I can’t believe it is currently still dark here in Utah until nearly 8:00 am. Yup, that mid-summer 6:00 am sunrise is now gone and replaced with nearly two hours of darkness, but thanks to the Bontrager Ion 700 R, I can still get out and ride.

Bontrager Ion 700 R Features:

  • Durable aluminum body
  • 700 lumens via CREE LED
  • 4 brightness modes and two flashing modes
  • 5-hour charge time
  • Sync bracket mounts easily to all common bar diameters
  • Rotating mount features +/- 20-degree adjustability
  • Price: $119.99

Bontrager Ion 700 R Review

Light the way with the Ion 700 R

With over a year’s worth of morning assaults under its belt, the Ion 700 R has proven to be the Timex of bike lights as it just keeps on doing its thing without a hitch. This durably-constructed bike light is simple to use and provides an excellent beam when the sun is beyond the horizon.

As with most modern bike lights, this unit is USB-rechargeable and easily charges overnight. The onboard battery is stated to last 1.75 hours at 700 lumens. I’ve used it for a little over an hour on many occasions without a hitch, but as the sun begins to rise, I’ve not noticed that the light does begin to dim. Expect near-full brightness for the first hour to hour-and-a-half, then it ramps down to a lower output to save battery and still provide a slight amount of light. Luckily, that’s about the perfect duration for full brightness. To save battery, it’s easy to reduce the beam as the sun begins to rise.

One of the best features of the Ion 700 R is the orange side lights. This serves two purposes: cross traffic awareness and cockpit lighting. It does both jobs quite well as I’ve found I can dance around the bars quite easily without grabbing blindly.


The rounded light beam provides ample lighting for typical nighttime speeds. I’ve found that I like to direct the light downward and about 50-60ft ahead, using the full 700 lumen mode. This provides enough brightness to see the road, but not blind oncoming drivers. At that distance, it ends up casting about a 20-ft wide beam. While utter darkness does sometimes make you feel like you need more light, in reality, this little light is quite bright. There are brighter lights on the market of a similar size, but this is certainly a solid value.

For daytime visibility, the two flashing modes — particularly the random flash mode — help to maintain visibility. That mode in combination with the Flare R tail light can provide excellent night and daytime visibility, just to be on the safe side.

With a simple Sync bracket, the light can be strapped to any handlebar. I mount it inward, towards the stem and can slip it off and into a jersey pocket, once the sun rises. Or, just keep it in place in random flash mode. Keep in mind that it’s easiest to access the charging port when dismounted from the rubbery Sync bracket.

I’ll add that the Sync mounts can be easily placed on the Bontrager Lithos helmet, and others for use on nighttime singletrack. While I mostly used the Ion 700 R on the road, I did use it on a few morning mountain bike rides where it works very well and stays in place — in spite of rough terrain.

The Good

  • Plenty bright for over an hour of darkness
  • Amber side lights illuminate the cockpit and add safety
  • Mounts easily
  • Rotating mount adjusts to bar angles

The Bad

  • Charging port is hard to reach when on the Sync bracket (pop it off and you’re fine)
  • Light body gets hot

The Bottom Line: Ion 700 R

With the white lightning aboard, I’ve been able to comfortably begin my morning assaults to an hour or more before sunrise. It’s easy to use and features day and night modes for all-day safety.

Buy Now: Bontrager.com or Your Local Trek Dealer

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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