B'Twin's V100 front light gives some household names a serious run for our hard earned thanks to its huge surface area and surprisingly bright beam. Available in black or fluorescent yellow, it bares uncanny resemblance to RSP's RX100 fed a colossal course of steroids.
Following the common 'blinkie in blanket' story, we have a sealed unit comprising a single LED amplified through a collimator lens and fuelled by a rechargeable lithium-ion cell, all wrapped in a silicone body. The cell is reckoned to have a lifespan of 500 charge cycles and the wrapping protects the innards against low level vibration, and accidental ejection from jersey pockets but still fits standard and oversized handlebars.
USB ports are now much better sealed from Mother Nature-this one's tucked beneath a tail flap. Zero to hero mains refuelling takes two hours, slightly more from a laptop or other portable device. Either way, the lens' indicator changes from red to green and vice versa.
Powering up is an easy affair even in full-finger gloves thanks to its top mounted switch. The switch seems positive enough to prevent unwanted engagement when the light is in a pocket or your luggage.
The steady mode casts a reassuringly pure and potent arc of light for being seen, though it's not as powerful as lights that put out 100 lumens or more, as you'd expect. Over about 12mph it's not great for lighting your way thanks to distracting halos but approaching vehicles still clocked us from around 50 metres. The low mode gives a longer run time, but felt decidedly dim at dusk.
Flashing is by far the most extroverted setting and my default, thanks to its fairly unique oscillation speed. Perfect for extended playtimes on the best bike, hustling home before dusk strikes or partnering older (pre-standlight) dynamos. Peripheral visibility isn't bad either, especially in this mode and when entering the flow of traffic.
However, I fund it was visible up to 350 metres not the claimed 500m even on the clearest nights. Talking of which, the official figures say you will get a 5-hour burn time in steady mode. I've consistently achieved 4:25 in steady, 5:53 in low and a commendable 8:46 in flashing mode.
Decent value light for being seen, but not quite as much oomph as the latest similar-sized lights
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin Vioo front light
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the product 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?
"cyclists wishing to significantly improve their visibility, using a rechargeable light. front light for visibility, rechargeable USB". Potentially an excellent contingency/secondary light.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
1. Visual efficiency13 metre beam. Visible from 500 metres. Flash and continuous modes.
Autonomy9 hr flashing or 5 hr normal. Recharges with a USB cable. 500 cycles guaranteed.
Low weight / lightweight47 g / Includes USB cable.
Easy assembly / dismantlingUniversal, one step, tool-free attachment.
Guarantee : 2 Years
Quite substantial by blinky standards but none the worse for it.
Intuitive to use and install.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The V100 has enormous potential and I had very high hopes given its size. Presence in the seen-by sense is surprisingly good, though flashing was by far the most extrovert setting and my default.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Funky looks, jumbo size and decent output.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, although low is a little insipid.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
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)