Bikerumor Review: NiteFlux Photon Enduro 8 Single

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The NiteFlux Photon Enduro 8 Single falls in the middle of the company’s product line in regards to maximum output and is the least amount of light I’d recommend for racing. It is stocked with all the great NiteFlux technology such as the high intensity LED, Constant Watt Technology, Race Mode, and more.

In the NiteFlux Photon Enduro line there is the Enduro 4 and the Enduro 8. You can buy either light separate or a combination of two 4′s, or one 4 and one 8. We tested out the Enduro 8 Single (which is one light with a maximum output of 540 lumens) in a wide range of conditions to simulate every riding style. All said-and-done the Enduro 8 Single is an exceptional light for commuting and recreational mountain bike riding. During competitive mountain bike riding at higher speeds the light is adequate, but not exceptional. Everyone likes to think that they are fast, but if you really are faster than all your friends, I would recommend as many lumens as you can afford. And faster friends.

Full Review after the break….

If you’re unfamiliar with NiteFlux, it’s because they have very limited U.S. distribution, but they’re the top selling brand in Australia.  We reviewed their Commuter 4 a while back, and it earned very high marks.

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I don’t know where the Ausi company got the idea for their packaging, but it works well.  Everything comes rolled neatly in a canvas sack that closes with snap clips.

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It comes with both a helmet and bar mount, battery, coiled-stretch cable, wall charger, battery mount and the light head. The roll pouch keeps everything neatly in place.

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The battery mount can hold two batteries if you decide to get a spare, and it mounts underneath a water bottle cage.  Although we didn’t use it, the batteries would snug up underneath the bottle pretty well.

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The light head twists into the mount (shown with bar mount, same method for helmet mount), and the cable inserts through a hole in the rear, creating a relatively tight seal.  We had some showers during the night laps at the BURN 24 Hour, but the light never faltered.

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The head unit on the Enduro 8 single weighed in at 170 grams with the helmet mount attached. Although it was 30 grams (about one ounce) heavier than other lights we tested, it didn’t feel awkward or bulky to wear. The helmet mount is very easy to attach to the helmet and stays in place nicely. The on/off button is located on top of the light (not on the battery as with some other NiteFlux models) and is easy to operate even with gloves on.

That velcro on the bottom is for attaching grippy pads (included) to prevent it from sliding around on your helmet.  Since these units ended up as prizes at the BURN 24 Hour, we didn’t use any of the included pads or stickies.

LIGHT PATTERN:

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The light beam pattern from the High-Watt LED is great. The coloring is white, bright and clean, giving definition between obstacles and shadows. Its beam is wide enough that it provides solid illumination even when riding over bumps, roots, rocks and other obstacles that cause the head to bobble (unlike lights that have a concentrated, focused beam pattern that only illuminate a small portion of the tail at a time and move rapidly with bumps and head motion).

Above, looking closer to the front wheel.  Below, looking a little further down the trail.

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TECH SPECS:

The Enduro 8 Single has three settings. High, Low, and Flash (watts, lumens and runtime below). These settings could easily be described as Trail, Commuting, and Flash respectively. The low setting, while fine for commuting and great for power savings, is inadequate for competitive trail riding. There just isn’t enough light to allow time for preloading and/or navigating sudden obstacles. The low setting does illuminate the trails enough for leisurely strolls though the woods and will get you home once the CWT, Constant Watt Technology, says it’s time to turn back. The CWT eliminates light fade as the battery runs down and delivers 100% light intensity for 90% of the battery’s runtime and 50% intensity for the final 10% of runtime.  Like all NiteFlux lights we’ve tested, it’ll start blinking to let you know it’s time to switch.

  • HIGH: 8 watt  - 540 Lumens – 3 hours
  • LOW: 2 watt  - 135 Lumens – 12 hours
  • FLASH: 8 watt – 540 Lumens – 12 hours

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The Visonstick battery system is neat and simple but a little cumbersome. The battery itself weighed in at 266 grams and the cable to the head unit was 60 grams. Both together are lighter than their top-of-the-line Max Extreme, (which is to be expected considering the juice required for its 1350 lumens). The long thin battery works fine with NiteFlux’s custom made jersey ($110), in a hydration pack, or mounted to the frame (when commuting). The catch is when you are using the helmet mount and want to is slide the battery into your team jersey or other non NiteFlux kit. I managed to do fine by rubber-banding the battery to my extra tube, tire levers and CO2 that I had in my jersey. That gave the battery enough weight to stay in my pocket even during full speed night racing and wrecking. One cool feature of the Enduro line is that you can attach the head unit directly to the battery for a “hand torch” flashlight if you need to. Also, you can get a full charge in about 4 hours.

The NiteFlux Photon 8 Enduro Single has an MSRP of $249.99 USD, which is a bargain compared to lights from other brands with similar Lumen ratings.  If you’re worried about quality because of the price, don’t.  This is the third NiteFlux light we’ve reviewed, and they’ve all performed flawlessly.

BIKERUMOR RATING:

This was a great light to use. The size and weigh were acceptable and light beam was wide and clear. Even the carrying case is well designed and easy to use. For commuting and road riding this light fantastic. 540 watts of strobing light will almost pull cars over. My only reservations is for competitive mountain bike racing. For night racing on technical courses and steep descents I recommend as much light as possible. On a few descents and when ripping through narrow switchbacks I felt as though the light was slowing me down.

If you’re looking for a high quality light at a great price for general night riding, look no further…you’re going to be hard pressed to find another light with this output and quality for under $400.  If you’re a regular 24 hour racer or really, really fast, you may want a few more lumens, in which case you should check out the Photon Max Extreme we’re reviewing shortly.  That said, we give the NiteFlux Photon Enduro 8 Single 4.5 THUMBS UP!

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