Headlights are one of the more useful items that can be mounted on your bike and for those of us that ride in the dark, they are invaluable.  Until recently most lights have used standard batteries as their power source.  This seems to go against one of biking’s deepest rooted principles.  Rechargeable batteries are an option, but are not nearly as convenient as being able to charge your headlight via USB.  Enter the Serfas USL-5 Raider.

Initial Thoughts

At 37 grams light it is small and attractive enough to put on most bikes.  For now, it doesn’t come in pink (or any alternate color for that matter).  For those into a more colorful look, checkout the Blackburn Flea.  The mounting system is clever making this light a breeze to take on and off of the handlebars (or wherever you choose to mount it).  It comprises of a hook mounted on a flexible strap with holes in it. This is a welcome design element as this light will need to be removed every few days depending on how you use it.

The fact that this light can be charged via a micro USB cable was the main attraction to this light.  The charging port is conveniently located at the back of the light and can be accessed by grabbing one side of the rear cover and pulling it to the side to reveal the micro USB port.

Charging this headlight is easy and can be monitored during the charging process.  The ring around the power button on top of the light gives you an indication of what your headlight is doing/needing.  When plugged in, flashing blue LED’s indicates that you headlight is happily being charged.  A steady blue light means that your light is full and ready to illuminate something.  If you are out on a ride and the ring around the power button starts flashing, you need to plug it in the next time you are near a power source.

Specifications:

  • Produces 70 Lumens
  • Provides 180 degree visibility
  • USB Rechargeable
  • Charge indicator light
  • Integrated Bracket
  • Modes: High Beam, Low Beam, Flash
  • Run time: High beam, up to 6 hours; low beam, up to 11 hours; flashing, up to 18 hours
  • Weight: 37 grams

Further Thoughts

This product is currently being tested.  I’ll be using it on a daily basis and will post my findings in a couple of weeks.

Check out more at Serfas.

Update:

After using this headlight for the past couple of weeks, I love its simplicity.  It is easy to take on and take off of your handlebars which made it convenient when I had to run into the store.  Keep this point in mind with anything that is easily removed from your bicycle!  It is better to be safe than to walk out of a store and realize that your headlight is missing.

The light lasted 7 days for me on high mode.  Translated, this will last you about 5 hours which is a little bit less than the advertised 6 hours.  I’m assuming that the difference here is the fact that I stopped counting right when the top LED started flashing red (indicating the batteries needed charging).

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  • Broderick

    I just bought myself one of these, and found that it won’t charge up at all. Have plugged it into my computer, and into a powerpoint using my iphone charger. The blue LED light on top that is supposed to flash to show that it is charging did not come on at all, and after three hours of charging the light itself still doesn’t work. Will have to take it back to the shop tomorrow.

    • Noah

      That’s a bummer! I haven’t had any problems (knock on wood) with mine and have charged it with two different cables from three different power sources. I think that my only complaint is the amount of light that it puts out. It is more than my old light, but on these dark winter days, I may want more.

      Hope that your shop returns it with no hassles. Thanks for the comment!

  • Rebecca Kanfer

    I as well am having a problem with this light not charging. I have been using it just about daily for 6 months and it is a fantastic light! The only problem is that just two days ago I went to turn it on and the light won’t turn on. I tried charging it at several power locations to be sure that wasn’t the issue and the light won’t charge or turn on. I am stopping at the shop this afternoon to have it looked at… hopefully it is fixable!

    Are any of the parts replaceable for this model? ie – bulbs or battery?

    • Noah

      Hi Rebecca,

      I don’t think that any of the parts are replaceable. I haven’t looked into it, but judging from the build and design off the light, I would be surprised if you could. Hopefully your local bike shop will help you out. Let me know what happens!

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