I, or maybe we, have been lucky enough to receive our first high value item to review and it’s take the form of the Nukeproof Reactor Extreme light.
Up to this point we’ve reviewed bikes and accessories that we’ve all paid our hard earned cash for so this is quite a difference.
The light itself is a neat little unit, not much bigger than the Lumicycle halogen cans that many of us ran over the past years. The casing seems to be well machined and the anodizing looks great. The Extreme kit that I was sent has the bigger battery and all the supplementary lenses as standard. The charger is a clever unit that tells you when charging has finished by a colour change LED and then pulses the battery with a low current to keep it topped up.
The 4 cell battery is rated at 4 hours on full power and I think that will prove to be pretty accurate. I’ve certainly run it for getting close to that time with only a short charge between two rides and our night rides don’t show any signs of getting shorter. I suspect the bigger battery may well lend itself to powering two of these lights on some peoples’ bars.
The whole package mounts very easily. A quick release mount attaches to the bars and enables you to clip the light head in place while a small thumb nut allows you to set the angle of the light and keep it fixed. The battery mounts under stem or to a frame bar via a big velcro strap.
I make the two light suggestion after finding the that standard or medium filter offers a good wide flood of light but lacks the penetration on faster trails. Switching to the spot filter gives a much stronger, penetrating beam but lacks the fill or spill for closer trail illumination. I’ve not bothered with the wide filter as it’s too wide for the riding I do round here but would probably be good for complex singletrack where you don’t have a helmet mounted light.
The full power light is the most useful. Standard mode is a lot less bright and economy mode is almost the same output as standard but with much better battery life. I think the might be scope to up the standard mode to give a bit more light and still add a couple of extra hours to the burn time.
What’s good about the Nukeproof Reactor light
- Decent quality machined unit, small and lightweight
- Decent run time with the 4 cell battery
- Ability to fine tune the light spread
- Supplied with everything you need
- Lots of spares available
- Easy mounting/unmounting
- Stays where you point it
Niggles about the Nukeproof Reactor light
- Quick release on bar mount wasn’t slick to engage
- Spot filter had a bit of a black hole artefact in the middle
- Battery could use thicker foam/rubber to cushion it against stem mounting
- Blue ‘ON’ led is rather obtrusive while riding
Thoughts on the Nukeproof Reactor after the Marin Dusk til Dawn (D2D)
I used the Nukeproof on the Marin D2D race and found it to perform without fault. I opted for the medium filter and this proved ideal for the slowish (for me at any rate!) track. The track was a bit of a shaker in places and the lamp stayed in place nicely with a slight tighten on the thumb nut.
The Nukeproof works well and is a complete package. The niggles I list are not show stoppers and are easily worked around or ignored. The Reactor coupled with some sort of helmet mounted light provides all the light you should need for singletrack and XC riding.
We went to shoot the beam shots but the weather had broken and we were faced with mist. Hence the shots are not ideal but do give an idea of the spread and hopefully you can still see the spot penetrates a greater distance. We’ll try and re-shoot if we are able to hang on to them and the weather is kind.
Update 17 Oct
Got some beam shots of the Nukeproof Reactor in the dry. Much less light reflected back thanks to no mist this time! It confirmed that this is a pretty effective and versatile light.
Click on the images for a larger and fancier view.