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Verdict: 
Ideal for the commuter or night rider who is courteous and considerate to others
Weight: 
65g
Bontrager Transmitr Light Set and Wireless Remote
8 10

Bontrager's Transmitr Light Set is a front and rear light with a wireless four-way directional remote that controls each light independently or as a group. I would recommend the Transmitr for any commuter or midnight soloist who often finds themselves fumbling around their handlebar trying to find the right mode on their light.

It's very hard to make a light sexy, isn't it? An LED and a battery can only really look sexy if dressed to the nines in CNC'd aluminium, if you ask me, which can add needless cost. Bontrager's Transmitr – which I guess is trying to be sexy by way of a hipster naming convention – doesn't quite hit the mark like some German or English brands do, but it makes a fair go of it.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

In the minimally designed box with 'peekaboo' window you get a 700-lumen Ion 700 RT front light, a rear Flare RT, and a Transmitr Remote. Yes, a remote. It's a four-way directional D-pad that attaches to your handlebar and lets you control up to seven ANT+ compatible lights. A central, fifth button toggles through the light modes, or powers the system on and off.

With a little engineering – read 'a 2.5mm Allen key' – the remote can be rotated 180 degrees from its front-facing orientation and placed in the under-slung position à la Shimano's Di2 climber's shifter. This provides easier access for the thumb to toggle modes. With that, whether you're on the bike path bearing down on another commuter or in a night-ride peloton about to take a turn as backstop, you are right there with the right mode, across your whole ensemble. Now that's sexy.

Bontrager Transmitr Light Set and Wireless Remote - remote.jpg

Bontrager Transmitr Light Set and Wireless Remote - remote.jpg

Being able to control your lights from a remote D-pad is all well and good, but what are the lights you're controlling actually like?

Front light

The star of the show, the Ion 700RT front light is punchy rather than wide, which is what you want in a light for seeing by, sitting comfortably at the higher end of the spectrum for lights at this price point but the lower end in terms of strength. It has a plethora of modes accessible from the button on top, which doubles as a battery indicator.

Bontrager Transmitr Light Set and Wireless Remote - front light.jpg

Bontrager Transmitr Light Set and Wireless Remote - front light.jpg

There are your standard high (700 lumen, 1.5 hours), medium (450 lumen, 3 hours), and low (200 lumen, 6.75 hours), with two flashes, one for day and one for night.

> Buyer's Guide: The best front lights for cycling

Used without the remote, the front light's button isn't placed well for quick changes, whether positioned over or under the handlebar. Also – and I'm splitting hairs here – I would like it if all manufacturers followed my usual brand's convention and put continuous and flash beams on two loops. Many don't, which results in multiple mode button presses and a brief light show when, say, you meet another cyclist on the local bike path.

Rear light

The rear is another good effort, with solid (5.5 or 21 hours), and flashing (6.5 or 23 hours) modes, accessed from a top-mounted button. Happily, the light also has the often neglected 'mate's mode' – a dimmed beam that can be used in a group to stop dazzling a friend who's desperately trying to hold your wheel. Okay, easily holding your wheel.

Bontrager Transmitr Light Set and Wireless Remote - rear light.jpg

Bontrager Transmitr Light Set and Wireless Remote - rear light.jpg

As someone who has taken electrical tape to a rear light on multiple long-distance night rides and then ridden behind someone without that forethought, I can tell you: you will be thanked for it.

Mounting and charging

What else do you get in the box? Well, enough mounting solutions to shake a stick at is what. Bontrager has been very generous with the inclusion of front, back or helmet elasticated mounts with quick releases, a solid mount with quick release, and a handy backpack clip should you have an obstructed view to the rear. The mounts fit a wide range of bars and seatposts, though they are a little bulky if you have your cable routing particularly tight.

> Buyer's Guide: The best rear lights for cycling

Finally, as both front and rear lights are USB-charged, you get a USB cable to charge them with. While it would have been nice to have two, I can forgive this as the 5-pin USB 2.0 connector is reasonably commonplace; you'll have one if you have a modern GPS unit, for example.

