2015 Lights Shootout

Bontrager is taking the bike lights category seriously as evidenced by the 700 Lumen Ion 700. Introduced late last year, users continue to be surprised by the size and power of this light. Another attraction too is the quality of construction is extremely high and it really feels quite slick on the bike or in one's pocket as the ultimate stealth flashlight.

The price is $100 and that trumps all of the competition. In this category of self-contained bike lights, the contenders sit at $120 with the NiteRider Lumina 750, Lezyne Super Drive, CatEye Volt 700 and the Light & Motion Urban 700.

The Bontrager Ion 700 is the smallest of the lot as well, as it manages to best even the tiny Light & Motion Urban 700. The mount is tiny as well, as it's nothing more than a rotating platform with a one-size fits all rubber loop. The length of the rubber loop can even be adjusted by loosening the screw on top of the mount. Weight is 118 grams by itself and 141 grams with the bar mount.

Test loop with the Bontrager Ion 700. Camera is on a locked ISO setting and is set to Wide Angle mode

Of course not everything is a bed of roses, as the light does not come with a helmet mount, although this one would be ideal as one. The light had a bit of play too on the mount, but we were able to minimize that by tightening the Phillips screw on the mount.

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photos were taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. These photos feature many objects and a distinct background to analyze detail and beam pattern. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

Bontrager Ion 700 Backyard Beam Pattern

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 682 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 700 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Bontrager Ion 700 Lumen Chart

Strengths

  • Construction and beam quality are top-notch
  • $100 price point bests the competition in the 700 Lumen category
  • Side lighting is just perfect, as it aids commuters but doesn't get in the way of mountain bikers
  • Size and weight are smallest in this category
  • It is highly modular and versatile as the cyclist can use two or three in tandem to achieve any brightness level

Weaknesses

  • The light can get hot as there is not a lot of heatsinking
  • Light switch is tiny and bit hard to activate with gloves on
  • Mount is not very sophisticated and no helmet mount is included

Specifications

  • Price: $100
  • Claimed Lumens: 700 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 682 Lumens
  • Lumens per $: 6.82 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 4.84 Lumens
  • Time on High: 1:45 Hours
  • Charge Time: 5:00 Hours
  • Mounted Weight: 141 grams
  • Category: Flashlight/Commuter

Overall Rating

4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
4.5 out of 5 Flamin' Chili Peppers

For more information visit www.bontrager.com.

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview's 2015 Lights Shootout. To see all the bike lights tested CLICK HERE.