SIGMA BUSTER 2000

Lamp 105g OEM Bracket 28g Battery 351g Helmet Bracket 19g Adaptor for Action Camera 3g Extension Cable 29g Remote Control 16g Charging Cable 345g Charging Unit 137g £252.99

The Sigma Buster 2000 is a serious trail light, pumping out a whopping 2000 lumens through some powerful optics. Very well-made, engineered and coming with a wealth of accessories, it has performed faultlessly in all circumstances.

Lamp and accessories

 

The Sigma Buster 2000 comes festooned with accessories, giving lots of options for mounting. More are available, aftermarket. The lamp itself is a beautifully machined, anodized affair. Ventilation ports help regulate internal temperatures (although perhaps unsurprisingly, it gets hot enough to warm your hands by). Nonetheless, three Cree LEDs, diodes and circuitry are well sealed from Mother Nature and rider error. That said, I was very surprised to discover it only met IPX4, which is heavy rain. Strictly speaking, I was expecting IPX6, possibly even 7. The sheer power negates any real need for peripheral cut outs (although we’re inclined toward running a blinkie beside our main systems).

Switch

 

Powering up and down and all modes are available through a silicone button switch on the lamp, which also acts as a charge indicator. Two clicks powers up. From there, simply prod to cruise through the seven modes. Powering down requires a more sustained, five second press. Rather than the classic green, blue, red traffic light system, Sigma has opted for white (above 71%) green (71-31%) and red. Either way, it’s incredibly user friendly and ours was very precise.

 

In keeping with Xeccon 5000 system the Buster 2000 also runs a wireless switch. It’s a big silicone pad cum charge indicator, which is a doddle to command, even wearing winter-weight, full-finger gloves.

 

Both remote and lamp button take on a gentle luminosity as darkness falls.

Bracket

 

As I said in my introduction, there are several options. The quick release bar mount is very similar to that employed on the Sigma Buster 200. It uses a series of silicone shims, ensuring tenure’s limpet like, whether yours are 25.4, 31.8 or 26.0. There is also a strap mount, which enables the beam to be adjusted effortlessly mid-ride. The most obvious draw is when you’re coming from trail to road and vice-versa.  Another adaptor enables the lamp to be mounted in place of an iconic action camera, although there’s also the old school Velcro strap. You’ll need a 4mm Allen key to adjust the angle on this, mind.

 

Mounted up top, both the action camera adaptor and Velcro-straps provide a solid mount. Helmets with widely-spaced vents might take the Velcro to the limit, but its held firm over humps and bumps and rapid glances from side-to-side. Bear in mind that you’ll need an Allen key to adjust elevation. Set it up well to start with.

There’s been no more than understandable vibration when bar-mounted. Sweeping descents on rough surfaces haven’t introduced movement in the bracket, let alone unintentional jettison.

 

Attachment to all the brackets is by a small, but solid Phillips screw. There’s one on the bar bracket and another on the helmet mount - so you can afford to lose one. Fitting is easy in good light, but not one for midnight switches of mount whilst out on the trail. In practice, most riders will have a preference, so changing position may be a moot point for most.

Battery

 

Though hardly reaching retro proportions, measuring 97mm x 48mm x 48mm  the lithium ion battery is larger than some (e.g. Xeccon Zeta 5000). Silicone straps allow secure tenure under any diameter of top-tube. Removing a snug fitting port cover reveals a charge point for phone, or even laptop, but not for recharging the battery itself. Despite the brands’ enviable reputation, I’ll admit to being skeptical about this function. 

 

As you’d hope, especially at this price point, replacement batteries are readily available and we’re assured it’ll achieve 500 charge cycles before capacity drops below 75% of full. It can also be carried in a jersey, or rucksack. Talking of charging, ours came with the European two-pin charger, so you’ll want an adaptor to avoid disappointment. 

Charge and run times

 

Zero to hero in five to six hours say Sigma, but on the mains ours has come in half an hour less. Laptop USB port was just about on the manufacturers mark.

 

Stated run times are High Power (2000 lumens) two and a half hours, Power (about 1300 lumens) five hours, standard (600) 10, and Eco (300) 20 hours. Flash gives 9 hours, strobe 11 and SOS flash 10. All run times have been pretty much been borne out, give or take a few minutes. 