Charge time is reasonable, but the 'do not leave to charge overnight' warning is a little disconcerting. A device at this price should be able to handle over-charging.

Conclusion

The Transmitr is a solid package that would be good value even without a remote. The front is a punchy number and the rear gets extra points for having a courteous mode. There's a degree of future-proofing with ANT+ compatibility too, which could come in handy some day – but you can have the future today, so why wait?

Verdict

Ideal for the commuter or night rider who is courteous and considerate to others

road.cc test report

Make and model: Bontrager Transmitr Light Set and Wireless Remote

Size tested: Includes two Sync brackets, a Micro USB charging cable, seat pack clip, seat stay clip and remote bracket

Tell us what the light set is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The Transmitr Light set is aimed squarely at the commuter or night rider looking for a light to see by rather than be seen by. It differentiates itself with a wireless remote that can be used to control each light independently or as a group and with the possibility of expanding the set to include indicators.

Bontrager says: "The Wireless Light Bundle is a futuristic lighting package featuring the Transmitr remote, which can remotely control the included Ion 700 RT front light and Flare RT rear light."

In my view it's for anyone who finds themselves constantly dipping their lights for oncoming cyclists or other traffic on and off the road. I would happily invest in this light set if I were commuting regularly along my local shared-use pathway.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light set?

A 700-lumen front light with a plethora of modes running from 1.5 to 6.75 hours depending on how many carrots you eat; a solid rear light (65 lumens) again with plenty of modes; and an ANT+ compatible remote that can switch modes for up to seven connected lights independently or as a group.

From Bontrager:

Key features

Transmitr remote can simultaneously control up to 7 lights

ANT+-enabled for use with all Transmitr products

Includes Ion 700 RT, Flare RT and Transmitr Remote

Includes two Sync brackets, a Micro USB charging cable, seat pack clip, seat stay clip and remote bracket

Ion 700RT

Key features

Transmitr ready for the simple brilliance of wireless control

ANT+ enabled for use with all Transmitr products

See with our focused optics and over 270 degrees of visibility

Brightness: 700 Lumens via high-power CREE LED

700LM-1.75hrs, 450LM-3hrs, 200LM-6.75hrs, 50LM+ Flash-22hrs,Irregular Strobe-40hrs

Fully charged in 5 hours through sealed Micro USB port

Includes 20 degree +/- adjustable Sync bracket that fits bars from 22.2-35.0mm

Blendr compatible

Flare RT

Key features

Use Transmitr for wireless on/off, battery status, indicators and mode selection

65 Lumens provide visibility from over 2km, day or night

Be seen with balanced optics designed for 270-degree visibility near and far

Two daytime visibility modes, two night modes and indicator capability

Day modes: 65LM flash-5.75hrs, 35LM all-day-10hrs, 25LM steady-4.5hrs

Night modes: 65LM flash-23hrs, 5LM steady-21hrs

Battery save mode at 5% life helps to ensure a safe ride home with a depleted battery

Rate the front light for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for quality of construction:
 
7/10

The front and rear are made from a solid plastic. I had no concerns about mounting plates snapping or taking a knock. The rear does feel a little less rugged than the front, but I'm assured by those who've been using one for over a year that it isn't.

Rate the light set for design and ease of use. How simple were the lights to use?
 
7/10

I love the remote, which makes my criticism of the front light's button placement – it's less than ideal in my opinion – redundant. You do have to cycle through the flashing modes to return to solid.

Rate the front light for the design and usability of the clamping system
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for the design and usability of the clamping system
 
8/10

Clamps were of solid construction, the inclusion of a quick release alongside a simple elasticated rubber mount was nice to see, but the slightly bulky design made it difficult to mount on tightly cabled handlebars.

Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10
Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10

The Transmitr set will happily stave off the British winter, but a hose-down revealed some ingress in the rear charging port, which meant green pins on the USB connector inside. (I might have been unlucky; road.cc editor Tony has been using one for over a year "frequently in the rain without mudguards" and no water has got into his.)

