Lights Reviews and News


Lights Shootout: How to buy a bike light


LEDs have brought on brighter, more compact lights with a dizzying array of features. Read on to learn more about the essentials for riding and what the best features are for you.

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  • Eznitram says:

    I’d like to add something to the “Helmet or bar Light?” question:
    From the helmet the light has almost the same path as the line of sight from the eyes. From the bar it is much flatter. For this reason the bar mounted light gives better contrast or less glare in several situations.
    Bar mounted will be better in fog or rain and in more structured terrain, like roots and rocks.

  • Carbonazza says:

    I got a Lupine Piko 3 in a big sale, with 900lm and it was ok for a while.
    Then I tried various Chinese lights, and some are surprisingly good for their price.

    But since I ride a lot in the dark half of the year, I finally offered me a Lupine Wilma with the big battery, and it is a game changer.
    I can ride in the dark, [almost] like in the day, I don’t regret the buy at all( ok, after swallowing the cost shock ).

    And for the helmet/bar discussion.
    Helmet is fine until it is raining( something unfortunately common here half of the year too ).
    The raindrops and the drops jumping from your front wheel at speed become little stars just in front of your eyes, and it dazzle you.

    So although for technical terrain a helmet light is best, I keep it generally on my bar.

    If you can, save money with cheap Chinese lights, and after a year or two get a really powerful light. You will not regret any moment of it.

  • Roy says:

    The helmet flood light coupled with the spotlight on the bar is the best set up. The light on your helmet allows you too look deep into the corners. The dazzling effect of raindrops in front of the helmet light is awesome. The only thing better is riding in the snowstorm at night. For under $100 you can be out ripping single track at night with your Chinese LED headlights. Everyone here is doing it. Tons of fun.

  • Gator says:

    Ituo lights are the best on the market right now!! Check them out!!

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2019 Bontrager headlights and taillights


Bontrager has finally released the revamp of the Ion and Flare lights and they seem impressive indeed. They are bright, self-contained, well-constructed and backed by science.

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Lezyne Lite Drive 700XL review


A mix of old world mountain style and new world tech make this light design unique and eye-catching.

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Lupine Lighting Interbike 2017


Whether commuting at dawn or dusk, or charging into the night on your mountain bike, Lupine is lighting the way with a host of new product offerings.

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Ravemen PR1200 bike light video


Cheap Chinese lights are a dime a dozen so it’s very refreshing to see this fascinating line-up from the the Chinese firm Ravemen. Self-contained, feature-packed and affordable.

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Mtbr Best of 2016 Awards: Best night riding light


Innovation is not dead when it comes to bike lights, as these options offer unique new features and ease of use. This year’s winner is a budget priced light from an upstart company.

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  • John says:

    Can you carry an extra battery for the Ravemen offerings?

    • KR says:

      Nope cant change batteries, made as a road light with really low output, a little research shows how low performing and limited those lights are. Many of us are trying to figure out how it even made it on here because nothing special to offer besides something you can probably find in china for half the price being listed as some US brand. Ituo and Glowworm have sefl contained lights that actually came out for 2016 that blow that thing away.

  • BlackBean says:

    The issue with Lezyne lights are that you have to hit the button with a HAMMER to change output modes or turn it on or off. This one fatal flaw makes their products something to stay away from.

  • SGK says:

    Lezyne have a great form factor and performance, but not reliability. Had problems with their batteries and charging.

  • Preferred Customer says:

    How come the Serfas USL-1500 is not here ?
    Great light at a $140 reasonable price point

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2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Lights for off road and on


This guide features the best headlights at a variety of price points. Some are great for after-dark trail riding, others help assure you’ll be seen on the road day or night. Many of them are handy around the house as well.

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CandlePower Tech XFlare light review


LED bike lights have become so handy now that we end up using them for all kinds of other purposes. Here is a light from CandlePower Tech uniquely designed for all those other applications.

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  • gg says:

    Lights like these are dangerous for others who are blinded by their over-powered beam.
    Not so safe methinks.
    There need to be standards adhered to … doesn’t the EU have some ?

  • Colin says:

    I think the super bright flashing modes are intended for use in the day, so drivers can see them, not at night.

  • Beau Bennett says:

    I wouldn’t bother to unscrew it, when you can just lift the little lock tab and slide the whole X-Flare off. To re-attach, just slide the X-Flare onto the adapter tab until it clicks into place. You can get extra adapter tabs too.

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Specialized Flux Expert headlight review


The Flux Expert is a great commuter light that can be complemented with a helmet light for trail use. And while not a bang-for-the-buck winner, it is a sleek, high-quality device.

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  • gg says:

    Excellent job MTBR in your light reviews.
    Very surprised that Spesh would be off by a whopping 35%.
    Are they pulling the wool over the eyes of us sheep ?

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CatEye Volt 400 review


The CatEye Volt 400 will not wow you with its blazing output or diminutive size relative to its brightness. Rather it will impress you with its day-to-day performance and solid design.

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Lupine Lighting Interbike 2016


Check out the full line of 2017 Lupine Lighting Systems lights, plus some slick new control features.

