Spring Forward – Fall Back. You’ve probably heard this once or twice before and you may have a strong opinion about it if you ride mountain bikes. The Winter season is when it gets tricky for most riders to make time or get motivated to go outside once the time changes.
Sure, you can ride before work or cheekily take an extra long lunch break, but sometimes the only freedom in your schedule is to get some saddle time once the sun has checked out for the day. Being strapped for daylight isn’t the only reason riding at night should be an option as it can also improve skill and open up a whole new realm of trail riding to keep things fresh, interesting, and shed new light on the terrain you thought you were once used to.
Hopefully I established why night riding could be a fun alternative if you haven’t tried it already. The thing is…you can’t ride at night if you don’t have a sufficient light that can keep up. The good thing is that light technology has become more affordable, more powerful, and more efficient over the past five years. I say five years because that’s how long I’ve had my previous light and let’s just say I had no idea what I was missing. They are not just a plain jane flashlight taped to your handlebars anymore!
Taking the Sigma Buster 2000 for a spin. Light mounted on bars with battery strapped below top tube.
I was given the opportunity to try out the Sigma Buster 2000 headlight to explore its functionality on my home trails and off.
Sigma Buster 2000 unboxed and ready to burn some candles!
This isn’t your average commuter’s bike light and that’s simply because it is so much more. Sigma provides everything necessary to power this superlantern for hours at a time with your choice of mounting it to your handlebar or helmet. The helmet strap is super effective if one light is all you have because the beam will follow your natural head and eye movements. The Buster 2000 straps through the vents of your helmet with Velcro and keeps a tight fit to reduce vibration. For this application, Sigma includes a 32inch extension cord so you can place the battery in a backpack. I don’t usually ride with a pack, so the short-ish cord made it quite a stretch to reach my shorts pocket on my 6ft frame, not to mention the bulky endurance-size battery bulging. If you run a pack, I don’t see this being an issue whatsoever. Mounting to the bars also leaves a couple options; a clamp with the adjustable thumb screw (which made for quick install/removals) or the use of an action camera adapter. If you already own an action cam and have a bar mount to spare, it is a nice bonus to have available. There is one concern worth mentioning and that is this light does not offer quick-release style connectors to easily swap between bar/helmet mounts. I had to use a small screwdriver to unscrew the light from one mount and screw it to another. It was a pain in the rear to say the least. If you are the type of rider that occasionally swaps one light from bars to helmet, this may be an issue. I did, however find the light to perform extremely well on the bars compared to my older torch, though. The spread of the beam and the pure power output makes for superb visibility.
The Sigma mounted to the bar provided excellent FOV (Field-Of-View) and the lightweight and compact size made it hard to notice on the head.
At 2000 lumens, this thing packs a punch. Even at full power, this light can be powered for at least a couple hours thanks to its high capacity battery (6400mAh). The battery life dramatically increases as you step down in power, allowing for hours and hours of use if you change brightness accordingly. That brings us to the next feature, one of a few that I found super useful when out for a ride on the trail and off. Included in the box is a remote to wirelessly control the Buster’s modes without taking your hands off the grips, leaving you in control at all times. This feature proved to be quick and easy when coming across oncoming trail users or commuting on roads where you don’t want to blind/annoy anyone. It had become second nature to just use the remote to step down the brightness when I simply didn’t need the power, a key tip for extending battery life.
The included wireless remote makes changing settings a breeze.
Top to Bottom (lumens): 2000, 1300, 600, 300. (Photo: www.sigmasport.com)
As far as on-bike performance goes, this light was killer. I’ve already done a few group rides where I was providing enough light to help other riders navigate. Most rides (a couple times a week) were done at the full 2000 lumens, because why not?! I would step the brightness down when I encountered traffic and would return to full power when appropriate. The battery life didn’t disappoint and lasted a couple weeks until it would be a good idea to recharge.
A power monitor and a USB output on the battery makes for a tech savvy person's best friend. Rubber seals also keep it secure in light to moderate wet weather conditions.
The battery isn’t the only thing that needs a recharge once in a while. That other thing in your pocket may need a surprise boost when done on the trail. The Buster 2000 offers a neat feature that I’ve taken advantage of numerous times; the ability to charge your phone or action camera straight from the battery pack via its USB output. With your desired USB cable (not included), you can charge your devices at 2.1 amps which is very similar to most speedy phone chargers on the market. Just press the “Check” button on the battery to accept a device and connect to charge.
Plug and play charging straight from your Sigma’s battery pack. Super handy!
When it comes to lights, there are many viable options out there with similar light output. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are all the same though. Perhaps what impressed me in terms of performance wasn’t the sheer power, but maybe the spread of the beam I touched on already. It is nice to have light where you’re heading, but it is even better to have light in your peripherals to give you wide angle visibility, boosting confidence. Light performance is what attracts the eye to the product, but it is bonus features that improve the value of the Sigma and make it a worthy performer. Despite the overcomplicated mounting system, the Buster 2000 is an extremely capable light to brave the elements and enhance your nighttime adventures. I’d be happy to put more time on this light and I’d even secretly wish that the short days of Winter would continue for a little while longer!