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Old 07-28-2010, 09:50 AM
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Default NiteRider Pro 1200 LED Bike Light Review

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The NiteRider Pro 1200 LED is virtually alone in the upper echelon of lighting systems for adventure sports. Whether you’re mountain biking, motocrossing, or snowmobiling, this is a powerful light system that rivals the brightness of most automobile headlights. I got a chance to field test the Pro 1200 over the weekend at a 24-hour mountain bike race in upstate NY and I was very pleased with the results.
The Pro 1200 is an 850 gram unit about the size of a large kiwi and is split into two LED clusters, each pumping out 600 lumens into two different reflector patterns. The left reflector puts out a spot beam - an intense cone of light that shoots down the center of the trail, with a nice halo into the surrounding area so you can see where your wheel is going. The right reflector puts out a flood pattern, a wide dish of light that seemed to illuminate about a ninety-degree arc in front of my bike for about fifty yards, depending on where I aimed it.

The small red push button on the top turns the unit off and on, and switches through the various pre-loaded light modes (spot light, flood light, or both). But the real innovation in the NiteRider Pro series is the ability to use NiteRider’s own D.I.Y. software to design custom lighting programs. I didn’t get to use the software this weekend but I was able to talk with NiteRider rep Tommy B. about it for a while. Tommy told me the Pro series of lights can have up to four distinct programs, each with six different levels of lighting power that you can customize. I’ve played around with the software for a bit and it seems like you could spend a ton of time tweaking power levels, run times, lumen counts and strobe effects between both lights. This might not seem like a great advantage for the novice rider but for professionals it could make a huge difference in a long endurance race.

My weekend with the Pro 1200 was wet, dirty, dark and foggy which was great for testing the worst possible conditions a light might endure on the trail. Fortunately the Pro 1200 cut through the night like a rock star. The trail was lit up clear as day. Everyone saw me coming from miles away and no one could look away from the supernova that I was proudly sporting on my handlebars.
This is a pic of the Pro 1200 handlebar mount. The offset mount is super versatile. Not only does it allow you to hook onto any handlebar, but it allows you to adjust the angle of the light from left to right and allows you to adjust the rotation of the light head itself.

Here’s a pic of the NiteRider Pro series battery mount, which sticks to the bike and allows for easy hot swapping during the race.

The Pro 1200 bike light is not for the meek. It’s big, tough and bright like an army of a thousand suns. Of course all of this awesomeness does come at a cost: the Pro series lights are expensive and fairly heavy because they’re built like tanks. The heat sinks and rubber parts are solid and the flanges and bolts are not made cheaply like many of the discount lighting systems that you find on the internet. The price tag alone might dissuade some people from making the investment, but for pro-level lighting systems that will stand the test of time, NiteRider is the smart choice.
NiteRider lighting systems are simple, easy to mount, and rugged enough to withstand the worst Mother Nature can throw at you. Not only is the Pro 1200 bright and incredibly tough but the beam patterns are clear and even, making for a spectacular view of the trail in the middle of the night. If the Pro 1200 is this good, I can’t wait to see what additions have been made with the new Pro 1400 LED which is just coming into the market.
Many thanks to NiteRider and Tommy B. for the hookup with the lights, support, and advice during the race!
Related posts:
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  2. NiteRider DIY Software & Magellan ToughCase iPhone Mount
  3. Light & Motion Seca MTB light system

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