I don’t know why I always seem to do this when I get a new taillight... I clip it on something and press the power button while looking straight at it. Without fail my reaction involves an expletive followed by, “That thing is bright!” And with the NiteRider Solas, I really, really meant it when I said it.
At 2 W, this taillight is way brighter than the lights I used as a commuter headlight for years. So I definitely feel safe in the knowledge that any car behind me is going to see me. In fact, they’ll probably see me from blocks away when I’ve got this thing on high.
What’s nice, though, is that NiteRider also equipped it with what they call “group ride mode” which is to say that it can be run on low power in steady mode as to neither blind nor annoy the person riding directly behind you. The other modes include medium and high power flashing and high power steady for a total of four distinct and useful modes.
The Solas has claimed run times of 36 hours on low steady, 4:30 on high steady, 18:00 on medium power flashing and 7:00 on high power flashing. It retails for $45 and includes a seatpost mount, seatstay mount and the built in clip for mounting on your belt or bag. Check out www.niterider.com
NiteRider Lumina 650
A few years ago I was doing a lot of nighttime mountain bike riding, and my go-to light was a 600 lumen NiteRider Moab. It was great, but having wires connecting lights to battery packs always seemed like a hassle, and I dreamed of the day when self-contained bike lights would be bright enough for trail riding at night. I’m happy to say that that day has arrived. I’ve been pairing up the Lumina 650 on my helmet with the 600 on my handlebar, and with both lights on low I was more than comfortable in the woods. On medium I’m hard pressed to out-ride the lights, even on fast downhills, and on high they’re almost too bright.
Obviously, on the city streets you’ll be able to see for blocks, and be seen for blocks as well. This kind of light has a tendancy to freeze cars at stoplights like a deer in a car’s headlights.
According to NiteRider, the Lumina 650 will run for 1:30 on high, 3:00 on medium and 5:30 on low. That’s a lot of run-time for a light this bright.
NiteRider has redesigned the handlebar mount, making it more stable and secure, yet just as easy to install as any of their previous models. I do have a slight nit to pick with the helmet mount, in that it’s excellent all around except that the quick-release interface has a tiny bit of play in it. If I’m not paying attention to it, however, I don’t notice the slight jiggle.
The Lumina 650 retails for $140. Check out www.niterider.com