue to reliably light your way regardless of the rain.
Additionally, Amazon reviewers note that the handlebar clips on this model fit the handlebars of most bikes between 22-32mm in diameter, as well as having 2nd generation Locktite™ tool-free handlebar mounts – an improvement on earlier models where reviewers complained that their 400 or 500 lights were moving around too much during their rides.
Powerful light that illuminates your path better than previous models
Although Rob talked about the great luminosity of this brands lights before, in this model Cygolite has taken visibility to a new level. Many reviewers of this product that have owned previous models of the light noted how this light was a serious improvement in both battery life and front and side illumination. The newer optics in this light compared to those in older models gives the beam a wider, flatter spread of light that is much more useful for illuminating the road.
The new high-efficiency lens on this model enables an extra wide and long-range beam that maximize your visibility in the dark not only in front of you but to your left and right as well.
Beyond the strong forward-facing light beam of previous models, the 700 also features two side illumination ports to better highlight and announce your presence to other road users – which greatly improves your safety on the road.
Longer lasting run time and brighter luminosity due to improved Li-ion Battery
This model also features a 4-hour charge time, shaving off about an hour from the normal charge time of the 400 and the 500. In terms of battery life, Cygolite has also improved how long the battery will last (at its max) in each of the 6 light modes available on the 700 model. In its low power mode, the light will last 9:30 hrs. It will last 2:30hrs in medium, 1:15hrs in high, 3hrs in Steady pulse mode, 10hrs in Day lighting mode, and 115hrs on Walking mode! The unit will let you know when you need to recharge it when the low battery light is flashing. This light is easy to recharge – and eco-friendly – using a USB charging port without the need to ever change any batteries.
Drawbacks – an ill-designed USB port cover and no light settings ‘memory’
Although the drawbacks of this light are quite minor, we feel they are worth mentioning in order to provide a well-rounded review of the Cygolite 700. Amazon reviewers noted that the mini USB port cover on the light itself is not well-designed and can sometimes pop off unexpectedly. This can be frustrating, especially for riders who frequently go biking in wet climates.
Several reviewers noted that one easy and low-tech solution to this problem if you’re facing it would be to simply place a small strip of weather-proof electrical tape over the port to protect it from the elements and assure yourself that the product won’t experience any charging issues.
The only other minor issue this light has, as noted by those who have used it, would be that they feel it is somewhat frustrating that when the light is turned off it does not ‘remember’ its previous setting that you were using when it was on and instead always starts on the low constant beam setting. Since changing the settings is simple and quick and only takes a few seconds, we personally feel that this critique is splitting hairs and really doesn’t affect our overall very positive opinion of the Cygolite 700.
After reading this article we hope you can see the many reasons why we love this light and recommend Cygolite products in general. We feel that out of all the handlebar lights you have to choose from that the Cygolite 700 (And the 500 and 400 models) are all worth serious consideration! Check them out on Amazon and read the great reviews.