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Verdict: 
A decent little rear light with peripheral lighting, albeit limited
Weight: 
30g
Contact: 

The NiteRider Sabre 80 is a slimline 80-lumen rear light with daylight flash modes. Featuring six modes altogether – three constant, three flashing – it has good options for keeping you visible, along with useful run-times: 10 hours 30 minutes on low flash, 1hr 30mins on the constant brightest mode. Amber lights boost side visibility, but this is limited.

Out-of-the-box, the Sabre 80 light comes in three parts: the light, the seatpost strap mount, with a combined weight of 30g according to the road.cc Scales of Truth, and the micro USB cable for charging it.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The light itself has a neat and slimline design, meeting the IP64 standard for water resistance (showers and splashes) so the UK weather shouldn't get into it. I used it on rainy days and also stuck it under the tap and it survived no problems at all. It has a single button at the front to click through the six different modes, and this is a good size so is easy to use with gloves, which is great as some lights are a bit fiddly.

The light is made up of a strip of multi LEDs and gives out 80 lumens on full power, which is more than enough for being seen at night. Some light is emitted out of the side as an amber colour, but this isn't as bright as the main light.

NiteRider Sabre 80 Rear Light - side.jpg

The six modes are three constant and three flashing, in bright, medium and low settings. To switch between constant and flashing you hold the on/off button for three seconds.

It has a mode memory too, which is useful, powering up in the same mode you were in when you turned it off.

While testing, I was told that at night the flashing mode grabs attention, and I've certainly felt visible. The side lighting isn't so attention grabbing, but certainly better than nothing.

Run-times & charging

Run-times are quoted as 1:30hr for the solid bright, 3hr for medium, 4hr for low; 4hr again for bright and medium flashing modes, with the low flash lasting for 10hr 30mins. They're pretty accurate too: at 1:30 on solid high the charge indicator started showing the battery was low, and on the low constant setting it managed another half an hour. On the brightest flashing mode it ran for another 20 minutes with the red warning light showing.

Charging is via a USB port at the bottom of the light, kept safe from grime with a rubber plug. Charging is quoted to take an hour and a half; I charged it through my laptop and it took just over two hours from flat to full, with the on/off button turning blue when charged. A red on/off button means the battery's low and needs charging; blue is good. There is no in between.

Mounting

The NiteRider comes with a good solid seatpost mount including a strong rubber ladder strap that's easy to get on and off, with different holes for any size seatposts. There's a clip integrated into the back of the light if you want to attach it to a saddle bag or clothing. I used it on my saddle bag and the clip kept it securely attached. I have had many a light fly off my saddle bag, but this one stayed on even on bumpy country lanes.

Fixing the light back onto the seatpost mount is easy: it just slides on and clicks into place and isn't coming out until you release the tab.

Another useful feature is that the light can be tilted on the mount, for fixing to a TT bike, for example, or any bike that doesn't have a normal seatpost and you have to mount the light at an angle. The mount tilts via a toolless bolt, clicking to four tilt positions. A good little detail from NiteRider.

NiteRider Sabre 80 Rear Light 2.jpg

Thirty quid for an 80-lumen rear light is pretty good value – if you think you need 80... If you don't, there are cheaper options out there, including the Moon Alcor reviewed recently by Neil; it's only 15 lumens, has a long battery life and is just £15.99. Niterider itself offers various alternatives, and for a tenner more there's the 70-lumen Lezyne Micro Drive to consider.

> Buyer's Guide: 14 of the best rear lights

Overall I'd say the Sabre 80 is a good little rear light, with a sturdy mount offering the flexibility of seatpost and bag mounting. Run-times are decent, with good day and night modes and the added bonus of amber side lights, which are nice to have if not a stand-out feature.

Verdict

A decent little rear light with peripheral lighting, albeit limited

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road.cc test report

Make and model: NiteRider Sabre 80 Rear Light

Size tested: 80 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: 'The NiteRider® Sabre™ 80 is a super bright, lightweight USB rechargeable LED tail light. It utilises a multi LED array designed for eye catching visibility in both day and night. With the addition of amber coloured side lights, the Sabre™ 80 provides 180 degrees of protection'

Featuring aero and lightweight features, it is great for anyone wanting to be seen day or night.

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

Niterider lists these features:

Daylight Visible Flash (DVF)

80 lumen super bright tail light

6 Modes

Easy on and off seat post strap mount with quick release tab

Amber side lights for 180 degrees of visibility

Convenient USB rechargeable

Be Seen by cars = Be Safe

FL1 Standard IP64, water resistant

Run time 1hr30 to 10hr30

charge up time 2hr

Aero design to sit directly behind seat post

light plus seat post mount weighs 28 grams

life-time warranty

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

A very well made design, both the light and mount.

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

Simple to use; one button to press, which is easy to use with gloves. Battery indicator is a bit basic.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

Great mount, easy to use and fix onto any seatpost fast, with integrated clip on the light which slots onto the mount.

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

I used it in light rain and was fine. It got muddy but was easy to wipe off. I also stuck it under the tap and it survived without problem.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

Decent battery life: claimed timings seem true to life, and 10hr 30mins on low flashing is pretty good. Charging it up was easy with USB cable – 2 hours via a laptop.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Useful modes, and enough of them.

