The NiteRider HID-LED. The new light of choice for those who demand the best. Three HID light levels provide optimal light for any condition. This is the light that adventure racers have been asking for! The LEDs deliver up to 80 hours of burn for any off-bike use -- making this the most versatile light available for 24 hour racing, adventure racing, camping or most any other application.
Ultra bright 12 watt Metal Halide
High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulb
Three HID light output levels giving you the halogen equivalent of 40 to 50 watts for up to 6 hours
Lamp-out protection with LEDs
LEDs have three modes. Flash, Steady and SOS
New NR 3.5 International Fast Charger. (In-vehicle Inverter accessory available)
New Universal Handle Bar Mount
Water bottle style Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery
Ultra bright white LEDs
Battery Voltage Indicator
System weight: 34oz (mount, head lamp and battery)
from raleigh, nc
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2006
Strengths: Bright. Long burn time. LED lights are great before and after rides.
Weaknesses: Cost. RELIABILITY.
I took a gamble buying this light after reading the reviews. I lost. The light worked great for 3 rides and then just shut off mid ride on a very technical trail in some 20 degree weather. Was told by the shop I purchased from that "it's a HID light on a bike, a very complex and technical piece of equipment." Yeah.. but it cost 400 bucks. It's on it's way back to Niterider for repair. Hope the customer service reviews I've read are not true.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Date Reviewed: November 27, 2005
Strengths: Long burn time, bright light, good overall construction
Weaknesses: Cabling uses internal vinyl insulation which can fray and break, a problem in sub-zero climes. Handlebar mount susceptible to breakage.
As bright lights go, I've not seen any that are brighter in this weight class. I get good visibility at any time of year, whether with snow on the ground or a dark, wet, overcast autumn night. It's perhaps an excessive amount of light for commuting (you just need to be seen after all), but it is great for riding trails at high speeds. Burn times vary, depending on the age of the battery and the ambient temperature. Young battery in the summer or fall, a little over 4 hours. Both my batteries are now about 3 years old and last about 3 hours in the cold (-10F). The cables that connect the lamp to the battery have recently given me some trouble. It seems that after prolonged use, the internal insulation frays and causes problems. I've repaired the breaks myself, but I wish it didn't happen in the first place. Still, I plan on using this system for a good many years to come.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2005
Strengths: It's compact and very bright.
Weaknesses: Very unreliable. The first light I purchased failed after 1 ride. (Light). The entire product was replaced and the second light failed after 4 rides (battery).
A large amount of my training is early in the morning or at night after work. I need reliable, bright light for up to 4 hours, and hopefully longer. When this light works, it's great (Very compact, very bright, long burn time, quick recharge time) - but unfortunatly I was left in the dark a couple of times. If the reliability was fixed on this light - it would be an exceptional product.
Similar Products Used: Night Pro (used for 3 years) - Very reliable but NiCads are heavy and run time is on 1 hour on the highest setting.
Bike Setup: Road = Lemond Ti, Cyclocross = Fuji
from Saturna Island
Date Reviewed: February 27, 2005
Strengths: bright light, long burn, when works, which is not often
Weaknesses: I am on my third iteration of this unit. The first head smoked out on first battery application, the second head worked fine, but the battery failed. I emailed NR asking if I should try it a third time, and there has been no response from them. My dealer found me a third unit, which was certified by their guys as tested for a long time, and on the first ride the switching sequence failed, so that I have a choice between HID full on or LED's. I have to ride on an island, no light, early morning, to get the early ferry. I need something I can depend upon. This is not the unit.
For the few moments in which this light works, you will be thrilled with the potential. Otherwise, including frustrating time, go Lupine.
Similar Products Used: Vistalight nightstick 5, 10, 15 watts
Bike Setup: Cannondale cyclocross
from hanga, senmmuini, antartica
Date Reviewed: December 31, 2004
Strengths: well id rather have a 2 doller light from the bicycle bobs then rather then buying this peace offf t....the thing totalllly sucks....it ran out of batts in 1 hour 14 mins and the bulb onely lasts about 3 battery charges......personly save urself alot of money adn go to longs adn buy ur self a maglight and some ducttape......more afordable and wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more durable....
Weaknesses: everything i mentioned above
night rider is the worst warenty in the world adn they can suck my balls!
