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It’s time we all admitted that in the Northern Hemisphere at least, the nights are drawing in.  The commute and morning/evening training ride are

Not the lighting system we’d suggest…

now affairs conducted in either half light or inky darkness.  There are, as we see it here at PBK towers, two options:  Join a support group; or get some winter lights!

Which is why we thought we’d take this opportunity to introduce you to the NiteRider 2011 range and some key products within it that we think are going to be pretty handy in the coming months.

Note:  If you’re lucky enough to live in the southern hemisphere – read on – it’ll be your turn in six months!

Established in 1989, NiteRider have been making and developing cycle lighting systems for over twenty years, so they’ve seen some considerable changes from the huge battery packs of old.  From the high power off-road systems to commuter lights, there has been a trickle down of technology from the flagship products to the less expensive lights.  The latest LED technology and features like USB charging via a standard cable make these practical and good value.

NiteRider MiNewt Mini 150 USB

The 2011 MiNewt Mini 150 (rrp £89.99) boasts 150 lumens, that’s 40 more than the previous model, plenty for the ride home and adequate also for your evening training rides.  The MiNewt Mini has high, medium, low and flash modes – the flash mode is particularly useful on damp and dreary days to make your presence known.  The small battery pack fits neatly under your stem and attaches with a supplied Velcro strap leaving the small and neat lamp attached to your handlebar with a supplied rubber strap for easy fitting and removal.

We think the best feature on this light is the USB charging system. In approximately four hours the battery can be charged via a standard USB cable as found on your PC at work as well as a standard wall socket.  When you get to work, simply remove the battery pack and plug it in to your work pc with a standard USB lead (supplied).  No more carrying round heavy chargers or realising you’ve not got enough battery life to get home.  The light has a low battery indicator, can be mounted on your handlebars or helmet (helmet mount not included), has a 3 to 6 hour run time and weighs just 175 grams (manufacturer supplied).  The perfect commute light?

The Lightning Bug 3.0 and Stinger Combo Pack

Additional lighting is never a bad thing on those grey winter days when it is all too easy to miss a cyclist, or on the all day winter ride that runs just a little too late.  The Lightning Bug 3.0 and Stinger lights (rrp £29.99) are small and easily attachable so you can have them in a back pocket or just pop them on your bike as and when.  The Lightning Bug 3.0 front light has three LED’s, high/low/flashing modes, a 100 hour run time (approximate) and weighs just 36 grams.

The Stinger rear light has a single 1/2 watt LED which is visible from up to half a mile away, it fits on round and aero seatposts, has steady and flashing modes and a quick release rubber mounting strap making it quick and easy to take on and off.

CherryBomb

No, not a delicious pudding as we first thought, but in fact a rear light bright enough to be seen up to a mile away!
The CherryBomb (rrp £21.98) is easily attachable to you or your bike via a seat post clamp which is adjustable so you can have the light vertical or horizontal, or by the clip on the back of the light allowing you to attach it to your clothing, or perhaps your saddlebag.

A multi-directional collimator lens disperses light making you more visible from side on, this should hopefully make roundabouts a bit less scary!  In an industry first, the light also works as a reflector, so should the worst happen and your batteries run out the reflector will show people where you are.  Pretty handy we think!

To see everything from NiteRider click here.  In the meantime, why not tell us about your winter commuting exploits!  How do you keep yourself motivated to ride in?  Have you got any training tips that you slot in to your ride to make your Spring training that little bit easier?

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