Cygolite Metro 500 Review

16/11/2013 11:36

I was never a fan of those big front lights. They looked big, heavy, and I thought the reason they were so bright was because they were alkaline battery powered. I never but battery powered lights, since they aren't USB rechargeable, and don't last as long. 

That was until I discovered the Cygolite Metro 500: 

Cygolite Metro 500

It sure looked like it could knock someone unconscious. However, I did see that it was rechargeable. Assuming it had the same brightness as the alkaline battery operated lights, it should be somewhat useful. It was better than useful. It was perfect. 

Before I started using the Metro 500, I used the compact lights. Lightweight, and bright enough to see where you're riding most of the time, these lights had one major issue. The rubber straps could break easily. That's were the Metro 500 comes into it. My front light could no longer attach to my handlebars, and I was riding blind. I wanted something stronger, something like a clamp. But I thought it would be heavy. It was worth the gamble, and boy was I mistaken. Weighing in at 110g, this light will barely make you realise it's there. The clamp is a little bit difficult to attach around the cables, but once it's there, it's not going anywhere. Cygolite includes non-slip padding with the mounts, however these didn't fit around my handle bar with the clamp, and quite frankly weren't needed. Once the screw was attached, and the clamp was on, the light wasn't going anywhere. The only way the light has ever moved unusually for me, is the screw holding the swivel plate attachment coming loose. Nothing a screwdriver can't fix. 

Moving onto the light, it is USB rechargeable, and will last anywhere from 1.5 hours, right through to 30 hours. The only reason why you would use the brightest setting, as Cygolite claims is possible, is for daylight riding. Yes, a light designed to make you move visible in the daylight. As this it is not a requirement, I use it on SteadyPulse setting when riding at night, which gives the brightness of a fixed beam of light, and the obscurity of a flashing light. Cars will not miss the brightness, and the light wont blend into the scenery by staying on. 

The design of the light itself is very nifty. It has side illumination points, to increase the angle of the light, as well as custom optics which further maximise the beam angle, and distance. The shape is streamlined, and rather inconspicuous. Next to a Garmin, or other cycling computer, you will hardly be able to notice it. 

Cygolite Metro 500

The other features that I love about this light, are the Li-Ion battery, allowing extra run time by being rechargeable. Unlike other lights that use the Li-Ion battery for recharging, Cygolite have managed to up the brightness, even on such a battery. This is mostly due to the Cree XM-L LED, which allow 1040lm at 10W. These LED's are getting stronger and stronger. I also love the on/off button. It is large, and actually works unlike others that I have tried. It can easily be turned on by a gentle touch. As a matter of fact, press it too hard like other lights, and it will have already started its cycle through the functions. As for the functions, if you press and hold the light, it turns off. Most other lights automatically turn back onto the first function, however the Metro 500 remembers your last used function. 


In summary, standard assembly is a little tricky; the light is very bright, but not over weighted; the battery is rechargeable; and the on/off button is very easy to use. Ticks all my boxes. 

My rating: 9.5/10


Written by Kieren Barnett