Moon X-Power 500 front light
Moon X-Power 500 mounted on my winter bike
Other than the items on Santa’s list I foolishly thought I had everything I needed for my bikes. Since February I have spent close on £3000 on bikes, clothing and equipment (but clawed back £273.65 on selling bikes now not needed). A further cost will now be a divorce as my wife will proof read this and hit the proverbial roof.
After my first dark commute home I realised that I would have to spend some more money on a decent front light. I previously had a Cateye LED which was good enough in town but out onto the country lanes I was relying on passing cars to illuminate any forthcoming potholes. Luckily that very day I had bought ‘Cycling Active’ and it was reviewing front lights.
The test winner was the Moon X-Power 500 and with a score of 10 it seemed the logical choice. The article said it was good value at £119.99 but as a Wiggle ‘Gold’ customer I was confident of shaving some off the price. Unfortunately Wiggle were out of stock but www.allterraincycles.co.uk had some in stock for £84.99 (+£3.99p&p).
Two days later the light had arrived and the first impression was fantastic and that was only the box! The front flap is held magnetically and opens to reveal all the components nestled into individual segments cut from grey foam ala James Bond.
Harry Brogden displays box
As well as the light itself the box contains:
Handlebar bracket – this doesn’t require any tools just a simple twist of a locking lever. The light can be moved a full 180° once mounted on the bracket
Charger – the light can be charged either with a plug or USB port (the same unit does both). (memo to self – label all your usb cables.)
Helmet Mount – I wasn’t keen on having a light attached to my helmet – I did fit it just out of curiosity but was unimpressed with the rigidity of the strap.
I was expecting to have to charge the light before I could turn it on – but the initial press of the ON button made me realise it was pre-charged. I had pressed it on as I was looking at the lens and my retinas now burned and I was temporarily blinded.
The light has four constant settings and a flashing mode. On the most powerful ‘Overdrive’ the runtime is listed as 1hr 40mins and the longest is 8 hours on ‘low’. On my first commute I had it on overdrive all the way home (I was showing off) and after 50 minutes the low battery light began to flash, but the warning means you have about 30 minutes run time left. What impressed me is that if you then go down to the next setting – the light re-adjusts and shows fully charged for that setting. As my commute is only 15 miles I should always be able to get to work or back with maximum power. On my ride I felt a lot more confident at seeing potholes before feeling them.
A tree at 20 feet with my previous Cateye LED
Same tree, same distance with the Moon X-Power 500
All in all I am very impressed with the quality and performance of the light. It is quite compact but feels solid and weighs in at 144g. The only niggle is that it is difficult to get the light off the bracket as the release catch is small (but I suppose that in itself is no bad thing).