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  1. #1
    Junior Member thereverendbob's Avatar
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    Not Happy with Niterider HID System

    About two years ago I bought a $400 Niterider Cyclone HID system. I've used it frequently but intermittently, only when my commute takes me off of the roads I know well, or if I am riding trails in the dark.

    I have always kept the NIMH battery in a neoprene pouch, and have frankly babied the entire system, as it was such a big investment for me. Well, look at what I got for my trouble:




    The cable has begun to separate from its housing where the cable enters the battery housing, a dangerous situation. I concluded that this is the result of either a design flaw or manufacturing defect, so I called Niterider to see about getting it repaired under warranty. DENIED. They need $20 for the repair (will likely charge me an additonal $6 to $8 for a replacement cable), plus it cost me about $10 to ship the thing back Priority Mail, plus I will have to wait several weeks to get the thing back.

    The CSR was polite but not supportive. Niterider has its "policies". I have policies, too. One of them includes warning others when I feel as if I have been ripped off.

    I will be going here for my next lighting investment. In my experience, Niterider makes inferior products, and doesn't stand behind design and manufacturing defects, even when such defects cause a potentially dangerous situation. I strongly suggest an alternative source for your lighting needs.

    See ya,
    Bob
    Last edited by thereverendbob; 09-27-07 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #2
    bac
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thereverendbob View Post
    Niterider has its "policies". I have policies, too. One of them includes warning others when I feel as if I have been ripped off.
    Fair enough, Bob. I would think NR would fix your problem for free. They have made similar repairs for me in the past. Perhaps try calling again, and take another shot at another rep.?

    Regardless, thanX for the post, and let the group know how your new choice turns out.

    ... Brad

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    That's not a dangerous situation, the outer casing has cracked. You can still see the insulated wire inside is fine. Just wrap it in some electrical tape and you're good to go.

  4. #4
    Junior Member thereverendbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    p.s. 2" of electrical tape would fix your "problem."
    PLEASE tell me you're not in IT or an electrician . . . (if so, please tell everybody where . . .)

    The cable is pulling out of the housing, bro.

  5. #5
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Bob,

    Does the lighting system still work? Have you passed the end of the warrenty period? If past, consider the best way to keep the wires intact with the battery. I'd seal the opening with liquid tape first, then cover with electrical tape. Finally, I'd make certain that further damage would not occur. Then ride, ride, ride, and pray, the lights always work in the darkest of times!

    P.S. Welcome to Bike Forums. You can find more of my posts over at Classic and Vintage.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

  6. #6
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Something similar happen to my wife's Niterider battery. I "fixed" it with lots of electrical tape, but it was definitely not a permanent solution. A couple of weeks later, the light went out unexpectedly, the battery got very hot [too hot to touch without gloves] and began to smoke. I had to cut open the outer casing to get at the inner wiring and snip the shorting wires inside. The problem with the design of the battery pack [IMHO] was that the housing for the wires doesn't extend far enough inside the cover, and pulled free, stressing the fairly delicate wiring inside. YMMV...
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
    '06 Cervelo Soloist Carbon | '09 Titus El Guapo | '09 Misfit diSSent | '09 Wabi Lightning

  7. #7
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    When I first bought a NR system I thought it was great but after less than two years (and three replacement batteries) I gave up and switched to Lupine. I've been happy ever since. The light was good but the batteries and connectors were not.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Has it been subjected to some pretty strenous wear? Did you baby it while one the bike? Mountain biking can be rigorous. Most warranties are for one year. I would be unhappy about the several week's wait. I am interested because I have the same system, but it is almost four years old. I have been satisified.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Agreed, it is a dangerous situation that could result in a fire. I had a NR Digital Evolution that broke within 9 months, due to a bad cable, I will never buy another NR product. Sorry to say REI had to eat the loss. I went to another make & model, which also broke quickly, so now I'm using relatively inexpensive Cateyes and they are fine. REI = "return equipment indefinitely"

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    You shouldn't need to baby your lights. Get a Jet Lite or Turbocat (and probably L&M too). IMHO, the next best thing(s) to Lupine.

