NiteRider Digital Evolution Older Lights

2.41/5 (63 Reviews)
MSRP : $230.00


Product Description

The Digital Evolution 15 watt Single beam system with 4.5Ah NiMH battery is NiteRider's newest system and is a "total solution" light system. This system can do it all. Mount it on your handlebar for those times when you need the light on your bike, or mount the light on your helmet so the light goes where you look. Includes everything you need to use both ways.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (63 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Styles a Cross Country Rider from Paisley, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2010

Strengths:    bright enough to ride by using helmet mount.

Weaknesses:    After 6 years, I've had to replace the circuit board by sending back to Niterider. Often, light will go into error mode(one red LED flashing, low light output) even though fully charged. I have to disconnect and reconnect light. Also battery doesn't hold charge any more(only half charges). I sent away for a new battery, only to find that the new one doesn't charge at all...only goes to trickle charge mode. Really inconvenient for 24hr races. Takes 6 hrs to fully charge. Long charge time. I have a Maglite flashlight that's lasted for 10 years. Don't understand why creating a simple light that doesn't fail is so difficult. Also, the halogen is getting really outdated compared to the HID and LED lights nowadays.

Bottom Line:   
I would probably have bought it again if i had the choice 6 yrs ago. It was pretty good technology at the time. Now it's outdated and showing wear.

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Favorite Trail:   The Brant

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Freewheel

Similar Products Used:   Niterider Minewt, Light and Motion Stella

Bike Setup:   KHS 604XC

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Robert a Cross Country Rider from Wisconsin

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2007

Strengths:    Good brightness and light field. Fast charge.

Weaknesses:    sort of awkward design. You're supposed to disconnect when not in use, but the exposed battery leads are subject to easy corrosion. Short battery life.

Bottom Line:   
Ummm, well, I really like the light so far. But the reviews are scaring the crap out of me. I opted to buy on Ebay and not pay $250 through REI, though now I'm wishing I had taken the unlimited guarantee. So far so good though. Only problem is that the battery mounting is awkward. I have it facing up on the top bar because All of my cables are on the underside. I wish there was some sort of hanging cap for the end of the battery connector because the copper leads are exposed to the elements. I actually was looking at the cygolite LED systems. I would have rather had an LED or even an an HID system just because I like the cleaner light. But I found this one on Ebay, and I, against my instincts, bought it without reading reviews. This is all speculative though, I have had the light a few months now and have had no problems. I'm sure I'll be back sooner or later to rereview this thing.

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $130.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Bike Setup:   Giant Yukon '07

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Adam a Weekend Warrior from Durham, NC

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2006

Strengths:    beam pattern and brightness, lamp durability

Weaknesses:    build quality (electronics)

Bottom Line:   
follow up review. I returned it to REI for a full refund a year later. The remote switch completely failed. I tried everything I could do without returning it. I had a couple cases where the light would sit in the charger and stay almost drained. This problem was temporary. I rode with this thing at a night ride at Tsali, so I wanted the remote to kick it down in power to conserve the battery. Would have been a nice feature if it worked. I got tired of fussing with the button on the light head and left it at low power and used the Princeton Tec Apex as my primary beam. The Apex was much better than expected btw, I highly suggest it as a durable backup or head beam. it was bright enough to be a stand alone light at tsali. spot beam is very focused though. As for the evolution, only buy it if you KNOW you can return it. It seems like a sketchy light to me, but is good when it works. there are much better options for $240 too.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $239.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   Night Hawk, Trail Rat, PT Apex (headlamp)

Bike Setup:   Mag. hardtail and SC Bullit

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Kevin a Cross Country Rider from Oakland

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2006

Strengths:    When it works, it is so cool. At least, if my memory serves... it's been so long since it worker properly...

Weaknesses:    every bad thing you've already read on here. first the gauge goes, then the whole thing croaks

Bottom Line:   
absolute piece of crap. i hate to admit it, but i did read the reviews on here... what the &*(% was i thinking??? this light is the best i ever have had for about 10 rides. after that it fails so predictably and so completely. junk, junk, junk. even if they were to give me my money back for this one, i will never buy another product from them. having had so much bad feedback, how could they in conscience continue to ship and sell this crap?

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $195.00

Purchased At:   Missing Link - Berkeley

Bike Setup:   full-on touring

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Adam a Cross Country Rider from Durham, NC

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2006

Strengths:    fairly bright, solid beam pattern, durable head unit, smart charger

