The Best Mountain Bike Lights for Night Riding
For most riders, we hit the trails during the daylight hours, but what if you work during the day? Better yet, what about the winter? We’ll you’d be surprised, but some riders prefer to ride in the twilight hours. Its cooler, peaceful, and riding at night can turn your local trails into a full new riding experience. You will need the right gear and what may work for a jaunt to work may not be the right lights to hit the woods. We’ve compiled a list of the best and brightest lights that are available. These mountain bike lights range from the super tech to affordable push-and-play models, so don’t think that riding at night is out of your price range or your tech ability.
Ultimate Power – See all and be seen
For those that ride the deepest and darkest of wilderness, you’ll need all the power you can get. These mountain bike lights are fantastic options for those that like to see all the trail ahead. What sets the following lights apart is the lumen count: a measure of the total amount of visible light in some defined beam or angle, or emitted from some source, in conjunction with the amount of power the light permits. An emphasis is placed on lightweight construction, durability, and overall pleasure in the user experience. So if you’re looking for the best mountain bike lights – look no further.
Lupine Blika R – All In One
Anyone who knows of Lupine lights knows, serious riders swear by them for night riding, racing, and touring. The unique design and all in one kit contain everything you need to use the Blika R as a headlamp and a bike helmet (with vents). Thanks to the FrontClick system, it is possible to change from headband to helmet in a few seconds. As for output, a massive 2100 lumens will light your way on the trails and a gentle reading light for when you’re hanging out at base camp.
- Superb trail visibility without overpowering
- The Blika R app allows the user to assign lighting levels and special functions to any button
- Great for night runs, hikes, and reading by the campfire.
- Many options and customizations could overwhelm users.
- Vent only options mount from the factory, though a glue type could be used
Magicshine Monteer 8000
Magicshine’s most powerful mountain bike light, the Monteer 8000 is capable of 8000 lumens of actual max output. 10000mAh super high capacity battery pack and all-aluminum mount can take a solid knock from the trails. The max isn’t all this light can do, though. It boasts; 4800 lumens of floodlight, 3200 lumens of spotlight from LEDs on the bottom.
- Super bright 8000 Lumens
- The long-lasting battery on full blast and 4800 setting
- A medium setting of 4800 is enough for most trail riding
- Not available in most shops
- Could be overkill for most casual riders
- The light clip can migrate down in rock heavy riding.
Niterider Lumina dual 1800
5 light levels plus 2 Daylight Flash modes; side lighting increases your visibility day or night. The all-new Collimator lens distributes a smooth, widespread beam pattern. Emits an impressive 1,800 lumens while in Boost mode; simply double-tap the power button to set the light to Boost mode. Runs 20 hrs at 100 lumens in Walk mode 6 hrs.
- Super sturdy fiberglass-reinforced nylon body casing and aluminum heat sink can take a beating on the trail.
- Easy on and off with a secure mount works on the trails and the road.
- Backed by NiteRiders lifetime warranty that covers any defects in mechanical components (housings, covers, mounts, and fasteners) and LEDs.
- Shifts slightly when knocked and changes the light direction slightly
- No on helmet option available
Light and Motion – Seca Enduro
Dominate the trail well past dusk with the Light & Motion Seca 2500 Enduro light. With 2,500 lumens on high, this bike light emits nearly double the glare of the most car headlights, helping you to spot not only what rock gardens lie ahead on the trail, but also temporarily stun your buddy who is trying to make a night ride happen with a 100-lumen blinky light. The light path on the Seca has been engineered to enhance depth perception with the forward-focused upper. LED’s that penetrate the darkness, and bottom LEDs that are reflected and diffused downward to cover a larger field of vision.
- Attaches easily to helmet and frame for any use.
- 6 cell battery, which offers a generous 2.5 hours of riding on high, or 5 hours in the medium.
- The helmet mount is GoPro compatible and super secure.
- Very water and snow proof if you plan to do some winter exploring
- 2.5 hours isn’t suitable for some users.
- The battery pack is more on the heavy side for higher-end lights.
Lezyne Mega Drive 1800
The Lezyne’s Mega Drive 1800L Front Light comes with a specialized Tri-Force Optics lens, this helps provide the best possible lighting over a range of terrains, thanks to its brighter center spot in a large wide-angle pattern. The light is housed in a machined aluminum case, this provides protection from bumps and falls and any adverse weather conditions you may encounter.
- Looks great on carbon and alloy bike frames
- Perfect for commuting and changing from bike to bike easily
- Up to 148 hours of use can be obtained from one full charge (dependant on what lighting mode is used).
