Boasting output equivalent to a 40 watt halogen bulb and a burn time of 4 hours, the Firestorm light system was built with speed in mind. Testament to this is the number of 24 hour bike athletes winning races with the Firestorm. Not a 24 hour racer? No problem, the Firestorm makes an excellent commuting light. Your safety is greatly improved by the increased visibility provided by ultra bright HID technology. The Firestorm also incorporates a low battery indicator to help monitor battery power. Included is a 2.5 hour charger that makes certain you have a full charge and are quickly on your way again.
Strengths: WOW! Niteriders slogan is right on par "Discover the night" with this light its just like riding during the daytime, I can ride just as fast.
Its super bright and I like the white beam. Focuses light in the middle but also spreads the light out to the sides. The battery lasts forever. Comes with a handy little travel pack.
Niterider has awesome customer support! Recently I emailed them about my charger that broke and before I knew it I had a new one at my doorstep.
Weaknesses: #1-The cost. Light flickers on rough terrain (might just be normal with HID lights). Sometimes I cant get it to strike (turn on), kinda scary when its the only light I have and the sun is setting quickly. The light isn't that heavy but when it is mounted on the front of your helmet it makes your helmet top and front heavy. Could of had a little bit longer cable for when I put it in by Hydrapak.
Similar Products Used: Dinky little 3 led headlights. Niterider NICD dual Digital (like the classic)
Bike Setup: Giant AC, Trek 4300, Fuji Rubiax
a Cross Country Rider
from New Faifield, Ct 06812
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2006
Strengths: Heavy duty construction, honest 4hr burn time
Weaknesses: A little heavy, bulbs are expensive ($80.00)
Once you experience 4hrs of steady run time there is no turning back! I use a bar and helmet light set up. Helmet light uses a spot bulb instead of included flood bulb. My lights are early HID units. I had a problem with the wall charger. One phone call to Nite Rider and they sent a replacement free of charge. Since then a fall damaged an extension lead (my fault), and one light started turning off well before battery was dead. This time I sent the unit back to Nite Rider for repairs with a check for $20.00 per web site directions. The ballast and power chord were replaced and unit shipped back all for the $20.00 bench fee in about 3 weeks. I ride in some pretty harsh conditions from hot, wet, muddy to winter freeing. To sum it up I beat the crap out of these lights and they keep on working. Customer service is exceptional and I will buy another!
Similar Products Used: Nite rider digital lights (bar and helmet mount), Turbo cat
Bike Setup: Trek EX8,
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 25, 2006
Strengths: I actually have the NR Rage - great light! LED/HID options are great for rallying at high speeds and then standing around waiting for your buddies with lame lights to show up without blinding everyone else. Really bright light - I've never seen a Big Cat, but now I'm lookin'. 4 hour burn time at 100% is real, still, after 1 year.
Weaknesses: you'll miss some stuff that otherwise goes on at night because you'll be riding. That includes, but is not limited to: bar time, wife time, girlfriend time, whatever. You might get pale from lack of sunlight. Seriously, this thing will give you the darkness jones. You've been warned.
I highly recommend it. If you're local, check out www.redstonecyclery.com and talk to Dave. He'll get you the hook up and take you out late with it too.
Similar Products Used: trailrat 2.0 - not great, but cheap and it worked. Great customer service.
Bike Setup: Heckler on a diet - 27 lbs, XTR, fox.
a Weekend Warrior
from Sterling Heights, MI
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2006
Strengths: BRIGHT! More than I expected. Night ride almost every day now. First you see the dears eyes, then all of their detail. Very cool.
Weaknesses: On can take a few tries, but no big deal. Battery is a bit heavy for front pocket. Longer cord would get it in the rear pouch. Helmet is weighed down a bit, but OK.
This light opened a whole world of night riding. I use dirt trails to see nature; dear, raccoon, rabbit, duck, goose, muskrat, and on and on. I've only used it for 2 hour stretches, but it is just as bright at when first turned on. Helps with cars when I do go to a road.
Similar Products Used: Only Cateye LED & Planet bike Halogen. Apples and orange there.
Bike Setup: Trek 4300 with upgrade front fork, and seat.
a Cross Country Rider
from Santa Barbara
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2006
Strengths: Bright!(daylight is not exageration) Quick charge time. Burly, rubber coated minimalist design. Relatively light housing.
