Our pick of this year’s best bar-mounted lights, from Exposure, Hope and XML, are featured in Issue 70 (out now!). The full test of ten lights is included below along with headless Dave’s video talkthrough of each light in action:
After what always seems like a long, endless summer of night rides that last well into the evening without the need of artificial illumination, along comes autumn and with it the sudden rush to dust off and charge up the bike lights or shop around for some new ones. Lighting technology seems to be an arms race that shows no sign of slowing at the moment, with each successive year upping both lumen count and battery burn time. It’s hard to keep up and easy to find yourself riding in the shadow of someone who’s got this year’s model or having to head home squinting into the dying flickers of your fading battery, while others keep on riding.
Night riding, like mountain biking in general, means different things to different folk. For some, it’s all about the sense of adventure; a different experience to riding during daylight hours, where length of burn time is more important than floodlighting the trail ahead. For others, maximum wattage is required to create daytime conditions that compensate for the lack of opportunities to ride during the day. Everyone is somewhere on the spectrum that exists between these two extremes and for that reason, there is no one light that meets everybody’s needs.
Here’s our advice. First, work out what you need from a light. Then work out your budget, choose whether you want a self-contained unit or separate lamp and battery, and then dive on into our lights test to see what best fits your needs.
You can browse through each light in turn or alternatively follow the links to find a light directly..