Biking on the terrain in the dark can be a little challenging. Without a clear view of the road, you may have to deal with adverse situations risking your safety. Appropriate MTB lights present a simple yet effective solution to this issue.
The light allows you to see the track comfortably. With a clear view, you can easily ride around and enjoy the activity. Also, with proper lights, other people on the way can mark your presence.
However, selecting a suitable light for your mike requires an in-depth study of all the elements. You can find all the information in a comprehensive buying guide. Without wasting time in looking into different resources, you can quickly evaluate all the factors under one roof.
This saves your time and even aid you in striking down the best product. But before diving into the critical factors, you need to have a clear picture of the product. So let us go through a brief introduction and then move further with the guide.
It does not matter whether you are a professional or novice bike rider; you must contemplate the MTB light as an essential riding kit.
When you are riding on a mountain bike, there will be a high chance of falling down, if you cannot see the road correctly.
Therefore, choosing the right MTB light will offer better visibility of the incoming traffic and help you ride safely in the dark. You can also use these lights in places where you have a lower natural light.
These lights are lightweight and small in size, so you can use them anywhere you want. However, you must be careful not to shine the light into the eyes of the oncoming riders.
Some riders consider the MTB light as superfluous, but it is extremely required for your safety. You can use the lights as separate camping flashlights as well.
Your bike must be equipped with front, side, and backlights to ensure you have better visibility even in less natural light.
If you want the highest illumination, you can go for these rechargeable lights. They shine more brightly than the traditional safety lights, so they are a little bit expensive. But with these lights, you can obtain an evident view of the road and trail.
These are the safety lights that help you to ride in low light conditions. Also, you can have better visibility even when you are riding in the day. But they are not as bright as the high-outputs lights.
These safety lights are available with different mounting options. The number of LEDs and battery capacity also creates differences between the models.
You will need the backup lights when the leading lights stop working during riding. They are not overpowering like the main lights, but they have a higher battery life because of their smaller size. They do not take much space, so you can easily attach them to your bike for emergency purposes.
Day flash is mainly used for better side visibility. You can use these lights either in the dark or in the daytime. They are handy to overcome any kind of distraction, like light and noise when you are on a busy road. You can choose particular lumens and pulse patterns to be visible from more than a kilometer.
Most of the mountain bike lights run on a lithium-ion battery, which is rechargeable. You will find some self-contained lights where some others come up with a battery pack separately.
Lights that are entirely self-contained have some larger cables and large battery packs. Naturally, they are more significant in size and more substantial than others.
On the other hand, lights having battery packs contain two parts - one is the head, and the other is the battery. In this case, you need to find a place where you can safely keep the power pack. You can put it on the bike or in your backpack.
It is nothing new to know that the capacity of the batteries degrades with time. You will be able to upgrade or replace the external packs, and you can choose the capacity according to your requirements.
The brightness of the lights is measured by Lumens. And it is quite similar to the horsepower rating of an engine.
For a mountain bike, at least 700 lumens are required for riding safely in a dark road provided the bike is at a speed of 20 mph. When it comes to road riders, around 400 lumens will be enough because the surroundings are lit well.
The beam patterns also have an impact on the lumens. For example, a car headlight can spread the beam more effectively over a wider area than the laser.
So, it will always be better to choose a more prominent beam pattern to make sure you can see a more substantial area down your trail, and it brightens up the side areas as well.
The lumens' measurement is done depending on the battery charge and LED power in an ideal condition. But in reality, the thermal roll back and circuitry create some limitations for the lights, minimizing the brightness of the lights.
Typically, the MTB lights are designed with around 1500 lumens, but for a bar and helmet lighting system, nearly 1000 lumens work sufficiently by the riding speed.
MTB lights are designed with two types of mounting systems.
Bar-mounted lighting systems are renowned for maximum lumens capable of flooding a wider beam down your trail.
Generally, these lights are mounted below the eye line that works effectively to create a shadow. You can identify the rocks, roots, or rollers in your path.
For the helmet-mounted system, the light works quite differently. The lights brighten up the area you are looking for to look around the corners and over the rocks.
These lights are equipped with a tighter beam than the bar-mounted lights. These lights can work efficiently without getting power from the sun. Also, they can cover all those areas that the bars will not point to while riding.