Weaknesses: Helmet mount is designed for extreme front of helmet- pulls down the front of the helmet- requires making a foam wedge. Wish Camelbaks had a better way of carrying these when in use (i.e. a pouch and exit hole for the battery and cable- similar to what they have for the water bladder and tube)
Bought this light mainly for winter commuting (after a close call or two with my camping led headlamp). 300 seemed about right for a HID. I knew they were bright- but wow- even better than I expected. Immediately I felt so much safer at night on the roads. (Part of your visibility at night is not just the light coming off of you, but also the reflected light coming off the road, etc. from you headlights- think of seeing a car at night from a distance). I was a little uncertain at first, but I'm very glad I opted for the helmet and not the handlebar mount : you can avoid blinding pedestrians, you can make sure cars see you by looking at them, and as others have mentioned- you can really use the brightness to encourage courtious driving by delivering a mild visual shock to anyone driving badly around you). This light has also opened up the local trails at any time of day or night. My old mtn biking buddies always talked about night riding being different and harder- but I honestly can't tell any difference between night and day with this light- I'm riding gnarly big rocks, fast switchbacks (another reason to get a helmet mount),technical climbing and technical descending in the middle of dark forest areas- and I forget its nightime- Well, I forget now-- the first time I used the light I mounted the light in front of the helmet- as desgined- and it hammered the front of the helmet down over my forehead whenever I'd ride anything bumpy (read everything). Not good I cut a wedge of out dense black closed-cell foam- and have since mounted the light at the top of the helmet- at the center of gravity- no problems any more (it stays put no prob- even downhilling). This issue comes up in reviews below-- I can't understand why Niterider doesn't fix this 'angle of the mount' issue -everything else is perfect (by the way, mounting the helmet on the top doesn't force the beam angle further forward at all- maybe unless you want the light to shine on your stem when you're looking straight ahead, and you are wearing a clown nose and/or visor on your helmet). To deal with this problem your options are 1) have a perfectly fitting helmet 2) make a foam wedge 3) hope NiteRider fixes it in the future. Option 2 has been no issue for me.
All the rest is positive: I'm very pleased by how far I can see- but I also don't really get blinded looking at things up close, as some reviewers had mentioned (though don't look at your significant other when you try it out for the first time in house) I also bought the headstrap for nighttime trail running- I haven't used it yet- but I have brought it along in my camelbak for epic runs-- this headstrap is a nice option- I'm glad NiteRider offers it. Get it- and you won't need another light(other than your 10 dollar back red blinker). The only thing you might need is another battery if you're riding a 24 hour race. (4 hours has been enough for all my single day riding).
a Cross Country Rider
from Anchorage, AK, USA
Date Reviewed: October 22, 2005
Strengths: Very bright, with a wide field Long battery life, even after many years
Weaknesses: Can be hard to start A bit heavy; helmet needs to fit snugly
This is a durability update after 4 years of regular use; it's still going strong. I use if for both winter biking and XC skate skiing, and it's great for both. I've gone through about 300 charge cycles on the original battery, and am still getting over 4.5 hours of burn time at room temperature, and over 3 hours at around 0 F.
The only part that's been replaced so far was a bulb, which was my fault after dropping the unit onto a concrete floor. I simply ordered the new one on the Niterider website, and it was delivered promptly. My buddy broke the pigtail on his battery cable where it comes out of the battery by overflexing it in his pack, and Niterider repaired it quickly with an upgraded design. No complaints here on their customer service.
The beam is still easily the best of any I've used or seen on the trail, with a penetrating center spot but also very good peripheral light. You can pick up reflective trail markers at least a mile away, and when helmet or headstrap mounted you get great depth perception and visibility wherever you are looking.
It's become a popular light here in Alaska, as while it is too spendy it really opens up the winter. It's certainly not too bright when you're diving down the singletrack, especially this time of year when we don't yet have reflective snow and the darkness is particularly inky with dark woods and even darker moose to spot. It basically removes light as a barrier to getting out, and you can hit the trails at a good pace.
For cold use, I keep the battery warm inside my jacket. The battery fits fine in a small neoprene waist pack which rides comfortably in the small of my back, without any bounce. I've taped the battery pigtail down to the battery to keep if from flexing and breaking, and have had no cable troubles. The connectors all still fit tight after lots of use; the new design looks even better. I generally keep the battery topped off, recharging every 2-3 hours and never running it all the way down. The new Li ion bateries are smaller and lighter, and will be even better in the cold, but the original NiMH battery has been very good.
Overall, this has been a great light, and I'd promptly buy another if I broke this one.
Similar Products Used: Various halogen and LED headlamps
Bike Setup: Fisher Sugar
from upstate, NY
Date Reviewed: October 16, 2005
Strengths: Bright! Long burntime.
Weaknesses: Unreliable. Niterider customer service disappointing.
Worked great for the first several rides. Long burntime and quick to charge. It's as bright, if not brighter than any other light I've seen on the trail.
However, mine was unreliable. After several uses it stopped working. I tried everything. I think there was a problem with my ballast. Half the time it wouldn't ignite.
I tried contacting Niterider. Whoever answers their phone is clueless. The technicians were impossible to get on the phone and didn't return my calls. They did answer emails either. I finally just sent it in. That was 4 weeks ago. I am still waiting to hear back from them.