Bike Setup: treck a299 seres with front shocks adn a aluminum frame
a Cross Country Rider
from Hong Kong
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2004
Strengths: This is by far the brightest light I have ever seen, and the various modes of the LEDs are fantastic. The battery life is also very good.
Weaknesses: I have been reading and relying on reviews for years, and this is the first time I have felt compelled to write a review myself. As much as I love this light when it works, it is by far the worst gear investment I have ever made. I am an avid mountain biker, road racer, mountain climber and SCUBA diver, and have a great appreciation for solid gear. But, I must say, that I would not recommend this product to anyone. I am on my second Flame Thrower, and both have proven to be extremely unreliable, to the point of being dangerous. Both the first light, and the second that I use now, turn off suddenly at the slightest bump. I am guessing at what the problem is, but it is my understanding that the light has a safety mechanism that is designed to shut it off upon hard impact. Unfortunately, the handlebar mount holds the light very loosely, allowing for a lot of play, leaving the headlamp bouncing about as you ride. Ultimately, activating this shutdown mechanism. The frustration is unbelievable, especially when I am flying down a trail at 24+ miles per hour and the light suddenly shuts down. The helmet mounted system may be better, as the riders body may absorb enough of the shock to not activate the shutdown feature.
The bottom line is that the design team of this product has a lot of work ahead of them, and putting a “professional” product with this sort of defect on the market borders on negligence. Do not buy this light unless you have a way to test the exact light you intend on buying. Mine failed right way, so I suspect a solid field test should let you know if the light you want to purchase is safe from these problems.
Similar Products Used: Older Niterider non-HID lights
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Blur, Easton carbon fiber handlebars and seat post, Fox RLT F100 fork, 5th Element Shock, Mavic Crossmax SL rims, Shimano Saint calipers, Shimano XTR brake/shift leavers and derailers, Italia saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from Cheltenham, Glos, UK
Date Reviewed: June 10, 2004
Strengths: * good battery life. never had it fail. * good build quality. * good beam pattern. no bright rings or dark patches. * reflector angle is a good compromise for on- or off-road. maybe a little too narrow for helmet use.
Weaknesses: * not too keen on the surlok connectors. given that the data line isn't used on the flamethrower/cyclone why not use something more robust? can only assume it doesn't rain in NR's home city. * new style bracket is useless. (see below) * LEDs are fine in theory, not so in practice. (see below) * fuel gauge is a good idea, but does not decrease linearly.
having used this light for a night riding season thought a follow up to my previous review might be in order.
the light has been used bar mounted (a la flamethrower) and helmet mounted (a la cyclone). much prefer the light helmet mounted. it's good that NR has this ability.
having used the old style handlebar mount, i can safely say the new design is rubbish. whilst it allows the lamp to be directed, it is not solid enough when tightened. as a result the beam bounces around when riding off-road.
a HID lamp has a limited number of on/off cycles. given this fact, surely it would make sense if the LEDs could be turned off without cycling the HID?
Niterider seriously needs to consider redesigning the battery such that it may be frame mounted. many full-sus frames do not have suitable bottle mounts. also, a re-designed battery might enable one system to be used bike or helmet mounted. a LiON battery wouldn't go amiss.
on a technical note. there seems to be no thermal fuse in the battery pack.
with a UK list price of £500 the flamethrower/cyclone is vastly overpriced. it seems NR is playing on its previous reputation.
so niterider, give us a stiffer handlebar mount and a dual-mount LiON battery pack.
Similar Products Used: various niterider stuff and homebrew
Bike Setup: N/A
a Weekend Warrior
from Vashon Is. WA
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2004
Strengths: In addition to a great product, they have excellent service/support. See below.
Weaknesses: unavailability of small parts on individual basis
I bought the "Flame Thrower" (non LED) after finding the "Trailrat" a little dim. Works wonderfully, many lumens, yada yada yada... The 2nd time out with the light, I endo'd and landed greasy side up (on the headlight). Didn't biff hard, but the impact snapped the part of the bracket where the light clips in. This is not available as a stand-alone part, but a call and a letter to NR yielded a new bracket. YMMV, but I am very happy with the CS from NR.