Weaknesses:    price, run time

Bottom Line:   
I rarely buy anything without reading reviews, but I was pressed for time (night ride sun, bought sat) and bought this system at REI since they'd take it back no matter what happened. I HAD to have a smart charger. my nitehawk was a pain in the neck to charge. The ability to return the light to REI seemed nice too. I must say I've been surprised with this light. After these reviews I was expecting the thing to go right back to REI, but it's held up to some weird stuff. My apartment got flooded and the entire unit, wall charger and all was floating. It ran fine after that. I've dropped the head on cement and it's been okay (really lucky there). I did have one case where, like many of you have said, the light went out after about 5 seconds while 'fully charged'. I disconnected everything, recharged it and it ran fine. The 15w beam has been more than enough for trail riding IMO. Any more light and it takes the fun out of it...like riding with Hellas. Battery life is my only real problem so far. It gets just under 2h of run time at 15w. That wouldn't be too bad if the 10w mode was a significant improvement...it's not, only about 2.5h at best. Now I guess this is fairly normal for halogen systems around 15w, but with the Cateye double shot going for over 5 hours and the triple shot doing like 3.5-4, I wish I had bought one of those. I don't work for REI or anything, but if a company is willing to take back a product no matter what happens, that helps a lot. I would have been real upset if I ordered this online and read these reviews. But go figure, I have the option of returning it and it's been running just fine. Overall, this has been a bright, solid light for me. If your ride is 1h50m or less, it does a great job.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   beaverdam

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $239.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   nite hawk 10w single beam, home made stuff

Bike Setup:   litec magnesium hardtail, Z2, magura rim brakes, XT/raceface etc.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by DAT from Houston, TX

Date Reviewed: June 25, 2006

Strengths:    Great when it works

Weaknesses:    Unreliable

Bottom Line:   
I had my light repaired...Nite Rider indicated I had a bad data line in the headlamp cable. I had to pay to ship it to them, but they repaired it and shipped it back to me at no charge. It was still under warranty. They said everything else checked out fine and that my battery and charger were 'just like new'. Well, I have used it three times since getting it 'repaired' and it really doesn't hold a charge anymore and continues to be unrelialbe. I contacted Perforance Bicycles and they will give me a full refund as I no longer wish to deal with this unreliable system. I am now the proud owner of a Light & Motion ARC NiMH system. I will give a review of that light when I have used it for awhile. Based on reviews at this site, it should be a lot more relible than the Nite-Rider. I got 15% off at Performance too...they have been great and I highly recommend them as they have a satisfaction guaranteed policy on everything they sell. I still give Nite Rider 2 chilis because when it worked it was great. For the value though, only 1 chili as it should work longer than 10 months!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   varies

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $219.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bicycles


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by D. T. a Cross Country Rider from Houston, TX USA

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2006

Strengths:    Great light when it works; easy recharging; easy handle bar placement; lights up the trail wonderfully!

Weaknesses:    Expensive; it failed with no warning; unreliable since it failed. After only 10 monhths I expect this light to still perform, especially after having paid over $200 for it!

Bottom Line:   
Bought it online about 10 months ago. I commute 2 days a week to work and ride through a very dark park in the wee hours of the morning. This light was awesome and has been invaluable on my rides to work until this past week. After charging as normal (the charger indicated the battery was fully charged) I set off on my bike this past Friday (Natl bike to work day) only to get the dreaded red light with three blinking green lights on the fuel gage. I shut it off and used my very weak back up light until I got to the park. I turned on the Nite rider light again and much to my surprise, the fuel gage showed 4 solid green lights and the light was working fine. Halfway trought he park the light went out without warning (scary!). I searched the web and found all these comments that seem eerily familiar to me now. I called Nite Rider and they issued me an RMA # and said send it back and they will repair or replace it since it is still under warranty. I will update this review when I get the light back. Only 2 chilis until I get the light back adn see if it works and is reliable in the furture. Otherwise, I may ask for a refund.

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Favorite Trail:   varies

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $219.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bicylces

Similar Products Used:   Cateye bike light (not enough lighting power for the trail I commute on - backup emnergency light only)

Bike Setup:   Marin mountain bike & Giant TCR road bike

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Derek a Cross Country Rider from Califoria

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2006

Strengths:    Bright. Good battery life. Fast charger.

Weaknesses:    The conectors noever stay conencted. My optional switch conenctor broke of in the unit, and was pryed out with plyers. Niterider sent me a new one. Now, it seems theres a break in the data cable and the fuel guage goes nuts. I should have read the reviews, but i didnt.

Bottom Line:   
I wouldnt buy again. Nite rider service seems sexy so far. im waiting for an rma numbe rot send it in.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   trip to go get some bawls energy drinks

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   bikes plus

Similar Products Used:   Trail Rat 2.0

Bike Setup:   Trek 6500 disc

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Randy a Weekend Warrior from Reston, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: January 20, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Bought product in August, worked as advertised until first cold period when fuel gauge went psyco, light worked w/ busted guage until 18 Jan when light stopped, never to start again. Emailed niterider re problems - niterider will repair for a $30 as warranty expired, but will take 6-8 weeks to get light back. Will never buy another niterider product.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $190.00

Purchased At:   Sunrise Cyclery

Bike Setup:   Ironhorse warrior expert

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Michael a Racer from Salem, CT

Date Reviewed: December 28, 2005

Strengths:    It is pretty handy as a back up flash light around the house when I can't find that $5.00 Walmart flash light. Matter of fact I'd be better off, duct taping that to my handlebars.

