Review: Marvel Pro 900 and Streak lights

It was not too long ago that a decent bike light was a hefty investment. But with the reduced costs of LEDs and battery solutions, they’ve become within reach of most cyclists. Marvel is one of the many brands bringing in affordable lights. While the numbers might look the same on paper, not all lights are equal, so let's see how the Marvel offering compares.

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The Marvel Pro 900 claims to produce, you guessed it, 900 lumens. It offers three modes: 100%; 25% and a flashing strobe with respective run times of 7 hours, 15 hours, and 16 hours. The system is water resistant and comes with a 130 cm long cable. The battery pack is contained in a plastic waterproof case with two rubber pads on the underside, for scratch-free contact with the bike.

 

The Marvel Streak rear light features a claimed 120 lumens in an aluminum frame. It has a number of modes with varying brightnesses, flashing frequencies, and patterns. The unit has a built-in battery which is charged via USB. The seatpost mount uses a rubber band to hold it in place and can be adjusted to change the angle of the light.

 

Marvel Pro 900 Lumen Light Specifications


  • Modes100% / 25% / Strobe
  • LampCREE XM-L2 U2 LED
  • Quantity of light900 Lumen
  • Battery pack4400MAH/8.4V (4x2200) 18650 Li-Ion
  • Runtime100%-7hrs / 25%-12hrs / Strobe- 16hrs
  • Charge Time6 hours
  • Warranty1 Year
  • PriceRRP R1,000.00 but currently available for R390.00

 

Marvel Streak Light Rear Specifications


  • Modes10% / 25% / 50% / 100% solid or flash
  • LampCOB LED Light
  • Quantity of light120 Lumens
  • Battery pack800MAH Built-In Li-Poly
  • Runtime100%-7hrs / 25%-12hrs / Strobe- 16hrs
  • Charge Time1 to 2 Hours
  • ChargingUSB rechargeable
  • PriceRRP R290.00 but currently available for R150.00

 

The Marvel range of lights is available from Chris Willemse Cycles.

 

Mounting


The Pro 900 can be mounted to the handlebars using the familiar o-ring system or attached to the included head bracket. The handlebar mount is stable and easily adjustable. The included head mount (which is similar to what most other brands also throw in) is a bit flimsy for my liking. I usually end up cutting the plastic mount away from the stretch fabric and using cable ties or velcro straps to fix the mount to my helmet.

 


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The battery pack has two soft pads on the underside to prevent scratching and improve the grip of the battery pack to the bike. The Marvel Pro 900 battery pack is held in place by a simple velcro strap. I found that the strap needed to be tightened thoroughly to effectively prevent the battery pack from sliding down my top tube, especially on off-road missions.

 

The cable connecting the light to the battery pack is very long for my preferred bar mounting position. Understandably, the length helps with mounting the light to a helmet where the battery would probably be in the riders back pocket. The solution was simply to wrap the cable around the handlebar.

 

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The connection on the cable screws securely into place which means that you’re unlikely to pull it out (which does happen on occasion with press in connections). But at the same time, it means that it will not easily disconnect should it get caught while riding. Although I can't say this happened to me while testing, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons here.

 

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The Streak rear light mounted to the seatpost without fault. The rubber strap felt durable while the adjustable mount angle did not slip from the set position.

 

In the dark


The Marvel Pro 900 has three settings, 100%, 25%, and strobe. I rode it largely in the 25% power setting upping it to 100% when riding descents. Using it in this way, the battery ran for over 10 hours, so I have no reason to doubt the claimed runtimes on the box.

 

The beam has a noticeable spotlight effect in the centre. Straight ahead is perfectly visible but the weaker outer ring of light struggles to drown out shadows. This impacts vision around corners where you are looking outside of the forward spotlight.

 

On the road, while mounted on the handlebars, this was less of an issue but on twisty singletrack, you might consider mounting the Pro 900 on your helmet so that the beam follows your vision. For the price, you can probably make do but there are lights that provide much better peripheral vision, albeit at a slightly higher price. It is worth noting that Marvel also offers lights with a lot more power and LEDs in their range.

 

The Streak rear light is sufficiently powerful to be seen at night, even in rainy conditions. On test, the battery life was around 11 hours with use mostly in a flashing mode. There are four power levels allowing you to set it at just the right brightness for your (and motorists) needs.

 

The end


The Marvel Pro 900 is decent light with reliable runtimes. With the pricing in mind, the Pro 900 offers a good entry into night riding and will cover most riders' needs. The light is ideal for night time training on the road as well as less technical mountain bike rides. The Streak rear light proved to be reliable with more than enough power to serve as a warning to those behind you.

 




11 Comments

Shebeen, Oct 05 2017 09:32

currently at a steal - R390

 

https://www.cwcycles...900-lumen-light

ABrooks, Oct 05 2017 10:15

Picked mine up yesterday, still need to take it for a test ride. Looks bright and feels durable.

stefmeister, Oct 05 2017 10:24

Marvel, schmarvel. It's chinese junk that gets sold under different brand names here. 

Also, how do you have a RRP of R1000 and then a sale price of R390? Looks like paid advertising, not a review!

Mr X, Oct 05 2017 10:37

Marvel is good quality at a good price. Why pay R1000+ for the same thing with a Ryder logo?

Nick, Oct 05 2017 11:25

Also, how do you have a RRP of R1000 and then a sale price of R390? Looks like paid advertising, not a review!

 

I thought it would be informative to give the most current pricing. I feel like my review is fair and far from that of a paid advertorial. But it's good to get feedback.

Shebeen, Oct 05 2017 01:39

I thought it would be informative to give the most current pricing. I feel like my review is fair and far from that of a paid advertorial. But it's good to get feedback.

exactly - the issue about the narrow beam width is a real problem to many people - this is good to know and hardly hiding the facts!

 

great review. i might just get one just because, at that price why not!

stefmeister, Oct 05 2017 02:36

I thought it would be informative to give the most current pricing. I feel like my review is fair and far from that of a paid advertorial. But it's good to get feedback.

Sorry man, seeing these so-called RRPs and "sales" prices usually grinds my gears.

Nick, Oct 05 2017 02:38

Sorry man, seeing these so-called RRPs and "sales" prices usually grinds my gears.


Understandable. In this case, there is a significant difference.

W@nted, Oct 05 2017 02:55

Great review. Ordered mine and waiting for delivery. Will mainly be using it on the road bike for early morning training.

Nick, Oct 05 2017 06:48

Great review. Ordered mine and waiting for delivery. Will mainly be using it on the road bike for early morning training.

 

Please let us know how you find it. Always good to increase the sample size from one.

ABrooks, Oct 07 2017 02:11

Took the light out last night for a quick ride, so far so good. I agree with the review in regards with the spotlight effect, but setting the light to shine further down the trail made it easier for me to see what is up ahead. It made it harder to see around corners, but other that that a real solid light.