The Pro 1400 Race is NiteRider’s lowest priced 1,000+ lumens LED mountain bike light. It has a bunch of modes to choose from, but the three light levels you’ll find most useful when riding your favorite trails are the steady modes with outputs of 400, 850 and 1400 lumens.
You’ll get about 9 hours and 30 minutes of runtime at the 400 lumens setting, 3 hours and 45 minutes at 850 lumens, and 2 hours at the Race’s maximum output of 1400 lumens. There are several other modes, such as blinking and a SOS distress signal, where you can expect upwards of 35 hours of runtime. Powering the light is a Lithium-ion battery that requires 5 hours of charge to bring it back from the dead. Overall, these are pretty good numbers for today’s light and battery technology.
I like having lights where I can run them at less than full power so that I eek out longer run times and can spend as much time on the bike as possible. The 850 setting on the Race is sufficient for biking at a moderately fast pace without outrunning the light’s beam. When entering more technical or fast sections, a quick switch to the 1400 beam provides enough illumination to stay safe at speed. By switching back and forth you can easily squeeze 3 or more hours out of the battery. The only downside to this approach is that you have to cycle through four light settings each time. The light also does not remember which lumen level you had last selected, so you’ll have to run through them all if you turn it off for any reason. Sort of a pain, especially if you mistakenly hit the button too many times and have to go through them twice.
The following are photos taken along a dark path in my local park with the light attached to the handlebars. I attempted to set the photo up so the light’s spot was about 10 feet in front of the handlebars, and the photo is framed to capture the beginning of the spot and the light thrown forward on the trail. This should replicate your view from the bike’s cockpit with your head at a natural angle looking down the trail. That being said, when you only have one light, I think it’s best to attach that to your helmet so the light illuminates where you are looking. A combination of a helmet and handlebar light is always best if you can afford it.
- The low setting of 400 lumens is plenty for slower speeds along wide trails, or less technical climbs.
- The 850 lumens setting is sufficient for most moderate speed cycling. You can see that as your speed increased, you could outrun the light at this setting.
- The 1400 lumens setting is definitely adequate for high speed trails with more technical sections. Raising the angle of the light would provide an even better preview of the terrain on long, fast, flowy trails.
The Race’s fuel gauge is located on the top of the headlamp and is made up of four lights. As the battery discharges, the lights will go from solid to blinking to off from right to left, giving you an eight step gauge. It’s a great visual representation of how much battery is left. Obviously the gauge is not visible when using the headlamp on your helmet; unless you take your helmet off, ask a buddy to check or bring a mirror.
The battery case is slim, less then 1.75 inches at its thickest point, and is fairly lightweight. The entire system (headlamp included) weighs a mere 484 grams, or a little over one pound. The battery is about 6.25 inches long and is attached to your bike’s frame with two Velcro straps. The bottom of the battery case has a soft, concave rubber channel which keeps the battery stable and decreases the possibility of marring your bike’s paint. I didn’t notice any movement of the case during this test. I’m not one to shy away from the rocky lines either.
Included with the light is a battery, helmet mount, handlebar mount (up to 31.88mm), extension cable so you can throw the battery in your pack, and an AC adapter.
Since the included handlebar mount will only fit handlebars with a diameter up to 31.88 mm, you’ll need to purchase Niterider’s Pro Handlebar Strap Mount (part number 4145) if you want to run the light on thicker bars. The strap mount is only $19.99 and in some ways I like it a bit better than the included mount. It’s simpler and sits a bit more flush to the bars. The only drawback is you can’t center it along the stem like you can with the included mount. Neither the included mount nor the pro mount showed any signs of coming loose on any of my rides. You can find the alternate mount here.
Spending $250 on a light can be painful for some, but the Pro 1400 Race is a reasonably priced accessory that can keep you on your bike through those darker days of winter or allow you to experience your favorite daytime trails in a whole new way. That’s money well spent in my opinion, so it gets a solid recommendation from me.
More info: niterider.com