If you ride at night then you'll need a good light. Tackling the trails in the dark is much easier and definitely more fun when you can see what you're doing. So we've put together a list of some of the best mountain biking lights to keep you riding this winter.
And if talk of lumens, mAh and LEDs leaves you utterly in the dark, check out our buyer's guide to mountain bike lights to cut through the jargon.
Gemini TITAN (6 cell)
- £300 / $300 / AU$470
- Insane retina searing oomph
- Impressive clarity, even at a distance
Gemini’s TITAN shows it’s not just what power a light packs — although it’s very well endowed in that department — but how it puts it on the trail that matters. It’s basically three Gemini Duo lights side by side in a shared housing, with the six LEDs pumping out up to 4,000 lumens.
The wide spacing of the LEDs creates an astonishing blaze of broadly spread but extremely far-reaching light.
- £140 / $170 / AU$N/A
- Ludicrous value for money
- Great battery life
Magicshine has been the brand to beat in terms of value for money for years now.
While the app-tuneable 906B isn't entirely fuss-free, it still presents impressive performance for very little outlay.
The 3,200 lumen max power is focussed around a central hotspot, making it easy to pick out trail-chunder at a distance. The accompanying app also allows you to very easily program up to 20 different solid, SOS, flash or pulse modes.
Exposure MaXx-D Mk10
- £375 / $514 / AU$680
- Frankly ridiculous 3,300 lumen power
- Great reliability and direct manufacturer back-up
Exposure pioneered powerful all-in-one bike lights and the MaXX-D Mk10 still sets the benchmark for big light power and cutting-edge practical tech.
The very latest version gets a more sensitive acceleration and gradient-driven ‘Reflex’ mode for automatic output selection up to 3,300 lumens. Alternatively, you can program various mode menus for selection via a big stainless steel button.
The powerful four-LED beam is well balanced in terms of spread and reach for flat-out riding, and the real-time run time display makes battery management easy.
You can add remote switches, auxiliary batteries or charge other devices via the ‘Smart Port’. It’s definitely too heavy to helmet mount, but the secure alloy clamp fits all bar sizes.
MTB Batteries The Lumenator
- Excellent value for money
- Manufacturer direct back-up
MTB Batteries specialises in building upgrade batteries for other light manufacturers, but it also produces its own range of simple but cost-effective lamps.
The 2,200-lumen output doesn’t look as bright as it sounds on the trail, but it’s still enough for most rides, especially as impressive run times from the Panasonic six-cell battery mean you can run it at full power.
MTB Batteries is based in the UK but will ship internationally.
Sigma Buster 2000
- £253 / $299 / AU$N/A
- Heavy but excellent power
- Impressive run times
The Buster 2000 is heavy, but that gets you serious power and longevity with loads of useful features. Its claimed 2,000 lumen output actually seems higher, with long centre-point reach and a clear, consistent secondary spread for smooth eye-friendly edges.
The triangular three-LED head comes on a thumbwheel-secured band that works with 35mm bars (if you pull the padding out). Helmet and GoPro-style mounts are also included.
There's a wireless remote too, with a secondary button that just toggles through the steady modes, dodging the strobe and pulse settings. The square plastic battery is bulky and contributes to one of the heaviest we've tested.
Run times are impressive though, and it's got a four-step charge indicator. While it's a new light to us, reliability is sound so far.
- £180 / $229 / AU$290
- Compact yet very powerful
- Long running battery
Gloworm has been refining its exceptionally adaptable X2 for years now. This latest version is a super-tough little unit that has seen upgrades to the wiring, which was previously a weak point.
Uniquely, the X2 allows you to remove the faceplate and switch out the lenses to the diffuser or spot lenses that are included.
The X2 can also be mounted to just about anywhere, including helmets and GoPro mounts.
Moon Meteor Storm Pro
- £125 / $N/A / AU$TBC
- Impressive power in a compact package
- Nifty LED display panel
Moon’s brand new all-in-one light looks techy and provides impressive power on the trail for its size and cost. The Meteor Storm Pro is listed at a healthy 1,600 lumens max output, but the focused beam looks even brighter.
The scrolling five-step menu can be shortcut to maximum power with a double-click at any time, plus there’s a cabled remote switch. Power setting and run time are communicated via an LED panel and you can swap the two Li-ion cells for fresh ones if you want to extend the already decent run time or charge another USB device.
While the supplied bracket fits 31.8mm bars there is a 35mm option too. A couple of niggles are that the operating button can be tricky to find if you’re wearing thick gloves and the early trigger on the automatic battery saver can be irritating.
Gloworm CX Trail
- £140 / $180 / AU$240
- Impressive run times for such a small package
- Swappable lenses
An impressive amount of light and tech is packed into this well priced all-in-one unit. It comes with a powerful, far-reaching double spot lens but swapping to one of the supplied wide lenses (no more fiddly than changing a brake pad) gives a broader, more useful beam.
The lightspreading rim around the lens is great for visibility on the road but creates a lot of upward light leak that can be distracting on the trail. Also, the battery indicator light isn’t that easy to see.
Run times are surprisingly good for its size though, and the neat micro USB remote switch can also be used to charge other USB devices. It’s packaged with an offset Garmin-style twist mount as well as GoPro fixtures.
Although the self-contained CX Trail is a new design, it’s proved bombproof so far and Gloworm has an impressive reputation for reliability.
Lower powered MTB lights
These last two lights are actually lifted from our best lights for road cycling roundup, but will serve well as an accompaniment to a helmet-mounted light or can standalone if you’re just after a light to illuminate less technical terrain.
- £140 / $150 / AU$250
- OLED information panel is genuinely useful
- Clear and long-reaching beam
The Niterider Lumina is built with a single 1,100 lumen Cree LED that lives behind high-quality optics that give a clear and long-reaching beam.
The nifty OLED top panel clearly displays the current mode and remaining battery life. If you're not so fussed by the idea of the techy display, the light is also available without the OLED info pane for £30 less.
- £175 / $235 / AU$305
- MTB-friendly robust construction
- 'Double barrel' LED setup improves visibility at distance
The R2i LED Vision carries over Hope's signature machined aesthetic, housing two eye-friendly, warm coloured LEDs in a very sturdy all-alloy body.
The twin-LED setup results in a binocular-like effect that helps with depth perception, with the smooth transition at the edge of the beam avoiding stark reflections and distracting sharp edges.
Although the light is quite heavy, our experience shows that the weight penalty is worth it, with legendary reliability and factory-direct support to boot.
Updated December 2017