So, you must choose this feature carefully for a safe journey in the dark.
Besides lumens, you should also pay attention to the beam shape when you are about to choose the MTB lights.
Although the beam shape is overlooked, you should know that beam shape is incredibly crucial for the lights.
There are many dark spots that may distract you on a busy road. Therefore, you will need a smoother transition from the spotlight to flood to ensure better visibility of the trails.
A narrow and spotlight beam can be the right choice for riders who enjoy high-speed riding. You can also choose it for a trail that is not curvy.
On the contrary, if you are riding on a track having challenging twists and turns, you should go for a broader and brighter beam.
It is up to you which beam shape suits your riding style and opt for it accordingly.
It is crucial to have a mountain bike light that can last for a long time. Otherwise, there will be no point in having such lights on your bike.
With a view to that, you should consider some factors to get a higher battery life of the lights. You must consider the period of your riding and the speed so that you can choose the battery life without any confusion.
It would be best if you kept in mind that the cold temperature can affect the batteries. Thus, the batteries will have a lower run time. People living in a colder area where the temperatures tend to reduce at night should opt for a bigger battery.
Besides, you must check the battery indicators to have an accurate idea of the remaining juice of the light. Some lights are designed with orange, red, or green indicators, where some other models show the remaining percent or time.
Riders are more likely to mount the headlights onto the handlebars. You have the option to mount the lights onto the helmets as well. However, you should consider both styles if you are planning to ride on a trail at night.
Helmet-mounted lighting systems have a wide beam that depends on the movement of your heads.
Therefore, it will be essential to have a helmet-mounted light for more versatility when you use one light.
Rear lights are essential for the riders to increase their safety. So, you are allowed to mount the rear safety lights onto the pack or pocket.
The MTB lights can be mounted on the seat post, too. Some riders prefer them to mount the lights on the back of the bike racks.
You will find the side safety lights mounted on either frame or spokes. If you choose side-mounted lights, you will have better visibility because you can show the wheels when they are in motion.
If you choose high output lights, it will be wise to look for the battery packs. You can easily find some packs which are smaller in size and lighter in weight.
Also, you can remove the lights and take them with you when it comes to leaving the bike. It is mainly possible because the battery and the lights are packed as a single unit.
You must check the waterproofing rating of the MTB lights before making your purchase to avoid severe short circuits.
There are some high-quality lights available with a higher rating so that you can rely on them without any doubts.
Some manufacturers have made a lot of effort to achieve a better waterproof rating and achieved the official IPXX rating for internal protection.
The first digit varies from 0 to 6, where 0 is counted as the lowest, and 6 is the highest. It indicates the dust proofing capacity of the lights.
The second digit comes within a range between 0 to 9, where 0 is the lowest, and 9 is the highest. It denotes the waterproof rating.
It is recommended to look for the highest rating to ensure the long-lasting performance of the lights. You can also buy a light having only a dust proof or waterproof rating.
It is needless to mention that a more powerful light will have more weight. Put simply, a light offering more lumens will be bigger in size and heavier in weight.
Without extra power, the light cannot create a shadow while you are riding in the daytime. For more brightness and extended battery life, you will need something more significant.
Usually, bigger lithium-ion batteries come heavier. Also, when selecting a bar-mounted light, you should consider the weight in the first place.
If you are looking for some advanced features so that you can easily use the MTB lights, you can pick up the remote-control feature.
But it is only available with the highest standard models that will cost some extra price. If you are ready to spend a little more, the remote control will definitely make justice to your money.
It makes sure that you do not need to take off your hands from the handlebars while riding on your bike. You will be able to adjust the light remotely without any hassles.
Especially when you are riding on a technical trail, this feature will be convenient for you. So, you can go for the remote control for more safety and ease of use as well.
Lumens are used to measure the output of the mountain bike lights. You should check the output beforehand so that you can get the brightness according to your requirements.
You should always remember while scanning the MTB lights that better light does not always depend on more power. So, having a powerful light does not indicate you will get the brightest light.
Several other factors like beam shape, weather-resistant, and more have a significant role in determining the output of the light.
