NiteRider Sentry Aero 260 Tail Light- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    NiteRider Sentry Aero 260 Tail Light

    The Commuting sub-forum is likely a better place for this post, but I thought I would mention the following nonetheless...

    I picked up a NiteRider Sentry Aero 260 tail light yesterday. I commute 5 days a week. During the winter months (and often in the other 3 seasons), I am riding in pitch black conditions. In short, adequate lighting, for commuting, is critical.

    I don't mind spending money on anything commuting related, given that I save about $600 a month in parking, let alone gas, depreciation on my vehicle, etc.

    After using well over a dozen different tail lights over the past 10+ years commuting, this one appears to be the holy grail.

    This tail light has a maximum output of 260 lumens (as advertised, at least). Whatever it is, it is BRIGHT. And each of the 6 lighting settings is very effective and usable, depending on the conditions and time of day/night. I cannot imagine not being seen while using this light. This thing is almost certain to power through even the most dense, blustery snowfalls.

    It has a very wide field of visibility - advertised to be 260 degrees. No more issues with visibility by drivers of cars that are at 90 degrees to me, while crossing intersections. It is almost as visible from the side, as it is from behind.

    Conveniently, it powers up in the last setting used.

    Compared to other lights I have used, the NiteRider has a superior attaching/mounting mechanism (for me at least). It is a single button light, which is much easier to use than any of the dual button lights out there. Unlike some of the other tail lights I have had, it uses the same size charger as its matching front Lumina lights (I had to carry 2 separate chargers using some of the more popular other branded lights).

    The LED lighting from the NiteRider is shockingly beautiful. It reminds me of the LED lighting on higher end vehicles. There is simply no comparison between this light and any of the other branded tail lights I have ever used. Even the most inexpensive NiteRider tail light looked incredible powered on. It is something that has to be seen side by side with other branded tail lights, to be appreciated.

    I paid somewhere in the neighbourhood of $38 CDN for it ($28 USD).

    While I will obviously need to put it through its paces in real word conditions before I am able to conclusively assess it, for now, this light appears to me to be next level.

    Let me know if there is anything out there in the same league as this tail light. If there is, I am not aware of it.

  2. #2
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    Interesting design. Looks like it is intended to compete with the Cateye Rapid X3 ( 150 lumen ). Still, I have a hard time accepting the claimed 260 lumen output seeing the Niterider Aero is using COB leds ( two sets of COB panels judging from the videos ) Hard to tell just how much of that 260 is being viewed from the rear as one set of COB panels is intended to illuminate the side panels. Regardless should still make an excellent rear lamp although if I were to buy a Niterider rear lamp I'd likely go with the new Omega 300 which looks like most of the light is projected directly to the rear.

    The thing I like most about the Aero 260 is that it is incorporating some interesting modes and the side visibility of the lamp is without equal. The thing I like less about it is that the mount is not adjustable ( for aiming ). Not real important since it uses COB leds but I prefer rear lamps that can be aimed. Still, I don't think I'd buy the Aero 260 unless I could see how bright it is when viewed from the rear. Very affordable though at about $40 USD.

  3. #3
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    I just read a good review of this light, timely thread. It won Editors Choice on Bikerumor. He noted many of the same positive qualities you pointed out, namely the bright light and excellent visibility.

    The only "negative" was battery life so I'm curious to hear what you think about the battery life.

    (Can't wait for the lumen meter freaks to come here and start bashing this light because it only makes 253 lumens after 15 minutes of operation. Beware the evil light company lying about light output!!! Nightrider is EVIL, we should sue their ass!! Oh wait, someone already started that...)
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I just read a good review of this light, timely thread. It won Editors Choice on Bikerumor. He noted many of the same positive qualities you pointed out, namely the bright light and excellent visibility.

    The only "negative" was battery life so I'm curious to hear what you think about the battery life.

    (Can't wait for the lumen meter freaks to come here and start bashing this light because it only makes 253 lumens after 15 minutes of operation. Beware the evil light company lying about light output!!! Nightrider is EVIL, we should sue their ass!! Oh wait, someone already started that...)
    Real hard to measure output with rear lights and while I question the claimed output, I only do that because of what I already know about rear lights that use COB panel LED's. You need to remember that there is a lot of competition when it comes to new bike products so it wouldn't surprise me if some manufacturers tended to over-hype their new products ( as they've done it before...ie....Magicshine when they came out with their newer lights )

    If the Aero 260 were to put out a real 100 lumen directly to the rear I think I'd be perfectly happy with that as 100 lm even from a COB panel is quite bright. I do wonder however just how long any small self contained LED lamp can run when outputting 260 ( full power ) lumen. If someone who actually owns one is not getting the full listed run time when on high I wouldn't be surprised.

