The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

SafeCycler Review

The quality and brightness of this light is low but it is inexpensive and light weight.
SafeCycler
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Price:  $24 List
Pros:  Reasonably light weight, inexpensive, long battery life
Cons:  Super low brightness and beam quality scores
Manufacturer:   SafeCycler
By Gentrye Houghton ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 14, 2018
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35
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Brightness - 40% 2
  • Beam Quality - 25% 1
  • Battery Life - 20% 7
  • Portablity - 15% 7

Our Verdict

This is one of the lowest performing lights in our review because of its poor brightness and beam quality scores. It is relatively lightweight and relies on four AAA batteries for power. However, if you're really wanting something lightweight, for about $10 less you can pick up the CatEye HL-EL 135, or splurge a bit and get our higher performing Best Buy winner, the Light and Motion Urban 350.


Compare to Similar Products

 
SafeCycler
This Product
SafeCycler
Awards  Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $24 List$225.00 at Amazon$109.95 at Amazon$119.99 at Amazon$95 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Reasonably light weight, inexpensive, long battery lifeGreat beam distance and quality, lasts four hours in high modeWide even beam pattern, bright, illuminated on/off button, swivel mountWide, even beam pattern, multiple blinking modesBright, wide and even beam pattern, illuminated on/off switch, easy on and off handle bars, good value
Cons Super low brightness and beam quality scoresVery heavy, expensive and time-consuming to install and removeBeam could be more even/less narrow, battery life on the short sideMinimal swivel, short battery lifeShort (1.5 hour) battery life
Bottom Line The quality and brightness of this light is low but it is inexpensive and light weight.This is your go to light for quality and distance of beam.This light is bright, swivels nicely and even has an illuminated on/off switch.Although it has a shorter battery life, it has a wide even beam with multiple blinking modes.This light not only is a great value but it has a super bright and even beam pattern.
Rating Categories SafeCycler NiteRider Pro 1800 NiteRider Lumina 750 Cygolite Expilion 850 NiteRider Lumina 550
Brightness (40%)
10
0
2
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Beam Quality (25%)
10
0
1
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Battery Life (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
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4
10
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5
Portablity (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs SafeCycler NiteRider Pro 1800 NiteRider Lumina 750 Cygolite Expilion... NiteRider Lumina 550
Max Beam Distance (m) 41 m 175 m 180 m 147 m 146 m
Battery Life (hours) 7.9 hrs 3.8 hrs 1.7 hrs 1.4 hrs 1.5 hrs
Battery Type 4 AAA front/2 AAA Rear USB Recharge USB Recharge USB Recharge USB Recharge
Mount Options Handlebar Handlebar Handlebar/Helmet Handlebar/Helmet Handlebar/Helmet
Installation Tool-free Tool-free Tool-free Tool-free Tool-free
Swivel Mount Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weight 130 g, 4.6 oz 500 g, 17.6 oz 182 g, 6.4 oz 174 g, 6.1 oz 180 g, 6.3 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

While this light scores above average for battery life and portability, it is also the lowest scoring light for beam quality. The SafeCycler weighs in at just over 4.5 ounces, and also includes a rear mounted safety light that is powered with two AAA battaries.

Performance Comparison


Ryan uses the SafeCycler to increase his visibility during an early evening commute.
Ryan uses the SafeCycler to increase his visibility during an early evening commute.

Brightness


Brightness is generally considered to be the most important criteria when considering bike lights, and the SafeCycler performed rather poorly in this category. Athough, with a 2 out of 10, the SafeCycler did beat out the CatEye HL-EL by one point.

Below, we'll compare two beam distance photographs. As you can see, these bottom of the line scorers are pretty similar when it comes to beam distance. The SafeCycler measures a max distance of 40-meters, pictured on the left, compared to the CatEye's 34-meters.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of SafeCycler
Beam photo of Cateye HL-EL135

SafeCycler
Cateye HL-EL135

Now, we'll show you the stark difference between this budget model and our Best Buy winner, the Light and Motion Urban 350, on the right.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of SafeCycler
Beam photo of Light and Motion Urban 350

SafeCycler
Light and Motion Urban 350

Beam Quality


Both for safety, and for seeing what's ahead of you, the best lenses available create beams that cast far out into the distance, are evenly lit, and flood your peripheral areas. Unfortunately, the SafeCycler performed the worst in this category, scoring a 1 out of possible 10.

As you can see in the photo comparisons below, the SafeCycler has a much smaller, and more narrow beam pattern than the CatEye Volt 300, which is pictured on the right.

Beam Diameter and Pattern
Beam photo of SafeCycler
Beam photo of Cateye Volt 300

SafeCycler
Cateye Volt 300

When we compare the SafeCylcer to a real powerhouse, like our Editors' Choice winner, the NiteRider Lumina 750, on the right, you can see how much the SafeCycler really lacks in beam quality.

Beam Diameter and Pattern
Beam photo of SafeCycler
Beam photo of NiteRider Pro 1800

SafeCycler
NiteRider Pro 1800

Battery Life


The SafeCycler bike light is the second highest performer when it comes to battery life; we measured its lifespan to be almost eight hours. However, that being said, keep in mind that this light uses four AAA batteries that must be replaced once they've been exhausted. We tested all of these lights on their highest beam, and typically the top scoring contenders for battery life, like the SafeCycler, tend to score low on overall brightness. The brightness output drastically affects battery lifespans, and since this light is relatively low on that scale, it is no wonder it excels in this category.

Lets look at a light whose battery lasts just half as long as the SafeCycler's, like the NiteRider Pro 1800, with this chart that also compares beam distance over time. Although the Pro 1800 stays illuminated just under four hours, it maintains a beam distance of around an impressive 160-meters as opposed to the SafeCycler's beam that is closer to 30-meters and tapers off then to about 10-meters of visible distance.

Portability


This light fell in the middle of the road with a score of 5 out of possible 10 for portability. The light is easy to install and remove at the rack; however, you definitely need the rubber inserts in order for the mount to fit properly on the handlebar, but these inserts fall out easily so that is something to be mindful of while making a pit stop at the grocery store. Even then, it is difficult to get the mount tight enough for the light to stay stable while riding.

This light also comes with a rear safety light  as well as additional inserts to the mount allowing this light to fit on smaller sized handle bars.
This light also comes with a rear safety light, as well as additional inserts to the mount allowing this light to fit on smaller sized handle bars.

Best Applications


Due to the low brightness and beam quality scores, we recommend that you use this light as an addition to an already existing setup for added visibility. This light can also be applicable in well-lit urban situations where you are not relying heavily on it to greatly illuminate the path in front of you.

We found that this mount would not stay tight enough to the handle bar without the use of the rubber inserts  and sometimes needed both inserts to keep this light secure.
We found that this mount would not stay tight enough to the handle bar without the use of the rubber inserts, and sometimes needed both inserts to keep this light secure.

Value


At a price point around $40, this light is proof that you get what you pay for. Although this light is not the cheapest light we've tested, its scores and price are definitely connected. We recommend you splurge and spend the extra $20 for our Best Buy Award winner, the Light and Motion Urban 350.

Conclusion


The SafeCycler is one of the lowest scoring lights we've tested, mainly due to its low performance in brightness and beam quality. We do not recommend using this light unless there is another light source available, whether from your own setup or around city streets.


Gentrye Houghton