Nukeproof Reactor Extreme light review£249.99

Decent lamp with a few issues

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The Nukeproof Reactor is a new light, and comes into the UK in a presentation cake tin – but it’s not all sweet. It's a bright, well-built, waterproof unit that's let down by some niggling issues.

A Seoul P7 LED provides the light – a claimed 900 lumens – and you can swap between spot, medium and flood diffusers; a good feature which increases the versatility of the unit. The spot is brightest, but is low on peripheral vision. The medium filter was most useful for reasonably high paced trail and road work.

This light allowed us to ride at speed on pitch black country lanes in torrential rain with no problems. But be warned that it provides minimal side visibility, so for road rides you’ll need to use it in conjunction with a smaller unit that does. Hopefully on future models this issue will be addressed with side cutaways or the like.

Fitting the light onto the bars is straightforward enough, although the non-split clamp necessitates unscrewing the thumbscrew when fitting and removing, which is a pain. Make sure you screw up the clamp-on holder securely, otherwise the light will soon tilt up after the first few potholes.

The light unit clips on and off using a quick-release lever. It can be twisted left or right, so you can direct the beam as you like. The hefty battery can be awkward to fit to certain bikes, and one of the two sets we tested was an hour short on its quoted four-hour run time (the other was fine).

It comes with an in-built power indicator light – press a button and a light on the battery shines red (charge ASAP), green (good charge left) or amber (you haven’t got long, reduce the power!). Another useful feature is that when the battery is running out, the on/off button on the light flashes red, allowing you to turn down the power or stick it onto the flash function to get you home.

On that note, we consistently had trouble getting the lamp’s double-click switch to do what we wanted instead of just accessing its flashing options. We’re told by Nuke Proof that a 400 lumen rear light is in the pipeline which will work in conjunction with, and share the same battery as, the Reactor. Sounds like a good idea.

Off-road: 6/10

Road: 8/10

Nuke proof reactor extreme light beam: nuke proof reactor extreme light beam
Nuke proof reactor extreme light beam: nuke proof reactor extreme light beam

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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