The Fenix TK11 is an excellent value, powerful torch that can be fixed to your handlebars but comes into its own when mounted on your helmet – whether you’re riding on or off-road.
LED technology along with rechargeable battery efficiency is developing fast, and wily cyclists have been quick to notice that if you don’t want to spend megabucks on cycling-specific lighting set-ups, there are some powerful, good-value alternatives.
The TK11 is a compact 135mm-long unit with two brightness settings – turbo (225 lumens) and general (60 lumens). You can change modes with a slight twist of the bezel. The battery options and output details are as follows:
- One 3.7V 18650 Li-ion battery providing 2.7 hours’ runtime on turbo mode or 12 hours on general mode
- Two 3V CR123A lithium batteries providing 1.5 hours’ runtime on turbo mode or 10 hours on general mode
We tested the 18650 version, along with the single bay charger from the Photon Shop, and after a couple of charges, the battery lived up to the claimed running times, giving us two hours of riding on turbo with ease. Battery life depends on a number of factors including air temperature and the modes you’re using.
We mounted the light on our bars using a couple of zip ties and an old Cateye mount. We used a single zip tie to mount it to our helmet.
The rear on/off button is easy to operate with gloved hands and the light feels solid and well made.
We tested the TK11 in various scenarios including on quiet country roads, unlit cycle paths and off-road.
On-road it had a dual effect, both lighting the road ahead of us and being so bright that cars approaching from the rear noticed us from a distance. In turbo mode, it allowed us to ride at full speed, highlighting potholes and debris in our path.
It’s fine to use when bumbling along unlit cyclepaths in general mode, but crank it up to turbo mode if you’re going faster.
The TK11 hasn’t got a massive spread for off-road use on a handlebar mount, but was fine for trail rides at fairly low speed.
If you’re thinking of blasting through singletrack and more technical trails at mach 10, we’d suggest you use it in conjunction with another, less focused light.
When mounted on a helmet, the TK11 complemented some bar-mounted lights we were running, punching its way through the darkness while the bar-mounted unit flooded the trail with a warm glow.
The sheer brightness of the light did cause some issues when riding through forest trails in the fog – the beam created a white blast that meant we couldn’t go as fast as we’d have liked.
We’ve no worries about durability - the TK11 survived countless soakings and a spectacular crash.