Cateye Bicycle Headlight Review

Cateye HL-MC200 Bicycle Headlight

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The Cateye HL-MC200 Bicycle Headlight has been in my arsenal of bike gear since my freshman year of college (over 7 years ago). Sadly, it is one of the worst bike lights I have ever encountered and certainly not a product I would ever recommend.

The problem with the light is not that it doesn’t work or that the light is not bright enough, but that it simply burns through batteries like nobody’s business. The light uses 4 AA batteries and even at full charge seems to last no more than 20-30 minutes (if that).

In addition to being a compete battery hog, it is far from electrically sound (large bumps frequently cause the light to switch off), nor is it waterproof.

I’ve never used the light on any kind of bicycle tour or trip of any length… and frankly I don’t think it would last through such an event. The Cateye HL-MC200 might make for a great little commuter light (which is mainly how I’ve been using it), but even for short trips this bicycle headlight seems to do nothing but disappoint.

What about you? Have you ever used this light? What do you think of it? Most importantly, what kind of bicycle headlight would you recommend?

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4 thoughts on “Cateye HL-MC200 Bicycle Headlight

  1. Jim says:

    No experience with any Cateye lights. I currently use a PB Superflash Blinky LED on the back, and a PB Blaze 1-watt LED up front. (They now have a 2-watt model) Planet Bike’s lights work great…as long as you don’t ride through extended wet weather! In my experience, Planet Bike lights are NOT waterproof. My tail blinky’s electronics malfunctioned after an all day ride in a storm, but I was able to take it apart and let it dry….still works. Unfortunately, my 1st Blaze LED went on the fritz after ONE day of riding in light rain. (the light was mounted inverted, under my bar bag.) Moisture drops built upside inside the plastic lens (and the affected the chip), even though it looks sealed, and cannot be opened. The Blaze would not switch modes or even turn off unless the batteries were removed! Luckily, Bike Nashbar replaced it with the same model at no cost. I do like PB lights…they’re very bright; great battery life; very affordable (I paid $20/$28 ea), but if they can’t survive another rain storm, I might have to upgrade to another brand.

    https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-3034-1-Blinky-Superflash/dp/B0015R40JE/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1261062146&sr=1-7

    https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-3044-1-Watt-Headlight/dp/B0015R1NBW/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1261062146&sr=1-5

  2. Jim says:

    If you’re planning an extended tour or a daily commuter in rainy/dark areas, I’d recommend a Blinky on the back and a waterproof, bright LED headlight of at least 2 watts.

  3. Paul Enright says:

    I have not used the MC-200 but you should stop at Walmart and pick up the $20 Bell ipulse LED torch. I specialize in finding inexpensive equipment that performs great and this light fits the bill. Throws a bright even beam and sips the power from 4 AAA’s for 60 hours. It has a hood to keep the light out of your eyes and on the road, side markers, blinking function, secure attachment and is light weight. Mine is banged up from several bike drops but keeps on working.

  4. Trek 520 says:

    I use Cat Eye , Planet bike , Bell lights on my bikes. All this lights is OK for bicycle tour . On Rockies trails when on MTB I prefere Cat Eye for its durability and brightness .

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