NiteRider Tail Older Lights

DESCRIPTION

The TL 5.0 has five ultra bright LED's with four different operating modes, including three different flash modes. The TL 5.0 will help keep you safe and seen from behind (180 degree visibility).

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 23  
[Jun 18, 2002]
Ken Neuschwanger
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

It is the brightest light available, hands down nobody makes a brighter light, nobody even comes close. Rechargeable battery, no light fading as battery looses charge. NiteRider has a team that stands behind their products.

Weakness:

I have not found any weakness. Wait I have one, the new wiring system can come loose. I have chosen to use a half-inch long piece of "red" electrical tape at the connections to keep from ever having this problem.

I ride about 6000 miles a year commuting, wintertime riding one way is always dark, and this system makes you feel safer around cars at night than in the day. It is hard not to see this lighting system. Thanks go to NiteRider for making a tail light that works.

Similar Products Used:

Vista and other replaceable battery powered lights.

Vista and other replaceable battery powered lights.

Vista and other replaceable battery powered lights.

Vista and other replaceable battery powered lights.

[Oct 25, 2005]
Rob

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Well made. Appears to be sealed from water, and is likely durable.

Weakness:

Coiled cord seems unnecessary. Adds weight and bulk. No lens in front of LEDs. Just a bunch of LEDs behind clear plastic. Rather low Tech compared to more modern lights.

I've been using a RealLight in flash mode, and a Cateye TL-LD600 in steady mode for some time. I built a new bike and decided to see if there was something better around so I bought two new lights. A Lightman strobe, and a Nightrider tail light. The quick answer is "I was dissappointed by both".

The Nightrider is bright, but nothing to rave about. It's quite directional since it has no lens system other than what's built into the LEDs. It projects a round spot, and is bright as long as you are within that spot. Go off to the side just a bit, and it becomes dim very quickly. I put the RealLight, Cateye, and Niterider on the trunk of my car tonight and walked a distance to see what they look like. They were all set to flash mode. From straight behind the Niterider and Cateye were close, with the Niterider being just a bit brighter. But when walking off to the side, the Cateye stayed brighter longer. I credit the Cateye lens system for this. The Cateye produces an oval pattern compared to the round pattern of the Niterider.

The RealLight is nothing to brag about when in steady mode, but it appears brighter in flash mode. It seems that the LEDs are driven with a higher voltage in flash mode. The RealLight was by far the most visable of the three. It wasn't as bright as either of the two lights from straight behind, but it didn't loose much brightness when moving to the side. It's a much larger light than the other two, and that makes it far more noticeable. That's what it's really all about. Not how bright, but how noticeable. In my opinion the Nightrider is just too small to compete with the RealLight.

I purchased the multi voltage Niterider tail light, which runs on either 6 or 13.2 volts. I found the light to be a bit brighter when running on a 13.2 pack compared to a 6 volt pack.

Bottom line is: The Niterider is a bright light and would likely work fine in most situations. But it's not the brightest or most noticeable light around.

Similar Products Used:

Vista Nebula 3, Nebula 5, and strobe, Cateye TL-LD600, RealLight (reallite.com), and Lightman strobe (lightmanstrobes.com).

[Dec 24, 2003]
chuck cypert
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Pretty bright, for a bike taillight.

Weakness:

Funky connectors, somewhat limited mounting based on included seat post clamp.

I have had problems with this unit. You get an in-line splice that connects the taillight and headlight/battery combo. Mine has developed a intermittent problem in either the splice or the connector from the taillight and it will either turn itself on unexpectedly, or it will not stay flashing while riding along. I guess as long as it does not turn itself off while riding then this is not an emergency, but I am definitely going to get it replaced either at the LBS or through NiteRider.

I own a bunch of NiteRider stuff and will continue to buy from them, but I was a little suprised I had problems with this unit because it appears to be built rock solid.

Similar Products Used:

Various VistaLites over the years, still pack one for backup.

[Nov 11, 2002]
Rob Beck
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

I have had more people come up to me and ask what this light is. It is super bright flashes at a great speed and is very eye catching. IT integrates seamlessly into the niterider system. Does not pull a lot of power and is a terrific product

Weakness:

My only complaint is that the mounting system used was not capable of fitting around my seat tube because my tube is slightly oversized so I had to settle for a custom made velcro thingy that I made to mount on the back of my hydration system backpack that attaches the ring to a daisy chain loop. Still working the bugs out of that issue. Again Niterider is not cheap in price but is well built and you usually get what you pay for.

By far the brightest tail light I have ever seen on the road or trail. just need a little

Similar Products Used:

first tail light I have used

[Dec 13, 2001]
Anthony

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

might as well head straight to the bottom line.

Weakness:

right...

I got this to go with my digital 12e that I commuted at night with for over a year, and I loved it. Like everyone else says, its so bright its funny. My last concern once I mounted this was being visible. Believe it or not, but it actually seems brighter than a lot of headlights out there. It visibly lights things up behind you. Its also as tough as you could possibly need. It is high priced, but for what you get and for the fact it runs of your monster rechargable battery, its well worth it.

