Review: Bontrager Ion 700 RT

Remote capable now

Lights Lights Shootout

Bontrager Ion 700 RT Beam Pattern

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photo was taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. The backyard beam pattern allows you to gauge the throw and the width of the light. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

Bontrager Ion 700 RT

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 706 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 700 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

This light indeed has a nice beam pattern and the output is now 706 lumens which matches its 700 lumen claims. Weight is still a mind-blowing 119 grams making it a very modular light where the rider can use more than one to dial in the brightness.

The Ion 700 RT can be part of an elaborate light setup (up to 4) controlled by one remote.

The Ion 700 RT can be part of an elaborate light setup (up to 4) controlled by one remote (click to enlarge).

Due to the small form factor and lack of any cooling fins, the light can heat up when used in warm conditions or on rides with a lot of stops. But the temperature management of the Ion 700 is sophisticated enough as it steps down in brightness when it heats up. It also ramps back up as airflow is achieved to cool the light.

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This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Chad says:

    Small correction for the article. There is a helmet mount available for the 700 Ion now.

  • don says:

    There is also a “blendr” accessory available by bontrager that lets you mount and vertically pivot the light when attached to a stem. Still one of the best lights at 50% of a car headlight’s power output. There is a non RT (remote transmission) white ion700 for about 30 dollars less.

  • David Wayne says:

    700 lumens is irrelevant in my book. The main attraction to this light is remote control so you can quickly turn it off when riding into a jogger, hiker, walker in the dark on a trail. How many people swear at you when your head lights blind them. That’s why I purchased this set of 700RT, tail light and remote.
    But, sadly, there are problems with 700 RT. Northwest rain, I think, leaked into the tail light and now it’s useless. That’s OK, I thought. The head light works remotely and that’s the main thing. But I found that battery would die without notice, three times. Third time, I have been unable to recharge 700 RT. Trek makes great bikes. But they don’t know how to make great bike lights, yet. It’s a great, great idea. Very needed, I think.

  • David Weir says:

    when I use the ion700Rt it gets quite hot when it is let on ridding for say more than a few minutes is this typical for this unit to get hot

  • Manny says:

    I had issues with the lights randomly blinking, turning themselves on, 2.5 hours or less duration for the headlight (lowest setting), and water shorting out my rear light in Japan. (It was not the recall series) Bontrager changed out the set when I returned. Though not sure if lights will turn on again on their own (could have been a frequency issue in Japan?) they definitely changed the rubber cover on the rear lights charging port as it’s beefier and less flimsy . I hope the headlight has a longer illum time.

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