Rate the light for durability:
 
7/10

No sign of any problems.

Rate the light for weight:
 
9/10

Very light at 30g with the mount.

Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

For the build quality I would say it's pretty good value for £30, though the side light feature could be better.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It performed well, but side lighting isn't as bright as I'd like.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Being able to angle the light is very useful, especially when mounting it to a bike that doesn't have a normal seatpost.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The amber side lights could be brighter and change brightness with the main light.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, especially if mounting onto a TT bike.

Use this box to explain your score

I rate it as 'good'; the side amber light could be brighter, and the battery indicator is a bit basic, but overall it's a useful design at a good price.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 168cm  Weight: 60kg

I usually ride: specailized dolce  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: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking

5 comments

Avatar
Yemble [58 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The pulsed-brightness mode is good on this one. Switching modes is a bit confusing through if you accidentally move it off the best one - have to long press, wait for it to turn off, then wait for it to turn on again.

Avatar
huddslad [3 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I bought one of these lights and the quoted run times are complete nonsense because i did not get anywhere near any of the run times quoted in the review or on the niterider website. On slow flash mode the  light lasts 1 hour 20 mins, the constant modes are going to last even even less than this. ( i will test the other modes for a laugh but they will use more power than the flashing modes apart from the low constant mode which acording to the niterider website should last the same time as the slow flash and pulsating flash  ie 4hours. I definitely would not recomend this light to anyone because of the appaling runtimes. A waste of money.

Avatar
HLaB [241 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
huddslad wrote:

I bought one of these lights and the quoted run times are complete nonsense because i did not get anywhere near any of the run times quoted in the review or on the niterider website. On slow flash mode the  light lasts 1 hour 20 mins, the constant modes are going to last even even less than this. ( i will test the other modes for a laugh but they will use more power than the flashing modes apart from the low constant mode which acording to the niterider website should last the same time as the slow flash and pulsating flash  ie 4hours. I definitely would not recomend this light to anyone because of the appaling runtimes. A waste of money.

Mine only came recently but I'm getting a lot longer than that.  At a guess including the initial playing about with the modes when it arrived, I ve had 5 commutes (2h 15mins) on the strobe setting or whatever you call it and its still saying the battery is OK.  I paid £22 for it (Rutland) (I had anothe £2 loyalty discount) and for that I think it was good VfM.  I just hope the initial run time lasts on recharge.  Its a replacement for a Leyzne Strip which was great for a year then its battery started to fade  7 

Avatar
huddslad [3 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
HLaB wrote:
huddslad wrote:

I bought one of these lights and the quoted run times are complete nonsense because i did not get anywhere near any of the run times quoted in the review or on the niterider website. On slow flash mode the  light lasts 1 hour 20 mins, the constant modes are going to last even even less than this. ( i will test the other modes for a laugh but they will use more power than the flashing modes apart from the low constant mode which acording to the niterider website should last the same time as the slow flash and pulsating flash  ie 4hours. I definitely would not recomend this light to anyone because of the appaling runtimes. A waste of money.

Mine only came recently but I'm getting a lot longer than that.  At a guess including the initial playing about with the modes when it arrived, I ve had 5 commutes (2h 15mins) on the strobe setting or whatever you call it and its still saying the battery is OK.  I paid £22 for it (Rutland) (I had anothe £2 loyalty discount) and for that I think it was good VfM.  I just hope the initial run time lasts on recharge.  Its a replacement for a Leyzne Strip which was great for a year then its battery started to fade  7 

Well according to the niterider website you should get 10.5 hours runtime on the strobe mode, so I will be interested to know if you get anywhere near that.

Avatar
HLaB [241 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
huddslad wrote:
HLaB wrote:
huddslad wrote:

I bought one of these lights and the quoted run times are complete nonsense because i did not get anywhere near any of the run times quoted in the review or on the niterider website. On slow flash mode the  light lasts 1 hour 20 mins, the constant modes are going to last even even less than this. ( i will test the other modes for a laugh but they will use more power than the flashing modes apart from the low constant mode which acording to the niterider website should last the same time as the slow flash and pulsating flash  ie 4hours. I definitely would not recomend this light to anyone because of the appaling runtimes. A waste of money.

Mine only came recently but I'm getting a lot longer than that.  At a guess including the initial playing about with the modes when it arrived, I ve had 5 commutes (2h 15mins) on the strobe setting or whatever you call it and its still saying the battery is OK.  I paid £22 for it (Rutland) (I had anothe £2 loyalty discount) and for that I think it was good VfM.  I just hope the initial run time lasts on recharge.  Its a replacement for a Leyzne Strip which was great for a year then its battery started to fade  7 

Well according to the niterider website you should get 10.5 hours runtime on the strobe mode, so I will be interested to know if you get anywhere near that.

The red recharge light finally came on today some where in the middle of 15th Commute.  At a guess it came on after about 9.75hours on the strobe setting plus I had some fettling around on set up.  So it might run the claimed 10.5h to total power down just now, I hope it continues.  I guess things are also affected by temperature and this morning besides when it was 3deg (according the Garmin) its been very mild (it was more than twice that yesterday morning).