Bottom line: stay away from Niterider if you value good customer service and a reliable product. I'm going to ebay this when I get it back from niterider and buy an LED light instead.
a Weekend Warrior
from Tel Aviv, Israel
Date Reviewed: August 18, 2005
Strengths: Very bright light allows technical riding, all details of the trail are clear. this light just sheds everything wiht a motorcycle strength illumination. one can ride night or day, sun no longer a factor, just ride. allows me to add a mid-weak ride no matter how work schedule looksd like. long burn time obleviate the need to think about shutting the light off on uphills, just light it on and ride, ride ride, fast charge trouble free for this first year
Weaknesses: On/Off button has a vague feel, at times requires several goes How much did you pay for that bike light? (but still worth extra 30-35 rides a year); Connecters seem to be fairly fragile (so I do handle them wiyh care) light so strong eyes can't see anything not illuminated helmet mount --> few shadows to gauge depth light may be too strong for road use as it may blind drivers
Although 270 seems to be an insane price for a bike light, if NR keeps working as it has been for the first year I would say that the extra rides allowed by the excellent lighting and the sheer joy of night riding are well worth the price, even if you are not a 24 hours racer. By at the end-off summer light sales.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2005
Strengths: Bright and simple to use.
Weaknesses: Nothing special only extra cable is not necessary. I'd rather have a light unit with longer cable.
NR Storm works great. It's bright and 4hrs of burn time are more than enough for me. I never had it completely discharged and I keep it fully charged when not riding. After one year of use my battery shows no weakness and it's as good as new. On the trail I switch it on and forget about it. Remember to mount it pretty high on the helmet otherwise it'll be too heavy and your neck will hurt. I had no problems with bulb life either. Helmet mount is simple and works ok.
Similar Products Used: NR Digital Evolution and Classic Plus
Bike Setup: Spec Enduro 05, CK headset, Mavic XL, Maxxis Ignitors...
from Boise, ID
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2005
Strengths: Good light when it works
Weaknesses: Light never works. Over four years, I have been able to use it no more than ten times max.
The light I bought is a piece of crap. I think it worked great for my first two rides, and that was it. After that, it was acting quirky in that when I would shut it off, I could wait an hour and it still wouldn't turn on. Pretty much useless for any kind of night race. After about five rides, the light would never turn on again. I sent it to Night Rider, and they replaced almost everything in it. When I got it back, it worked for one ride, and then it never turned on again. Since then, NightRider will not even return my calls or emails, so I cannot get it fixed. Very poor service for such an expensive product. I would be happy to get anything for this piece of crap.
To the guy who says we don't know how to use a ballast, think about it. Do you really think so many people could have the same problem, and not do the research to learn about how these things work? You could hold the button down on my light all day, and I guarantee you it is not coming on. I have brought it to several shops to look at who have used the same light, and they could not get it working either. Maybe you just happened to be lucky and have gotten one that actually works.
I bought the light when it first came out, so that version may have had more problems, not sure. All I know is I spent around $400 on this HID, only to have used my $50 used BLT Halogens for the past year. If you are buying this product, you are taking a chance.
a Cross Country Rider
from Hantsport, NS
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2005
Strengths: As advertized, BRIGHT! Straight forward to mount. Long burn
Weaknesses: On switch is not "positive". Have accidentially turned light off trying to adjust beam, not good when you have to wait, and fumble to re-juice.
If you're the first of your riding buddies to get one, they'll hate you. If they have one and you don't, you know what I mean. Long burn means long rides, take a break leave your light on while everyone else shuts down to save their batteries. I wouldn't go back to a regular light.
Similar Products Used: Planet Bike Alias (helmet & handlebar)
a Weekend Warrior
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2005
Strengths: - Bright - Long burn time (4 hrs) - Fast charger (2.5 hrs)
Weaknesses: - Fit and finish is not as nice as Lite & Motion - Reflecter design is generic (see below) - "On" button confusing at first (see below)
HID is the way to go. I tired several 10 and 15 watt halogen systems and was not satisfied. The Storm 2.0 for 2005 is even nicer with the 2.5 hour fast charger. The light is bright and last the full 4 hour charge as claimed. The flat smaller battery fits nicely into a CamelBack or even into an under the saddle bag if you have room inside. The bright center spot lights up any trail or road obsticle. The beam projection is very effective. I also like the fall off light to the sides as it lights up the trail and roadsides effective so I can just use my peripheral vision instead of having to turn my whole head. The fit and finish is not as comparable to the Light & Motion stuff though. It's my only gripe. The L&M made stuff just feels more fluid to adjust and mounts so easily. The Niterider connectors are not as smooth as the L&M stuff. If you have not used an L&M Arc HID, then you will not notice the inferior beam quality of the Storm. L&M uses their own proprietary reflector housing with projects a beam with a smooth transition from bright center to darker edges. Whereas the Storm's generic reflector housing has a bright center spot and then abruptly ends dark around the edges. Like I said, you'll never know this difference unless you come from a L&M light. About a week into riding the Storm, I got used to the beam and forgot about the L&M.
Bike Setup: KHS 504xc and Schwinn Fastback road bike
a Cross Country Rider
from La Romana Dom Rep
Date Reviewed: December 8, 2004
Strengths: works as advertised, improved 2005 model
Weaknesses: should include both helmet and bar mounts
The light lit up almost right away, waiting time was negligible. On first charge it seemed to last more than one hour. Helmet mount does not seem as forward as others complain about, or is it that the 2005 model has addressed that issue? Good light for "filling" the road or trail, as a spot it is too white. I am missing the amber tone of a hallogen light, but do enjoy how this light seems to propagate and light up "all around". At this early stage, just got it, I am happy with it and do recommend, especially at the price I got it for.