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Gloworm XS Adventure Lightset (2.0) review

MTB light for your handlebar or helmet

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £245.00 RRP | USD $309.00 | AUD $410.00
Gloworm XS Adventure Lightset (2.0) front light for trail mountain bikes

Our review

Impressively customisable light well-suited to all types of riding, whether it's mounted on a helmet or handlebar
Pros: Stable mount; customisable optics and modes; plenty of power (2,800 lumens)
Cons: Battery display hard to read on the move; care needs to be taken when replacing optics
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Gloworm claims its second-generation XS Adventure Lightset (2.0) is the perfect balance between weight and power, making it suited to both helmet- and bar-mounted use.

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It has a 2,800-lumen claimed output, and this latest version now comes with a smartphone app that permits further customisation.

All that combines in a light that thoroughly impresses out on the trail, making this one of the best mountain bike lights I’ve tested this year.

Gloworm XS Adventure Lightset (2.0) specifications and details

The three side-by-side CREE LEDs have user-customisable optics and the head unit comes fitted with two spot optics and one central honeycomb lens.

In the box are three additional lenses: a spot, honeycomb and wide angle. Four 2mm Allen bolts (Allen key supplied) remove the lens cover for replacement.

Also included is a bar mount (49g) – suitable for both 31.8mm and 35mm diameter mountain bike handlebars – a universal GoPro-style mount and a helmet mount.

Two power cables are included, one 395mm, the other 1,360mm long. The 5,000mAh battery (196g) uses Velcro straps to fasten to your bike frame and can be used as a power bank to charge other devices.

Gloworm XS Adventure Lightset (2.0) bicycle light
An out-front mount keeps the Gloworm looking sleek.
Alex Evans

The battery pack has an OLED screen that displays the selected mode, battery percentage and remaining run time.

The wireless remote (21g) has two buttons and their functions can be programmed by the user.

The light unit has a single button, which illuminates during use. The light has three default settings, but its output can be tuned in 5 per cent increments from 5 to 100 per cent power, and further customisation is possible using the Gloworm Link smartphone app.

The head unit (118g) itself is made from machined aluminium and features ribbed cooling fins. It has in-built thermal management, where the light will throttle back power if it detects it’s overheating.

Finally, the battery and head unit are IP67 dustproof and waterproof rated.

Gloworm XS Adventure Lightset (2.0) performance

For the purpose of this test, where the light was mounted on the bar, I swapped out the stock spotlight optics for two honeycomb lenses and one wide-angle optic to broaden the beam’s spread as much as possible.

Replacing the lenses was simple with the tools provided, but they were tightly secured in the unit and needed a plastic pick to initially free them.

Out on the trail, these optics gave the beam a good spread with evenly shared light, although there was still a brighter focal point in the centre. The side-to-side spread has a gradual cut-off, as the beam fades.

This makes it well suited to picking lines out of turns, where it successfully lit up the exits just enough when it mattered. The width of the beam also provides great on-trail context when hammering down straighter trails.

However, the beam’s spread could be wider still. Spare flood, diffuser and honeycomb optics are available to buy from Gloworm, for a truly customised beam pattern.

Its limits were most obvious when swapping between lines, turning the bar significantly. As I was looking in the opposite direction to where my bar was turned, the trail would plunge into darkness from time to time.

The light’s throw down the trail was good throughout testing, although, unsurprisingly, not as long as it was when the XS Adventure was fitted with spotlight optics. Nevertheless, it’s ample for any speed or trail type.

Power is also good, the light feeling like it emits more lumens than Gloworm claims. It provides plenty of illumination to pick out rocks, roots and other obstacles well, and is bright enough to function as a single unit without supplementary lights.

Gloworm XS Adventure Lightset (2.0) bicycle light beam shot
Despite the customisation of the XS Adventure’s optics, the beam spread could benefit from being wider.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

The beam’s hue is white but has elements of yellow in it, meaning there’s no harsh dazzling or glare bouncing off the trail, but definition is still high.

Operation is intuitive, whether using the supplied remote or the illuminated on-light button. Unfortunately, the remote’s buttons don’t illuminate, which makes them harder to find, although their proximity to the grips mitigates this somewhat.

The battery display is useful but tricky to read on the move, and during my lab test on max power, the light lasted for 1hr 50mins, beating the manufacturer’s claimed run time of 1hr 30mins.

Initial setup, to pair the remote and smartphone, and use the app to customise the light’s output, is straightforward. However, the light’s standard settings (20%, 70% and 100% power) are more than adequate, making the app’s functional benefits marginal.

Plus, you have to sign up with your email address to use the app – there’s no option to use it as a guest.

The mount is easy to attach to the bar using the quick-release clamp, and is secure and movement-free. Its sleek out-front design leaves plenty of space on the bar for other accessories.

The light’s USB cable did feel a little fragile, however, and could be in an exposed position in the event of a crash.

Gloworm XS Adventure Lightset (2.0) bottom line

The XS Adventure is a versatile light, thanks to the optic customisation options, and is lightweight enough to use on either a handlebar or helmet.

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It also has plenty of power for a broad range of riding, but the overall spread of light could be wider with the supplied lenses.

How we tested

For our 2021 MTB lights test, we put eight units to the test, starting at just over £100 and rising all the way to nearly £500.

Whatever your budget, there should be one that will suit your needs.

Of course, there are plenty of lights available online for less money, but they won’t necessarily offer the same reliability or aftersales support as the trusted brands tested here.

All the lights chosen have a minimum output of a claimed 1,500 lumens, but some are much brighter. Generally, more lumens equates to a higher price.

As well as testing how each light performs on the same trail on back-to-back runs – assessing beam pattern, LED colour, ease of operation and, most importantly, light projection – we also timed them all on max power to find out just how long the batteries last, and whether they live up to the brand’s claims.

You can find all of our top-rated options in BikeRadar’s guide to the best mountain bike lights.

Also tested

Product Specifications

Product

Price AUD $410.00GBP £245.00USD $309.00
Weight 382g
Brand Gloworm

Features

Features Run time: 1hr 50mins (measured)
Light type Front
Output (lumens) 2800
Remote switch Yes