The Bike List

Niterider Mako 2.0 Front Light £40

Tested by Ped Baker, tester for The Bike List

Niterider has a deserved reputation for some serious lighting. The Pro and Newt range are bulletproof, punch some monster power (the Pro3000 is claimed to be the world's most powerful bike light) and they are very, very pricey (the Pro3000 costs a penny shy of £600).

Unfortunately the Mako 2 doesn't share much in common with its pedigree stablemates. If the Pro and Newt are thoroughbred stallions, the Mako2 is a bit of a Shetland pony.

The Mako 2 claims an output of 130 lumens. For the old wrinklies amongst us, a lumen is a measurement of light output adopted when LEDs started to become widespread and watts didn't make sense anymore. Lumens should be a more accurate gauge of brightness as lumens measures light output while watts measures power input.

In a shop environment I could imagine the amount of light the Mako 2 produces being fairly impressive. Its power is certainly bright enough to dazzle a few shop assistants and convincing enough to hand over your £40 But use the Mako 2 on the road and it's faults come to um, light.

The beam pattern on the Mako 2 has been focused into a small patch of bright light. Useful for a hand torch less so for a bike light. Unless you ride really slowly it's difficult to use the beam as a guide so the Mako's main role is to be seen rather than see. This problem isn't exclusive to the Mako and suprisingly few sub fifty quid lights have a beam good enough and strong enough to provide enough illumination to actually see where you're going. This is something of a frustration when you can purchase a Maglite 3D cell LED hand torch for less money (£36.99), is better built, has a focusable beam (although its claimed Lumen output is lower) and a lifetime warranty. OK, a Maglite would be tricky to mount on your handlebars, but you get my point: bike lights by comparison, appear poor value.

The Mako 2 has another problem too; the handlebar clamp is flimsy. The unit secures to handlebars by a hinged ratchet clamp. To operate you simply pinch both halves together, to release you unhook the lower half of the ratchet, it's a simple, one handed operation and fits any size bars and can be quickly swapped between bikes. A rubber pad stops both damage to bars and keeps the light from rotating around the bars. The clamp is cleverly designed but is easily knocked out of alignment. The light unit itself also has a quick release clamp so you could just remove the light and leave the clamp in place rendering the other quick release redundant.

If you're after a front light to make other road users aware of your presence then the Mako2 works OK despite it's shortcomings. On the other hand, if you ride on unlit roads and need to spot the potholes and road kill long before you're on top of them, there are better options available for similar money.

Buy from  www.chainreactioncycles.com

At a glance

Verdict A 2 watt, 130 Lumen LED commuter light that’s bright but doesn’t spread it’s beam wide enough. Cheaply built and the handlebar clamp is flimsy.
Value
Performance

Niterider says:

The new Mako™ Series packs a serious punch with a four light line up. These commuter lights span the range from "be seen" lights to the powerful Mako™ 2 Watt light pumping out 130 lumens and is also helmet mountable.

Niterider's favorite feature is the side "gills". They emit a red light, which not only looks cool, but makes the Mako's more visible. The entire line is easy on the wallet and operates on 2 AA batteries, which are included.

  • Light: 2 watt Cree LED
  • Run time: 25 hours on high, 50 hours on low, 200+ hours on flash
  • Battery: 2 x AA
  • Lumens: 130
  • Weight: 165g
  • Modes: 3 (High, Low and Flash)

Supplier: 2pure, +44 (0)844 811 2001, www.2pure.co.uk