I’ve been running the 2014 NiteRider Pro 2200 Race bike light for almost a full year now, which is an unusually long time for a Singletracks product test. In fact, this test has been running so long that the NiteRider Pro 2200 Race has since been replaced by the 2015 model, the Pro 2200 Enduro, which I’ll also cover in this review.
As a product reviewer, I’m constantly balancing the need to get reviews published soon after products are released with my desire to test product durability over time. When it comes to bike light systems, durability–specifically battery charge cycles–is very important, especially when you consider that the battery is often the biggest cost in the entire system. All told, I’ve run the Pro 2200 Race on at least 50 three-hour night rides in conditions ranging from hot and humid to wet and wild to nights that were well below freezing.
More than many other MTB products, bike lights tend to be compared using their top line specs: lumen count and run times. The Pro 2200 Race and the newer Enduro model blast out 2200 lumens of light. The Pro 2200 will get you 2 hours and 30 minutes of run time on medium, and the Enduro will provide 3 hours of run time on medium. Honestly, 2200 lumens is way more than I ever use on my night rides and for most folks, about half that is a comfortable light level. Still, for riders who plan to race on technical courses at night, it’s nice to have the option to run at full blast.
Both the 2014 and 2015 models require 6 hours of charge time from empty, and weigh 580 grams. The fact that the weight didn’t change yet the Enduro model squeezes in an extra 30 minutes of runtime on medium is impressive.
One of the things you’ll notice right out of the box is that every piece–from the helmet and handlebar mounts to the battery cables to the wall charger–has a refined look and feel. NiteRider celebrated their 25th anniversary this year, and it’s clear the company has been honing every part in their lineup year in and year out to get things just right. Just look at how little was changed with the Pro 2200; aside from better run times, it’s basically the same high performance, dependable light. Not only that, the mounting hardware and cables have changed very little over the years, making it easy to swap out parts with others running older NiteRider lights.
On the Trail
I’ll say it again: 2200 lumens is a TON of light. It’s an embarrassment of illumination. It makes drivers squint as I approach on the road. It makes sunlight look like a candle. Ok, that last bit was an exaggeration but in all honesty, I never found the need to run the Pro 2200 Race at full power. And for all practical purposes, running at full power isn’t feasible for most rides anyway since it will drain the battery in less than 2 hours. This means full power should be reserved for only the fastest, most technical parts of your night ride.
Running the 2200 Pro Race on low to medium power gave me enough juice for 2-3 weeks of night riding (that’s one 2-3 hour ride per week) between charges, which is great for those “oh crap, I forgot to charge my light!” nights.
Within the first couple of months of my test, a bad thing happened: my battery crapped out. The battery would appear to be fully charged after being plugged in all day, but when I connected it to the light I got nothing. Fortunately NiteRider offers a 1-year warranty on all batteries and they got me a new battery, no questions asked. The company also offers a lifetime warranty on parts like LEDs and housings, which is a great protection for your investment.
The dual beam setup is adaptable to whatever light configuration you prefer to run. I personally like to run two lights at night–one on the bars for fill and another on my helmet that acts as more of a spotlight. On the Pro 2200, one bulb acts as a fill while the other is basically a spot. If you’re running the Pro 2200 on the bars by itself, turning on both bulbs will give you both the fill and spot that you need. On the other hand, if you’re pairing with a helmet light, you can probably get away with running just the fill bulb on the Pro 2200 to save power.
I love that the Pro 2200 can be run by itself as a bar light because that makes it easy to monitor the indicators to see how much battery life is remaining, and to adjust brightness throughout the ride. (Single bulb lights really aren’t suitable for running on the bar by themselves–they work best in pairs or as a helmet light only.) If you’ve ever run a helmet light, you know it’s impossible to see indicator lights, and even making brightness adjustments can be tricky, so a bar light like the Pro 2200 is a nice option. NightRider put a lot of thought into the indicator lights as well, giving the rider an “8 step fuel gauge” that is clearly readable, but not distracting in the dark.
This is what my long term test has been all about, and after a full year of regular usage, the NiteRider Pro 2200 Race light is still running strong. Honestly ,it even feels like it’s brand new. I’m still getting full battery life out of each charge, and all the accessories remain in pristine condition.
The NiteRider Pro 2200 Race–and now, its replacement, the 2200 Enduro–is a high-performance, dependable light that should make a great investment for races and night rides for years to come.
Thanks to NiteRider for providing the Pro 2200 Race bike light for review. The 2200 Race retails for $399 and is still available at a few retailers in limited quantities. The 2200 Enduro is widely available today for $429 MSRP.