Flashing and strobe modes have caused some division in the team. 

 

Yes, they may always be useful, but they don’t seem to add much in terms of run times. On the road home from the trail? Could be handy, but with twenty hours on Eco mode in solid beam …. More visible on the trail? With 1300 lumen upward in solid beam? Certainly be really good to identify location in an emergency.

 

Truth is that, in real life on the trail, you won’t keep it at 2000 lumens for long. However well air-cooled on speedy, cold night runs, the casing will heat up and the power will automatically kick down the hotter it gets. There’s no real problem with this at 1300 lumens, which is generally more than adequate, but the nature of the beast is that you’ll switch pretty rapidly between modes. Keep an eye on the charge indicator.

 

In fairness, I’ve not got anywhere near running out of light on the trail or the way home when out on extended night forays on forest trails. Three hour trail rides and an hour commute to the start; all covered - did have a backup in the pocket for the way home, just in case.

Performance

 

I don’t doubt the manufacturer’s claim of a 200 metre beam on full whack. Should be plenty even for Usain Bolt out for as run, let alone me on my MTB. Clarity and focus are impressive. Yep, it lights up the whole trail with some flood to either side, but the heart of it is a super bright illumination of the ground ahead and way down the trail. A bit of a hybrid compared to some. Details of the optics are not cited, but this is pretty academic, since they really deliver.

 

High Power (2000) has only been necessary for a better look at some technical sections and on faster descents. Power (1300) is more than adequate for an enthusiastic 15 mph on the flat, and I’ve happily dropped down to Eco on ascents - faster riders will still find Standard sufficient.

 

Any the end of the trail, a quick adjustment of angle, and Eco mode has been enough to roll happily home on urban stretches, with a click up to standard for unlit lanes. OK, there’s no bleed for visibility at junction and roundabouts, but taking the blinkie from the jersey pocket solves that and there’s plenty of power to caste a beam. Motorists will be shocked at 100 metres if adjustment  is poor - visible at four hundred metres on a straight country lane, I have been told. In amongst he bright city lights, there has been no problem in either flash, strobe or Eco

 

Lamp button and wireless remote control have a gentle luminosity, so locating them in the dark is easy. Talking of the remote, it should work up to 2 metres away - more than enough - but ours managed another metre, with no noticeable impact on wireless devices in close proximity. Tucking the battery pack into the back pocket and using the extension lead to connect to the lamp on the helmet mount, running up and down the modes has been reliable. On a similar topic, the extension lead is than adequate for in flight weight adjustments and quick looks around to see what those forest night noises really are.

Take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the remote. Top section for on and off and solid modes, lower section for flash and strobe.

 

Bar or helmet? Well, I’ve found the beam illuminates the trail and head-height undergrowth wherever it is mounted. However, adjust carefully to avoid causing offence to fellow night-owls.

Charging a USB device from the battery is a really nice touch - a quick top up for the phone in an emergency, has been my limit (actually it was to say I’d stopped at the pub). Time and drain on the battery will depend on device attached, but it put 31% charge into my iPhone in thirty minutes, without the battery indicator dropping any of the four lights on the indicator. Full charge was reached in 90 minutes, with the batteries indicator still showing all four lights.

Wet weather hasn’t seen any ingress either in the battery or in lamp. As mentioned an IPX4 rating signifies “splash resistance” but means more than that seems to indicate. Avoid bog snorkelling, or  crossing very deep rivers and I reckon its worth whipping it off when giving a grime encrusted bike a sudsy bucket purge. 

 

Conclusion

 

I’ve been really impressed by the build quality and performance. There’s an impressive range of mounting options and spares, too. This is a serious trail lamp, but has other potential, as well - long towpath commutes, for example. Getting it set up properly is easy enough, but important, given the inconvenience of midnight mounting swaps. A really good light, at a decent price for the enthusiastic night-time off-road thrill seeker and the forest and hill track explorer in the hours of darkness.

Verdict 4.5/5 Great light with, for me, no deal-breakers.

 

Steve Dyster

 

www.todayscyclist.co.uk

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2017

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