Sigma Buster 700 Lighting Review
The SIGMA BUSTER 700 lighting system has been popular among photographers and videographers for its high-quality light output and versatility.
This system has been designed to provide a cost-effective solution to professionals and amateurs alike, and it is a great option for those looking to get started in the field.
SIGMA SPORT enhanced its range of lights in the fall of 2017 with the arrival of the Buster 300 and the Buster 700, the latter of which we tested, replacing the 600. A hundred Lumens more for this relatively small but sturdy light.
The German brand started its activity by manufacturing digital display bike meters in the early 1980s, quickly establishing itself as a reference when the competition was almost nonexistent (its direct competitor was initially Sachs Huret, then Cateye).
A specialist in electronic cycling accessories, it was in 1997 that Sigma released its first lights, with the first MTB product 3 years later for fans of nighttime outings in the great outdoors, where one needs a robust, powerful, and diffuse light source. In recent years, the German manufacturer has naturally developed a range of GPS and sports watches to replace the venerable meter.
It is clear that Sigma is not new to the game, and this Buster 700 is qualitative. Sigma offers two categories of front lights: a classic power road range and an “overpowering” MTB range. The mountain bike range has 5 headlights displaying powers of 100, 200, 300, 700, and 2000 Lumens. The Buster 700 is the most powerful light that integrates the battery.
The higher-powered Buster 2000 has an external battery that can be attached to the frame or stored in the backpack if the light is attached to the helmet.
The construction device is made of composite and aluminium, with the lower part having grooves that also act as a radiator for cooling. It is hard to break it, as one needs to be highly motivated or clumsy! The housing is waterproof but not removable, so you can’t access the internal electronics.
The waterproofing is rated IPX4, meaning it is resistant to water splashes. In case of complete immersion (for mountain bikers who love underwater biking!), the rubber flap to protect the USB recharge cable connection female plug does not provide full waterproofing. Still, the protection is enough to ride in the worst weather conditions. This flap can be changed if it is damaged, a cross-head screw fixing it to the housing.
2 possible attachments on the handlebars or the helmet, both supplied (as well as the USB charging cable). In both cases, the headlight slides onto the support with a lock to be manipulated manually to unlock and take it out.
The handlebar clamp is installed without tools thanks to the tightening wheel; you can readjust the left/right vertical orientation by unscrewing (Phillips screw) and orienting the plate, as necessary, according to the curves of the handlebar. Several thick rubbers to adapt to all handlebar diameters notches in the collar to wedge/clip them and thus facilitate assembly and prevent them from being lost; Sigma has thought of everything.
If mounted on the helmet, long Velcro strip (which can be cut if necessary) and flexible plastic support + dense foam to fit the shell well, the system does not move and does not alter the helmet. Lateral adjustment of the inclination by Allen key.
Functions first with 3 modes + 1 flash:
– Power: 700 lumens, 2 hours of autonomy
– Standard: 350 lumens, 4 hours of autonomy
– Eco: 170 lumens, 8 hours of autonomy
– Flash: 18 hours of autonomy
The charge level is known and visible thanks to an LED indicator incorporated in the ignition button. LED off, we have more than 71% charge; green light, we are between 31 to 70%; if it turns red, then less than 30% autonomy remains.
Since we are talking about the start button, 13 mm in diameter for this and a light relief avoiding being able to be torn off (by a branch) while being easily accessible and manipulated, it is perfect as well.
Double-click to turn it on, and you are directly in Power mode (full Power, therefore); each simple click allows you to go down in intensity and to Flash mode, then restart the loop with Power.
A long press switches it off. The advantages of the double click on the ignition are less risk of unexpected start-up (during transport, for example), and our thinking head who has memorized this action also remembers that a second double click makes it possible to reach the Eco mode directly.
And conversely, the double click returns to Power. What interest? For example, in direct comparison with the passage of full headlights to low beams of a car, the Power mode dazzles. In contrast, the Eco mode illuminates very well .and is also clearly sufficient to drive, including on dark country lanes. The Standard and Power modes can be helpful on winding descents (cols, for example) to correctly anticipate high-speed trajectories.
But let’s leave the road because it is in the streets that this Sigma Buster 700 expresses itself fully with remarkable characteristics. Mostly used attached to the handlebars, the best way to test it was to participate in a 24-hour mountain bike relay event on a course entirely in the forest composed of 99% winding singletrack with a few rough passages (roots and rocks).
Again at the start of the event in 2018, we rode with the Buster 700, with less powerful lighting than those used in previous years. Longer stints at night, Eco mode on the aisles between the tent and the start, and Power mode in the race.
We confirm that it lasts 2 hours at full power, ending the last half hour below 30% charge (the light being red, therefore). The lighted area is perfect, i.e., a solid central beam is large enough to illuminate a few meters ahead and has enough brightness further and on the sides to drive calmly. Admittedly, a double LED headlight or additional lighting on the helmet allows you to see even better.
Still, the Sigma Buster 700, displayed at only 70 Euros, enables you to ride in perfect lighting at night. We encountered a few scratches due to vegetation and transport, rain and sand, and no signs of weakness throughout the test duration.
The Sigma Buster 700 is powerful, efficient, solid, complete, and easy to handle. A quality product for a moderate budget, ideal for regular nighttime mountain biking. The notoriety of the brand and good distribution also allows the buyer to equip himself with additional accessories such as mounting brackets (for a second bike, for example), a USB charger, etc., a significant asset.
Pros +: Efficiency, compactness, solidity, simple and effective use
Construction: composite and aluminium, Cree LED technology, 3300 mAh battery
2 attachments: handlebar or helmet, 360° vertical and horizontal adjustment
Power: 700 Lumens, visibility 100 meters
Autonomy: 2 to 8 hours (18 hours in a flash), full recharge in 4 .5 hours
Recharging: via micro USB cable
Weight: 131g for the headlight, 22g for the handlebar attachment, 16g for the helmet attachment