At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
Niterider's Swift 450 light is a decent step up in power output over the Swift 350 light we tested in 2016, and proves itself just as usable as its predecessor.
If you checked out George's review of the 350 last year, then prepared to be unsurprised. That light had a succinct verdict of: 'A strong performance at a good price', and that's exactly how I'm about to conclude this review – only with extra lumens under the hood.
That's been bumped by 100 lumens to a maximum output of 450 when plonked on the most powerful of five modes. You switch the light on by pressing the single button down for a second, which engages the setting you last left it on, but gives you access to the three brightness settings with further clicks that cycle round the modes. (100, 225 and 450 lumens).
One flashing mode is accessible if you hold the button down for three seconds, and in this second tier there's also a low-light version that shines at 25lm for up to 25 hours on a full charge, accessible by another single click. Pressing it again returns the light back to the first tier of three static light modes.
Battery levels are as good as or better than claimed. I ran it down in both the 100lm setting and the full beans 450lm setting. In 100lm mode I got around eight hours before it went into battery-help mode via a red LED in the button itself, and a further two and a half after that – not bad for a claimed nine hour life. The 450lm setting yielded just over the claimed 1hr 30min.
When the battery is charged to a reasonable level, the led shines blue, and flashes red when charging via its micro USB cable. If you want to avoid a nasty surprise when you dig around in your bag for the light and find it's been switched on and run itself out, you can 'lock' it by holding the button for seven seconds.
The beam is a good round shape, and easy to focus on the road in front of you. There's not an awful lot of bleed into the periphery, so like its predecessor I'd say it's not ideal for trails or fast (think high tempo riding), lonely deep night riding. That said, it's perfect for town cycling and areas with street lights, as well as commutes to and from the country.
Construction values remain the same – tough, and water-resistant to IP64 standard – while the bracket is fastened and comes away using a rubber strap that is easy to fix with the light in place.
Finally, you also need to know that the price has taken a £6 hike, but for the extra 100 lumens over the previous edition, I think that's a price worth paying, given the 80g weight and build quality have been retained.
Wothwhile improvement on the previous version with decent beam and run times
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road.cc test report
Make and model: NiteRider Swift 450
Size tested: 450 Lumens
Tell us what the light 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?
Niterider says: "NiteRider® is proud to introduce the Swift™ 450. Delivering everyday reliable performance in an economical ultra compact head light. Sporting features like an easy on and off handlebar strap mount, low battery indicator and to top it off, it's USB Rechargeable; making it the perfect light of choice for commuters and cycling enthusiasts.
"Although small in size, make no mistake, the Swift™ 450 packs a big punch with a maximum light output of 450 lumens! Powered by an internal Lithium Ion battery, in Walk Mode, the Swift™ 450 can run for up to twenty five before it needs a charge."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
- Highly durable design made with fiberglass reinforced plastic
- Smooth 450 lumen beam pattern in an ultra compact and lightweight design
- Innovative Collimator Lens – optimizes your field of view
- Built-in, easy on and off handlebar strap mount
- 5 light modes
- Battery Level Indicator
- FL1 Standard IP64, dust and water resistant
Convenient USB rechargeable
Just like its predecessor, it's built very well indeed.
I found the single button operation simple to use, although accessing the second tier flashing modes could be a touch hit and miss.
The clamp's great; easy to adjust and remove from the bike.
No complaints here.
Comes up marginally better than quoted, with decent quoted durations too.
Very good performance considering the size. The light beam is arguably a touch narrow and focused.
Only the rubber cap for the charging port is a potential weak point here, but it held up well.
80g is a small price to pay - very good.
£38 is good value for a 450 lumen light that has all the essentials covered well.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Size, weight, build quality, ease of removal.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Nothing - maybe the beam was a bit focused for me.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? Yes.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, depending on their needs.
Use this box to explain your score
The Niterider 450 Swift is a very good quick-attach light for pretty much any use, barring long distance night riding and fast riding in pitch black.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,