CatEye Nano Shot – RoadBikeReview 2013 Lights Roundup

Lights

CatEye Nano Shot – MSRP $100

This light is easy to love. An attractive form factor creates quite a love at first sight appeal. A small self contained light with top notch build materials and styling, it’s light too, weighing in at just 80 grams. Cateye, based in Japan has come to reaffirm their commitment and leadership in the bike lights market with the Nano Shot. A smart design, the form factor of the Nano Shot is not only quite petite, but it’s quite flat as well, it almost feels like it’s just a bike computer sitting on your handlebars, not a 250 lumen commuter light. The diminutive form factor also makes slipping it into your pocket or using it as a flash light quite handy.

We were worried something this small wouldn’t be able to produce the sorta lumens it was claiming, but those worries were put behind us when we finally turned the Nano Shot on. It indeed produced good light, with a nice beam pattern that is more horizontal than round. A bit of a spot and slight halo around it, it’s no torch, but for the size, the compromise is quite fair. It’s about as bright as an Exposure Joystick, but at less than half the price, this makes an excellent commuter light.

Mounting:
The Nano Shot utilizes the standard Cateye light mount to attach to your handlebars. A threaded strap is hand tightened with a wheel, so no tools needed. This allows for easy installation and should fit almost any size handlebar. In our testing this mount has performed admirably for not only this Nano Shot, but all of Cateye’s computers and other lights as well.

Our Light Meter Measurements:
This light measured 20 lux on our Lux setup. In a laboratory environment with an integrating sphere, it measured at 209 actual lumens. This is excellent output for such a small light and is very close to its 250 lumen claims. It’s light output is basically on par with the more expensive Exposure Joystick which claims 325 lumens.

Lab Tested Actual Lumens and Lumen Hours Measurements:
We spent several days in a light laboratory facility and utilized a $30,000 integrating sphere to measure some lights. The procedure is time consuming but very scientific. The results are quite revealing as most lights claim a certain ‘Lumen Output’ without actually measuring their actual lumen output. We were able to measure actual lumen output with this setup and the measurement for the Cateye Nano Shot is 209 lumens at its peak output.

Another excellent data point is the lumen-hour graph below. It shows exactly how the light behaves over its whole run time. A flat graph is good as it means the light output is constant over the its run and the user gets the same light outpu in hour one as in minute one of the light. It also shows how long the actual run time lasts under ‘high’ mode. The area inside the graph can be described as the total output of the light for one full battery charge.

Specifications:
Price: $100.00
Claimed Lumens: 250 Lumens
Light Head Weight: 80 grams
Installed Weight: 100 grams
Run Time: 1.5 hours
Measured RBR/MTBR Lux: 20 Lux
Measured Lumens: 208 Lumens

Strengths:
Form factor is quite small
Excellent materials and build construction
Adjustable solid mount
Good output and beam pattern
Good value at $100
Perfect commuter light

Weaknesses:
Perfect commuter light, meaning not quite enough light for anything but commuting.

Bottom Line:
A change from what we’re used to from Cateye, the light output, size, and form factor make this an easy recommendation at the $100 price point.

CatEye Nano Shot – RoadBikeReview 2013 Lights Roundup Gallery
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About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.


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