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  1. #1
    h79 is offline
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    Jun 2012

    Review: Niteye B20 bicycle light

    Hey you,

    I wrote a several reviews of normal flashlights in other forums - so now there‘s review of a bicycle lamp!

    Of course it is possible to use a normal flashlight with a bike mount. Ive got one from Intl-Outdoor and use my Solarforce L2M with it, but using a real bike light is way better!

    The company Niteye, known for products like the EYE30 and the tactical pen K1, has got three new bike lamps in their lineup.

    One of these new flashlights from Niteye is the B20 with two XM-L LEDs, a remote control and a extravagant design.

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I luckily received a product sample from Niteye. This does not have any impact on the objectivity of this review! Even criticism is mentioned.

    In early January I received my first flashlight from Niteye, the EYE30. The first surprise was the great packaging - it did not arrive in a cartonage, but in a stable metal case!
    Even the new B20 Bicycle Light comes in a special package: You‘ll receive it in a case made out of foam plastic, that is useful as transport package.

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Cellular material protects the content of the case. Sadly there‘s a little bit to less space so that it‘s not so easy to get everything back in the case!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    These things are in the scope of delivery:
    - Niteye B20 Bicycle Light
    - battery pack with four 18650 Li-Ion cells
    - english manual
    - bicycle mount
    - charger (with EU-Adapter)
    - Remote Switch
    - velcro tape

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Let‘s have a closer look to the scope of delivery.
    Next to the bicycle light itself there‘s a battery pack in the case that seems a bit bigger than the one that‘s delivered with the bicycle lights from Magicshine for example.
    Of course here are also four 17650 Li-Ion cells built in that pack. The battery pack is engaged in a soft pouch - it is quite complicated to remove it ;-)
    You need only the cable that is mounted on the battery pack for charging and for connecting the bicycle light.

    The charger is quite simple and has got a little LED that signalizes charging/ready with a red/green signal.

    There‘s a engllish manual in the package which is rather short.
    A bit more information, for example about attaching the bike light, would have been very nice. One kind of attachment is illustrated in the manual, but the picture is a bit small, I think.

    I don‘t have too much to say about the remote control. It is connected to the light with a stereo jack and an about 45 centimeter long spiral cable. It‘s possible to mount it on the grip of your bikes‘ handlebar with the velcro tape from the scope of delivery.

    The bike mount remembers me a bit of the cheap one‘s from Intl-Outdoor, but it‘s of higher value. A rubber inlay protects the handlebar from scratchers. It is very easy to use the bike mount: A kind of a cog wheel consisting of the drive belt and the mount-insides makes it possible to mount it on your bike easily, whilst the B20 itself can be pulled away with one hand movement to protect it from steal.

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Main part of the B20-package is, of course, the bicycle light itself. Even on the face of it the B20 looks quite good, I think! It looks a bit futuristic and in my opinion a lot better than my old bike light from Magicshine, the MJ808E.
    And the B20 is amazing small: I measured a lenght of 54 Millimeters (with glare shield), a width of 45mm and a depth of 25mm, so it fits in your pocket without problems. It is possible to use it without a bike, but you have to put the battery pack in your pocket and hold the B20 in your hand.

    Thanks to the black HA-III anodizing the B20 is a real eyecatcher, but there‘ll be a magenta version that might fit on women‘s bikes ;-)
    Niteye says it fulfills the IPX-6 standard and is waterproofed, so it‘ll be no problem to use it on a rainy day.

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Maybe the battery indicator is the most interesting thing on the B20. Some of you might know it from the EYE30. This coinsized element makes it possible to check the battery status always so that you‘ll never have to drive in the dark without advance warning.
    Sadly the „Patent“ print on my B20 is a bit aslope.
    Those flat cooling fins on the sides of the body are maybe not to actual, but that won‘t be so important if you drive fast enough.

    One of the most important things is quite small and unimposing: The glare shield that roofes over the LEDs a bit. It is possible to use the B20 nearly without glaring someone!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    At the lower side you can find the mechanism that enables locking the Bike Light on the Bike mount.
    The simple feeder with button is very useful to attach the B20 very fast. Of course it‘s also easy to demount it, I‘m shure that thieves would really like this bike light.

    On the back there‘s the cable that connects the flashlight with the battery pack („Power Input“). It‘s not possible to remove the cable. Next to the cable there‘s the jack for the remote control that it protected with a little rubber fitting.

    There are two ways to operate the B20: You can use the silver switch ner the battery indicator or the remote control from the scope of delivery. The switch on the body has got two levels. Pressing it soft means getting full power immediately (momentary light).
    Pressing the switch for two seconds a bit more powerful, switches the light on. A second press brings you to Strobo Mode.

    In the center of two Orange Peel Reflectors there are two Cree XM-L U2 LEDs which deliver about 600 Lumens each.

    Even if they‘re naturally not a point of interest, the cables are worth a special mention here. The about cable between light and battery pack is 23 centimeters long, the female part that‘s mounted on the battery pack is about 20 centimeters long.
    To get it waterproofed, you should use the black ring that is pulled over and screwed.

