The best mountain bike lights

Seek out new trails at night with 2015's best lights

A good front mountain bike light frees you up to night ride at any time – whether you want to take to the trails at night or just beat the shorter days in winter.

We've rounded up the best mountain bike lights of 2015, as reviewed by our sister mags Mountain Biking UK and What Mountain Bike and by the BikeRadar editorial staff around the world. Our testers spend many, many hours thrashing these units all year round as well as checking and measuring manufacturer claims, so our tests are the most authoritative in the business. We've been doing them year in and year out for longer than we care to remember, so we're ideally placed comment on their long term reliability and the customer support offered with confidence too. Read on to find out how we rated the latest crop of lights.

Updated December 2015.

The best mountain bike lights

If talk of lumens, mAh and LEDs leaves you utterly in the dark, then check out our buyer's guide to mountain bike lights to cut through the jargon. And to see beam shots for the lights listed below, take a look at the individual reviews.

Lumicycle Enduro Explorer – editors' choice

£285 / US$455 / (AU$N/A, but can be bought from Lumicycle website and shipped internationally)

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Lumicycle explorer enduro: lumicycle explorer enduro

"With a revised head unit that improves sealing and cooling plus improved optics for more of a beam spread, the Explorer remains our top night riding light. Add in a Smart Boost mode that’ll kick out 3500 lumens and you’re basically riding in your own patch of daylight. Reliability and backup are legendary too."

Read our full review of the Lumicycle Enduro Explorer

Magicshine Eagle M2 – best value

£100 / $210 / AU$292

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Magicshine eagle m2: magicshine eagle m2

"Packing a two-row LED arrangement with three lower floods and three upper spots, this all-new unit from the Far Eastern lighting specialist gives plenty of beam options out on the trail. With a maximum output of 2500 lumens it’s seriously bright too. The head unit detaches easily from the stable, semi-permanent bar clamp and the hard case battery has twin rubber straps for security plus a Velcro strap to keep the cable tidy.”

Read our full review of the Magicshine Eagle M2

MTB Batteries Lumenator

£122.55 / $NA / AU$ N/A (but can be bought from MTB Batteries website and shipped internationally)

BikeRadar score4.5/5

MTB batteries lumenator: mtb batteries lumenator

“It’s been around a while, but with 1800 lumens from the twin LED head unit it gives a decent enough spread for bar use and enough reach to spot trail trouble far enough ahead at speed. It’s all the light you need in an outstandingly practical, reliable system at an excellent price.”

Read our full review of the MTB Batteries Lumenator

Exposure MaXx D Mk8

£345 / $523 / AU$NA

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Exposure maxx d mk8: exposure maxx d mk8

“This all in one unit avoids the hassle of battery and cable mounting issues and also boasts an impressive 2600 lumen output with a nicely balanced beam spread. With a percentage run-time readout and special three level ‘Reflex’ mode that uses accelerometers to automatically adjusts output depending on how wild your ride is, it’s suitably high tech too.”

Read our full review of the Exposure MaXx D Mk8 / Buy from Chain Reaction Cycles

Gemini Duo 4-cell

£175 / US$269 / AU$280

BikeRadar score4/5

Gemini duo 4 cell: gemini duo 4 cell

"The Gemini Duo 4 Cell’s tiny twin-LED head unit delivers 1,500 lumens of punchy long-distance light. Reliability on every Gemini light we’ve ever used has been excellent too and they’re better priced than similarly versatile and tunable units."

Read our full review of the Gemini Duo 4 Cell

Exposure Race Mk10

£225 / $340.63 / AU$NA 

BikeRadar score4/5

Exposure race mk10: exposure race mk10

“The Race is the smallest and cheapest of Exposure’s UK-made lights, and while it seems expensive for a 1300 lumen light it’s the vast array of very clever features that you’re really paying for, sharing the ‘Reflex’ automatic output mode with it’s more expensive siblings where it can kick out a much punchier 1700 lumens. Reliability and support has been good too.”

Read our full review of the Exposure Race Mk10 / Buy from Rutland Cycling

Need a bit of night riding inspiration? Check out Tom and Ruby the trail dog as they go for a night-time shred...

Tumble & Fall Pro 2000

£90 / $TBC / AU$TBC

BikeRadar score4/5

Tumble and fall pro 2000: tumble and fall pro 2000

“The theoretical 2,000 lumens of light is tightly focused with a peripheral halo, but power is impressive for the price. That makes the flash and totally off ‘holes’ between the two power modes the only niggle. Bar and helmet mounts and even a head strap in the box plus a two-year UK warranty confirm its total bargain status.”

Read our full review of the Tumble & Fall Pro 2000

Gemini Olympia 2100 6 cell

£220 / $330 / AU$350

BikeRadar score4/5

Gemini olympia 2100 6 cell: gemini olympia 2100 6 cell

"The Olympia 2100's beam mixes decent peripheral coverage with plenty of central detail and reasonable reach, and the huge run times mean the latter is not an issue on the trail."

Read our full review of the Gemini Olympia 2100 6 cell

Hope R8

£280 / US$447 / AU$N/A

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Hope r8: hope r8

“With an output of 3000 lumens from three spot and three flood LEDs, light intensity from the front tyre to way down the trail is outstanding. The battery weighs an absolute ton and can be hard to mount securely on some frames though.”

Read our full review of the Hope R8 / Buy from Merlin Cycles

Moon X1300 Adjustable

£180 / $TBC / AU$TBC

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Moon x1300 adjustable: moon x1300 adjustable

“The binocular style setup allows you to adjust the beams independently to give good reach but still plenty of detail down by the front wheel, though at 1300 lumens it’s hardly dazzling. There are plenty of other innovative features including a neat plug-in remote, but its basic broad-beam power is best for simpler trails.”

Read our full review of the Moon X1300 Adjustable

We also tested:

  • CatEye Volt 1200 – 3 stars
  • Light and Motion Taz 1500 – 3.5
  • NiteRider Lumina 750 – 3.5 stars
  • MTB Batteries Lumen2200 – 3.5 stars
  • Beema AS-2000 – 3.5 stars
  • Lupine Piko TL Max – 3.5 stars
  • Exposure Diablo MK7 – 3.5 stars
  • Light & Motion Seca 2000 Enduro 6-cell – 3.5 stars
  • Niterider Pro 2800 Enduro Remote – 3 stars
  • Glow Worm X2 – 3 stars
  • Hope R2i – 3 stars
  • CatEye Volt 1600 – 3 stars
  • Moon X-Power 2500 – 3 stars

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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