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    I'd call another rep just to see what they say. If they still don't, write them a letter (a paper letter, not an e-mail letter). Explain your position and situation.

    Don't threaten to create the "niteridersucks" website, be civil, polite, factual etcetera.

    If that fail, use the electrical tape and if it blows up it blows up. The LED lights you're seeking as an alternative probably won't be as bright if you're used to HID but maybe you'll be happier with that type of setup.

  12. #12
    Junior Member thereverendbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Bob,

    Does the lighting system still work? Have you passed the end of the warrenty period? If past, consider the best way to keep the wires intact with the battery. I'd seal the opening with liquid tape first, then cover with electrical tape. Finally, I'd make certain that further damage would not occur. Then ride, ride, ride, and pray, the lights always work in the darkest of times!

    P.S. Welcome to Bike Forums. You can find more of my posts over at Classic and Vintage.
    A namesake (almost)! Thanks for the advice.

    See ya,
    Bob

  13. #13
    Junior Member thereverendbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    I'm not your bro but I have taken apart that very same battery when my original one died. Your paranoia is unfounded. The cable is not pulling out of the housing. The wires are still insulated. The cosmetic covering has merely pulled back.

    Even if the wires were bare in spots I'm having trouble imaging your "dangerous situation."

    Rather than whining about a cosmetic problem, grab some electrical tape and ride off into the night...
    You are definitely not my "bro", I was mistaken about that.

    (When did she leave you?)

    See ya,
    Bob

  14. #14
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    Have you noticed the light losing its ability to run for its stated runtime?

    Have you found any websites with others reporting similar issues?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thereverendbob View Post
    About two years ago I bought a $400 Niterider Cyclone HID system. I've used it frequently but intermittently, only when my commute takes me off of the roads I know well, or if I am riding trails in the dark.

    I have always kept the NIMH battery in a neoprene pouch, and have frankly babied the entire system, as it was such a big investment for me. Well, look at what I got for my trouble:




    The cable has begun to separate from its housing where the cable enters the battery housing, a dangerous situation. I concluded that this is the result of either a design flaw or manufacturing defect, so I called Niterider to see about getting it repaired under warranty. DENIED. They need $20 for the repair (will likely charge me an additonal $6 to $8 for a replacement cable), plus it cost me about $10 to ship the thing back Priority Mail, plus I will have to wait several weeks to get the thing back.

    The CSR was polite but not supportive. Niterider has its "policies". I have policies, too. One of them includes warning others when I feel as if I have been ripped off.

    I will be going here for my next lighting investment. In my experience, Niterider makes inferior products, and doesn't stand behind design and manufacturing defects, even when such defects cause a potentially dangerous situation. I strongly suggest an alternative source for your lighting needs.

    See ya,
    Bob
    Use what the pro's use.
    http://www.jetlites.com/products.html

    you won't regret it.

    $400 could have been better spent

  16. #16
    Senior Member maximushq2's Avatar
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    That's too bad about the battery. I have the same NR cyclone with that battery and it makes me wonder when mine might have this issue. I'm not so much worried about the light going out on me while on the trail as I have a second light, but I am concerned about the possibility of it shorting out and starting a fire. Hopefully I never see this issue. I guess if it were me I would try to talk to was another rep like what stated in an earlier reply. Maybe play up the concerns you have about the battery shorting out and causing a fire and see if it gets you anywhere. After that I guess I would just pay them what they want to fix it as it would be a lot cheaper then buying a new battery or new system. I think I am done with Niterider anyway as I believe there are more reliable options out there. Plus the they dropped the ball a bit on the Trinewt on/off switch being on the battery.

  17. #17
    Junior Member thereverendbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    Use what the pro's use.
    http://www.jetlites.com/products.html

    you won't regret it.