  5. #5
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    I'm just sayin, the two people (so far) that have used this light noted how bright it is. For some that's not good enough, they need to put a gauge on it and measure. Apparently it's notably bright. Good enough for me. Do I care if it makes 100 lumens directly to the rear? Nope.

    I'll add that I'm interested in the battery life compared to my current Solas 250. Same price. I'm quite happy with the battery life of the Solas. I'm looking for a second rear light, if this one has similar battery life and better visibility I might make the switch instead of getting another 250.

    I know how bright my NR Solas 250 is, if the Sentry is similar it will be plenty bright regardless of how it measures on on a light meter.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Fat Lefty
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Real hard to measure output with rear lights and while I question the claimed output, I only do that because of what I already know about rear lights that use COB panel LED's. You need to remember that there is a lot of competition when it comes to new bike products so it wouldn't surprise me if some manufacturers tended to over-hype their new products ( as they've done it before...ie....Magicshine when they came out with their newer lights )

    If the Aero 260 were to put out a real 100 lumen directly to the rear I think I'd be perfectly happy with that as 100 lm even from a COB panel is quite bright. I do wonder however just how long any small self contained LED lamp can run when outputting 260 ( full power ) lumen. If someone who actually owns one is not getting the full listed run time when on high I wouldn't be surprised.
    I will let you know once I get some real ride time in on it. I suspect it may not live up to its advertised lumens rating or battery time, although I donít know one way or the other. I will give an objective laypersonís review of it in a few weeks.

    I am not a fan of CygoLite, front or rear. I much prefer NiteRider. For a long list of reasons. But we have already been through that in other threads. Personally I donít care what people wish to use. But it does irk me a bit to see NiteRider get the shit kicking it does on here, when my experience is to the contrary. Just trying to add a bit of real world balance.

    Like I have said before, I am not a government regulator of advertising content. I am a biker who commutes daily year round, and have been doing so for years. I only care about what works well, not whether somebody is taking some liberties with its advertising claims.

    Whatever its bench tested output, this light is bright AF. Trust me on that. I am concerned I am going to piss people off with it. Whatever the bench tested output is, I donít care. The thing is blinding bright. And I say that having owned and used a CygoLite Hotshot 100 and 150 (and NUMEROUS other tail lights).

    If it shits the bed on battery life, that wonít be great. That said, I donít mind charging my lights at work as often as it takes, so again, I donít really care that much.

    As I said above, if there is a better tail light out there for commuting in safety, I would like to know about it. This thing is revolutionary, in terms of its 260 degrees of visibility. The quality of the actual light produced is jaw dropping, but I found that with all the NiteRider tail lights, regardless of cost. The other ones look like cheap red lights. This thing looks like it came from the designers of the nicest vehicle tail lights out there. Absolutely gorgeous.

    I spend ridiculous amounts of money on all my bikes, in quest of the best. I have never felt the need to replace any of my NiteRider lights. Again though, the only riding I do in the dark is commuting. Night riding in the mountains in my area, especially with my daughter, is not something that appeals to me.
    Last edited by mtnbkrmike; 12-24-2018 at 01:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    I bought a Solas 250 and I think that dang thing is so bright when it hits the bright pulse light that I could ride by it at night if it would stay that bright. But the bright pulse is of course only on for a sec or so. I bought it to use during the day so I'd be better seen this Summer. Dunno how you guys road ride in Winter. Too cold. Mtn bike yeah b'c it's slower. And I'm in the Bay Area so kudos to those in colder areas Winter road riding!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I'm just sayin, the two people (so far) that have used this light noted how bright it is. For some that's not good enough, they need to put a gauge on it and measure. Apparently it's notably bright. Good enough for me. Do I care if it makes 100 lumens directly to the rear? Nope.
    .
    Not sure I understand why you wouldn't care how bright it is directly to the rear since that is the primary function of what a rear light is suppose to do... Of course if you own the light and feel it is sufficient enough to be seen from the rear than I suppose that would make sense.

