Review: Bontrager Ion Pro RT Front Light

Suitable for day or night rides, the Bontrager Ion Pro RT is a 1300-Lumen, USB-rechargeable, compact and rather robust unit.

DETAILS

  • Battery – 4,800 Li-Ion
  • Charging period – 7 hours from flat
  • Output – 1300 Lumens
  • Water Resistance – IPX4
  • Uses – Road, Gravel, Commuting, MTB
  • Modes – 1,300 lm-1.5 hrs, 800 lm -3 hrs, 400 lm -6 hrs, night flash-26 hrs, day flash 22 hrs (claimed)
  • Bar clamp – fits bars from 25.4 to 35.0mm
  • Connectivity – Garmin and Bontrager ANT+ devices for always-on, battery status and control
  • Weight – light and bar mount – 178grams (actual)
  • Price – R1 899
  • AvailabilityNearest Trek Retailer


IMPRESSIONS

MOUNTING: The handlebar mount is a hinge style clamp with a rubber sleeve insert and a beefy thumbscrew which locks everything down very effectively. The thumbscrew has a stop on it, meaning it can’t be screwed all the way out and lost – that’s neat. The light slides on and off of the clamp courtesy of a plastic rail which also locks in place via a small lever. It can be a little finicky at first but after a couple of uses removing the light is slick and easy. I was a bit skeptical of the *magnetic helmet mounting option which sits into the air vent of the Bontrager lid but the mount actually slides into two channels and locks into place very securely. I never had an issue with the helmet or bar mounts coming loose or sliding out of position. It’s road-ready, trail-ready and absolutely huck-proof.

Bontrager ION Pro RT front light on test for Bike Network in Cape Town shot by Gary Perkin.
The light slides on and off of the clamp courtesy of a plastic rail which also locks in place via a small lever

ON / OFF and switching between the MODES is all through one button. Two clicks to turn it on, one click to move from one mode to another and a push and hold click to turn it off. It’s a no brainer. The benefits of CONNECTIVITY with a Garmin or Bontrager Garmin Edge device, if you want to go this route, are plenty. Its a very simple, once off, step by step auto prompt process to sync the light/s and once sorted it’s super easy to monitor battery life and change modes without the guess work as to which mode you are in. There is also an ‘always-on’ feature which I really liked – especially during daylight rides when you are unsure if your light is on. Naturally you don’t have to use this connectivity function – but it is cool! The Bontrager Ion Pro RT also has a dim orange side light which improves side-on visibility.

Bontrager ION Pro RT front light on test for Bike Network in Cape Town shot by Gary Perkin.
I never had an issue with the helmet or bar mounts coming loose or sliding out of position.

ON THE TRAIL I used the light in the 1300-lumen setting and easily achieved the claimed 1h30min battery life. My total run time in the bright 1300-lumen setting was 2h46minutes. The 800-lumen setting is pretty powerful and sufficient for open trails and jeep track. I would describe the beam as warm, direct with some peripheral light too. On one of the test rides I hit up some very technical trails with a bar-mounted and helmet-mounted Bontrager ION Pro RT. Running the extra light produced a helluva lot of light – almost too much. ON THE ROAD whether you are using the light to ‘see’ or ‘be seen’ it’s a winner. The beam punches out pretty far down the tarmac and beam power doesn’t fade towards the end of the runtime either. What I really liked is how the Bontrager Ion Pro’s power button moves from green to flashing green, to flashing yellow to flashing red before it shuts down completely.

Bontrager ION Pro RT front light on test for Bike Network in Cape Town shot by Gary Perkin.
The Bontrager Ion Pro RT also has a dim orange side light which improves side-on visibility.


BOTTOM LINE

Throughout testing the light’s casing never got too hot to touch or hold. Impressively, the run times exceeded what is stated by Bontrager. Over a two month test period, the Bontrager ION Pro RT has withstood proper mountain bike trail abuse, road rides, gravel rides with exposure to rain and mud. The reliability is unquestionable. The beam is excellent in all conditions. It’s a good buy.

| *Magnetic Blendr helmet mount is sold with applicable Bontrager helmets |

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin & Trek |



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