    $400 could have been better spent
    Grun,

    Truer words were never spoken! I wish I had heard of Jetlites when I was making my purchasing decision. Niterider has my battery pack for repair now. Due to the sunk cost of buying the unit, I will probably have to use it until it reaches the end of its useful life. If they send me a new battery instead of repairing the current one, I suppose I could put the whole thing on eBay and see what it could fetch.

    Anyway, Jetlites seems to be a strong contender. Thanks for the tip.

    See ya,
    Bob

  18. #18
    Senior_Member2 diff_lock2's Avatar
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    The only safe thing to do is to replace the cable. If the company wont fix it... why don't you? Just expose the pack get your own cable... and replace it.

    I am sure you can get a friend (with some skills) to solder it all up.

  19. #19
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thereverendbob View Post
    Grun,

    Truer words were never spoken! I wish I had heard of Jetlites when I was making my purchasing decision. Niterider has my battery pack for repair now. Due to the sunk cost of buying the unit, I will probably have to use it until it reaches the end of its useful life. If they send me a new battery instead of repairing the current one, I suppose I could put the whole thing on eBay and see what it could fetch.

    Anyway, Jetlites seems to be a strong contender. Thanks for the tip.

    See ya,
    Bob
    Bob,

    good luck with niterider.. I was a niterider user, bought many lights from them.. The last light I had was a 12E, was having some problems with the battery, sent it back, they could not find a problem.. I went through this with them on a few occasions, then they told me to send the whole thing in, I did so.. In the time when I was sending the battery back and forth the warranty expired and guess what, instead of fixing it, they said. well we determined that your battery pack is faulty and you will have to buy a new since it is out of warranty.. I figured since I had service problems with this unit, they would cut me a break.. No break was the answer from them, 200.00 for a new battery and all will be fine.. I told them to send everything back and I went off to buy an Light and Motion Arc HID, that was 3 years ago and it is still running fine to this day..

    There are many good vendors and lot of competition in this market. Don't be bullied into to buying a niterider just because they have been around for a long time.. I have spoken to more than a few people who have had to deal with there poor customer service.. Go somewhere, like Arc, Jetlites or Dinotte where they appreciate you as a customer..

  20. #20
    Junior Member thereverendbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    Bob,

    good luck with niterider.. I was a niterider user, bought many lights from them.. The last light I had was a 12E, was having some problems with the battery, sent it back, they could not find a problem.. I went through this with them on a few occasions, then they told me to send the whole thing in, I did so.. In the time when I was sending the battery back and forth the warranty expired and guess what, instead of fixing it, they said. well we determined that your battery pack is faulty and you will have to buy a new since it is out of warranty.. I figured since I had service problems with this unit, they would cut me a break.. No break was the answer from them, 200.00 for a new battery and all will be fine.. I told them to send everything back and I went off to buy an Light and Motion Arc HID, that was 3 years ago and it is still running fine to this day..

    There are many good vendors and lot of competition in this market. Don't be bullied into to buying a niterider just because they have been around for a long time.. I have spoken to more than a few people who have had to deal with there poor customer service.. Go somewhere, like Arc, Jetlites or Dinotte where they appreciate you as a customer..
    I'm with you all the way! I will not be doing business with Niterider again, and not just for the reason I posted: I've been virtually flooded with Niterider stories, 99 percent of them negative. Competition's likely going to eat their lunch eventually, unless they've got a rich uncle somewhere . . .

    Thanks again for all the responses and PMs.

    I Bid you Peace,
    Bob

  21. #21
    Banned. Maxximum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thereverendbob View Post
    I'm with you all the way! I will not be doing business with Niterider again, and not just for the reason I posted: I've been virtually flooded with Niterider stories, 99 percent of them negative. Competition's likely going to eat their lunch eventually, unless they've got a rich uncle somewhere . . .

    Thanks again for all the responses and PMs.

    I Bid you Peace,
    Bob
    Niterider has had a lot of problems. I don't find them very reliable. Would you trust a mountain bike from Wal-Mart while bursting down the side of a small mountain, or a low-end bike from Specialized, or Trek?

