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Alpkit Hadron review

Can budget-brand Alpkit’s Hadron all-in-one unit offer enough power to shine far and wide?

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
GBP £100.00 RRP | USD $130.00 | EUR €120.00
Alpkit Hadron front light for mountain bike

Our review

Despite having all the ingredients for a top performer, the Hardon’s beam pattern and power seriously limit the types of trail you can ride with confidence
Pros: Easy to use; stable mount with tool-free fitment; light hue is easy on the eyes
Cons: Power too focused; narrow beam pattern reduces context and makes spotting lines hard; remote hard to securely attach
Skip to view product specifications

Alpkit’s Hadron is the brand’s highest-powered light, pumping out a huge claimed 1,800 lumens from two XPL2 Cree LEDs. The beam is said to reach up to 200m, and has a wide spread to help illuminate the trail.

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Its 6061 alloy body has an IPX6 waterproof rating, houses a 6700mAh capacity battery, and weighs 208g. This is claimed to power the light for up 50 hours in its lowest 100-lumen pulse setting but drops to two hours in its highest 1,800-lumen output.

There are six pre-programmed modes cycled by a blue illuminated single button on the light’s body or by a hardwired USB remote (9g), also with one button. It features mode memory, where the light will switch on in the last mode it was set to.

The Hadron is charged via that same USB port, but also has a USB output so other devices can be charged using the light’s battery.

An adjustable-diameter bar mount (26g) is in the box, and the light is compatible with the optional cockpit and helmet mounts that can be bought separately.

Alpkit Hadron performance

Ian Linton / Our Media

The Hadron’s power feels lower than its claimed 1,800 output. This is mostly down to its particularly narrow and focused beam pattern, where no meaningful or usable light is cast outside of a central strip.

Although it has a long throw, the width of the beam means that there is only enough light to confidently ride fireroads or very gentle, straighter singletrack or trail centre runs.

Outside of the narrow strip there is some light bleed, but arguably there is no intentional light spread to help provide context when the trails get trickier.

When it is mounted on the bar its spread meant exits of turns remained in the dark, as did the peripheries of trails. This makes it hard to pick lines or spot features such as rocks or roots.

To focus some of the light’s power, I angled it down. While this did increase how much I could see closer to the bike – and meant the backsides of undulations remained in the light – it reduces the usable throw. I found myself wanting this intensity of power with the additional throw the light had when it was angled up higher.

At the lumen output this light has, striking a balance between beam throw, spread and focus isn’t easy, and the Hadron doesn’t quite manage it.

Despite that, the yellow/green hue is easy to see with and doesn’t create any overexposed harshness or dazzle. However, combine it with the lower power, it did mean some definition is lacking.

In the run time test, on maximum power the Hadron lasted for 1 hour 43 minutes, 17 minutes less than Alpkit claims.

The single illuminated button on the light’s body that cycles through its modes is intuitive to use, and I didn’t have to read the instruction manual before operation.

The remote – which functions in the same way as the light’s main button – means on-the-fly power adjustments are quick, but the glow-in-the-dark button doesn’t last very long at night, marking it tricky to find.

The remote’s Velcro strap is quite long, which makes it hard to attach securely to the bar, but the cable is long enough to reach the grips even with the light placed on the opposite side of the stem to where the remote is mounted.

Its worm-and-gear strap bar clamp means fitting is easy and quick, not requiring any tools. The mount permits indexed twisting of the light unit, and the clip attachment makes it easy to remove the light from the clamp.

However, the bar mount does take up a fair amount of real estate on the handlebar.

Alpkit Hadron bottom line

Ian Linton / Our Media

While Alpkit’s Hadron has an attractive price and is relatively low weight, its power isn’t spread wide enough to make it suitable for technical off-road riding.

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The easy to install clamp, remote and simple functionality are redeeming features, and it would be a great backup light to get you home if your more powerful unit failed.

How we tested

This year, we put 10 of the best mountain bike lights that enable you embrace the darkness and see riding after nightfall as an opportunity. Well-ridden routes becomes a fresh and exciting challenge after dark, and the crackle of ice under your tyres on a starlit night is a special experience.

Lights on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €120.00GBP £100.00USD $130.00
Weight 243g – includes clamps, cables & remote
Brand Alpkit

Features

Features Modes: Boost; High; Mid; Low; Pulse; Strobe
Integrated battery Yes
Light type Front
Output (lumens) 1800
Remote switch Yes