NiteRider was founded in Southern California by surfer Tim Carroll as he tried to find solutions to ride the waves at night – when they were their best. After some prototyping, Carroll was happy with his lights on the surf, but also ended up using them on his bike on the trails to access hidden beaches.
One thing lead to another and now NiteRider makes lights for a host of specific applications, including mountain biking. The Pro 2200 Race is its second-most powerful front light, and boasts 2,200 claimed lumens. It comes as a separate battery pack and head unit.
NiteRider Pro 2200 Race specifications
The Pro 2200 Race has a three CREE LED head unit with a custom NiteRider reflector that puts out a claimed 2,200 lumens. They’re housed in a Dupont Fibreglass case that, according to NiteRider, meets Formula 1 motor racing impact and dust- and water-resistance standards.
The separate head unit mounts to the handlebars using a tool-less and hinged clamp that works for either 35mm or 31.8mm handlebar diameters. The bar mount positions the light to the side, directly over the stem, and the head unit attaches to the clamp with a sliding clip system.
On the top of the head unit is the light’s single illuminated mode button and four LED windows that function as an eight-step battery life indicator with LEDs that change from green to red depending on how much juice is left.
The light has seven modes: four constant and three flashing. These are cycled sequentially using the button on the head unit.
The four-cell lithium-ion battery has a 2,500mAh capacity and is housed in the same case material as the head unit. The battery uses straps with plastic grippers to mount it to the frame and has a rubber damper to avoid damage and rattle.
The head unit and battery are joined via a standard 69cm cable, although an additional 92cm cable is supplied which means the light unit can be mounted on a helmet with the battery stashed in a bag or pocket.
A Velcro-strapped helmet mount and a soft carry case are also included.
NiteRider Pro 2200 Race performance
Thanks to the tool-less mount, the Pro 2200 Race was incredibly easy to fix to my bike and is simple enough for even the least mechanically inclined to fit. The clamping band of the mount is quite wide compared to other designs, reducing usable handlebar space for GPS units and other accessories, but isn’t as large as all-in-one style lights.
Equally, the battery’s gripper straps were easy to fasten to the bike, proving secure on the frame.
Because the battery’s straps fasten using plastic grippers, mud and general use is less likely to wear as quickly as Velcro equivalents so the battery should remain well-fastened to the bike for years to come. At 161mm, its length could make it tricky to mount on curvy frames, though.
The single button on the top of light is easy to use, even when on the move and despite there being no mode indicator – the sequential modes are tricky to get lost in.
The three CREE LEDs put out an impressive amount of power that feels brighter than the claimed 2,200 lumens. The perception of more power is down to the beam’s colour that has a very white hue.
The white colour makes it easy to see down the trail and reduces harshness caused by the high contrast blue light found on other models. Despite the fairly low levels of contrast, there was still plenty of definition and it lit up most obstacles on the trail well.
I never felt like the Pro 2200 Race was down on power, especially when set to maximum, and trail centres and straighter technical singletrack were dispatched with ease.
The beam has a circular focus of light directly in front of the bike with wider flood light bleed off to the sides and further out in front. The power matches the beam shape well and it doesn’t feel like NiteRider has compromised on the spot or flood light beams.
It doesn’t have the same amount of scope as MagicShine’s Monteer light and as soon as I hit twisty trails the limitations of the beam’s spread were fairly obvious. Picking lines around and out of turns was tricky, especially if I was trying to ride fast.
However, there was plenty of light projected downwards, which meant that severe shadows weren’t cast as I went off drops, up rises or over jumps.
In an ideal world, the Pro 2200 Race would be helmet mounted, accompanied by a handlebar mounted, wider beam light, although that might be cost prohibitive for some. So, depending on your appetite for gnar, the Pro 2200 Race could suffice or it might leave you wanting more.
The battery indicator worked well, although the rate at which the light display worked was faster than the battery’s depletion rate and it stayed at its lowest battery life indicator for longer than I was expecting. Run time was shorter than NiteRider’s claims by five minutes, only managing to run on max power for 1 hour 25 minutes.
NiteRider Pro 2200 Race bottom line
With good power, an easy-to-see white LED hue and a reasonable spread of light, the Pro 2200 Race is a solid light if you’re looking to ride general trail centre loops, straighter singletrack or bridleway, and you can stomach the cost.
If you’re going to depend on it as your only light it might be worth looking at a unit with a larger beam spread, but you’ll be hard pushed to find a better quality package than the NiteRider Pro 2200 Race.
How we tested
We put 12 high-power front lights to the test that should let you head to the hills after night falls to discover a brave new world of riding.
Other lights on test:
- Exposure MaXx D MK13
- Gemini Duo 2200 Multisport
- Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen
- Hope R4+ LED
- Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i
- LifeLine Ara 2000L
- Lumicycle Apogee Carbon Extender Pack
- Magicshine Monteer 8000S
- Moon X-Power 1800
- MTB Batteries Lumenator 20
- Knog PWR Mountain Kit