- 4 / 5 Bee's Knees -
Although it doesn't surprise me all that much, I get the feeling that those of use who occupy the northern latitudes are often forgotten about. Not limited to cycling goods, manufactures don't seem to test or design products for the hardships they'll endure in cold climates. I've gravitated towards a select few bike lights because the buttons allow for easy glove operation. The Sabre 35 offers one of the best buttons of any bike light I've tested recently. But what else can be said for this budget friendly flasher?
To start with, the Sabre is part of a new line of lights with a set of overhauled mounts. Replacing the old thumb screw mount, the Sabre gets a strap mount but retains its quick release function and versatile clip which loves to be snapped to apparel. This new strap mount is an improvement over the previous style yet it is grossly oversized for this scant 28g light. In NiteRiders defense, this is a universal rear mount and therefore needs to accept all of their rear facing products. Likely this is the source of its robust size. Pitch is also adjustable though I find this ratcheting style offers at most two positions that are usable.
Construction of the Sabre is pretty basic but the materials reflect a very competitive price point and therefore I find little to complain about here. Where its performance exceeds its price tag is both in light output and usability. 35lm of output certainly isn't record breaking but its delivery is excellent. The on-board chip LEDs evenly diffuse light and create an eye-pleasing presence that won't blind or disorient drivers. Accompanying the front element are two side facing amber emitters. These provide a claimed 180° of visibility...I estimate much more, but I applaud NiteRider for being conservative. Additionally, the settings are grouped into categories of constant and flash. In doing so, riders can access their intended setting without going through all six offerings. Now for the icing, the selector button is about as good as they come. It actuates with a light click but has enough of a footprint and protrudes out far enough to work well with those of us who need to wear gloves...praise the cycling gods.
Let me just dot my i's and cross my t's. Like most, the Sabre is USB rechargeable and properly quick at just 1:30h. Runtimes are a touch less than some competitors but still very usable especially if you mainly use flash settings. An IP64 water resistant rating is more than adequate for riders who don't hibernate when the flakes or drops fly.
Rarely do I find an inexpensive product that gets me excited but the Sabre 35 is definitely a product I'd recommend to riders on a budget. The micro-LED platform produces a brilliant appearance that is safe on the eyes of both riders and motorists. Again, this selector switch is excellent and it couldn't come at a better time for me. If the mount offered more fine adjustment and weren't such a porker, I think this could be the best light on the market for its price. This is definitely another win for NiteRider.