The Nite Ize Radiant 750 and 125 and rechargeable bike lights that can be attached to helmets, handlebars, and even seat posts to provide illumination and visibility. This is my review of them both:
Basically, the Radiant 750 is a compact, easily mountable lamp for a bike. It is designed to attach to either a helmet or handlebar via two different included mounts. For handlebars, itt attaches via a rubber strap that loops around the handlebar, through a clip, and doubles back through a pin that locks it in place. This allows it to fit basically any handlebar shape, even over cabling and vibration damping wraps. The unit operates by pressing a single button that toggles through two brightnesses, low and high, and a strobe mode to enhance visibility. It is weather resistant, rechargeable via an included USB cable (no wall adapter), and has a maximum output of 750 lumens, as the name would suggest. It weighs 4.25 ounces and retails for around $60.
Using the Radiant 750 has been quite enjoyable. It outputs a solid amount of light for gravel or road use, and manages to run for about 3.5 hours on maximum brightness. On low, it gets about 17 hours of life at 75 lumens in fair weather conditions (it is reduced when very cold). Turning on the unit is as simple as it gets, just press the top mounted rubberized button to activate it. Another press switches the output to high, one more switch it to strobe. One final click turns the unit off. It can be recharged from just about any USB power source, including computers, battery packs or wall adapters, and only takes a couple hours for a full charge
The performance of the lamp has been pretty good. The light is plenty bright enough for commuting at dusk or even at night on pavement or gravel roads, with the beam easily cutting through light fog and projecting a solid, consistent glow for several hundred feet. It provides a beam that is mostly forward facing, covering more distance than width, being sufficiently wide to cover a single lane as close as about 30 feet away. I’m yet to be in a situation on road or gravel that I thought I needed more light, so I suppose the lamp is doing the trick.
I especially liked how simple the unit is to attach to a handlebar. Strapping the mount on is similar to putting on a watch, but the band must be doubled back once to clip in place. This rubbery band can be a bit stiff, so it will require some tugging. However, once the mount is attached, it can be left in place. Pressing down on a small clip on the back allows the actual lamp unit to detach separately, which is convenient for going on foot or making sure no one steals your lamp while you have it chained up. The handlebar mount also allows the lamp to swivel enough to line the light up with the bike, despite the lamp being attached off-center.
The handlebar mount manages to keep the lamp in place without slipping in moderate riding conditions, even hitting the occasional small pothole. I have managed to make the lamp slip just a bit when hitting rougher terrain, or when going through rutty sections for longer periods of time, so I wouldn’t recommend it for mountain biking. It will definitely move in those situations if you do any sort of rough riding.
Thankfully, the helmet mount is a bit more stable and holds in place a bit better. It slips through the air gaps of the helmet and locks in place in a similar manner to the bar mount and can be left in place as well. I still wouldn’t quite recommend it for heavy off road use (I would still prefer something a bit brighter to illuminate single track), but it definitely isn’t going to slip during normal use using this method, even after slamming a few mild rocks or ruts.
There is also a smaller lamp called the Radiant 125 available both in white and red LED options. They both offer both strobe or glow functions, which are great for providing visibility to other riders and traffic in city conditions. They can be used on seat posts or handlebars, although I don’t find them quite bright enough for heavy handlebar use (white), and should be used more as a backup or visibility light. The 125 straps on just as easily as the 175, using small bands instead of one large one, and locks in place even better than the big brother. The 125 is of course 125 lumens, costs just $30, and is also rechargeable. I love this little guy actually and use it any time I’m in high traffic or reduced visibility.
Overall, the Radiant 750 is a great affordable bike lamp. It is built rather well with a rugged body, water resistance shell, and mounts that have so far held up to extreme cold and relentless gravel grinding without issue. It is simple to use, has been reliable, and provides plenty enough battery for daily commutes or joy rides along local gravel paths. When paired with the red 125, they provide excellent all around visibility too, which is nice to have in urban areas. At these prices, such powerful, easy to use gear is difficult to come by, making it both easy to recommend to anyone who is looking for a solid system at a good price.
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