A good front bike light frees you up to ride at any time – whether you want to take to the trails at night or just beat the shorter days in winter.
Updated November 2014 to include rear lights.
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To find out how we tested them and learn more about what features you should look for in a mountain bike light, read our buyer’s guide. And to see beam shots for the lights listed below, take a look at the individual reviews.
2014's best mountain bike lights
These lights all scored four-and-a-half out of five in recent tests.
£200 / US$373 / AU$449
"Hope has finally delivered on its long-hinted-at potential with one of our favourite lights of 2014. The four-LED head unit gives massive peripheral coverage for exellent trail context, and it comes with a varitety of mounting options."
Lumicycle Enduro Explorer
£285 / US$455 / (AU$N/A, but can be bought from Lumicycle website and shipped internationally)
"The top-of-the-ange Explorer now has better sealing and shock proofing, and throws a ton of light down the trail as far as you can usefully see. It also offers great-user friendliness, reliability and long-term upgrade ability."
Beema AS-2000 – best value light of 2014
£147 (approx US$236 / approx AU$268, shipped internationally from www.bikelightsuk.com)
"Beema’s updated twin-LED lamp is extremely powerful for the price but doesn’t skimp on features. It throws lots of light down in front of the wheel and in the mid-distance, which makes it comparable with lights that cost double the price."
This table provides a summary of the features the three best lights from this year's tests.
|Hope R4||Beema AS-2000||Lumicycle Enduro Explorer|
|Price||£200 / US$373 / AU$449||£147 / approx US$236 / approx AU$268 excluding shipping||£285 / US$455 / AU$TBC|
|Run time (tested)||3 hrs 55 mins||3 hrs 10 mins||2 hrs 45 mins|
|LEDs||Four Cree XP-G2||Two Cree XM-L2 U2||Three Cree XML2|
|Lumens||1,500 (actual, full power)||2,000 (theoretical, high power)||3,000 (theoretical, high power)|
|Battery||4 cell ES or standard||6600mAh 7.4V Li-ion rechargeable||2.6mAh Li-Ion|
|Mounts||Bar, helmet or head harness||Two O-rings||Bar|
Also worth a look
These lights all scored four out of five in recent tests.
£159.95 (approx US$257 / AU$470, excluding shipping from www.magicshineuk.co.uk)
"MagicShine’s twin LED MJ-880 is practical, powerful and great value. It gives a broad peripheral light with a defined centre, and the run times are reasonable even at full power."
Gemini Duo 4-cell
£175 / US$259.95 / AU$279.95
"The Gemini Duo 4 Cell’s tiny twin-LED head unit delivers 1,500 lumens of punchy long-distance light. Reliability on every Gemini light we’ve ever used has been excellent too and they’re better priced than similarly versatile and tunable units."
MTB Batteries Lumen 2200
£135 / US$N/A / AU$N/A
"The Lumen 2200 is MTB Batteries' most powerful light yet. The miniature binocular design houses twin LEDs that give a decent peripheral to keep you aware of current riding context and the generous battery capacity means run time is unlikely to be an issue."
£350 / US$588 / AU$N/A
"The amount of light intensity from the front tyre to way down the trail is outstanding, making the R8 a no-compromise night blaster."
£264.95 / €337.40 / US$425.68 / AU$TBC
"The Equinox gives a usefully broad, consistent coverage 2,000-lumen output that lights up the trail as far as you can reasonably see."
GloWorm X2 v3
£170 / US$269 / AU$TBC
"If you’re looking for maximum punch for your pound – or beam for your buck – in terms both of weight and cost, Gloworm’s updated X2 light is a knockout."
Gemini Olympia 2100 6 cell
£219.99 / US$329.95 / AU$349.95
"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."
Lumicycle Summit Enduro
£244.95 / US$391.92 (AU$N/A, but can be bought from Lumicycle website and shipped internationally)
Also reviewed this year
The rest of the lights we tested this year, and what they scored:
- MTB Batteries Lumen 800 – 3.5 stars
- Niterider Pro Race 1800 – 3.5 stars
- Lupine Piko 4 SC – 3 stars
- Niterider Pro 3600 Enduro – 3 stars
- CatEye Volt1200 – 3 stars
- Light & Motion Taz 1500 – 3 stars
- Moon X-power 2500 – 3 stars
- Light and Motion Seca 2000 Enduro – 3 stars
- Lezyne MegaDrive Loaded – 2.5 stars
- One23 Extreme Bright Duo 2000 - 2.5 stars
- Niteye B30 – 2.5 stars
- One23 Extreme Bright Quatro – 2.5 stars
- MyTinySun Folkslight – 2.5 stars
Best rear lights for mountain biking
£27.99 / US$N/A
Giving off an even glow that is visible even from 90 degrees to the side, the Comet is a very good rear light. There are six settings -and the strip-like LED has a super wide beam and puts out a crazy amount of light on high power – it’s blinding even in daylight. The Comet comes with a saddle rail mount as well as a rubber strap mount – handy if you run a dropper post slammed into the frame. The strip-like LED has a super-wide beam and puts out a crazy amount of light on high power – it’s blinding even in daylight. The USB recharge gave us just under three hours on high power. The only downside is that activation of the three flashing modes isn’t very intuitive.
Knog Blinder Road R
£42.99 / US$79.99
The four-LED Blinder has five modes – constant, two flashing settings and a pulse mode, plus a power-saving two-LED constant setting. The beam is wide and blindingly bright at full power, and an illuminated slit around the body gives great side visibility. The battery lasted just under three hours in constant mode and there’s a battery life indicator. The light is designed to plug directly into a USB port, though we had to use the short extension cable provided.
£27.95 / US$TBC
The Signal’s strap-and-hook mount is integrated into the rear of its casing and spins a full 360 degrees so you can mount the light on anything the rubber strap will stretch around. The battery is rechargeable via USB cable and lasted just under two hours in the super-bright and daylight visible high-power mode. The wide beam provides almost 180-degree visibility. Our preproduction sample had low, standard and high-power constant modes but no flashing setting – but we’ve been assured that the production model will feature one.
Lezyne Zecto Drive Auto
£39.99 / US$TBC
The Zecto comes with a strap mount and belt clip, giving plenty of mounting options. It has a super-wide beam and a choice of four flashing modes – including a super-bright ‘daytime’ setting – and two constant ones. The battery lasted two hours and 45 minutes on full power, and there are battery indicators on the sides of the light that improve visibility. A motion sensor turns the light off after three minutes of inactivity – we couldn't trick it! The tight rubber cover on the USB port makes it a fiddle to get the cable to sit in place properly when charging though, and the switch is hard to press with gloves on.