    There are some other better companies out there with better respect for their customers. They respect their customers by being nice to them on the phone and by making something good for them, a reliable product. I thought I could forgive Niterider, and go for their TriNewt, but have since decided against them. I am either going to get the Cygolite TridenX, or build my own Cree set-up. If you want more information, just PM me, or post up.

    Thanks. And don't mind the jerks on the forum, they think they are tough hiding behind the internet, when they wouldn't say half the crap they would to your face.

  22. #22
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    I would only really consider three companies: Jetlites, Cygolite, and Light and Motion.
    Check out Cygolite's TridenX. If you go with Jetlites, you will have to pay more, but it will be worth it long-term. Face it, you won't want to buy a new light every year...or do you?
    For Light and Motion, you can get the Solo, or get the new Stella. Don't bother with ARC. The thing is LEDs now, moving with Cree's Q5, and R2 in 2008, and Seoul's. Incredible longevity, and better efficiency than Halogens. You can get setups brighter than HID's, but way sturdier and better battery life.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mtnbk3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    I'm not your bro but I have taken apart that very same battery when my original one died. Your paranoia is unfounded. The cable is not pulling out of the housing. The wires are still insulated. The cosmetic covering has merely pulled back.

    Even if the wires were bare in spots I'm having trouble imaging your "dangerous situation."

    Rather than whining about a cosmetic problem, grab some electrical tape and ride off into the night...
    i kinda expected you to say that
    hi

  24. #24
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    Electrical tape is a bandaid.Looks like it could use a better strain relief.As long as there are no breaks on the wires insulation,I would cut the wires (in the middle of the cord),slip on some heat shrink tubing,solder the wires back up,cover the wires with tubing,shrink it.Then cover the the whole cut and the separation at the batteries with more tubing,shrink away.You now have a PERMANENT,waterproof repair.You can always double or triple up the tubing near the battery for better strain relief.Shouldn't take more then an hour and $5-$10 (for the tubing) to repair your cable better than new.

    Booger1

  25. #25
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    Exclamation Yeah...

    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    I would only really consider three companies: Jetlites, Cygolite, and Light and Motion.
    Check out Cygolite's TridenX. If you go with Jetlites, you will have to pay more, but it will be worth it long-term. Face it, you won't want to buy a new light every year...or do you?
    For Light and Motion, you can get the Solo, or get the new Stella. Don't bother with ARC. The thing is LEDs now, moving with Cree's Q5, and R2 in 2008, and Seoul's. Incredible longevity, and better efficiency than Halogens. You can get setups brighter than HID's, but way sturdier and better battery life.
    That's the problem. R2 seems so far away. Next year. The only way you're going to rival
    the brightest HIDs is buying a light with a quantity of multiple bright leds ala the Lupine Betty,
    the new Dinotte 600L (520-600 lumen), the also-new TridenX (lumens unknown as yet) or the
    Niterider Trinewt (only 486 lumens though).

    And that means spending a significant amount of money. My HID? <$200. All of the LED
    lights in the list I posted are all $350 and up. IN the case of the Betty, WAY up. I could
    buy a bike for that kind of money. In two years everyone will be doing this and the playing
    field will be leveled and prices will come down which is good for the consumer. BUT, for
    now it's like when HID first came out. Spendy$.

    The problem with some of us though, is that we are SPOILED by having >600 lumen HID
    setups and we won't switch to LED until they actually exceed their lumen count.

    Although I started using LED in commutes in 2002 with two Cateye EL300s. Ten white
    LEDs. It wasn't bad, I liked the battery life and the removability. But I am fooling myself
    if I think motorists really saw me. I still use them as flashlights around the house and my
    wife was using them on her commutes until about two weeks ago when she got a 25watt
    halogen setup. We'll replace all of the older technologies with high power led eventually
    but have a mortgage and hungry cats - you get the idea!

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