7 Top Brand MTB Lights: Tested In Singletrack Issue 134

by 12

With advances in lights technology, we’re now largely past the point of ‘is it bright enough, does the battery last?’ and into refinements. Does the battery attach neatly to your frame, is it built seamlessly into the light body, or is it a brick that makes you want for a bar bag? Are cables and chargers bespoke, or a simple micro USB that makes the logistics of charging a breeze? Is the light easy to fit to your bike and/or helmet and are the mounts durable, or replaceable?

Depending on your personal circumstances, a fit and forget mount might do you fine, but if you have multiple bikes you probably don’t want to be fiddling with tools, bolts and a two piece bar mount every time you switch bikes. And it’s not just about being bright – the beam pattern can affect whether you can pick out the detail of tricky trail features that you need for confidence at speed. If you thought your old 800 lumen light was just fine last winter, but have discovered that your group ride mates have upped their light sets this year and now cast shadows every time they ride behind you, maybe you need to do some shopping.

Mountain Bike Lights on Test:

We’ve spent time faffing with mounts, finding the best fitment solutions, and our preferred settings.

For detailed reviews of the above lights, grab a copy of issue 134 of Singletrack Magazine. To check out what else is inside our December issue, hop on over here.

Countdown to membership cut off for the next print issue of Singletrack World Magazine

Check out your options

Author Profile Picture
Amanda Wishart

Art Director

Amanda is our resident pedaller, who loves the climbs as much as the descents. No genre of biking is turned down, though she is happiest when at the top of a mountain with a wild descent ahead of her. If you ever want a chat about concussion recovery, dealing with a Womb of Doom or how best to fuel an endurance XC race, she's the one to email.

More posts from Amanda

Comments (12)

    I would have thought that if “ Depending on your personal circumstances” is a factor, the Halfords 1600 light which gets lots of love on the forum, for £50, would be worth chucking in rather that starting at £170.

    Agreed – there are some excellent (an not so excellent) budget lights out there.

    Agreed but I quite enjoy reading about crazy priced components. I’m never going to a buy a carbon gearbox full sus bike but I enjoy the review of one.

    I have the Exposure Maxx-D the Diablo and the trace R , really well made, amazing run time,cheaper lights will get you by but I found run time is usually a compromise with power, cheaper lights brackets never lasted me long either, don’t get me wrong everyone has a budget and I had a lot of fun with em but the Exposure warrant the price all night long

    I’ve recommended the Halfords to lots of people thinking of trying out night riding, usually combined with the Hope QR clamp. Cheap helmet lights, I’m not so sure what to suggest, but the Halfords is a banger for someone just giving it a try. This year now and more people are giving evening rides a go, and while I’m incredibly happy with my Maxx D / Axis set up, that’s half a good hardtail’s worth of kit for something people may not actually want to do now is cold and wet.
    What about a beginner’s / budget light test? There’s stuff out there that won’t last as long as the expensive kit, but will do if you are short of cash or doing your toe in the water.

    I always recommend the Moon vortex pro as a budget but good helmet light. Seems they’ve upped the power over the one I have to 1300 lumens but kept it about the same size. On offer in a few places at £54 and comes with bar or helmet mounts, and there’s also a gopro adapter you can get. Bargain!

    Well we can either pay for British products made in Britain by adults with at least some employment rights, which supports the British economy, especially at a time where it’s being crippled and millions losing their jobs.
    Buy cheaper and supports undemocratic regimes that choose to repeatedly ride over international agreement and steal designs left right and centre. Knowing its heading to land fill rather than repair when it goes wrong.

    Make a choice. Then work out what you’ve done to help British people and the environment. Or not.

    Or you can buy an Evolva X8/Nitenumen X8 for £50 which has so far lasted 3 years and still runs fine, and get 1800Lm (claimed), and doesn’t have loads of pointless modes.

    Then when the battery dies, send it off to MTB Batteries for new ones.

    Buying British for more money over buying elsewhere for less is all well and good, if you can afford it. Otherwise you’re just suggesting if you can’t afford to buy British, don’t night ride. Or in fact, don’t ride at all.

    Four4th lights – http://www.four4th.co.uk made in Aldershot (and I mean made from aluminium on big machines that also do aircraft parts) by a guy called Del who has been doing this for years. Amazing quality – bright as you would ever need (they are called “holy moses” and “OMG”) which is generally what people say when they see them 🙂 as someone else said made in the UK to last for years and the batteries / charge units won’t burn your house down when you leave them on charge.

    The usual suspects get rolled out again. Whilst gazing upon high end bling is a form of recreation how about some more imaginative low timid price range options as well.

    I’d second brennanpeyton’s comment about Four4th lights. Have the holy Moses on bars and scorch on helmet. Quality kit, would be good to see more reviews of them.

    I guess the factor with Exposure and Hope is the back up warranty they both offer. It is without quibble and justifies the investment.
    I ride every Wednesday night and my lights seem to take a beating. All my cheap lights die. The Hopes may die but get sent back to Barnoldswick for a magic FOC refresh and keep going.
    I only retired the ancient R2 as they had no more spares for an 11 year old light.

Leave Reply

Singletrack Black Friday Offer

30 days AD FREE Full Digital Membership For 99p