Review: Gloworm Alpha and X2 Lights – For Night Riders And Wildlife Safaris?

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“How much? For bike lights!”, said pretty much every non-mountain biker when asking how much the super bright torches attached to our bikes and helmets cost us. It wasn’t always like this: the first time I ever rode a mountain bike in the dark was with a £10 Chinese LED torch from Tesco attached to my helmet with a couple of cable ties. Of course I couldn’t see anything, and back then riding a bike at night felt like an adventure into the netherworld where tree branches jumped out at you without warning, rocks materialised out of thin air, and small drops looked like yawning chasms of darkness which would swallow both bike and rider.

The Alpha, a good helmet mounted option.
X2 on the left of the picture, Alpha on the right.

Nowadays we don’t have these problems. Thanks to modern LEDs and batteries, bike lights now resemble the sort of thing dodgy countryside types in pick-up trucks use to spot wildflife for their nefarious hunting activities. Unless you’re my Mrs that is, who uses my expensive precision engineered cycle specific 2000 lumen headtorch for lighting up local ponds to observe the newts and toads. Which is a good thing, as it helps justify future bike light expenditure. If only I could get her to go on wildlife spotting excursions on a top of the range full suspension xc bike.

Also useful for newt spotting

Anyway, wildlife spotting aside, these Alpha and X2 lights are the latest models on offer targeted at the mountain biking market from globally established Kiwi outfit Gloworm. The Alpha is a new model released in 2018 and targets the lower spec, less expensive end of the lights market, retailing at £129. The X2 on the other hand has been updated from its previous 2017 incarnation, and is at the higher end of the Gloworm range in both spec and price at £225.




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Review Info

Product:Alpha & X2 Lights
Price:£129 Alpha, £225 X2
Tested:by Daz Hall for 3 months

Daz Hall

Darren Hall - Singletrack Magazine Contributor

Daz got into mountain biking by accident, quite literally. After falling off a cliff in the Peak District while climbing and nearly killing himself, he decided something safer was probably a good idea, so bought a mountain bike some time around 2004. It sat in his flat unused for about 6 months until a mate bought one too, when a whole new world of excitement was discovered by pushing it up unrideable climbs, and falling off unrideable descents in the Peak District. In the rain.

Fast forward 10 years, several bikes, countless injuries and scrapes, and a lot more fitness and skill later, his Mrs told him if he wanted any more bikes he had to buy a bigger house in which to put them. At which point he moved to Todmorden, and randomly bumped into a bunch of magazine types who have the good fortune to do this sort of thing for a living.

Somewhere along the way he also acquired a masochistic love of winter endurance racing, and as a result can be found riding his bike on ‘training’ rides in the dark and the drizzle, when everyone else is huddled in front of their wood burner. This provides excellent bike and kit testing/breaking opportunities and we try to keep him busy doing just that.

Comments (3)

    That’s an enviable newt collection!

    It’s definitel not minute! IGMC

    I feel the neck injury coming on already from when that side entry cable gets hooked on a tree branch and attempts to unscrew my head from my body.

    They look good other than that.

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