During winter, as daylight hours get shorter, it becomes paramount to have good lights for commuting or road cycling.
The Swift 500 is a solid, compact and inexpensive ‘be seen’ front light offering from NiteRider.
The maximum 500-lumen output is an increase of 100 from the previous model.
NiteRider Swift 500 specifications and details
The NiteRider Swift is a front light aimed at those who cycle to work through urban environments.
At 500 lumens, it gives ample light to be seen when cycling at night. At best, a light with this level of power could be used as a backup light to see by.
It weighs in at 82 grams, which means you’ll barely notice it on your handlebar.
The Swift is made with robust rubber and fibreglass to ensure it can handle the rigours of daily use.
It carries an IP64 ingress protection rating too, the ‘4’ indicating it should handle downpours very well.
The light has five different modes – High (500 lumens), Medium (250 lumens), Low (150 lumens), Flash (500 lumens) and Walk (30 lumens).
You access the modes by pressing the button on the top of the light.
This button illuminates to tell you how much battery you have left. Blue indicates it’s full, slowly fading to red as your battery drains.
NiteRider Swift 500 performance
The NiteRider Swift 500 is certainly up to the job of being a commuter light. I have used it every day for a few weeks in the UK autumn, and it has worked very well.
The main thing I like about the Swift is how easy it is to use.
It has a rubber strap that’s attached permanently to the bottom of the light, which is perfect for those who lose light straps frequently.
The strap is adjustable to many sizes, and easy to fix onto the bracket. The bracket is also adjustable, so you can swivel it to fine-tune the direction of the beam.
Once the light is on, it’s easy to flip between the modes and choose your desired one.
The battery-level indicator is also very simple and the light system made it easy to remind myself to recharge the light.
Recharging is via micro-USB. I found it took around two hours to charge fully, which is pretty good.
The light also casts a beam onto the floor for around a metre or two in front of you, illuminating potholes. This is useful as a backup, but it’s not a light that can be used regularly on very dark roads or for fast riding – it doesn’t light enough of the road ahead for this.
The light-level modes are easy to use. The run time with full beam is relatively short at only 1 hour 30 minutes.
My commute is 20 minutes each way, so this didn’t bother me much, but if you are likely to be out longer, it’s something to take into consideration.
With the medium or low beam, the light lasts much longer, of course. It’s also great to see it includes a walk (and daylight) mode, which is handy for staying visible when riding in the light.
I would have liked the beam spread to be a little wider. It illuminates the road directly ahead, but doesn’t offer much spill on either side for peripheral vision.
On busy roads, it’s nice to have light that can spread further, to alert cars approaching on side roads to your presence.
NiteRider Swift 500 bottom line
The NiteRider Swift 500 is a very good bike light that’s fit for purpose and will please many.
The adjustable and impossible to lose light strap will appeal to commuters wearing winter cycling gloves.
The light beam helps to illuminate the road in a pinch, but most importantly it’s effective at ensuring you’re seen.
Overall, the Swift 500 is sensible, hardy and comes at an attractive price.
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $49.00GBP £25.00USD $40.00|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 83g, Array, g|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Niterider|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Run time (full beam): 1:30
IP rating: Water / Dust Resistant IP64 Rated
Modes: Low, Medium, High, Flash, Walk
|Integrated battery||br_integratedBattery, 11, 0, Integrated battery, Yes|
|Light type||br_lightType, 11, 0, Light type, Front|
|Output (lumens)||br_outputLumens, 11, 0, Output (lumens), 500|