MTB Buying Guides

Buying Guide: Lights for Mountain Bike Night Riding

Here's what you need to think about when purchasing lights for MTB night riding.

Image copyright Ant Jordan

If you are planning an MTB night ride, then you’ll need to get a set of lights that are up to the job. Most lights designed for commuting use are not bright enough to light up a dark forest trail.

It’s worth thinking about getting two front lights; one that sits on your handlebars and lights up where the bike is headed, and one on your helmet that illuminates where you are looking.

Most modern MTB lights are also designed with an integrated battery, which means lights are less heavy and bulky, and also usually cable free. Some do still come with a separate battery pack, giving you a longer battery life which is good for endurance rides.

These type of lights aren’t cheap, and as a general rule the more you spend the brighter they’ll be and often the longer the battery life. Expect to start in the region of £100, and go up from there, with some of the top of the range lights coming in at £400 or more.

Why use night lights?

  • You’ll be riding in places where there will be no other artificial light, and usually over rough terrain, so having a light bright enough to see where you are going and what obstacles are coming is critical.
  • They often come with a variety of attachments so you can fix them to your bike or your helmet.
  • They are super-bright with a beam that will clearly light up the trail a good distance ahead of you.
  • They’ll have an LED display that will tell you when the battery is getting low.
  • Some come with a spare battery, so you can have a backup in case you are out for longer than intended and your light runs out of juice.

So if you are looking to invest in light nights, here are the most important things you need to consider.

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