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Cateye Volt 1600 review

CatEye Volt
8 Jan 2016

The Volt 1600 is Cateye’s brightest stand alone and it’s now a whole lot brighter.

Cyclist Rating: 
Very bright
Long recharge time

Up until a few years ago, having a light that threw out 1000 lumens required a separate battery pack mounted on the frame or bars, yet somehow Cateye has managed to cram in another 400 lumens into its top-tier Volt light, a 33% increase over last year’s model.

Despite the extra power, the Volt 1600 remains the same size as its predecessor and has the same burn times. This has been achieved by ramping up the USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery to 6800mAh, which increases the weight by just 46g to 260g.  In real terms this means the Volt will shine for 1600 lumens at almost the two hours quoted – our tests showed it was more like one hour 45 minutes. As you move through the power modes you get 500 lumens for 5 hours, 200 lumens for 15 hours and flashing modes from 12 hours to a claimed 100 hours (however we’d offer a health warning for anyone riding for 100 hours lit by the insanely flickery flash mode).

CatEye Volt 1600

On that note, 200 lumens is just too little to ride safely at speed through unlit lanes, so while a 15 hour burn time there might seem enviable, it’s better suited to commuting and not having to worry about recharging the Volt on a daily basis. However, let’s face it, night rides are unlikely to take most cyclists past a few hours, so the Volt is more than up for the task of being your sole light for an evening session.

The Volt also manages its power well, the on/off switch doubling as a battery life indicator that thankfully gives a decent amount of notice on ‘red’ before the light goes out. Charging times are long though; expect around 10 hours dependent on how flat it is beforehand. I’ve been using the Volt 1200 as my main front light for the last two years, and burn times seem almost as good as new, so I’d expect nothing less from the up-rated Volt 1600.

At a glance


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