How To Choose the Best MTB Bike Light

by Andrei Ureche December 07, 2019

How To Choose the Best MTB Bike Light

If you're up for a good thrill, then mountain biking is the perfect activity for you. There's nothing that beats riding in the dark, especially when you're doing it in the woods. You get to experience the beauty of your surroundings that you rarely see during the day.

But riding in the woods comes with its unique obstacles. You need to have a high-powered bike light to help you see the trail. Without it, you'll be riding blindly in the dark, with barely anything to see. But given these challenges, why do most people still prefer doing it?

Why people are obsessed with mountain biking

People who are in for an excellent heart-pumping activity are now getting obsessed with mountain biking. But why is it getting so much attention these days?

If you're fond of the outdoors, then mountain biking is the ultimate thrill. Not only do you get to experience the views outside, but you get to burn fats at the same time. It's an excellent aerobic workout that doesn't put much impact on your knees and other joints.

Aside from helping you get physically fit, it also helps you mentally prepare yourself. That's because you tend to stay focused when you're mountain biking. Unlike doing it during the daytime, you only get to focus on the things that your bike light shines at, which can be helpful, especially since you don't get to feel overwhelmed by how far or difficult the route may be. Riding at night can help you overcome your doubts about yourself and even help you take your mind off things that stress you.

Another great thing about mountain biking is that it's a perfect activity for groups. There are so many cycling communities and even bike shops that offer group rides if you want to join one. Joining in any of these activities can also allow you to get constructive feedback to develop your skills.

All your outdoor activities can be so much more fun when you have the right equipment with you— and that includes having the right set of bike lights. Remember that riding in the woods means that you'll be facing some steep terrains now and then. So, ensuring that you have the proper equipment to help you with your visibility, as well as illuminate the route, can help protect you from any accidents.

Mountain biking requires intense focus. You need to see every part of the road clearly to make your ride safer and enjoyable at the same time. But how do you know what bike lights to choose?

Selecting between helmet or handlebar lights

If you're looking to buy bike lights for mountain night riding, you first need to understand the different types of light suited for extreme rides.

A helmet-mounted light goes at the top portion of your helmet while a handlebar-mounted light goes to the center of your joints and handlebars where the bars point. Both bike lights can extensively add to a cyclist's visibility as well as his ability to see the road.

Still wondering which one to choose? Go for both. Having both bike lights can help give you the right level of trail illumination that you need.

Although it's not a trail-riding necessity, having a rear light can also give you 360-degree protection no matter what the landscape will be. These bike lights are a lot smaller and affordable but still does the trick in boosting your visibility when riding on any road section.

Choosing the right level of brightness

Mountain biking exposes you to all kinds of landscapes, not to mention the weather. So, you need to invest in a decent set of lights to help get you through the entire day with zero accidents.

One of the most crucial components that you must check is its brightness. If you're riding in flat terrain, you can always make do with 550+ Lumens to get the right support. It's also best to get a bike light that has specially engineered optics designed for daytime and night-time running.

But how you distribute the light is also crucial. That's why it's always great to have two lights on. It's true, especially when you're riding in a forest or any landscapes with a lot of shadowy areas. Having distributed light can help you spot turns and even look over obstacles with ease. Also, having a helmet light that's less powerful compared to your other lights can still add some help. That's because less powerful lights tend to be smaller and lighter in weight, which makes it much comfortable to use, especially when it’s on your helmet.

When it comes to putting light onto your trail, the size and shape of the light beam are crucial. Bar lights need to have a flood beam that spreads the light out right in front of you. Thus, making your trail look a lot more visible. Meanwhile, head-mounted lights help create a spot beam to have a clearer perspective of an area.

Understanding the battery as its power source

 The battery is an essential part of any device, including your bike lights. After all, it wouldn't run at all if it doesn't have the power.

If you're looking for the best bike lights that'll last for the entire trip, you need to choose the one that has a replaceable battery. Most lights nowadays come with its dedicated charger, which makes it easier for cyclists to juice up their device no matter where they are, as long as they have access to a USB port device. You need to choose the tool that has a low power consumption feature so that it can withstand several hours of use.

The fuel gauge is also crucial to your ride, especially if you're planning to use it for several hours. You need to choose the one that has a low power indicator to let you know if it's already running out of juice.

Learning more about waterproof ratings

Since you'll get exposed to various elements outdoors, it's a must to use bike lights that have waterproofing features to ensure that it'll last for the entire ride. While most light manufacturers these days are now releasing products that aim to reduce any instances of short circuits, it's still best to check its waterproof rating. 

The waterproof grade refers to the International Protection rating awarded by the official IPXX to determine the dust rating as well as the waterproof rating of any device. The first digit ranges from 0 to 6, with 0 being the lowest and 6 as the highest. It denotes how tolerant a device is against dust particles. Meanwhile, the second digit refers to the waterproof rating. It ranges from 0 to 9 with 0 as the lowest and 9 as the highest. Some products nowadays have a waterproof grade of IP65, which makes it quite reliable under any condition. 

Mountain biking is an excellent way to challenge yourself. You might even be surprised at how quickly you can gain confidence after a few tries. So, try to practice regularly and enjoy the flow. Let the gravity guide you as you go down the terrains and let yourself flow through each obstacle effortlessly. But as you do that, remember to stay safe. Ensure that all your gears are in proper condition, especially your bike lights. Having a pair can ensure that you can traverse through any landscape with comfort and ease.

Andrei Ureche
Andrei Ureche

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