Lightweight alloy materials don’t inspire confidence
The first thing that catches your eye with the aptly named Blackburn Countdown 1600 is the top plate.
With a bright and detailed back lit display billboarding important information like power setting, remaining burn time and charge percentage, we have never been so well informed as to our lights status. It really is an excellent, easy to read display and combined with a solid aluminium body the whole unit is neat and compact. Charging is taken care of by a convenient micro-usb port at the back, which opens up all sorts of charge options for commuters to plug into their PCs, or those on a trip that can use their phone charger to drop some charge in at a cafe, say. Very handy.
On the trail the light is bright and sports a crisp colour temperature but is let down by a poor beam pattern. Very little light is pooled around the front wheel, with the majority thrown up the trail in among distracting harsh edges and hotspots – it definitely isn’t a strong contender for off-road riding in our opinion.
Also, during the test it was probably rotated around only four different bikes but even that movement has managed to terminally strip the threads on the mounting bracket thumb screw. It will no longer mount to the bar – a real show stopper. No doubt the excellent Blackburn lifetime warranty will replace it, but lightweight alloy materials on the offending part don’t inspire confidence it won’t reoccur.