CYGOLITE Dart 210 Bike Light Review

Cygolite Dart Bike Light Review
Cygolite Dart Top View Clear Button And Side
Cygolite Dart Back Rubber Band Clasp On Bar
Cygolite Dart Front View Turned On
Cygolite Dart Bike Light Review
Cygolite Dart Top View Clear Button And Side
Cygolite Dart Back Rubber Band Clasp On Bar
Cygolite Dart Front View Turned On

Summary

  • A super small, light weight bicycle light that's USB rechargeable so you don't have to mess with disposable batteries or charging separately
  • Strong sleek casing that doesn't take up much space on handle bars and can be mounted horizontally or vertically, works with traditional and drop bars
  • Produces 210 Lumens, surprisingly effective at lighting the way and not just making you visible, with seven modes you can extend the battery from 1-24 hours
  • The charging cable is small and light, the light doesn't get hot and has ports on the sides for increased visibility, a full charge takes about three hours

Video Review

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Introduction

make:

CYGOLITE

model:

Dart 210

price:

$ 29.00

suggested use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

warranty:

1 Year Limited Warranty

availability:

United States

model year:

20162017

Accessory Details

total weight:

0.116845 lbs ( 0.05 kg ) (53 grams)

geometry measurements:

1.2" x 0.6" x 0.6"

material:

Plastic and Rubber

colors:

Black with Silver and Clear Accents

attachment points:

Adjustable Rubber Band with Clasp

accessories:

USB 2.0 to Micro USB Charging Cable

other:

210 Lumens, 7 Light Modes, 0.75 to 24 Hours Run Time (Depending on Mode), Mode Memory when Turned Off/On, Low Battery Indicator, Side Illumination Ports

Electronic Details

battery chemistry:

Lithium-ion

charge time:

3 hours

display type:

Integrated Backlit Button, Rubberized

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Written Review

I’m a safety nut when it comes to bicycles, especially electric bikes because I tend to ride further, faster and at rush hour times commuting. Having purchased CYGOLITE products in the past, I decided to check out their Dart models which are smaller, lighter and less expensive than some of the brighter ones. It appeals to me because it’s convenient, easy to connect and disconnect from a range of different bar styles (traditional or drop bars) and widths. The Dart 210 model emits 210 Lumens and is rechargeable so the casing can be tougher, more compact and use can be less wasteful. The unit comes with a USB 2.0 to Micro USB cable that’s small and easy to stuff in a packet as well as being common… it’s the same charging interface that Samsung smart phones use (at least in 2016/2017 when this was written).

Why get the Dart when there are now blade and rod style bike lights that seem brighter? Well, I’m a big fan of the CYGOLITE Hotrod and other similar designs but have found that they don’t illuminate your path as well as the light cannon styles. They’re great for city riding when street lights illuminate the path but I often ride on bike paths and neighborhoods where it’s just as important to see as be-seen. In the video review above, I tested a bunch of different lights but chose two CYGOLITE products as headlights because I’ve found them to balance brightness with convenience well. I don’t love the more permanent plastic clasps that have bike lights click on as much as I like the rubber band style. The downside is that you can’t adjust from side to side as easily as up and down. In practice, at least with the bike I was testing with (a Specialized Stump Jumper) the Dart worked well enough in terms of aiming. Ultimately, I was surprised and impressed with how well it performed compared to the larger CYGOLITE Metro model. It had a wider beam with smoother fade from center but they both got the job done and the Dart stayed cooler.

As someone who rides on roads, dirt paths and even mountain trails with my bikes… I like that the Dart isn’t so large that it could get bumped or start to swivel loose with lots of jarring action. As you add more mass to accessories, they tend to bounce around more and require larger mounts and that takes more space etc. To me, the Dart is delightful. In a world where it’s easy to spend $50+ on a bike light this ~$30 model doesn’t feel like it compromises much and thanks to some unique designing it shines through the sides as well as the front. There’s a handy low battery indicator that has the light flicker when turning on or off to let you know it’s time to charge and a full refill takes ~3 hours due to the charging standard. This seemed a bit long to me but note even 30 minutes will get you going and the low modes last a LONG time and will keep you visible. There are seven modes to choose from as follows and I’ve listed the estimated running time for each mode:

  • Low: 5 hrs
  • Medium: 2:30 hours
  • High: 1:30 hours
  • Boost: 45 minutes
  • SteadyPulse: 2:30 hours
  • DayLightning: 10:30 hours
  • Walking: 24 hours

This is the kind of bike light that I think I’d use more often because it’s convenient, I’d share it with friends and family because loosing it wouldn’t break the bank and I still feel like I’d be safe and visible while having a beam strong enough to light my path. I could see myself using it in conjunction with lighted helmets like the Specialized CENTRO LED shown in the video or a Torch helmet with front and rear lights. I’ve been hit by a car once on my bike before where they took a sharp right without signaling or checking their blind spot and sort of wrapped me around a corner. I walked away mostly okay but believe that even in the daylight (when this accident happened) having a flashing light can make a difference. The DayLightening mode on the Dart does this, creating a distracting sort of strobe effect that could have alerted the car to my presence that day. Ultimately, it has to be convenient so I’m glad companies are creating products like the Dart that compromise but still work well.

Pros:

  • Super light weight and compact, at roughly 1/10th of a pound this light doesn’t weigh down your pockets or take much space in a bag or purse, it also doesn’t bounce around and swivel as much when terrain gets rough because it doesn’t have much mass
  • Extremely fast and easy to attach and detach from handle bars, it can be used on traditional bars or drop bars and mounted flat or vertically, the Versatite rubber band strap thing is flexible but still feels durable
  • In addition to the primary front window on the light where the main beam is projected, there are side illumination ports that help keep you visible from different angles, the button also lights up
  • As the battery slowly wears down, the light blinks to let you know it’s time to charge so you don’t end up stranded without light
  • There are seven lighting modes to choose from emphasizing brightness, visibility in the daytime (with DayLightning flashing mode) or long lasting walking mode… you get 45 minutes up to 24 hours of operation per charge depending on the mode used
  • Due to the lower Lumen output of this light I found that it didn’t get as hot as some other models
  • I love that the light is rechargeable and that the Micro USB cable used to do so is compact and light weight, you don’t have to lug a power brick around and there are lots of devices these days with USB that you can connect to
  • CYGOLITE offers a decent one year warranty for the original owner against factory defects, they also sell a combo pack so you can get the Dart with a Hotshot Micro 30 rear light that are both rechargeable and use the same cable
  • You can turn the CYGOLITE off by holding the power button for a couple of seconds from any mode and it remembers the last mode you were in when you turn it back on

Cons:

  • I found the 210 Lumens of light to be sufficient for riding around my neighborhood but it isn’t as bright as some other models… part of what keeps it light and cheap, the beam is more focused and narrow
  • It takes up to three hours for a full charge because the Micro USB charging cable just doesn’t allow electricity to flow that quickly
  • Because the light connects with a rubber band strap it’s easier to bump out of position (especially when pressing the top button to activate or change modes), some lights mount to a more permanent and secure clamp and can even swivel horizontally which this one cannot
  • On my model the top button (used to power on and change modes) wasn’t black so it shined up and could be distracting vs. just forward and to the sides

Resources:

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