The Ultratorch is a well priced mid-level 'be seen' light and will service your needs for most inner city commutes. Although be mindful that the beam is relatively vague and at full beam won't last longer than 90 minutes.
No real focused beam
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While it may look like an ion cannon in miniature, this is actually the UltraTorch 500lm Headlight from Oxford Products. The UltraTorch is Oxford’s mid-level ‘be seen’ front light, that comes with four modes, a rechargeable battery and a Cree T6 LED.
At £39.99, the UltraTorch may not be the cheapest light on the market (larger lumen output lights costing more of course), but it’s far from the most expensive. For the price you get a sturdy bit of kit, but not a pretty accessory due to its utilitarian design.
The 500lumens put out by the UltraTorch do more than enough to keep you visible on the lit streets and even puts out a decent amount of glow if you happen to find yourself on an unlit detour.
Twinned with a nifty rim of light around the edges of the unit, Oxford has clearly thought about keeping riders seen from all sides. The UltraTorch does feel a sturdy and reliable if a little on the heavy side.
It comes with a flimsy plastic holster that is fitted to the bars with a rubber strap.
When taking some of Britain’s more weathered roads, the UltraTorch did not fare too well with potholes and rough surfaces, the light often moving in its plastic unit and offering some unwanted strobe effects from the light ahead.
The battery life varies hugely, depending on the mode – high constant one and a half hours, medium three hours, low six hours and flash 12 hours.
A 90-minute run time for high constant may fall a little short of the mark, particularly if you’re commuting in the dark both ways.
However, the UltraTorch has a battery test mode and a red light will alert you when you need a recharge – a handy feature that will give you plenty of warning before you’re left in the dark.
It’s also micro USB rechargeable – a welcome addition as more and more reusable electrical goods are coming with the micro USB charging ports and cables.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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