Rate the front light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
5/10
Rate the rear light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

I would have liked to see a lower power setting lasting for longer on the front. Charge times were as expected, but I would have also preferred not to worry about overnight charging. Both lights trail off just under an hour after a low-battery warning.

Rate the front light for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for performance:
 
8/10

The front light is a solid, punchy affair, more than adequate for commuting, road or cyclo-cross riding in pitch black at speed.

Rate the front light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for durability:
 
8/10

I never felt the Transmitr would be affected by the odd knock on or off the road.

Rate the front light for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the rear light for weight:
 
9/10

The Transmitr set didn't make me check my tyre pressure on the climbs, despite the inclusion of a remote.

Rate the light set for value:
 
7/10

The Transmitr light set is on the money for value and performance without the remote; with it, it's punching well above.

Tell us how the lights performed overall when used for their designed purpose

I found the front and rear to be on par for the price, and really missed the remote once the Transmitr was sent home.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the lights

Isn't it obvious? Other than 'freakin' laser beams' on sharks' heads I haven't adored a vision future as much as this for a long time.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lights

Nothing really, maybe that the Ion 700RT is possibly a little over-specced and a little underpowered.

Did you enjoy using the lights? Yes

Would you consider buying the lights? Yes

Would you recommend the lights to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Without the remote this review would be a solid but unremarkable 7/10; with it, it's a definite 8. And I found myself sadly thumbing at the bars for the remote once the Transmitr was sent home.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 0  Height:   Weight:

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding:

8 comments

Avatar
MikeFromLFE [18 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

The rear looks like a repackaged Bontrager Flare RT which is a seriously good back light. The flexible remote control option is something that's been needed for rear lights for a long time - not just the 'mates mode', but moving from urban roads out into the wilds and then onto fast A roads requires different lighting which should be available from the bars.

But Bontragers rear light brackets - and these don't look to have changed- are flimsy, and made of cheese. This is inexcusable for such expensive lights - and these are expensive- reread that headline price!

Avatar
Anthony.C [234 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I think you have the weight wrong, 65g  is a bit unrealistic for the lights, remote and mounts.

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fizrar6 [27 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

A remote control panel mounted on the handlebars. Lets market something no-one really needs for something that hardly ever happens. Someone will buy it.

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OldMixte [75 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

The pound shop does some nice lights.

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ktache [627 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I always liked the remote switches on my NightSun Trilights, just reach out the thumb and total control, having to take a hand off the handlebar is not always what you want to do.

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Trickytree1984 [40 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

I own these and have a few things to say...

 

Battery life of the rear light is WAY below advertised figures. I get 1 hour on "day flash"mode for the rear light beofre getting a "low battery" warning on my Garmin 1000. The battery warning in itself is a great feature and the reason i bought them 

The remote is great but not very eay to use with winter gloves. The instand hi bean centre button is brilliant. 

 

I find the front light a but underpowered. But battery life really good. 

 

READ THIS BIT. I frequently get both lights turn off mid ride. Not great at 20mph on the picth black. I have to stop and manually turn them back on. Today on the way to work at 6:45 in the pitch black on a main road with no street lights, both lights turned off with no warning. The rear light would not turn back on and is now completely dead. I had to turn around and walk home on the verge. Thankfully i was only a mile from home, but not great in cleats.  I then had to drive to work as i have no spare (why should i need a spare when i have a £200 set of lights). 

 

Im waiting for evans to see if they will refund me. Ive lost all trust. Only owned for 2 months. The smart features are great, but not worth the lack of trust. 

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Trickytree1984 wrote:

 

 

READ THIS BIT. I frequently get both lights turn off mid ride. Not great at 20mph on the picth black. I have to stop and manually turn them back on.

 

What the f**k.

 

That's not fit for purpose.

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fenix [748 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Trickytree1984 wrote:

(why should i need a spare when i have a £200 set of lights). 

 

 

Always have a spare - how much is a rear light ? A tenner ? You can get half decent front lights for £20.  I don't take chances.