USE Exposure Maxx light review£300.00

Simple & lightweight LED trail light for racers

BikeRadar score3/5

USE's Exposure Maxx is a simple, light, self-contained unit potentially ideal for racers that boasts decent distance punch and run-time for its size. The beam is a bit tightly focused for technical trail use and the ‘ride’ setting is too weak. It really needs a less temperamental, secure and carbon-safe mount.

USE was one of the first companies to use high-power LEDs, and the Exposure Maxx has some unique features if you loathe leads and separate batteries.

With everything packed into a single CNC-machined can, the Maxx is certainly impressively simple and very light for its power and run time. The beam is relatively flat and two-dimensional, which reduces up/down vision and often left us wondering ‘what happens next?’ on tight technical trails. The ‘Ride’ power level is too dim for anything but cruisy riding.

Trying to tweak the bolted light mount at all will loosen it, and the bracket is temperamental and potentially threatening to carbon bars anyway, even if you manage not to knock it loose with your knee.

The general reputation for reliability of these lights still doesn’t match that of its competitors, either, although USE always sort out faults ASAP.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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