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Lumicycle Apogee with 6.8mAh high-capacity battery review

A new bar clamp and the addition of a remote control should improve the Apogee’s performance

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £370.00 RRP
Lumicycle Apogee with 6.8Ah high-capacity battery mountain bike front light

Our review

For power and optics, the Apogee is one of the best, but other issues detract from the whole package
Pros: Great power; beautiful beam colour; functional remote; bar clamp
Cons: Unrefined operation; thermal throttling; mode and battery life display
Skip to view product specifications

Lumicycle’s Apogee light pumps out up to 4,500 lumens in its Smart Boost mode. It has seven lower-powered settings, taking battery life (for the 6,800mAh battery) from 55 hours 38 minutes in the 200-lumen flash setting to two hours 11 minutes in its 4,000-lumen output continuous setting.

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Four LEDs produce an ‘optimised [colour] spectrum’ beam for off-road riding, and the light can be mounted above, below or parallel to the handlebar thanks to a rotatable dazzle hood.

The carbon fibre battery pack and 85cm cable remain unchanged for 2022’s model, still weighing 531g including the Velcro straps and rubberised ‘legs’ that help the battery pack grip to frame tubes.

However, the 239g head unit’s bar clamp (46g) has been updated for 2022 and is now 35mm bar-diameter friendly and features a quick-release pin for speedy light removal.

Also all-new is a two-button wired remote control, weighing 67g including its 70cm cable. A splitter cable junction is supplied to connect the remote to the battery and head unit. The head unit can be set as a master controller for other lights, connecting wirelessly.

A sequence of different colour and number of LED flashes indicates which mode is selected and the remaining battery charge.

Switching between modes can be done via the remote or a toggle switch mounted on the rear of the light.

Lumicycle Apogee with 6.8mAh high-capacity battery performance

The focal point of the Apogee’s beam never appeared bleached-out in testing.
Ian Linton / Our Media

The redesigned bar clamp is much easier to use, and adaptable to multiple bar diameters without needing to install additional sections. The head unit and mount’s quick-release interface makes light removal simple and you don’t need to take the clamp off the bar.

However, the captive nuts for the Allen bolt fall out easily if care isn’t taken, plus the mount is chunky, so takes up a fair amount of bar space.

Its carbon-fibre wrapped battery pack remains unchanged, with its silicone grippers offering a slip-free mounting point, and the Velcro straps ensure it can be tightened adequately. Its size might limit mounting options on some frames, however.

Functionality also remains unchanged. The rear-facing toggle switch cycles between modes, while an LED flashes in a combination of sequences to indicate both the mode selected and battery life.

In theory, this sounds good, but the speed of the flashes and size of the LED make it hard to decipher on the move, and some time spent studying the instruction book is needed to fully master what the flashes mean.

That toggle switch is tricky to use while riding, but the addition of a wired remote control makes changing modes much easier. The two buttons are large and easy to push and find, while the rubberised mounting strap makes it straightforward to get it tight enough.

Remote size is quite large, which reduces location options. Aesthetically, the remote isn’t the best or most sleek-looking, but functionally it’s a solid performer.

Its wires are also long and chunky, which makes the whole setup look akin to a spider’s web on the front of your bike, in contrast to the sleeker, wireless remotes used by other brands.

Power is impressive and evenly spread, especially in the Smart Boost mode, which ups output to 4,500 lumens for three minutes.

Even in the top setting, the centralised focal point of the beam didn’t bleach out the trail’s colours, thanks to the exceptionally beautiful green/white mix of light the LEDs emit.

Instead, the trail’s features pop with impressive definition, contrast and colour.

Throw is also good, as is the spread of light, with plenty of power cast both down and to the sides of the trail.

Coupled with the power on tap, the beam’s spread with gradual cut-offs makes spotting lines on the exits of turns easy. It also helps provide great context on the trail, allowing for higher riding speeds. This makes it well suited to gnarlier, technical trails.

However, the Smart Boost’s timeout feature is frustrating. There are times when the highest output needs to stay on for longer to help tackle more extensive technical sections.

Having to manually reset or reactivate it with the remote or toggle switch means stopping or switching your focus from the trail to operating the light, detracting from flow.

Once the light reaches a certain temperature, overriding the Smart Boost mode’s reset feature only lifted output to 4,500 lumens for shorter and shorter periods.

This became frustrating and, compared to the other lights tested recently, the Apogee is the quickest to activate its thermal throttling protocols. In some instances, after multiple overrides, the light would only reach its mid 1,000-lumen setting until it cooled.

Throttling its output also skewed the run time bench test, when it lasted for 2 hours 45 minutes, suggesting the average output was between the high and maximum settings. That was despite the flashing LED indicating it was in the high mode, and covering the head unit with ice packs and running a cooling fan for the duration of the test.

Lumicycle Apogee with 6.8mAh high-capacity battery bottom line

The Apogee produces plenty of light, but several practical flaws hold it back.
Ian Linton / Our Media

There’s still a lot to like about the Apogee. Its beam colour and pattern are impressive, and the highest setting – as long as it doesn’t overheat and throttle power – offers plenty of light for even the most technical trails.

The remote is a good addition and the redesigned bar clamp is a big improvement.

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However, functionality, ease of use and how refined it feels, along with the frustrating thermal management, limit performance and prevent a higher score.

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 £370.00
Weight 837g – includes: clamp, cables, remote and battery
Brand Lumicycle

Features

Features Output: 4,000 lumens constant/4,500 lumens Smart Boost mode
Run time: 2hrs 45mins (4,000 lumens/thermal throttling)
Modes: 8 (3 Strobe, 4 Continuous, 1 Smart Boost Mode)
Light type Front
Remote switch Yes