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2017 NiteRider lights sneak peek


This coming night riding season, NiteRider is going to try and put lights on every bike on the road with absolutely compelling price points. And they’re going to entice trail riders with a 950 lumen self-contained trail light for just $100.

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  • BlackBean says:

    The tail light discussed is the Sabre 50. However, the photo’s shown are for the Solas 100 and 150. Also, these lights (Solas shown in the photos) does not seem to have the easy strap-on ability as mentioned in the review. They only seem to have a bracket to clip onto a belt or buckle of a seatback or backpack.

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Review: Blackburn Central 700 Front


Blackburn delivers a self-contained light with a very useable dual beam pattern. It features a GoPro compatible mount too.

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  • cyberfly says:

    According to Blackburn’s website the battery is replaceable. Can you tell more about that, please?

    All I could find was a video on YouTube and it showed a battery with a cable attached, not a standard 18650 battery. It would really suck if you can only use a Blackburn battery.

  • David says:

    Cant get a replacement battery for this light – can you please help

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Exposure Lights Diablo Mk.7 review


The Exposure Diablo has been refined over the years as every facet of this light has been improved. Aside from an increase in brightness every year, the light now has an excellent ergonomics, switching, mounts and features.

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  • MBR says:

    Once again, as with all your light reviews, how about listing some run times at less than max output. A one hour run time on high doesn’t even get me thru a commute to work and back home.

    • Ron Feigen says:

      You can get run-time on Exposures website. I get 3 hours at 900 lumens. I think at 600 lumens it is 5 or 6 hours.

      They also have a small support cell, external battery, to double run time. There is a large support cell, no clue how much time that give you but I would guess 3X. Look at the MaH rating and do the math

      • Ryan says:

        Guys, the large 8.7Ah support cell does NOT work with any recently released Diablo. I have the Mk. 7 Diablo, which is about to go back to Exposure for a warranty replacement for an Equinox because they put in some new hardware possibly back in generation 6 or even 5 that restricts the Diablo to the smaller 3.1Ah support cell. I was hoping to get a 4–5 hour burn time at full power or close to full power by adding the large 8.7Ah support cell, but I only ever got the standard 1.25-1.5 hour max burn time on high with the large support cell attached. I even did a warranty replacement on the large support cell before I had Exposure do some testing of their own to confirm that the Diablo does NOT work with the larger 8.7Ah support cell.

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Indigo INDIGO5.01 review


The Indigo5.01 is a self-contained light with great lens. But the best part about the light is its fine machining and very big and clean beam pattern.

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5 Superb High-End Night Riding Lights


When money is no object there are plenty of light options out there. Reliability, brightness, and beam quality are key considerations for riders who take night riding seriously. Here are the five best lights we’ve tested this season.

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6 Budget Friendly Lights For Riding At Night


Riding at night is one of cycling’s great joys. And in winter, when days are short, it’s often a necessity. Here’s a look at some of this season’s best budget friendly lights.

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  • Augsburg says:

    We bought a Lezyne Decca Drive 1500 XXL light with a simlar button switch and program operation. We hate it. The button seems to operate eradically, and we are always finding ourselves in the wrong mode. The Lezyne is way too frustrating – can’t recommend it.

  • Badger says:

    Again the idea of ‘budget’ is lost on a group of people who get everything for free. $160 in the case of the NR is an interesting idea of a ‘budget’ light.

  • J says:

    @Badger

    “Budget” bicycle specific lights ARE in the $80-$100 range. BICYCLE….budget…lights. That may not mean “your” idea of a budget but it is the product produced by mfg.’s that determine the budget scale of any given product….because what they offer IS scale to begin with. That may not mean that it is “budget” compared to any given type of light source that can be bought ala flashlights. However, flashlights are not “bicycle” lights within the bicycle industry sold at bicycle merchandisers for the purpose of being used on bicycles with beam patterns and testing for bicycle riders on bicycle rides with obvious bicycle needs. Does that mean that whatever budget solution you have isn’t working for you or may for others? Of course not. That, however, has nothing to do with being considered a budget bicycle light.

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Review: Gloworm X2


Gloworm X2 comes up aces once again. Though not a huge improvement from last year, it keeps marching on with a beautiful beam pattern, a well-conceived package and good value.

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Review: Trail LED DS


Already an excellent light year, Trail LED improved their light with 400 more Lumens and an elegant new mount. This is American ingenuity and manufacturing at its best.

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  • liquidSpin says:

    $550 for a light that may break during a crash. A light that is a bit extreme. Yes I agree the higher the output of light the better for those who are blazing away but 3k lumens and another version at 6k? I guess if you live out in the boonies where there’s no city light pollution.

    I ride at night but not enough to justify this. Or any $500 light. This is definitely for a specific demographic of MTB riders with DEEP pockets.

  • A Johnson says:

    Any light may break during a crash. TrailLed has an excellent warranty return policy but even before you get to that, the higher lumens provides better visibility lowering the chance for a crash.

    I’ll keep the pair of Cree style in the pack for venturing within the city parks and road rides. After having ridden off-road with less lumens/less expensive lights while sharing the dirt with TrailLed users, I’m going to say they make a damn good excuse to spend the money.

