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Gloworm XSV (G2.0) review

Gloworm hopes the XSV delivers premium power, customisation and quality

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £295.00 RRP | USD $389.00
Gloworm XSV (G2.0) mountain bike front light

Our review

High-quality light that needs a bigger beam spread to live up to its name
Pros: Customisable optics; app connectivity; premium feel; plenty of power
Cons: Beam spread limits potential; customisable optics not broad enough
Skip to view product specifications

Gloworm’s latest XSV G2.0 light sees a 200-lumen boost over the outgoing first-generation model, now putting out a claimed 3,600 lumens from three Cree XHP LED bulbs placed in a row.

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Fitted from the factory are two spot lenses and a single diffuser optic, however the lenses are quickly and easily swapped out to customise the beam’s pattern. Included in the box is a diffuser lens and a flood lens.

I swapped out one of the spots for the flood lens to increase the beam’s spread, knowing the light will be mounted on the handlebar. For use as a head torch, I’d have left two of the spot optics in place and fitted a single flood lens.

The separate CNC-machined head unit (114g) and 10,000mAh battery pack (364g) form factor means there should be less clutter on your bar. Two extender cables (136cm, 48g and 39cm, 17g) give plenty of options for battery mounting.

The system has an IP67 dust and waterproof rating, which means it can be submerged in up to one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.

The battery pack features an OLED display to show run time and battery life.

Included is a two-button wireless remote control, attached using a rubber O-ring. Along with the out-front bar mount, a GoPro-style Velcro attachment helmet mount is also supplied.

From the factory, it has three modes (low 20 per cent power, medium 70 per cent, high 100 per cent) but it’s customisable using Gloworm’s smartphone Link Mobile app. On full power, the XSV is claimed to last for up to two hours.

Gloworm XSV (2.0) performance

Lenses can be switched to alter the Gloworm’s beam pattern.
Ian Linton / Our Media

With user-swappable lenses, it’s possible to tune the light’s beam pattern. However, even with the widest possible selection of optics fitted (a spot, a flood and a diffuser) the up-close beam spread isn’t wide enough to competently illuminate the exits of corners and help you spot lines.

Despite the slightly frustrating lack of beam spread for wiggly sections of trail, there’s plenty of light for straighter, faster and even technical trails, where the central focal point of the beam’s shape shines ample light immediately in front of you.

The beam’s shape is quite mellow overall. The further from the light unit it’s cast, the wider it gets and the less pronounced the light to dark cut-offs either side are. This is brilliant on fireroads or straighter trails, where it feels little goes un-illuminated.

To boot, plenty of light is projected downwards, which helps illuminate the backsides of undulations and landings of jumps even when the front wheel is pointing skyward.

Thanks to the 3,600-lumen output, there’s plenty of power to go around, and the XSV certainly feels as though it emits as much as the brand claims.

The power is spread evenly, too, with no bleaching of colour from an over-lit, central hotspot. Arguably, there’s enough power to share around more, and the light could be improved with a wider beam spread closer to the head unit.

The white hue of the light is quite intense, but not so much that definition or contrast are lost.

In the run time test, on maximum power the light lasted 2 hours 10 minutes, more than Gloworm claims it should.

Operation, whether that’s with the head-unit button (that doubles as a battery indicator) or the remote’s buttons, is simple. Mode customisation via the smartphone app is also easy, but the standard settings proved to be ample for my needs.

Pairing the wireless remote with the light unit is quick and easy, but it is quite chunky, taking up a lot of space on the bar. Finding space close enough to the grips for the remote could be an issue for some, especially with dropper post levers, gear shifters and brake levers all mounted where the remote would be best placed for quick operation.

A tool-free bar mount makes installation and removal quick and easy, and the out-front style positioning of the head unit means little bar real estate is taken up, plus it keeps the bar looking sleek.

The battery pack’s Velcro is long and grippy, making it simple to mount almost anywhere on the bike. The supplied USB cables are long enough to back this up. However, they aren’t hugely flexible, which makes routing them around tight corners tricky.

If the battery is mounted on the top side of the top tube, the integrated OLED display’s run time and charge information is useful and easy to digest when stationary.

Gloworm XSV (2.0) bottom line

The second-generation Gloworm is a feature-packed bike light with ample power.
Ian Linton / Our Media

Despite the customisable optics, the XSV just doesn’t live up to its name. Power is good, the beam pattern is good, too, but nothing about it is ‘excessive’, and it certainly left me hankering for a wider spread of light for twisting trails.

That said, it’s jam-packed with premium features – including the ability to customise the optics – has app connectivity and a remote, and feels like a premium product. That’s just as well, considering the price.

It’s best suited to those who ride straighter, faster terrain, even with technical sections, but isn’t the best light for twisty switchback riding.

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A wider-angle flood or diffuser optic would improve things considerably, and make the light worthy of a higher score, and additional optics can be purchased separately.

How we tested

This year, we tested 10 of the best mountain bike lights that enable you to embrace the darkness and see riding after nightfall as an opportunity. Well-ridden routes become 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 GBP £295.00USD $389.00
Weight 571g (includes clamps, cables & remote)
Brand Gloworm

Features

Features Run time: 2 hours 10 minutes (measured)
Modes: Low; Medium; high (modes are customisable using Gloworm’s smartphone Link Mobile App)
Light type Front
Output (lumens) 3600