July Gear Review: Cygolite’s Centauri 1000
Each month, our friends at Hawley share a review on the latest gear that is passing through their warehouse on its way to your local bike shop. While we usually publish this review in our monthly e-newsletter Palmetto Spokesman, we’ve decided to also publish it in our blog. As always, thanks to Ken Klatte, Production Artist with Hawley, for this sneak-preview and words of wisdom. For more from Hawley on the latest and greatest in bike gear, check out their blog or YouTube channel. Be on the lookout for the Centauri 1000 at your local bike shop.
I’ve reviewed a lot of riding lights because riding at night is something I do a lot and consequently, I go through a lot of lights. While rumors of my “vampiric” and “Nosferatu-like” tendencies are unfounded and libelous, there is something quite liberating about zipping around mountain bike trails in the inky wash of a starless night.
Sadly as the years go by, my night vision has worsened accordingly. After using a plethora of lights for racing and leisure riding, I came to the conclusion that not only do I need the maximum amount of light for riding, but I need a light that is small enough and lightweight to mount on a helmet and a battery that can be comfortably stored in a rear jersey pocket. With this in mind, I can say without hesitancy that Cygolite’s Centauri 1000 is my new riding light of choice for the foreseeable future.
As the name implies, the Centauri cranks out 1000 lumens of “blindingly powerful light” that illuminates even the darkest of trail nooks and crannies. Programmable brightness settings allow the rider to customize four different light outputs. I preferred using two high outputs and then two substantially lower outputs. Utilizing two LEDs, I found the beam pattern to be deep enough to see what was coming up at high speeds but with enough of a peripheral spread to avoid on trail debris and branches that like to grab handlebar ends. Terrain was clear and crisp looking which was especially helpful during a stint of night riding in Georgia where the trail alternated between tacky dirt and loose rock.
When you see better, you ride better if not faster and in the end, those are the most tangible results you can gain from a riding light. The Centauri comes with both handlebar and helmet mounts and plenty of extension cord for folks who store their battery in a hydrapack or run it along their frame’s top tube. Run time on high-brightness is 2.75 hours while on low you have a whopping 12 hours.
My only complaint was the 7 hour charge time but for such a powerful light coupled with a small battery, the long charge time seemed like a fair trade-off for performance. MSRP is $449.00