Not that long ago, you wanted to go on a night mountain bike ride, you strapped a flashlight to your handlebars, put on a hiking headlamp, and hit the trail. People had fun, they survived. Today, you’ll see plenty of articles saying you need 2,000 lumens, minimum for trail riding at night, with plenty of folks out there creating little mini suns with 5,000 lumen setups.
We’re pretty good with the 900 lumen output of the NiteRider Micro 900 ($75). We’ve been running this one and a couple from Light and Motion for a little while now, as well as a bigger, more powerful unit from Ledlenser, but this micro 900 is impressive for the price, and, depending on what kind of riding you like to do, could be enough all by itself.
I tend to throw this light in my bag anytime I head out to the trail within a half hour of sunset. It gets a little purple-y out there, and I start to lose the trail in dark shadows, I attach this to the handlebars, and my ride out is well-lit. For around town riding, it’s more than enough up front. If I want to head out for an honest-to-goodness night ride, I mount it to my helmet and pair it with my Light and Motion Rando 500 light on my bars, and I’m good to go.
The NiteRider (and the Light and Motion) is water-resistant, so I don’t worry too much about a little rain (though I’d be careful in a downpour) and claims a two-hour run time on high power. I’ve only been out for about 1.5 hours at full strength, so I can’t confirm whether it hits that mark.
It attaches easily and securely to handlebars, weighs only 130 grams. There’s no remote to adjust light strength without taking hands off the bars, which we happily accept as a tradeoff for the light only costing us $75.
We’re big fans.
• BUY $75
Other lights we like
As we mentioned, the Light and Motion Rando 500 is a nice little addition to boost the lumens and to give a second light source.
The Lezyne Super Drive 1600XXL is also inexpensive for the amount of light it generates, at $140.