2013 Bike Lights Shootout – Mtbr Tunnel Beam Patterns

Lights Lights Shootout

This is part of the 2013 Bike Lights Shootout. Other sections are:

2013 Backyard Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2013 Mtbr Lux measurements »
2013 Mtbr Lumen Tests »

We went out to a freeway underpass and risked our lives in the ‘hood’ as we photographed our test lights with our camera. The location is useful since it has walls and a ceiling that can display a bike light beam pattern.  The walls have a lot of graffiti on them and actually show detail when they are lit up by a light with a wide angle. Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 80 yards.

It is very useful for a road cyclist or commuter to see real world useability of a light.  For a mountain biker, it’s not as good as a trail photo with a tree canopy but it does provide some insight.

These photos show the lights in the first round of our shootout.  Some other extra lights (not reviewed) are included as well.

2013 Bike Lights Shootout – Mtbr Tunnel Beam Patterns Gallery
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Baja Designs Strykr II

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CatEye Nano Shot

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CatEye Nano Shot+

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Cygolite Expilion 350

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Fenix BT20

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Full Beam Fusion Speed LED

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Gemini Duo

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Gemini Olympia

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Gemini Xera Flashlight

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Gemini Xera

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Jet Lites F-1

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Lezyne Mega Drive

Lezyne Super Drive XL
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Lezyne Super Drive XL

Lezyne Super Drive XL
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Lezyne Macro Drive

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Light & Motion Seca 1700

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Light & Motion Taz 1200

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Light & Motion Urban 550

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Light & Motion Vis 360

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Light & Motion Vis 360+

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Lumintrek TrailBlazer 1600

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Lupine Betty R 9

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Lupine Piko 3

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Lupine Piko TL MiniMax

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Magicshine MJ-808

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Magicshine MJ-872

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NiteRider Lumina 650

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NiteRider MiNewt Pro 750

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Serfas True 1000

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Serfas True 1500

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Tunnel Testing

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Tunnel Testing

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Lights Tested


(Hit the Full Screen button to enlarge the photos)

The camera settings we used are the following:

  • Camera: Olympus OM-D
  • Setting: Full manual
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure: 1.6 seconds
  • Aperture: F4.0
  • Focus: Manual
  • White Balance: Daylight
  • Quality: Jpeg High

Related Links
Mtbr Lights Shootout Main Page »
2013 Bike Lights Shootout »
2013 Backyard Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2013 Mtbr Lux measurements »
2013 Mtbr Lumen Tests »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Light Meter Measurements »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • extremebikeguy says:

    This is spectacular! Great Job, very useful.Thanks for risking it in the hood haha.

  • lightcritic says:

    Great work, but might I respectfully suggest one addition to your process. Place a Lux meter down “trail/tunnel/yard” on a stand perhaps 3 feet high. Choose a distance that best represents the average focusing distance on a typical trail… 30 feet or so. When setting up each light aim it at the Lux meter so that it produces the highest reading for each light. This will insure that each light is aimed at the exact same spot. Some of the lights in your tunnel test appear to be aimed “high” (Lezyne SuperDrive XL, Lupine Betty R9) while others appear to be low (Magicshine MJ-872, Lupine Piko 3). This produces beam shots which are difficult to objectively compare. It’s just one more control which should take more than a minute per light. This would eliminate another variable. Keep up the admirable work.

  • ginsu says:

    Serfas 1500 baby! That light looks great, glad to see I made a good purchase!

  • Brian says:

    I would like to see the lights in a more “real world” situation, not in a tunnel where the light cant spread as it would in an open field, or singletrack. Other than that, thanks for all the hard work.

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