    (The Halo is just for nutters though! If you’re the lead of a group of 20, everyone can see then!)

  • Jim says:

    How did such a large light fit in the port of such a small integrating sphere?

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2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Bright lights for riding at night


Keep your bike riding gift getter safe and seen with our brightest Holiday Guide, featuring the best headlights and tail lights.

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Review: Fenix BC21R


This is a surprising light because of its quality construction and really nicely shaped beam pattern and warm color for only $80. Field-replaceable batteries are a nice bonus.

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  • fmcart says:

    You state that the BC21R is made of plastic and sells for $80.

    According to Fenix Lighting this unit is made of aluminum and sells for $96. I THINK Fenix Lighting is the official company website but there are others that use the Fenix name in their title.

    This is all somewhat confusing.

    • Bourec says:

      Fenix Lighting is just one of the US distributors, manufacturers website is really fenixlight.com. AFAIK the MSRP is actually 75 USD/75 EUR.

  • fmcart says:

    Fenix Lighting just lowered the priceof the BC21R to $75, just below MSRP.

  • Log81 says:

    It’s definitely made of alloy I got mine recently, great little light and I love the ability to carry replacement batteries! I got mine from rmoutdoors for just over £60!

    https://www.rmoutdoors.co.uk/shop/fenix-flashlights/bike-lights/fenix-bc21r-rechargeable-led-road-bike-light/

  • OmegaMan says:

    Are there any helmet mounts that work with this light? Fenix doesn’t make one.

  • ReplaceableGuy says:

    Love that there’s suddenly great options for torch-style bike headlights that take *standard* batteries. I’m really between this and the ITUO Wiz1 at this point.

    So is this thing metal or plastic? I’ve been reading & watching Francis’s reviews for years. He ought to know metal from plastic and he says this thing’s plastic. What gives? (@Francis, this would be a great time to post a little clarification – is it metalized plastic or powder coated metal or something?)

  • ReplaceableGuy says:

    Mine just arrived and it’s plastic exactly as described by Francis.

    The silver at the end around the lens is metal and has gaps to make it more visible from the sides. One of those gaps is at the very top. I suspect when I’m standing on my pedals and leaned a bit over the handlebars it’s going to shine in my eyes. Nothing that can’t be fixed w/ a spot of tape.

    The battery that shipped with it is as advertised: a Fenix ARB-L2-2300. It’s a flat top (almost a pure cylinder w/o a “button” on the positive end like you usually see with AA batteries). Amazon has 3000 mAh ones for like $10 for 4 of them and even some claiming to be 6000 mAh (I suspect that’s a bold faced lie)

    Last observation: when plugged into a microUSB charger, you can use it, but the only settings are “high” and “low” and “off”. Not sure how high or low those are compared to battery-only operation. Also, it works when plugged into USB w/o the battery, but makes an annoying high pitched sound and there’s only one mode (well, 2 – on and off).

  • android says:

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.
    OB FENIX OPINIONI

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Review: ITUO Wiz2 and Wiz1


Great construction, beam patterns and honest output are the highlights of these two lights from ITUO. One delivers two hours of run time and the other keeps going for an impressive three hours.

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  • mtbiker4Lyf says:

    where can these be purchased from?

    • trevor jackson says:

      The Ituo Wiz1 and Wiz 2 can be purchased at Brightbikelights.com – more info on the Wiz 1/2 on the website

  • Josh S says:

    I purchase link would be awesome. Nice review.

  • ReplaceableGuy says:

    I’d love to see a pict of these sitting beside a Fenix BC21R. The lights have really similar performance (same LED), feature set, and take standard batteries.

    Seems like the Wiz’s are a little bigger, have a bulkier, more versatile mount. The Fenix BC21R seems to be plastic, has a fancier beam, and red side-lights. It’s mount is proprietary and I don’t think that rubber will last as long as the Wiz mount. Especially if you leave it in the sun all day.

    I like that these Wiz’s seem to have the charging port on the side. I’d be hesitant to mount the Fenix upside down for fear of water puddling on the cap and getting in.

    Any comment on the feel of the buttons? Both fairly glove friendly? Do they make clicky noises?

  • ReplaceableGuy says:

    ITUO recommends “high quality protected” batteries for it’s double-barrelled Wiz20 [http://www.ituoworld.com/en/content/?215.html] and all 3 of these new Wiz lights clearly have a lot in common. Any recommendation for “protected” batteries for the Wiz1 & 2?

    I wonder if the “protected battery” is actually the “19670”? According to Wikipedia, that’s the proper designation for a protected 18650 [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18650#Cylindrical_lithium-ion_rechargable_battery]

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Review: Lupine Betty R 15


Lupine Betty came in at 4711 Lumens last year. This year, it clocked in at 4989 forest piercing Lumens. We don’t know how they do it but they keep extracting more light from this little beast.

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Review: Blaze Laserlight


Primarily a commuter light, it’s bright enough to get around on the trail or supplement a bar light. But you may get too distracted playing with the laser in the forest.

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Review: CatEye Volt 800


It’s a good helmet light, very similar to last year’s CatEye Volt 700.

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