Allen Sports ASL5XR Review
Cons: Poor quality mounting system
Manufacturer: Allen Sports
Compare to Similar Products
Allen Sports ASL5XR
|Price||$55 List||$70 List||$57 List||$40.08 at Amazon||$19.95 at Amazon|
|Pros||Adjustable zoom feature, OK beam pattern||Long battery life||Great value, bright beam||360-degree swivel, amber side lights add to visibility, easy on and off at the bike rack, excellent beam quality||Inexpensive, small and easily portable|
|Cons||Poor quality mounting system||Very poor beam quality, tricky to remove from mount||Beam is more narrowly concentrated than other similarly powered lights||Not an especially bright or long beam, short battery life||Low beam quality, beam distance, below quality mount|
|Bottom Line||The Allen Sports ASL5XR scored below average in every metric of our test, we recommend the Best Buy winning Light and Motion Urban 350 as a better value||Has a very poor beam quality, hard to remove from mount but it does have a long battery life||Great value with bright, narrow beam||Although this light has a 360 degree swivel, its not very bright and has a short battery life||Inexpensive and easily portable but has a poor beam distance and quality|
|Rating Categories||Allen Sports ASL5XR||Cateye Volt 300||Cygolite Metro 400||Light and Motion Ur...||Cateye HL-EL135|
|Beam Quality (25%)|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Specs||Allen Sports ASL5XR||Cateye Volt 300||Cygolite Metro 400||Light and Motion Ur...||Cateye HL-EL135|
|Max Beam Distance (m)||215 m||130 m||120 m||110 m||34 m|
|Battery Life (hours)||2.2 hrs||2.9 hrs||1.7 hrs||1.5 hrs||38.3 hrs|
|Battery Type||USB Recharge front/2032 rear||USB Recharge||USB Recharge||USB Recharge||AA Alkaline x2|
|Weight||144 g, 5.1 oz||134 g, 4.7 oz||142 g, 5 oz||120 g, 4.2 oz||96 g, 3.4 oz|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Though the Allen Sports ASL5XR is one of the more affordable lights we tested, and weighs in at only 5.1 ounces, it was less than stellar in our tests. It comes equipped with a zooming feature that changes the beam pattern from a flood light to a spot allowing you to set it anywhere in-between.
Whether your goal is to illuminate the road ahead, or simply to be seen by oncoming traffic, a bright, wide, evenly lit beam is ideal. One unique feature specific to this light is the zooming ability between flood and spot light settings. At its widest flood setting, we only measure the beam distance at 35-meters, or about 115-feet, while the most narrow setting measured an astronomical 215-meters, or just over 706-feet. Yet, we still scored this light with a 2 out of 10 in brightness because on either end of the spectrum, the light performed poorly in the field. Here is a comparison with our Editors' Choice winning Niterider Lumina 750, which shines a measured 180 meters, about 35 meters less than the Allen. However, you can see that the Niterider allows for better sight of the path in front.
Below, you can see the difference between the Allen Sports light, on the left, and the budget CatEye HL-EL 135, on the right. Here, the Allen Sports light projects much farther into the distance than the Cateye.
The best beam patterns are ones that project a wide and even beam. With the above beam distance results taken into consideration, we found the spotlight setting to be uselessly narrow, and the flood to be uselessly shallow; therefore, the most useful setting was smack dab in the middle, which our field testers rarely changed once finding an appropriate beam. Again, this light scores poorly in this category, because it is difficult to navigate between the zoom settings to find an appropriate beam while pedaling and this continually frustrated our field testers.
This light uses a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery provided by Allen, and comes in just below average in our lifespan testing. With about two and a quarter hours of battery life, this light only earns a 4 out of 10.
In this beam distance over time versus battery life comparison chart, we can examine the Allen Sports battery lifespan with our highest scoring contender for battery life, the NiteRider Pro 1800, which uses an external battery pack. The Pro 1800's battery lasts almost nearly a half an hour longer than the Allen Sports, while maintaining a more consistent beam projection.
Although the Allen Sports ASL5XR is a middle of the road light when it comes to weight and the ability to throw it in a bag or jacket pocket, we also rated this light just below average in this category.
This light is difficult to install due to the short screw used on the mount, and requires the use of two hands. Removing it from the mount was also a difficult task requiring two hands, because you are essentially making the same motion to both release the lever and remove the light.
Our field testers were also not big fans of the zoom feature on this light. In order to toggle between a wide, flood light beam to a more narrow setting, you pull on the front of the light, which is stiff and difficult to do during a ride. We found that we had to stop in order to make the adjustment, and then never touched the light again. Also, the light clicks off between modes, which we found unnerving while riding through dark city streets.
This light performs fine on light commutes that are moderately lit.
Unfortunately, the quality of this light for the price is not competitive, and it broke easily from the mount while attempting to make small adjustments while riding. For less than $10 more, we feel you'll find better options with our Best Buy winner, the Light and Motion Urban 350.
This was the lowest scoring light we tested, coming in with a score of only 26 out of 100.
Included in this set, you receive both the front and rear lights with mounts. The front light is waterproof up to IPX5 rating, and includes the necessary USB charger and batteries to operate.
— Gentrye Houghton