Flashlights have been part of my everyday carry (EDC) kit for years. Over time, lights have gotten smaller and brighter. But that also came with proprietary batteries, and chargers that are a pain to deal with. AceBeam decided to change that with their new Rider RX EDC flashlight that is AA compatible. It features a unique dual tube construction with a sliding mechanism for people who like fidget toys. The Rider RX comes in four different colors with a MSRP of $50. They just released an all-Aluminum version for $44.90 and an all-Titanium version for $59.90. AceBeam lights have impressed me in the past, so I’m excited to test the Rider RX.
Weight – 2.9 oz. with battery
Length – 3.76 inches
Bezel Diameter – 0.73 inches
LED – Nichia 219F, >90 CRI, 5000K
IP68 waterproof rating to 2 meters
5 year manufacturer warranty
What’s in the box
The Rider RX comes in a standard cardboard box with everything you need. Inside the box you’ll find the user manual, spare O-rings, a lanyard, USB-C charging cable, and a rechargeable AceBeam 14500 (AA) 920 mAh Li-ion battery. The battery features a USB-C charging port and charging indicator.
AceBeam has always impressed me with the build quality of their lights and the Rider RX is no different. A polished stainless steel outer sleeve features window cut outs revealing the blue anodized aluminum flashlight core. It’s a unique look I haven’t seen done before.
The pocket clip is a two way deep carry clip. While it’s not as visually appealing as the rest of the light, it is practical and useful. The clip itself is mounted to the aluminum flashlight. There is a cutout in the outer steel tube that allows the clip to move side to side, up and down – this is the fidget part of the light. When moving the clip, there are 3 detent bearings that seat in different positions providing a satisfying, albeit loud, clicky noise. While I wasn’t sold on it at first, I do find myself sitting at my desk constantly playing with it. Just remember others won’t find the noise as satisfying as you do.
The round smooth bezel sits flush with the steel outer tube in the retracted position. With the flashlight in the forward position, the bezel pops out of the frame and the tail switch becomes hidden. This allows the Rider RX to stand on its tail for “candle” mode. With the bezel revealed, you can then unscrew the head and swap batteries. The head is machined from aluminum and appears to be pressed into a copper heat sink that holds the circuitry/LED. The threads are square cut, lubricated, and large. I’m not worried about them wearing out any time soon.
The tail activation switch is made from metal and provides positive tactile feedback with a solid click. Overall, I find the design to be aesthetically pleasing and the build quality is top notch. There are no rattles and it’s the perfect size for your pocket.
Operating the Rider RX is simple with no complicated user interface. Half press the tail switch repeatedly to cycle through brightness settings and for momentary on. A full press with click activates constant on. In total there are 5 different settings – ultra low, low, mid, high, SOS. I was able to run the Rider RX in high mode for almost 75 minutes before the light turned off. The light does step down from max brightness to about half that as time goes on and eventually dims until the battery is depleted. Charging the battery takes about 3.5 hours. The battery features a charging indicator that switches from red to green when its fully charged.
EDC lights often make compromises in performance for size. I haven’t found that to be the case with the Rider RX. With a max brightness of 650 lumens, the Rider RX can provide more than enough light for daily situations. However, the performance does vary depending on what type of battery you’re using. A standard AA battery will not be near as bright as the Li-ion rechargeable AA provided by AceBeam.
My favorite part about the Rider RX is the high CRI Nichia LED. A high CRI LED produces a more accurate rendering of the objects around it. If you’ve ever felt like the light in your home or flashlight “washes out” colors, it’s because that LED has a low CRI value. Because the Rider RX has such a high CRI value, I often use it as an auxiliary light when taking photographs at night. The temperature is a neutral 5000K which I wish was a bit warmer, but I still enjoy it.
The beam pattern is well balanced for an EDC light. At the center of the pattern is a well-defined hot spot for distance and it has sufficient spill to light up the surroundings. This is what I expect from an EDC light. AceBeam claims the beam throw distance to be 96 meters which I would put at the maximum limit for this light. I would say the realistic distance would be 75 meters. The light doesn’t have thermal regulation and the head can get warm to the touch after prolonged use. It’s not really an issue when you can just retract the bezel and have it protected by the stainless-steel outer tube.
The pocket clip is an eyesore but is functional. I like the two-way feature which allows me to easily go hands free and clip the light to my hat. I’ve never owned a fidget toy, but the Rider RX is fun to play with. While it is gimmicky, the slide out function does serve a purpose and allows the light to stand freely on its tail. I’ve used this feature numerous times when outside with the kids and it works well.
The Rider RX is a versatile EDC flashlight capable of running on a variety of AA batteries with the added bonus of being a fidget toy. It’s maximum output of 650 lumens and compact size make it an ideal choice for EDC use. The high CRI LED provides a more accurate representation of color and is a neutral temperature. Overall, I think the Rider RX is an excellent choice for an EDC light that offers features above it’s price point.
Learn more at AceBeam