Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cateye Loop & Orbit Bike Lights

I often say that bike lights serve two important functions: helping you see where you are going and helping others see you. While on a dark, lonely trail or road a good headlight (I use and like the Planet Bike Blaze) is needed to light your way and reveal what might be lurking in the darkness, on a city street or a foggy path a lights main function is to make sure that you are not the one lurking in the darkness. That is where small, simple lights like the Cateye Loop and Orbit are handy.

These Cateye lights are what I call "be seen" lights. They are bright, cast a wide beam and they are eye-catching. Last Saturday was damp and grey and drizzly (hey, it's March in Seattle, what do you expect). I didn't need lights to see by, but I did turn on my Cateye loop lights, so my bike and I would be more visible in the gloom.

Like pretty much every Cateye product I've ever used, these lights seem quite well made. Both the Loop and the Orbit lights have so far held up well in the wet and they mount solidly. The Loops feature a small elastic band so they can be wrapped around any round tube. By adding a couple of zip-ties, I secured the red loop to the massive rear fender of my loaner Urbana.

The Orbit lights attach to the spokes of your wheels and the rotation makes them very visible. Since the Orbits shine out sideways, they greatly increase your visibility to crossing traffic.

Both the Loop and Orbit lights are small & light. They use CR2032 batteries with a claimed life of 30 hours in solid mode and 50 hours when set to flash. I haven't verified this yet (I haven't had them long enough to change the batteries) but those numbers seem reasonable for the little lithium batteries. By the way, buying single CR2032 batteries can get pretty expensive, but since I have various devices (like my Cateye Enduro bike computer as well as these lights) I bought a pack of 50 CR2032 batteries for less than twelve bucks.

Your local bike shop probably carries Cateye lights or they'd be happy to order them for you. If you can't find them locally, you can order them from Amazon. As always, if you do order anything from Amazon using a link from my blog, a small percentage of the purchase price goes to me, since I'm an Amazon Affiliate. And I don't think it biased me, but you should know that the Cateye guy gave me this set of Loop lights because I chatted him up at a bike event. Anyhow, I use and like the lights.

One final note: The Cateye lights ship in a "Try Me" mode where they shut off after a minute. Deactivate this mode (by pressing and holding the light until it flashes quickly and shuts off) and then the light will behave normally (where a single press toggles the light between solid, flashing and off).

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


chatty cathy said...

kent is it possible to mount that little red light more permently to the fender with a bolt or zip tie? that elastic is prolly not going to last for long.

Kent Peterson said...

The elastic is actually plenty strong, it's cloth over rubber, like a tiny bungee cord. But sure, you could run zip ties through the little cord holes in the light.

cline722 said...

I love the cateye lights so much they are very helpful at night, but where can I buy replacement batteries?

Kent Peterson said...

Amazon has the CR2032 batteries as do many drug stores or Radio Shack.

Rob Pace said...

Thank you for the Try-Me mode comment and instructions how to get the light to behave normally... Saved me trying a new battery. Very thoughtful. Thanks.

............................. j obertone said...

thanks for the review! I couldn't figure out the 'try it mode' thing,, now i know.. thanks!

Unknown said...

Thanks for helping me get this thing out of try me mode. I threw the packaging away to soon.