    All together the B20-Body is on high quality. The accessories are wise.

    Mounting all things on your bike is a thing of five minutes!
    You‘ve got the bike mount, the B20, the battery pack, the remote and the velcro tape.

    Now it‘s possible to mount the bike attachment on your handlebar, then you put the B20 on the bike mount. After that the battery pack should be attached somewhere near the front on the bicycle frame. Thanks to the hook-and-loop fastener it‘s easy to mount it on the frame.

    Next step is the remote control. You can chose whether you attach it on the left or right grip on your handlebar. It‘s fixed with the velcro tape after that. The remote control is useful to be able to operate your B20 Bicycle Light whilst driving without taking the hands off your grips!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Next thing is the operation of the B20. Basically there are two ways of operation: Directly on the body with the button or with the remote control.

    The button brings momentary light if you press it soft. Pressing it harder for 2 seconds brings the light to the 1200 Lumens mode.
    Der zweistufige Knopf sorgt bei leichtem Drücken für Momentlicht.
    Pressing again means getting strobe mode. By the way, the LEDs take turns, so strobe has got „only“ 600 lumens, but that‘s enough for warning!

    The right button on the remote does also bring momentary light. Activating the B20 is the left button‘s job. As soon as the light runs, the right button is used for changing the modes:
    High (1200 lumens, both LEDs), Med (1 LED, 600 lumens) and Low (1 LED, 100 lumens).
    In my opinion, the remote is revolutionary! It‘s no need to move your hands while driving anymore, so it‘s safer and easier to use than other bike lights!

    Sadly there‘s one little problem: You have to plug in the jack quite deep. If it‘s a bit outside, there‘ll be a malfunction (no mode change possible).

    The charging time for the Battery pack is about 7 hours.

    Now I‘m gonna tell you something about the beam. Naturally the B20 is not good thing for whitewall-hunter ;-)
    The homogeneous illumination is very useful on the track. There‘s also a bright spot for the range. Together the two LEDs cover a angle of 120 degree, so the area around the bike‘s also illuminated.

    Yesterday‘s night I rode my bike through the forest to check the lighting. Thanks to the wide beam you don‘t overlook some branches and because of the enormous brightness you can see a wide area in front of you even at higher speed.

    One interested detail was surely developed with hidden agenda: The little roof above the reflectors that proctects from glare. The manual tells to rotate the light deeper than the horizon.
    So if there‘s some unexpected oncoming traffic, it‘s possible to protect other people from getting blinded by the light.

    On that picture you can see that the glare protection is wise: The angle of slope is little, but the glare is much less.

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Just to show you the illumination and brightness, I shot some comparison beamshots with other flashlights.
    I tested the B20 in all three brightness levels, the V9-T6 with max. 650 lumens, the SK3 with 200 lumens, the SL6S with 800 lumens and the EYE30 with 1000 and 2000 lumens.

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    You can see the glare shield on the whitewall shot.

    Review Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Those who don‘t want to read the whole review get a few important informations now:


    + Nice design
    Good manufacturing
    Wise operating ability with the remote control
    practical case for transport
    battery indicator so you don‘t have to drive in the dark unexpected
    good illumination
    glare shield is useful


    - remote control works only well with correct plugged jack
    - print on the battery indicator is a bit beveled
    - no real cooling fins

    In my opinion, Niteye did a good job with the new B20 bicycle light! The enormous brightness and the remote control are special features.
    The operation with the remote is very safe, the four modes were good chosen (hidden strobe). Those of you who use the cheap bike lights from the local dealer will really be surprised by the brightness of the B20. My old bike lamp is workless now ;-)

    By the way, there are two brothers/sisters: the smaller B10 with one XM-L and the bigger B30 with three LEDs.

    Niteye B20 Bicycle Light | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    A little size comparison pic with some of my other flashlights.

  2. #2
    h79 is offline
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    Jun 2012
    If somebody wants to see more beamshots, please tell me which location you'd like to see.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
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    May 2004
    First, thanks for the review.

    Looks like a pretty nice light judging from the outward design. There are however a couple issues about it that I don't like. I don't like the idea that one LED shuts down when you go to medium ( or low ). I would much rather have both led's lit when on medium so that the beam pattern would remain consistent. Not as much an issue when on low but if only one led is lit when in medium mode then that led is operating at a higher temperature range which will lower efficiency. Better if both LED's are on and pushing about 850ma. each. This would be a more efficient way to provide a lower output when two LED's are available.

    The remote is the other problem. It is quite long, in my opinion too long. Anything that over-laps the handlebar grips that far is going to get in the way of your hands. That would almost certainly lead to unintended power or mode changes. That's not something I would be willing to deal with when going down a hill at 25mph+.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: George Gr's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Great light! I think I am going to get me one!
    Do you think for trial riding is enough or I should also get a 2nd light to put it on my helmet?
    I was thinking something like this for my helmet:
    CREE XM-L T6 1600Lm Dual Purpose Light Bicycle / Headlamp, Keygos

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