The NiteRider Solas’s chunky body and lack of modes might put some people off and, for me, the light was too focussed, projecting rearwards rather than flooding behind. The five-hour run-time on maximum might make you forgive those shortcomings, though.
NiteRider Solas details and specification
Offering an impressive claimed output of 250 lumens, the Solas’s twin LEDs are powered by a USB rechargeable lithium polymer battery and it’s operated using one single button.
There are four modes — three constant and one flashing — and it has a low-battery light that doubles up as a charge indicator.
There are two LEDs. Alex Evans
The light is supplied with a single rubber mount with angle adjust that’s suitable for seatposts and frames, and the light’s body has a clip making it possible to attach to clothing or bags.
The unit has an IP64 dust and waterproof rating, which protects it from total dust ingress and water spray from any direction.
The single button is located on the top of the light. Alex Evans
NiteRider Solas performance
The Solas’s large body and chunky mount push the light outboard from its mounting point significantly. This isn’t ideal for full-suspension bikes where the rear wheel gets closer to the seat tube and post as the suspension compresses, and the light’s size puts it directly in the firing line of the rear wheel at bottom-out.
Fortunately, the light-to-mount interface is secure and the stretchy silicone ladder strap can be tightened up to your seatpost or tube easily, making for a securely fitted light.
The Solas’ shape makes it prone to getting hit by the rear wheel. Alex Evans
This level of security means that knocks and bashes are shrugged off well and rough terrain didn’t cause it to move from its position. The mount’s angle adjuster can come loose, so it’s important to check that the small Phillips head screw is suitably tight.
The single operation button is hard to use when you’re in motion but much easier when you’re not on the bike. It cycles between four modes, which proved to be more than enough to satisfy my needs — my favourite being the brightest, pulse function.
The beam it projects is very concentrated. Alex Evans
The light’s USB charge port is on the bottom of light, which means that it’s directly in the firing line of mud and water from the back wheel, so it’s important to check the port is correctly sealed and closed.
The light’s beam on maximum constant mode is very focussed, barely flooding the floor behind the bike with light. It’s also not especially bright, with the pulse mode offering the brightest output.
The Solas sticks out a fair way from its mount. Alex Evans
It has reasonable side-on visibility, up to 70 degrees from the rear, but beyond that there is very little illumination.
Battery life was impressive at five hours on the maximum output setting, which pulses in brightness, and exceeded NiteRider’s claims by 30 minutes, it’s just shame there isn’t more power on offer.