    For me to say that a rear lamp is sufficiently bright enough to satisfy my own needs I wouldn't necessarily measure it with a light meter. All I need to do is walk a couple hundred feet behind the bike at night and then trust what my eyes see to tell me if the light is bright enough to be seen at a farther distance. If you are considering buying another Solas you might consider buying the newer Omega which should be brighter and has a similar form factor to the Solas ( although I'm sure there's nothing wrong with getting another Solas. At least all the Niteriders are affordable and should make for very good rear lights. )

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I'm just saying I don't care what the actual number of lumens is so long as it's sufficiently bright.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    .......For me to say that a rear lamp is sufficiently bright enough to satisfy my own needs I wouldn't necessarily measure it with a light meter. All I need to do is walk a couple hundred feet behind the bike at night and then trust what my eyes see to tell me if the light is bright enough to be seen at a farther distance.
    The downside to that is it requires you to actually have the light to be able to see if it works to your needs. Hard to use that method when shopping. Some LBS's might be agreeable to allowing a test like that. I know I don't have that kind of relationship with any.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    The downside to that is it requires you to actually have the light to be able to see if it works to your needs. Hard to use that method when shopping. Some LBS's might be agreeable to allowing a test like that. I know I don't have that kind of relationship with any.
    Yep....absolutely true. That's one of the reasons why I participate in this forum. I read what others say about the products they are using and then try to decide who seems to be the most perceptive and non-biased. If I read something that doesn't seem to add up or conversely seems to be interesting I'll start asking more questions if I feel I need for more detail.

    I bought an awful amount of bike lights over the years that turned out to be junk. Some of the stuff I've bought over the years is also pretty good. Either way owning a bunch of misc. bike lights that were built using different form factors has helped me figure out which types tend to be worth owning.

    Anyway, FWIW I can't just buy any light I want to try just because I might find it interesting. My pockets are only so deep. Sometimes I get lucky and find a particular light on display at one of the LBS's. REI tends to carry a lot of the NR and Cygolite stuff. They have a "no questions asked" policy if you return something within a reasonable amount of time. Bought my Cygolite Hotshot 150 at REI. So far no reason to return it and the output is awesome. Doesn't mean there isn't a better rear lamp than the ones I own. It just means I haven't found anything yet that is so far better than what I already own that it would justify laying down the extra coin. Right now I really don't feel the need for a newer rear lamp anyway. Still, I keep an open eye just in case someone makes something new and innovated that really intrigues me.

  12. #12
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    The NiteRider Omega 300 rear light did not do well when tested by road.cc.
    The light was not tight against rain but had a water ingress issue affecting the function - a 'no go' for me as a all weather/all year commuter:

    https://road.cc/content/review/25291...300-rear-light

  13. #13
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    I've been looking at the NR Sentry Aero 260 myself, it seems really promising, and I like the effect the side lighting has, the side lighting seems as bright as the rear! I've never seen anything like that before. That side lighting business is something that I have for a long time hoped someone would get smart enough to make such a product and NR has done it.

    Like one poster said, even if the lumens is off, I doubt it's off by much because most non generic light manufactures are darn close, to within 50 lumens, but the fact that it has that really bright side lighting thing going on would counter any small percentage of drop off of lumens, and the side lighting makes the whole thing worth it anyways.

    Magicshine is a generic light that was imported in and a brand name was created and slapped on the light, and those lights for a long time didn't put out anywhere near the lumens they claimed. I had a friend who had a MS that claimed was 1,200 lumens, my 285 some odd lumen Philips Saferide light with aimed optics was brighter! But in the last year MS has improved the quality of their generic Chinese made light and from what I've heard the lumens are much improved, most of that was due to the price point which was higher than Amazon generics but was only putting out lumens equal to $30 generics they finally wised up and increased the lumens. MS also for a long time had issues with their chargers failing and early models had batteries that caught fire, but all of that seems to have been addressed.

    Added note: I've NEVER had any issues with Cygolite stuff, in fact their batteries are superior to any other light I've ever bought. When I say superior I mean how many years will it last. I have a MityCross 480 osp, that battery is now 10 years old and still holds its charge for almost as long as it did when it was new, the longest any rechargeable battery I've had for cycling use has been 5 years till I got the Cygolite. So I can't say anything negative about Cygolite whatsoever. I still have an old Cygolite Metro that ran off of 8 D batteries using a dual beam 12.5 watt Halogen bulbs, which I changed out the long distance bulb so the max was then 14 watts; I bought that light sometime in the early 90's and used it extensively till about 10 years ago when I got the Mitycross, and that darn Metro still works flawlessly to this day; I kept it for some dumb reason even though I no longer use it. My Cygolite Expilion 400 I for my wife about 10 years ago as well the battery on that is just fine too. But my Philips Saferide original batteries failed about 5 years after purchase, but fortunately those are replaceable; a Light and Motion tail light battery died after about 4 years, and a Planet Bike Superflash died about 3 years. I've never had any issues with the Cygolite products I've bought. People I knew who bought Magicshine got dismal battery life, like 2 years! So now I'm going to try that Niterider 260 which I just ordered today, so it will take some time to find out how long that battery will last.
    Last edited by froze; 05-09-2019 at 04:37 PM.

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