The adventure of traveling by road, path and trail is full of surprises. Some are good and some not so much. Ideally, you want the ‘beautiful vista’, or ‘amazing pastry’ surprises rather than the pinch-flat, or skipped-shift surprises. The ride is much more enjoyable when the unexpected are positive trail experiences, not mechanical or gear issues that seem to announce themselves at the most inopportune time. The “chain decided to break right as I was getting out of the pedals to sprint – Surprise!” or “The rim bent in half after dropping into a hard-packed rut – Surprise!” Luckily for our faces and posteriors, advances in quality and material design have eliminated many of the flabbergasting failures of futures’ past. Understandably, electrical components have taken a bit longer to provide the same expectation of service, and many products still provide frustration for the user. Lights definitely fall in this category, with the surprise being a dark ride and a dead light. To this source of frustration comes the salvo, the Ravemen 1200, a solid piece of gear that is dependable and intelligently designed. The only surprise is a pleasant one, with a street price of $90 at your LBS.
By the Numbers
The Ravemen 1200 cycling light is all business. The slender 213 gram package measures less than two inches wide with an overall length of less than four inches. Crammed inside are two lithium-ion cells, with a total power of 5200 mAh. The sharp end contains dual CREE XM-L2 LED’s that spit photons with a fury – 1200 lumens for just under 2 hours in our tests, right what the manufacture specs. And a simple real-time display on the top of the light provides an estimate of run-time that we found to be quite accurate. The entire light is waterproof up to 6ft, and the aluminum alloy case provides impact resistance while also functioning as a heatsink. Also using aluminum alloy for the handlebar mount would have been nice, but instead a plastic quick-release adopts the light to either 31.8 and 35mm handlebar widths. The piece seems to be quite durable though, and the release mechanism itself is stout.
The Ravemen 1200 interates on previous cycling lights to offer a lightweight and efficient handebar light for either road or MTB use, with 2 hours of run-time at 1200 lumens (!) or up to 21 hours using the eco mode at 100 lumens.
One Light, Two Light. High Light, Low Light.
Looking at the front of the light, the asymmetrical lens design provides a unique light pattern that won’t blind oncoming drivers or fellow pedestrians. If needed, the high-beam mode is only a switch away and provides a far reaching high-beam similar to an automobile. To engage this mode, the Ravemen 1200 also includes a remote switch that can be mounted away from the light. At first this seemed unnecessary, but in practice was really useful. Being able to engage the high-beam mode without having to move your hands off the hoods is really convenient. The time when you want more light is typically a time when you also don’t want to be fumbling around looking for the switch to turn up the juice. Similar to the remote climber switch seen on electric shifting groupsets, once you try it, you’ll miss not having it.
In addition to the high-beam functions, the light has a multitude of modes from a battery-conserving eco mode that pushes the run-time to 21 hours, as well as a strobing pulse that is useful during the day, early morning or dusk. It also has intelligence to prevent overheating the LED’s as well as a memory that turns the unit back on to the setting previously used. Like the high-lo switch, it seems at first a superfluous feature, but in practice it’s really handy to have the light turn back to the last used setting and speaks to the thoughtfulness that was designed into how it would be used. (Via Velo Sport Import, $90)