a Cross Country Rider
from Kitchener, Ontario ,Canada
Date Reviewed: December 22, 2005
Strengths: Bright, Dependable battery
Weaknesses: heavy odd shaped battery
This light is great for anyone looking to ride croos country after dark or into the winter months. I have used this light for up to 2.5 hours with full light intensity. The battery does take a long time to recharge a green light on the charger comes on to indicate full charge. I have used the battery partially charged and it can still provide light for 1+ hours. The battery's odd shape makes it a poor fit for a water bottle cage and its weight makes putting in your pocket impossible. The helmut light installs very easily and can be adjusted even while riding. The light can removed from the mount without tools when not in use. I found this light to be terrific value considering the BLT lights I purchased before these go dim after 30 minutes.
a Cross Country Rider
from Oakland, CA
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2005
Strengths: price/watt, breakaway mount
Weaknesses: heavy but waddya expect from a lead acid battery? No helmet mount included in mine...that cost another 20, making the total 60.
good light for the money. Plenty of light if you know your trail for higher speeds. Was worried about battery weight in bottle cage, but since I changed to the helmet mount I put the battery in my hydro pack. I have banged the light a number of times and the mouting bracket is designed to allow the light to pop out without breaking anything yet it stays put even during very rough descents. The on/off switch is not always the most precise/responsive and that can get a tad annoying when I'm wearing full finger gloves. Other than that, an excellent first light for anyone contemplating trails at night. I'll keep this one around to lend to friends once I upgrade.
a Cross Country Rider
from Raleigh, NC
Date Reviewed: November 10, 2005
Strengths: Cheap and bright enough
Weaknesses: Connectors, switch, battery size / weight, no helmet mount w/ purchase
This light was cheap and works O.K. I mounted it above the bar, and the connector switch comes loose w/ riding. This sucks when it is your only light on a trail. It also doesn't come w/ a helmet mount, and I'm too lazy to look into one. The thumb switch works, but you have to keep a finger on it for a few seconds and put your other hand in front of the light to see if it comes on. This is a nuisance to do while riding. The batter has to be squeezed into a water bottle mount. Do not expect to use that mount for a water bottle when the battery is not in. The bracket will break w/ the constant bending. It makes a good cheap bar mount to be used w/ a good helmet light if you get it cheap. I'll probably make a better connector to the light, and will make my own replacement battery.
a Weekend Warrior
from dallas, tx, usa
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2005
Strengths: simple, cheap, bright, beam pattern, WATERPROOF, no mainteance, plug-and-forget
Weaknesses: battery dies every 18mo of daily useage - sla limitation. Also, batt is heavy, but you knew that!
To be clear, this is the 6v sla 10watt single beam system, toggle (old) switch. ive' been commuting on it for 4 years through the rain, heat, and even occasional snow of north dallas, 15 miles a day, and i just assume every day that it'll work, like you assume your socks will work. That says a lot right there. It has been *almost* trouble-free.
first small issue was the battery-to-cable connector got a tad loose; 5 seconds with needle-nose pliers to slightly tweak the metal plug fixed that. Next was the same issue on the charger, same fix. you guys complaining about the connector: just tighten it up a touch! this is the same type of connector used in r/c cars and works great.
second issue was after 18mo of ownsership, run time was down to about 50 minutes - which is the round-trip length of my commute. I called cust. service, and was informed the sla battery is good for ~200 cycles before it starts loosing capacity. I went probably 300 cycles to halve the capacity, so ok. A new battery was ~$35. the current battery has about 350 cycles and is down to bout 50 minutes now too. Cust service was fast and responsive, as was shipping.
final issue was after 3 years the bulb popped, new one was ~$15 from nite hawk. Again, not bad.
The system itself is very well made, completely waterproof (i once rode it into a lake while under the influence), the old-style toggle switch is unobrusive and works perfect, I like the straight cords which let me cleanly tie-wrap the cables, the charging system is unobtrusive, the beam patter is PERFECT for commuting (nice and oval, dispersed, no hot or cold spots, with decent peripheral light).
I have NEVER had an issue with cars not seeing me, they give me plenty of respect. The light is anough to comfortably commute at about 15mph without overrunning the light. I really like the under-bar mount, gets it out of the way, and provides excellent contrast and shadows for junk and small dead animals on the road. The mount is solid and everything is well made.
since the battery is going out i researched mtbr again for lights nad just ordered a Jet Lites 20watt single; we'll see how it compares. it's bout 4 times the price, more powerful, and lighter, but time will tell if it's as durable and reliable as this one. Figured i'd try it since i can afford it and it'd be nice to have more powah!
but anyway, 5 flamin chillies for this one. I got my use out of it!
Bike Setup: commuter - i use the light 80% of the time every day
a Weekend Warrior
from Surrey, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2004
Strengths: Take note that this is the first review of this light since they released the new 2003 model. The price listed above is $98 US dollars; I paid $130 Canadian Dollars. - Battery life is 2 hours (Good Enough) - Secure mounting System (durable velcro straps) - Very bright light for how small it is - Easy access one touch remote on/off switch. - Battery pack is light and very small for easy mounting. (about the size of a pack of cigarettes) - Coiled power cable (stretches to needed length)
Weaknesses: I found it difficult to arrange the helmet mount and the remote power switch on my helmet. Once I figured out good positioning it works great. This probably depends on the size and shape of the holes on the top of your helmet. As another note it seems that the power jack on the light has threads for a more secure connection but the actual power connector on the cord does not have threads (its like a TV RCA connector). I wouldn’t say that either of the above are actually weaknesses.
This is a great entry level light. It is bright enough for any trail and works great as a handlebar or helmet light. If you are a hardcore night rider you might want to get a dual light or just something more powerful. Then again maybe this is sufficient enough for hardcore night riders. My friends bought the more expensive BLT lights and after comparing I think this light is as good as, if not better than theirs.
Strengths: Low price, cheap replacement bulbs Versatilty - bar and helment mounts Smart charger - plug in and forget it Lead acid battery - doesn't have to be completely discharged before charging
Weaknesses: Battery/cord connection doesn't look very durable Non-coiling cord Lead acid battery - heavy, limited life vs. NiCd/NiMH, not as good in cold weather
Bought this as a backup for my aging, obsolete Niterider. Very bright for a 10W system. Two hour battery life is reasonable considering system cost. Lead acid power source is only rated for lifespan of 300 cycles, but who rides that much at night? After five years with my Niterider, doubt it's been charged more than 100 times. Replacement batteries are only $30 US, cheap enough to buy a couple for those solo 24 hour races. Replacement bulbs available for only $10 Cdn ($6.50 US) at MEC. Only negatives I can think of are: a) The lamp cord/battery connector is pretty weak, wouldn't take much to break it; b) Lead acid battery performance suffers more from cold than NiCD/NiMH, winter performance may be and issue.
Good alternative to the other over-priced systems; I'd rather spend $300 on a new fork than a light system any day.