Similar Products Used: cygolite, trailrat, vista, etc
Bike Setup: 04 Ellsworth Id - XT/Hope/Thomson/conti
Date Reviewed: February 28, 2004
Strengths: extremely bright, nice solid wide beam, and fantastic burn times, nice fuel gauge, different light levels for different burn times
Weaknesses: none, but if i had to nic pic, i would say it would nice if they made a battery that did not occupy the waterbottle cage something like light & motions battery, but thats just a minor thing, i can live with it, not a big deal to me...
if you want to do any night riding you should look at this light, i used to use the niterider blowtorch but was unhappy with it because it had a wierd beam that had an empty halo around the center and it was bright but i expected much more light for the money that i paid, but the flamethrower is a different story its a huge jump over previous models. it has a super bright, wide, solid beam thats much brighter than anything i used before. it also has a new fuel gauge on the head which is great and was needed. 3 different light levels to adjust your ride time from 3 to 6 hours wow! another very kool feature is that if you happen to out ride the flamethrowers awesome 6 hour run time it will automatically shut off and kick in these 3 little leds ligths on the bottom of the unit which equal to about 10 watts of regular light great to get you walking out of a dark trail or fix a flat or a short ride home in flash mode and the leds are supposedly able to run an incrediable 80 hours. the leds also have a three modes steady, flashing and sos in case of emergency!!! even the mounting bracket for the light is much better now, you can angle the light in any direction. it even comes with a nifty case to put everything into when your not using it, dont forget niterider sells the brightest rear light that works off the same battery which is also awesome... its a little epensive but you get what you pay for the best light with the most features and burn times. niterider really out did themselves with this light, they improved everything from previous models and raised the bar of the other lights on the market. i commend night rider on this one. own the nite, get this light and ride...
Similar Products Used: i used to use the niterider blowtorch, and before that the niterider digitalpro 12, the flamethrower is much brighter than these units....
Bike Setup: cannadale jekyll 800 with lefty upgraded minor parts
a Cross Country Rider
from Cheltenham, Glos, UK
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2004
Strengths: in no particular order: * head is well made and of a quality engineering plastic. all bolts are stainless steel. * newly redesigned handlebar mount is a vast improvement. can move point the light where desired. * very bright, blue light. * good runtime. * new universal charger works well.
Weaknesses: * as with most Niterider systems the Flamethrower is vastly overpriced. * bottle for battery is too big for my waterbottle cage. the "waist" is too high up the side of the bottle. * not keen on captive cables. a connector on the bottle would have been better. * no fuse inside the battery bottle. a major oversight. * unlike the Digital Evolution the battery gauge of the flamethrower does not decrease in a linear manner. * although the LEDs could be useful it is not possible to turn them off without turning on the HID. given that HIDs have a limited on-off cycles this is a major oversight * beam is too wide for off-road and long distance on-road.
other comments... * given the high-end nature of the flamethrower a lithium ion (LiON) battery option should be offered. such an option would surely appeal to the 24hr racer who desires long burntime and minimal weight. * as all the electronics are now in the head any "13.2v" battery can be used. * furthermore, as the dataline is not in use a thermistor could be incorporated into the battery pack such that delta-T charge termination could be employed. * rather than two different battery types (frame and rucsac/jersey) Niterider should produce a unversal battery such as with their 6v systems. such a design would significantly increase the versatility of the system.
bottom line... the Flamethrower is a very capable system up to Niterider's usual high standards. There are areas for improvement, mainly with the battery. I'm of the firm belief Niterider should develop a universal battery as used by the Digital Evolution.
Taking Niterider's list price the Flamethrower scores badly for value. (...and why is it that the Flamethrower is cheaper from America in USD then in the United Kingdom in GBP) As for overall rating. Cost aside the Flamethrower is a very impressive piece of kit. Sort the battery and it'll get five chillies
Similar Products Used: Niterider Trail Rat v2, Evolution, Digital Evolution, Cyclone. Various homebrew.
Bike Setup: Custom Spesh Stumpjumper Pro FSR 2004
a Weekend Warrior
from Seoul, Korea
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2004
Strengths: This product is awsome. I think it is the brightest light I have had ...Time for battery charge was shorter than I expected. It only took less than 3.5hrs with full its capacity. Also its weight is less than 1 Kg...
Weaknesses: None up to now....
When I got this product, I was anticipated with the performance that came from review of previous model (Blow Torch). Also, I was little bit worry. However, the product rocks....I was glad that I chose the product. If you are looking for light, check this one first....You won't regret it........