- No Bluetooth capability
- Replaceable straps are only available from Lezyne
Cygolite Ranger 1400
Lightweight, durable headlight features 9 lighting modes for day and night use: Boost, High, Medium, Low, SteadyPulse, DayLightning, Triple Flash, Zoom, and Walking SteadyPulse mode alerts motorists with attention-grabbing pulses, while its overlapping steady beam continuously lights your way at night DayLightning flash mode bursts lightning-like flashes to make you stand out during daytime rides Hard-clamp handlebar mount with quick-release secures the light, even during mountain-bike adventures on challenging terrain Memory saves the mode you’re in when you turn off the light Light Lock lets you disable the light for transport or storage IP67 waterproof design allows worry-free, all-weather use USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers 1.25–25 hrs. Run time depending on modes used; it recharges in just 3.5 hrs. Low-battery indicator.
- Lots of options for light pulse and beam selection
- Memory saves the mode you’re in when you turn off the light
- Great for commuting and light off-road riding
- The lights plastic shell casing can crack if hit on the trail
- Longer time to recharge fully
- Not a very wide beam for off-road use
Self-contained and Bar-mounted mountain bike lights
If you’re looking to double up the duty of your bike light and get into some commuting and dabble in off-road riding – these are your lights. They are self-contained, meaning the battery and the light are all in the same unit. Most of these style lights attach to the handlebar but some are light enough to mount your helmet and bright enough for the trails alone. The best part is, if you’re a commuter these lights are sure to get you noticed and keep you safe on the road.
Bontrager Ion Pro 1300 RT
A USB-rechargeable front light with five modes for day and night and enough power to light up the full width of any trail. Ion Pro RT provides a powerful beam that lights up the entire width of any road or path.
- 1300 Lumens via high-power and runs; 800LM-3hrs, 400LM-6hrs, night flash-26hrs, day flash 22hrs.
- Easily connects with Garmin and Bontrager ANT+ devices for always-on, battery status, and control.
- Includes adjustable light mount that fits bars from 25.4-35.0mm Blendr compatible with a helmet mount.
- Single style Garmin mounts are sold separately
Blackburn Countdown 1600
Riding at night and having lights go hand in hand. Most of the time, when you’re riding at night, you have no idea exactly how much charge your light has left. You can take a guess based on your light’s specs, but it’s difficult to know precisely how much time you have. The Blackburn Countdown 1600 Front Light keeps the magic of the night ride alive by showing exactly how much battery is left on each light level, so you’ll never be left in the dark.
- Easy to read backlit display shows how many minutes of light remains in each of the 6 power modes.
- It is rechargeable via a standard USB port and charges in about 4 hours.
- Hefty drop-proof shell and waterproof to IP-67 standards
- Heavier than most lights on the list
- Attaches uses at Blackburn proprietary mount that can interfere with bar space.
Magicshine ALLTY 2000
The Magicshine ALLTY 2000 is a quality light with a wide range of power settings and different beam patterns. You get reliable run time data displayed on a screen and a solid mount into the bargain, but neither the beam pattern nor the removable Lithium-ion battery is without their issues. As LEDs and batteries get more efficient, torch-style lights are increasingly dominating even at the high-lumen end of the market, and the ALLTY 2000 is one such beast. It’s a compact torch design with a metal and plastic body, a single button, and an LCD screen.
- The LCD screen is great for knowing run time and settings
- Attaches super securely and uses a common “Garmin” twist style attachment.
- 2000 lumens is a lot of power!
- Light can heat up the first couple uses but eventually stops
- Not Bluetooth compatible
Cateye Ampp 800
An 800 lumen, high-powered LED light rechargeable comes with 5 different light modes, including flashing and stationary, and excellent side visibility. Cateye’s Ampp 800 Front Light is built with OptiCube lens technology, which, paired with the integrated cut-outs, spreads the light’s visibility and keeps your seen, and lets you see multiple different angles. To protect from all the road bumps and scrapes comes with an ultra-rugged, heavy-duty aluminum body construction.
- The battery light indicator shows three steps of battery life.
- Great for light off-road riding and commuting
- Mount is very secure for a strap style
- The screw style strap is very slow to change from bike to bike.
- Not a very wide beam but more concentrated.
Garmin Varia UT800
Pair the Varia UT800 Smart Headlight with a Garmin Edge head unit for automatic adjustments to the ambient lighting outside, projecting the brightest beam on the darkest of nights and lowering its beam to save battery life at more radiant dawn and dusk hours. Not only does it adjust its beam intensity to the lighting outside, but it also matches the light beam to your current speed and ride profile to save battery life at lower rates with a lower beam and project more light when it’s needed at higher velocities.
- Easy integration with Garmin headunits
- Five different lighting modes give you a wide array of beams for numerous ride types.
- Excellent for commuting
- Two different packages give you a bar/stem mount for road rides or a helmet-based.
- Not as bright as some options in the same price range.
- If you don’t use a Garmin head unit the features are a bit lacking.
- Mount options are hard to come by for multiple bikes.
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