CatEye HL-EL530 Lights

2.93/5 (27 Reviews)
MSRP : $57.99


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Product Description

This light sets a new standard in brightness for an alkaline battery lamp, producing over 1500 candlepower from a single white LED. The latest in LED design and Opticube lens technology.
Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout - over 50 bike lights reviewed, photographed and measured here.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (27 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Mark G

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2014

Strengths:    Versatile tool-free mounting. Actually this is a disadvantage because then I'll use it.

Weaknesses:    Beam too narrow and not very bright. Also poor as a visibility light, as it has neither a flash mode nor low power setting, so is always draining batteries as fast as it can.

Bottom Line:   
Cateye was clearing these out for $5 at Velo Swap, but I will probably throw mine away. If you can possibly afford it, get an Ixon IQ by B&M, an excellent German light (and by the way, it's an OLDER model than this Cateye.) It also runs on 4 rechargable AA's, is the same size and weight, but it floods the road with light in properly designed pattern. See Peter White's headlight beam comparison page.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Busch & Muller Ixon IQ, Cateye Uno


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Dallboy a Racer

Date Reviewed: October 31, 2013

Strengths:    Cannot think of any

Weaknesses:    Expensive, eats batteries and worst of all if you drop it it will break! The bayonet screw on bezel is not strong . After my second light I gave up with Cat Eye.

Bottom Line:   
Rather spend a bit more on a quality light that is rechargeable

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Commuting


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Richard Beck a Cross Country Rider from Conyers, GA use

Date Reviewed: August 25, 2011

Strengths:    I have been using two of these EL 530 mounted on both fork blades on two machines and I love ‘em. Takes 4 AAs, lasts all night, and oncoming traffic lowers their high beams for me! My fork blade mounting brackets puts the light beams lower to illuminate objects better. The beams light up reflective road signs 300 yards ahead. Mounting them on the forks also keeps my handlebars free of clutter. These are the only lights I need for night riding on roads.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Totally satisfied.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The '96 Olympic Course

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $45.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Bike Setup:   Two Cateye EL 530 on fork blades, within reach and can be easily re_adjusted depending on conditions.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Thuli a Weekend Warrior from Sydney, NSW, Australia

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2011

Strengths:    Nice bright light, quite powerful for aa battery powered

Weaknesses:    The clip broke and now the whole thing is broken, won't turn on.

Bottom Line:   
Was great until the clip came undone while riding, now it's gone, if you buy one, secure it yourself otherwise it'll be toast!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Home made lights, tiny cheap dual aa powered light


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by OOShabadu a Weekend Warrior from Washington County, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2011

Strengths:    Very long run life, no need to recharge, just swap the batteries. Good point of focus, has good long range. I would compare it to a LED headlamp I have rated at 110 lumens. But with a longer range due to the beam focus.

Weaknesses:    Like everyone says, the strap clamp is substandard, but i have found the cure, wrap some athletic tape around your bars 3 or 4 times, then use the strap. It has stayed in place for a few months that way. It is a little bulky, but so am I, so who cares.

Bottom Line:   
I will be buying another, plus an extra strap so I can swap between trail and road bikes. I'll use both and really light up the trail. I like it for straight line speed, cuz the beam really gets out there. Plus, pointing it out 40 ft casts a good shadow over the little bumps that you don't see til you're close anyway. I have a helmet light for my peripherals. It's nice to have that long burn life if you're gonna do a 24 hr race, don't have to worry about charging the battery in between laps. Bottom line, it's $40 for a decent light with excellent run life, buy 2 and a $25 headlamp from Wally World and you've got a good set-up for half the price of a decent Li-ion scenario.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Iron Mountain

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $41.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Coleman Xtreme LED head lamp, Cree

Bike Setup:   Rockin' it old school, '98 Jamis Dakar (CroMoly), LX derailleurs, XT crank, Panaracer Fire XC, Avid Single digit 7's, original Sun Rims with LX hubs, can't break 'em.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Shawn a Racer from PA

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2009

Strengths:    Bright light in focal zone. Easy mount

Weaknesses:    TOOOOOOOOOOOO bright in focal zone. EL500 is a much better light. EL530 is way too focused. You cannot look from focal zone to edge of light without feeling like you are blind. Stay with the EL500 PLEASE.

Come on Cateye!!!! Why did you go and screw a good thing up?