Weaknesses:    I echo every negative comment on this review. I wish I would have read these before the purchase, but I trusted the LBS and the Niterider name. I only had about 10 rides on mine. The first three rides it worked great. Problems: cable separted from strain relief, cuts out, fuel gauge just goes wacko, the nightrider description by a reviewer hit the nail right on it's head. This products just plain sucks, and needs to be recalled

Bottom Line:   
Save your money and don't buy!!!!!! I don't know if I'd give it 1 flammin chili. I hope NR reads these.

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Favorite Trail:   Hartman Park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Old Niterider classic.

Bike Setup:   SC Superlight

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Anthony Rutland a Weekend Warrior from Saratoga, CA. USA

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2005

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    Everything. Connectors. Reliability....etc.

Bottom Line:   
Bought this system on sale. Should have been my first clue to the impending hassle. First sys. came with wrong battery and charger. Second system the charger just blinked red constantly as the battery would NOT charge.

Took it back, got my money and drove two blocks down the street to Calmar cycles and picked up a l&m solo for 124 bucks! 13W of decent halogen light and I love it!!! Cant wait to save up for a L&M HID. Salesman says he doenst carry NR for a reason...they suck!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Boggs Mountain

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Light & Motion Solo

Bike Setup:   Fisher Sugar 3+ Disc

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by David from Knoxville, TN, USA

Date Reviewed: November 2, 2005

Strengths:    It was bright when it worked.

Weaknesses:    After about a month, the light just would not stay lit. I tried several times to get it fixed. I took it back to the bike shop, and they said they could not ind anything wrong with it, but it definitely did not work for me. Brought it back again and they sent it off to Niterider. It came back with a note saying it was fixed, but same problem. ( Is it just me or what?) I would charge the battery overnight with Turbocharger, then connect it and the light would stay on for 5 seconds and then go out. I took it to a battery store and they said the charger checked out okay, and it was probably that the batteries had gone dead. Had them replaced (cost $50), brought it home, same problem. So I figure there is a short or something in the light's electronics.

Bottom Line:   
It does not work. A total waste of money.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $230.00

Purchased At:   Bike Zoo

Similar Products Used:   Cateye with light sticks, LED lights

Bike Setup:   Trek 8700

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steve a Racer from Milwaukie, OR, USA

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2005

Strengths:    Nice bright light, light weight

Weaknesses:    Smart battery

Bottom Line:   
I actually have the Digital Head Trip, the precursor to the Digital Evolution (my newer batter is from the Digital Evolution product). I wanted to post this because of the most excellent customer service I have recieved from NiteRider. I bought a second battery (the newer smart battery) for my head trip because my old one was not lasting as long as it used to. I had problems with the darned thing shutting off at the most inopportune times and I must say that NiteRider just about completely rebuilt my cord (new ones here actually), the connections on my light and the case and computer chip in the smart battery, all at no charge and the light I've had for much longer than warranty. I recently started using it again and the battery shut down going uphill again so I sent it back again but they are doing a rush job for me and they are still some of the easiest people to work with I've encountered. I rate them some of the highest in customer service.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Eight mile creek

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   This is really the only one

Bike Setup:   Road

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Ted a Cross Country Rider from Westland, MI

Date Reviewed: October 16, 2005

Strengths:    Fuel Guage, easy to adjust on gthe fly.

Weaknesses:    Battery & Cables

Bottom Line:   
I bought this and a Classic Plus from NiteRider when I sent in my first headtrip for warranty work. They sold them at cost as they were behind on warranty repairs.

I am giving up on NR lights. I have used only a few times over the past few years. 2nd ride this year the battery flew out of my pack and no longer works. The Surelock connectors are difficult to connect yet seem to come apart easily on the trail.

Durability does not match the price and functionality.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $133.00

Purchased At:   NiteRider

Bike Setup:   Cross Country

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by A.J. Dillard a Cross Country Rider from Elgin, IL. usa

Date Reviewed: September 28, 2005

Strengths:    when it worked, it was adequete

Weaknesses:    cord connection to battery is subtle at best - not to be tried in the dark - random fits of strobe and then black - not for the faint of heart

Bottom Line:   
the two year old manufacture's date on the box should have been my first clue that things were going to go badly - i'm going back to my led light until i can replace this unit - it is dangerous - do not buy/use this product as your only light - with all the similar complaints i'm reading here, i can't imagine how niterider can allow these to be sold - there is obviously something inherently wrong with these controllers

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   price point

Bike Setup:   cyclocross commuter

Reviews 1 - 15 (63 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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Niterider Digital Evolution Charging Problems

I bought a Niterider Digital Evolution back in the day(about 7-8 yrs ago). I noticed i'm getting some gremlins in the system lately(i sent the lighting unit and battery back for a circuit board swap last year). It worked again, but now, the battery doesn't seem to hold a charge. At the 24 hr ra ... Read More »

HELP Fried circuit board on NR Digital Evolution

I have a digital evolution NR with the quick lock connector (3 - prong) I tried to connect an aftermarket (DIY, non NR) battery to it. I heard the sizzle saw the smoke and now i have a lamp that works a batttery that works and no way to regulate it, the on and off switch doesnt even work. A few ques ... Read More »

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