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review

NiteRider Sentry Aero 260 rear light

6
£40.00

VERDICT:

6
10
Good side visibility, but not as sleek or as bright as some
Bright
Small number of modes
Easy button operation
Good run-times
Quick charging
Big body
Not as bright as some rivals
Weight: 
63g

NiteRider's Sentry Aero 260-lumen rear right is an okay option for daytime visibility and some aero seatposts. It provides a bright day flash with good side visibility and is easy to operate. Run-times are good, with plenty of charge for several rides, but the form factor is rather large.

Boasting a super-bright 260-lumen output, the Sentry Aero 260 is a good rear light for daytime running in bright conditions. I found it good for solo rides during the day where the added visibility gave me extra reassurance when heading into heavily shaded areas. However, although it throws light to the side well, this seems to hinder the direct brightness.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Getting the Sentry Aero set up is easy. A single press of the power button turns the light on, and there are just six settings to scroll through. Once you find the mode that suits your riding, the memory function will select it automatically after you switch off the light with a press and hold of the power button.

2020 Niterider Sentry Aero 260 rear light - detail.jpg

Although the Sentry Aero has a claimed output of 260 lumens, it seemed less retina-searing than Lezyne's 250-lumen Zecto Drive Max to my eyes, perhaps something to do with the amount of surface area from which light leaves the Sentry Aero.

NiteRider claims that the Sentry Aero is visible 260 degrees around the bike, and I certainly found the side visibility to be good, but there are excellent options that offer brighter side visibility from a much smaller profile. Moon's Cerberus boasts 270 degrees of visibility, and Simon found it to be just as bright from the side as it was from head on.

2020 Niterider Sentry Aero 260 rear light - on post.jpg

The Sentry Aero's battery life is good, with a run-time of a solid 4.5 hours on constant full power. This extends out to a claimed 30 hours on the lower-powered constant setting. NiteRider doesn't provide a breakdown of claimed lumen figures for the various settings.

I tended to stick with mode one, with a steady 260-lumen flash, as most of my riding has been in the evenings with the sun dipping down into the eyes of other road users. This saw me through three or four post-work rides, and the 2.5hr charge time makes recharging easy.

The Sentry Aero comes with two mounting straps, one short, one long. I used the long one for my aero seatpost, but while it was fairly secure, the curved rubber mount didn't sit well on the flat back of my seatpost and the light ended up at an angle on several occasions. Mounted on round seatposts, there was no issue.

2020 Niterider Sentry Aero 260 rear light - strap detail.jpg

The big issue (literally) that I have with the Sentry Aero is its size. NiteRider provides no data to suggest that the deep shape of the light is more aero, and there are some very good lights from Lezyne and Moon that offer similar power in a much smaller and sleeker form factor.

2020 Niterider Sentry Aero 260 rear light - close up.jpg

Moon's Cerberus is also cheaper at £34.99, with a larger field of visibility, though it doesn't provide the same claimed lumens (150 max). Lezyne has two excellent options in the form of the Strip Drive Pro 300 at £50 and the Zecto Drive Max at £48, so both a bit more than the Sentry Aero but both brighter too. All three offer a smaller form factor as well, if you're looking for something more sleek.

> Buyer’s Guide: 17 of the best rear lights for cycling

NiteRider's Sentry Aero is easy to use, with a simple mode system and good memory function. However, I didn't find it as bright as others that offer a similar field of visibility. It's also a bit bulky and doesn't fit well with flat back seatposts.

Verdict

Good side visibility, but not as sleek or as bright as some

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Niterider Sentry Aero 260 rear light

Size tested: 260 lumens max

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® Sentry™ Aero 260 is a lightweight, aero tail light featuring dual LED light strips to deliver 260 lumens of Daylight Visible red light. An inner and outer lens design helps to shape light output, producing long-range visibility when viewed directly from the rear but also provides ample surrounding light to the peripheral, making the Sentry™ Aero 260 visible from nearly any angle."

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

NiteRider lists:

Lumen Output: 260 * Run Time: 4:30 – 30:00hrs * Charge Time: 2:30hrs * Weight: 65g * Battery: Li-Po * Daylight Visible Flash (DVF) * 260 lumen super bright tail light * Innovative aerodynamic shape with 260 degrees of visibility * Group Ride Mode – be seen without distracting fellow cyclists * Seat post strap mount specific design (no back clip included) * Easy on and off seat post strap mount * Aero and Standard seat post straps included * Convenient USB rechargeable * FL1 Standard IP64, dust and water-resistant * Patent Pending"

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Very easy to use, if not the sleekest.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
6/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10
Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
5/10
Rate the light for value:
 
5/10

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

It performed well, providing a bright day flash and easily enough run-time for longer rides.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The side visibility is good.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

It's not the sleekest...

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Moon's Cerberus is cheaper at £34.99 with a larger field of visibility, though it doesn't provide the same claimed lumens. Lezyne offers two excellent options in the form of the Strip Drive Pro 300 at £50 and the Zecto Drive Max at £48. These are both brighter than the Sentry Aero. All are smaller.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, it was fine.

Would you consider buying the light? No, I'd choose something brighter and smaller.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's not the sleekest looking light, and it doesn't have quite the punch of some excellent rivals, possibly to do with the surface area from which light is emitted. I also had some issues when the light was mounted on a flat-back seatpost. It's still a nice bright light, with good run-times, and simple to use, and definitely above average.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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