Bottom Line:   
Get a EL500 and not the new EL530.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   pavement

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   trexlertown

Similar Products Used:   El500

Bike Setup:   Trek Madon 5.5, Token Corsa (lovit!!!!)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by bikemaniac a Racer from Copenhagen, Denmark

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2009

Strengths:    Very very bright for at battery light using AA batteries.

Weaknesses:    Contcacts, see below

Bottom Line:   
I used this front light on my trike for my self contained bicycle trip around Australia (14000 km, paved roads). The light was mounted on the bike at all times by means of the supplied strap. I did not have any problems with the strap. The light IS water resistant. The light showed a problem never seen before: Due to the virbrations from the pavement, the metallic contacts inside the light would occasionally malfunction during service: During the night the light would suddently stop or start flashing. I had to stop the bike and twist the light back and forths (as for changing batteries) and this would help for a while. After a while it became so annoying that I carried the light in my panniers to reduce the road vibrations during daylight. I would not recommend this light for such a trip again - however it is very good for commuting.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Northern Tier

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   ww.dcf.dk

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Optima Trike

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by PEDALman a Cross Country Rider from Juarez,chihuahua mex

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2009

Strengths:    the mounting braket is asomw you can put in seconds it fits all handlebars i very power full


Weaknesses:    is too focus the beam and big

Bottom Line:   
i very good for single track but not for very fast desents

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   singletrack

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $63.00

Purchased At:   power shots

Similar Products Used:   schwinn and bell

Bike Setup:   turbo tlaloc

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Muddy Puddle a Cross Country Rider from South East England

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2009

Strengths:    It lights up when you switch it on.

Weaknesses:    Central beam too narrow and diffuses quickly at the edges.
3 years on and this Cateye product still has a crap handlebar mount consisting of a flimsy plastic strap that passes through a cheap screw thing which shears the thread if tightened too tight but if you don't tighten it up, enough the whole unit starts to rotate around the handlebar and you either end up illumunating the heavens or your front wheel. (Beware Cateye's rear light also have similar clamps and just as crap)

Obviously Cateye don't listen to their customers or can't be arsed to.

Luckily I found my old Cateye headlight mount (10 years old) and it fits perfectly and is so much better quality and is solid as a rock


Bottom Line:   
If they sorted out the clamp, which they haven't in 3 years, this would make a reasonable lamp for commuting on roads that are poorly lit. As an off-road light I would suggest you look elsewhere. The last thing you want is to be hurtling down a dark singletrak and light decides to illuminate the 2 feet in front of your front wheel.

Cateye! Try listening to your punters once in a while and act on what is being sai

2 Flamin' Chilis due to reasonable main beam and I am sure there must be worse lights out there deserving the lowest

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   North and South Downs

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $55.00

Purchased At:   Evans Cycles

Similar Products Used:   As I said an old Cateye front lamp model not known

Bike Setup:   C Boardman team FS, Suspension RockShox Monarch 3.3 Air/Reba Race, Stem Ritchey Comp, H/bar Ritchey Comp Rizer, Brakes Avid Elixir R with 160mm rotors, Gears Sram X7/9, BB Truvativ GXP, Tyres Continental Speed Kings 2.1"

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mortiss a Cross Country Rider from Epperstone, Nottinghamshire, UK

Date Reviewed: October 17, 2008

Strengths:    Plenty of light for the price.
Easy to mount (no tools required)
Simple design.
Uses AA Bateries
Works!


Weaknesses:    Mounting bracket is not the sturdiest and light tends to move around if bumped or on long bumpy rides.
No dim setting (but then I did buy it because I wanted more light)


Bottom Line:   
Its a great light if your going to stick to tar. I have a 10 mile commute home in the dark every night that includes a 2mile downhill section with no street lighting and the light does the job. The light will move if your going to go off-road. I would suggest something smaller rugged and more compact. Even mounting 2 smaller lights (Good for 3d vision!)
I know I complained that the light will move around if you touch it but it also means that you have some on the fly adjustment. Sometimes you want the beam close in front and sometimes further ahead and with this it is easy to just thumb the light up or down or left or right)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything with lots of technical climbs

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Evans Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Petzl Head torch, blacks Head torch

Bike Setup:   Stock Claude Butler Cape Wrath D27 with Shimano PD-M520 pedals. (New Saddle on order, this bike has the worst saddle in the history of saddles)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by the haro master a Weekend Warrior from tucson ,az

Date Reviewed: August 2, 2008

Strengths:    Bright, easy to mount, easy to turn on

Weaknesses:    kinda big but doesn't really bother me

Bottom Line:   
Very nice light this my first light and does a good job.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   fantasy island

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Bike Setup:   Haro Escape 08

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Peter Treloar a Downhiller from Sydney, NSW, Australia

Date Reviewed: July 14, 2008

Strengths:    Looked like a more serious commuting headlight to purchase after reading reviews here, especially as compact battery mount.

