The Bike List

Klarus XT10 Flashlight £65

Tested by John Milbank, tester for The Bike List

There's no denying that having a solid, reliable, and most of all bright lamp on your bike is essential, but prices can be prohibitive to those of us who don't need or want some of the cycle specific kit out there.

Designed as a tactical torch for professional and military use, the Klarus XT10 is a 470 ANSI (American National Standards Institute) lumens hand-held flashlight. However, pair it with a £4.95 mount and it becomes a great value, versatile cycle lamp.

For about ten years I've been using an old CatEye Opticube – one of the original Light Emitting Diode models, before LED technology really got into its swing. I finally thought I'd give the Klarus a go on my Specialized Hard Rock Sport after having it for a few months as my main home and hobby flashlight. The difference was stunning – the photos below show my original lamp compared with the Klarus (all photographed at the same exposure). Every detail of the upcoming track is picked out over a great distance, but peripheral vision is also excellent, giving you the best chance of spotting stray cats, dogs or pensioners.

At full power, the Klarus will burn for 2.3 hours, but in the medium power mode you'll see 7.3 hours before the light drops off. For general riding, both on and off road, this 150 lumen output still offers a superb beam, and is the mode I find myself in 90% of the time. There is a low mode, which offers 10 lumens, and while it's really too dim to be of much use for riding, it's excellent for checking a map or searching in your pack.

Compared to most bike-specific lamps, the run-times hold up well, and with the rechargeable 18650 batteries costing just £8.95 from TacLight, you can afford to carry a couple of spares. The charger? Just £16.95, and that includes mains power, as well as a 12V car adaptor. I always use the large 18650 cell, but the XT10 can also run on a pair of standard CR123As, meaning that if you went away and forgot the charger, you could still pick up some power from the high street.

An optional pressure switch brings total control of the lamp to your fingertips, which is great if you do a lot of technical rides, as you can flick to high mode when the going gets tough (which of course is just the point that you don't want to be letting go of the bars). For commuting however, I prefer to use the XT10 on its own – changing modes is a quick button-press away, and when I park up I can pop the lamp off easily and keep it in my pocket.

Having previously used the XT10 at home and on hikes, it's had a very thorough testing – dropped onto rocks, soaked in puddles, and dumped in the mud – I'm in no doubt of its build quality. With battery and handlebar clamp it weighs just 210g, and with the stunning power, good run-time, two year warranty and great all-round versatility, the Klarus XT10 offers extraordinary value!

Find out more and buy from www.taclight.co.uk

At a glance

Verdict A practical, hand-held torch with the power and run-time to make for a fantastic value cycle light.
Value
Performance

Klarus says:

Optional extras:

  • Swivel Bike Light Mount: £4.95
  • Klarus ED10 Pressure switch: £19.95
  • Helmet Mount: £4.95
  • Cytac Multi-Battery Charger £16.95
  • Cytac Rechargeable 18650 Battery: £8.95
  • TacLight also supply a complete bike set, with Bike Mount, Pressure Switch, Charger and Battery for £104.80 including delivery.

Specifications:

  • LED Type:Ultra bright CREE XM-L (T6) LED with max output of 470 ANSI lumens and a life span of up to 50,000 hrs
  • Battery:2x CR123A (3v) / 1x 18650 (3.7v) / 2x 16340
  • Function:There are 3 light modes and 1 flashing mode.
  • Switch:Dual Switch operation; a protruding forward clicky tail switch for momentary-on, on and off functions and a second tail switch for mode selection (this is also a dedicated strobe, which can be accessed from any mode when the torch is on and also when the torch is off).
  • Performance:The XM-L LED delivers a lot of light (470 ANSI lumens) and is an efficient performer due to the digitally regulated output, which maintains constant brightness.
  • Protection:Reverse polarity protection circuit protects against incorrect insertion of batteries. Sealed with O-rings for excellent water resistance and improved service life. Waterproof and Dust Resistant to IPX-8.
  • Dimension:143mm (Length), 21.5mm (Head), 24.3mm (Body)
  • Finish:Tough, sealed body with HA Type III anodising.
  • Reflector: Orange peel to provide a smooth, flawless beam and good throw.
  • Lens:Toughened, ultra clear glass
  • Switch: Dual Switch operation. Protruding tail forward clicky switch for On/ Momentary On/ Off. Secondary 'Mode' tail switch for mode selection and strobe (press and hold).

Operation:

Turn Power On/ Off

Pressing the protruding forward clicky tail cap switch will turn power On/ Off. Half-press will provide Momentary-On.

Switch Modes:

When light is on, press the Mode switch (secondary tail cap switch) to cycle through High-Med-Low modes. Strobe is accessed by holding down the Mode switch for more than 0.8 seconds. Strobe can also be accessed when the light is off, by pressing the Mode switch.

Output & Runtimes (Based on 1x 18650 Battery):

  1. High Mode:470 ANSI Lumens (2.3 hrs)
  2. Medium Mode:150 Lumens (7.3 hrs)
  3. Low Mode:10 Lumens (300 hrs)
  4. Strobe Mode:470 Lumens (4.6 hrs)