If you are looking for a set of higher powered commuting lights with the ability to leave mounts on the bike then NiteRider's Micro 650 and Sabre 80 are a very good pairing. Bright and with good burn times they work well if you do a lot of riding on unlit roads.
Well constructed front light
Brightness of both lights
Heavy front light
Mounts are plasticky and chunky
NiteRider has a reputation for producing some incredibly well functioning, if a little traditional looking, lights to suit any budget. This Micro 650/Sabre is no different and has proven to be reliable performers.
The front Micro 650 has a solid feeling aluminium and composite body designed to minimise heat build up from the single, high powered LED. A large illuminated button on top takes care of control and allows you to cycle through the three main settings. A longer press of the button activates the single flash mode and a lower power 'walking' beam. As its name implies it can pump out up to 650 lumens in a nicely diffused pattern that illuminates a large swathe of the road ahead. At full power you get up to 1.5 hours of burn time, lower settings can provide up to seven hours of light at 150 lumen output.
The unit itself is pretty chunky at 156 grams including the mount. Talking about the mount, this is probably the only thing that lets the Micro 650 down. It's pretty over-engineered, large and very plasticky and needs to be kept on the bike due to the added faff of fitting. There are no issues with it holding the light solidly but other methods are far simpler and less restrictive.
The rear Sabre 80 uses a line of tiny LEDs to pump out a piercingly bright line of light. Side cutouts illuminate orange when the light is on and the body also features chrome detailing to reflect light even when the light is off. A large front mounted button has a loud click when pressed and is simple to find even when riding. Three solid settings are the default, if you want flashing modes you need to press and hold the button for three seconds to access the three flashing modes.
The Sabre 80 uses a chunky rubber and plastic strap to mount to the seatpost and this also benefits from angle adjustment to set it properly. A clothing clip on the light doubles up as the mounting point but this and the recess it docks into feel a little flimsy.
Both front and rear light use a separate USB cable to charge and the ports are held under simple but solid rubber bungs. Durability has been excellent and weather proofing again hasn't been an issue.
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James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.
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