I was recently sent a selection of lights from Nite Ize Innovation to check out. Nite Ize was a new name to me; or at least I thought it was, until I realized I had a LED dog collar from them! But, this is about bike parts, not pet accessories!
From their website, ‘The mission of Nite Ize is to create innovative, solution based products with quality, performance, and value at the core’. Perusing their website, you’ll see lots of interesting items from flashlights to pens to mobile device accessories; in other words, lots of cool stuff! So just what did they send me?
We’ll be looking at three lights: the SpokeLit spoke light, TwistLit bike light, and the SaddleLite combo saddle bag and bike light.
SpokeLit – $8.99 / £7.95
Spoke lights have always been one of those lights that I’ve not been in a hurry to own. I always figured they weren’t that important and could possibly throw a little odd feeling to the ride by throwing off the wheel balance with the addition of rotating mass. I’m happy to report that my assumptions were wrong. I kept the SpokeLit on my MTB and honestly forgot it was there during the day. Road or trail, slow or fast, it was as if they weren’t there. At night, the SpokeLit presented a good amount of side illumination without being annoying from the driver’s seat.
I do have a couple of concerns about the light colors though. The unit that I had on test had 2 settings: squeeze once for blinking red or, from off, squeeze twice for always on while rotating through a bank of colors; their “Disco” version. I have always been taught red lighting goes on rear, front is white, and side lights are yellow/amber. With these being a side illumination tool, you would think that yellow/amber would be the single blinking color. At this time, while red, green, blue, and disco are available, amber/yellow is not an option. Some areas may also have actual laws or regulations regarding this.
In use, the battery life does seem solid. It’s very simple to use since activating or changing settings is as simple as squeezing it, and changing the batteries is as easy as prying off the top and swapping out 2 coin-cell type batteries.
No matter what though, with an MSRP of $8.99 and available in Blue, Red, or Green in addition to the Disco that I tested, they certainly don’t break the bank and offer a nice bit of side illumination to help make you more visible to encroaching traffic.
TwistLit – $8.99 / £8.95
A LED bicycle light with ‘Gear Tie Technology’. The TwistLit is a take on the old standby – a light that attaches to the bike frame, handlebars, or seatpost. To differentiate itself from the rest of the pack, Nite Ize has equipped this light with ‘Gear Tie Technology’, which is a bit like twisty-ties on steroids.
Much like the SpokeLit, this light has 2 settings – solid and flashing. I had the red version on test, but it is also available in white or ‘Disc-O’.
One of the nice things about the TwistLit, with its Gear Tie Technology, is that it is a bit more versatile than the standard post mounted light. While I did use the TwistLit on both the handlebars and the seatpost, I also was able to attach it to the back of a child’s bike seat – something that you couldn’t do with the average taillight. The simple twist action of the Gear Tie provides a very secure connection to the bike, but is easily changed without any tools. Want it up front? Twist it in place. Want it on the seatpost? Untwist the ties and re-twist it onto the seatpost.
The rubberized ties proved a great amount of grip when twisted on and slipping was non-existent, even when I put it on the mountain bike and hit the trails.
Visibility is surprising for a single LED without any sort of refractor set-up. The output is very noticeable, even on steady, and the body itself provides a good amount of glow since it is somewhat translucent. Further to that, because of the way the body is build, you actually get a good amount of side visibility because the body glows with some level of light more than 180 degrees around! So, when all is said and done, this is a great little light!
SaddleLite – $33.29 / £29.95
Do you get excited when it comes to the time to replace your trusty saddle bag because you’ve put in thousands of miles and multiple years of rides and/or commutes? Yeah, I don’t either. Let’s face it, the new one is just never as good as the old one. The SaddleLite attempts to remedy that issue.
The first thing that hit me about the SaddleLite was the capacity. I was able to get everything I like to carry for supplies (outside of food and water) into the bag with some room to spare. As can be seen, it fits a CO2 inflator with additional cartridge, multi-tool, tube, and patch kit – and I could have easily put a Clif Bar in there, too!
As with the TwistLit, the SaddleLite features the Gear Tie technology. This time, the Gear Ties are used to attach the bag to the seat post. Twisted in place, the connection is top notch and very secure. The SaddleLite bag also utilizes what I have found to be the best velcro-style attachment to the saddle rails. I’ve used the kind where they attach individually on the left and right, but those loosen-up and release. This single loop-back style is very effective and in all the miles I’ve put in with the bag, I haven’t had any issues with it loosening-up.
Then I started shooting pictures and really started to catch on to the passive reflectivity. Nite Ize did a really good job on making it very reflective from the important angles. The piping around the corners provides great visibility from the side and then the strap that holds the light in place provides a truly impressive patch of light reflection. Couple that with the integrated red Nite Ize LED light and you have some serious attention getting for anyone approaching you from behind – and the side!
Overall, this has been a pleasure to have on the bike and I would recommend it to anyone looking for that capacity and a light on the back.
One nice thing about the three variations reviewed above is that all three had the same basic structure, power supply, and method of changing. All utilized two, long lasting, lithium, button cell batteries.
Pulling things apart to change a battery is as simple as just gently prying the top from the base. Easy peasy. And, the batteries themselves are readily available.
The SpokeLit, TwistLit, and SaddleLite are three simple and easy to use pieces that can definitely add some illumination and visibility to you ride. The SpokeLite and TwistLit are very affordably priced and, while the SaddleLite costs more than its companion products, it is very well priced given the capacity, light, and reflectivity. I think these 3 pieces are definitely worth a look if you’re ever in the market for something of their sort.
Night Ize have made a nice little video that talks about who they are and where they’re going; these lights are just the tip of the iceberg.
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