Weaknesses:    Lasted one night before launching itself off my handlebars when going over a minor bump. Now broken, not sure how to fix.

Bottom Line:   
Done my dough as bought new on ebay & when contacted Cateye in Oz was given the run around. No warranty with ebay purchases. Have now lashed out for a Dinotte L200.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bike Commute Home

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Planet Bike Blaze Half Watt Led

Bike Setup:   Trek 7200 Hybrid

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by George a Weekend Warrior from Tulsa

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2008

Strengths:    Well constructed. Can survive being dropped. Easy on/off.

Weaknesses:    not very bright

Bottom Line:   
I have been disappointed with this light. This was the first bike light I've purchased, but it doesn't appear to put out any more light than a $5-$10 flash light. The beam shoots out a mildly bright narrow beam which gradually transitions to a fuzzy halo around the middle of the beam. You can't see well either side of you.

This light is bright enough to make you visible to other bikers and drivers, but not bright enough to see comfortably any distance on a dark road.

I think of this light is nothing more than mounting a cheap flash flight to the handlebars.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   ebay


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by simon a Cross Country Rider from newbury, uk

Date Reviewed: November 25, 2007

Strengths:    Good amount of light for the money and uses 4x AA batteries. Long burn time. Quick and easy to remove from mount, switch is easy to use with gloves on.

Weaknesses:    The mount, it really is bad. I took the mount off my bike over the summer and put it back on again for the winter, I think I'll leave it on in future as it'll probably break if I take it off and put it back on again. Difficult to get mount to do up tight enough with the thumb wheel (no screwdriver slot) and even when its on it doesn't hold the lamp very stable.

Bottom Line:   
There's enough light to get me down unlit back roads and a short section through the woods but not at full speed. However, you get what you paid for, this cost £45 (welcome to rip off Britain) whereas a light set up for full speed cross country racing would cost a minimum of £200. Burn time is quoted at 50 hours, I've never run it that long but it'll certainly go 20 hours with no loss of brightness before I recharge the batteries.
Light is quite blue with a strong central spot and a fairly diffuse "halo" giving a good spread. Aim it (if the mount would only hold it fixed!) about 15m in front of the bike and the flood lighting is good enough to light upto the main spot.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $90.00

Purchased At:   lbs

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Giant Terrago used for on/off road commuting every day.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gerry a Weekend Warrior from hicksville, New York

Date Reviewed: November 8, 2007

Strengths:    Easy and quick to install. Takes four easy to find AA batteries. Nice combination of spot and flood. Light weight without the need for a heavy seperate battery pack and the included wiring. Low price for a light of this brightness.

Weaknesses:    Mount is a little flimsey. Probably not adaquate for dark country roads where high speeds can be attained going down hills where you would "out run" the beam.

Bottom Line:   
I am a road biker. Since most of my major rides are on the weekends I take a very flat 10 mile ride from my house during the week after work. I treat it like a time trial to get in a good 35 minute workout. During the winter months it is dark so I decided to outfit my 3rd road bike with lights. This is my first experience using lights of any kind. Since the roads I use this on is flat, and fairly well lit with street lights and nearby stores the light is used for oncoming cars as much to light the road. For my use this light suits the purpose. There is only one 1/8th mile stretch where there are no lights and while not great the light was good enough. There is a good mix of spot light and outer flood to light the ground up to around 15-20 yards. More than enough to cover my 16-17 mph speed. I found the mount not that strong but I assume since my route is flat will hold up. As suggested I can get a stronger one from Cateye. I think for my purposes anything brighter would be over kill. However as mentioned I wouldn't suggest using this on a a dark hilly country road where you no only could out run the beam but I don't think it would be bright enough to make me feel comfortable. For my purpose on lit streets and possibly for a commuter this light would be great. I gave it a 5 for value for obvioius reasons and "only" a 4 for overall because this light is fine for my use there are much brighter lights out there.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   ebay as part of a package

Similar Products Used:   First light ever.

Bike Setup:   Raleigh Super Couse road bike. Mostly Shimano 600 components precurser to Uletgra.

Reviews 1 - 15 (27 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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