Moreover, you should check the battery life to ensure that the battery works efficiently for providing some extra juice for the lights when needed. You can go through different reviews to pick up the best light for your mountain bike.
Previously, the bike lights came wired, but now the situation has changed depending on the requirements of the riders.
Nowadays, the head and battery are packed together because of lithium batteries and LEDs.
The best thing about the self-contained MTB lights is that you do not need to fiddle with the large cables and connectors.
Moreover, you can consider the self-contained lights to be used as a powerful camping flashlight. They are handy for your house as well.
However, the self-contained lights do not have a longer run time. You may also get disappointed with the brightness they offer.
As the head and battery are combined as a single unit, it will have a smaller battery size. Thus, the output is not sufficient for more than 2 hours when the lights are full of power.
But they can run up to 6 hours with a better brightness at half power.
Your mountain bike light can have an excellent versatility if you can make a smart choice. The functionality of a bike light is not restricted to the riding purpose only.
It is better to buy a removable MTB light so that it can be detached and used separately when you are not riding your bike.
You can consider the light like a camping flashlight at your campsite. Also, you can use the lights as handheld flashlights as per your convenience.
Self-contained light can be used in your house for extra brightness when your bike is not in use.
Another critical factor that you must search for while buying the mountain bike light is fit. Without having the right fit, it will be challenging to get the advantages of the lights.
You can add the lights to the handlebar, frame, helmet, or anywhere else. But you must make sure that the lights are correctly fitted.
For getting the perfect fit, you can check the diameter so that the light can be mounted tightly.
If your mountain bike is constructed with narrow carbon frames or 35mm-diameter handlebars, you must pay more attention to check the fit before buying.
Generally, everyone checks the battery life of the lights while picking up the mountain bike lights. But one vital thing they overlook is the time taken by the battery for recharging.
If the bike lights run on a rechargeable battery, it will be wise to know the amount of time you need to recharge the battery.
You are always suggested to go for the rechargeable batteries for some apparent reasons.
The rechargeable battery means you do not need to replace them frequently, which will cut down your maintenance cost. Moreover, you can invest this money to get a high-quality battery at a higher price.
LED lamps can be an excellent choice for mountain bike lights. Presently, most of the lights are designed with LED lamps for more brightness.
They are straightforward to turn on and turn off. Also, these can achieve the highest brightness without taking much time after turning on.
They are preferred for extended battery life. As LED lamps produce a little heat, they are appropriate for small and lightweight packages. You can quickly dim the lamps to increase battery power.
You will invest the right amount of money on your MTB lights, so you will expect the lights to work effectively.
It will be extremely disgusting and dangerous if the light stops working or suddenly turns off during your riding.
But these issues are inevitable with cheaper lights. You may have different problems like overheating of the LED drivers, broken solder joints, loose battery connection, etc.
It will help if you look for a reliable model that can withstand vibrations, strong forces, dust, water, temperature change, etc. All these factors have severe impacts on electronics objects.
It will be wise to find out a model that can meet up all your requirements and ensure your safety to the fullest.
Besides reliability, you must check the durability of the MTB lights you are going to buy. The best quality lights are designed with some remarkable features like heavy-duty mounting, durable coatings, etc. The lens used in the lights should be resistant to scratches.
For a durable mounting, you can choose a thicker silicon strap. It is not so expensive but extremely durable. It can deal with the biggest jumps effectively.
Furthermore, you can look for the silicon lens, which is more evident than the highest quality plastics. It is entirely resistant to scratch and UV rays. Also, it is capable of absorbing any significant impact.
It is almost transparent, like a glass lens. However, it is durable enough to be lightweight and waterproof, so they can protect the light in a significant way.
You should check the instruction manual to get all the details about cleaning it rightly. We also recommend that you wipe it with a dry cloth after using it to keep it dirt free.
The apt number of lumens required for a night mountain bike is at least 500 lumens. So, it would help if you always preferred a little higher than this.
You would always prefer a beam that covers the front view clearly. Therefore, you can check for different lights and then opt for the best ones that suit your needs well.
With proper MTB lights, you can enjoy biking in the dark. The light elevates safety and provides a clear view of the road.
Here in this guide, you will get all the necessary information regarding the product that defines the usability and performance of the product. Go through them and sort out an elite product.
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