[Oct 05, 2002]
Philip
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Fabulously bright. Just incredible power. Cars pull over thinking there is an emergency vehicle approaching. Crazy bright. Very low battery draw. Permanent mounting system not as clever as quick release head light clamp.

Weakness:

NR changes their plug styles about every two years. So stupid. Their systems are on a plan of forced obsolescence all the time. If you buy a new headlight today, your old tail light won't work with it. The new (2002/03) plugs are scary too. They use these tiny slide clips for the contacts and I can imagine if you plug the thing together and it is not perfectly aligned, you will mash the copper parts all to hell. Hasn't happened yet, just looks incredibly weak. Also, I broke the plug where the light gets hooked in-line with the head light (this was on my older 2000 model with the old, long plugs- now obsolete). It had bad casting of the plastic around the wires, was weak and failed. I returned it to REI for refund. Now they are coming out with a new plug (go figure!) so I ordered a new head and tail light from REI. If it breaks again, I have recourse. You can usually find some online coupons for REI, so you can get a decent deal. Just keep the receipt.

A very bright tail light. Has had some problems with the plug systems over the years. They need to put some alignment marks on the plugs so you can figure out the necessary orientation for plugging it together in the dark! The older plugs did not require a specific orientation (although the old-old ones did: many generations ago!). Those were much better (but mine broke). Nothing else comes close for safety, however, so I'll stick with it.

4 flaming turds for value because although they are expensive, they are unique and I'm glad they exist.

3 flaming turds for overall because the plugs still suck and the mounting could be improved greatly (quick release).

Similar Products Used:

Various tail blinkers. Vistalights are also pretty bright and cheap.

[Apr 11, 2004]
Chad Milton

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Very,Very bright, small, and well built

Weakness:

none

You can't play when it comes to safety. Nterider has out done itself with this tail light. I have never seen a lighte so bright, small, and truly daylight visible until I saw this tail light. This light out shines many car tail lights. You can hardly look at it without getting a head ache. Their is nothing absolutely nothing on the market that can compete with this light. I have two of these (clear) lights on my Trek 4300. Many people complain about the price of this light but, can you put a price tag on your life? I'd rather pay for safety than pay for a hospital or funeral bill. The truth is, this light is simply super bright, small and worth the $50 buckaroooooos.

Similar Products Used:

none

[Aug 07, 2006]
ron

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

super bright, outstanding design, appears weatherproof, cables are very heavy duty.

Weakness:

none

best commute tail light available imho

Similar Products Used:

aa blinkers

[Nov 25, 2003]
Andrew
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

None

Weakness:

Overpriced, not bright enough to be seen well by approaching cars.

I bought one of these a couple of weeks ago to add to my existing pre-2001 niterider system (the newer models are only compatible with sure-loc connectors). I had read several reviews on newsgroups etc stating how wonderful this light was and decided for safety's sake to shell out the bucks for it ($45 +shipping).

Niterider claims that this light is daylight visible and that it is significantly (10-30 times) brighter than other LED tail lights. I found both of these claims to be false. The main issue with the light is that niterider uses LED's with a very small (I think 12 degree) beam spread and that all of these LED's are facing out at exactly the same angle. Thus, one can only observe the full brightness potential of the light if you are facing it directly head on. If you are slightly to the side of the light or above or below where it is aimed it quickly becomes quite dim. This makes a huge difference if you wish for the cars coming up behind you to see you well. In general they will not be directly behind and in the exact right position to really see the light. I tested this out with my wife by riding up and down our street at night. The niterider tail light was no effectively brighter than an ordinary 5 LED model powered by two AA batteries.

Another drawback to the light (if not being overpriced and not visible were not enough) is that it must be semi-permanently affixed to your bike (screw mounting, not quick release). This will greatly increase wear and tear on the light (especially if you ride off road at all). The second annoying mounting issue is that the power cord is permanently attached to the light so obviously the cord will also have to stay permanently affixed to the bike.

Bottom Line: This light is over priced, poorly designed and just plain doesn't work.

Similar Products Used:

many brands of AA powered tail lights

[Apr 24, 2000]
Craig

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Blindness and seizure inducing levels of brightness!!!!

Weakness:

ABSOLUTELY NONE!!!!

This is the best tail light available hands down!!! Seriously, this thing is the brightest!!! If the driver cant see you with this thing on, even in the daytime, they must be blind!!! I commuted with mine for over a year and never, ever had a problem with it... Worth every penny... Only drains a ridiculously low amount of juice from my Digital Pro 12E... To top things off, during many night rides, and hence night crashes, I have broken many mounting brackets, but the company is always on top of things and I have a new one in a matter of days... Even a spare!! Thats customer service with a smile, keep up the good work!! 5 Chilis for being the best, both in product and support.

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