Mountain bike bar light group test
Having too many lights to review may sound like an odd problem to have for someone that runs a blog primarily about lights. But that was very much the problem we had this year. I guess it’s a sign of two things, the first that we’re gaining traction (or light companies are finally giving in to my pestering) or secondly that there’s simply a huge amount of choice out there now. It’s very much true that we are spoiled for choice these days with lights brighter than ever and across all price categories and designs. We’ve cut the wheat from the chaff and taken a look at 4 of our favorite mountain bike bar lights from this season's batch.
Serfas Elume 1100
Price £77.99Hi Output / Runtime: 1100Lumen / 1.5 hour
Rechargeable via micro USB
Like: Cable free, value for money
Dislike: Not much to dislike it’s a good allrounder for road and off road.
It’s clear if you’ve seen my previous reviews of other Serfas lights that I like them a lot. I’m not really sure how they manage to cut through the BS and produce a simple, easy to use light that offers not only good value but a good price and build quality all backed up with a life time warranty (excluding batteries) It’s truly remarkable. The Elume 1100 Lumens fill the trail adequately and the lack of cables is a real plus. Although the runtime is limited compared to the other lights on test that have larger battery packs. Mounting is easy with a tool-less cam based mount that satisfyingly snaps into place and the light can quickly be switched between bikes. All in all the Elume is a nice light for the money, that’s as happy on the trail as it is on the road.
Hi Output / Runtime: 2400Lumens / 2 hour
Like: Value for money, Clean mount
Dislike: Poorly executed remote switch
Magicshines M2 was the only light that required an Allen key to attach the mount. But once fitted the mount is small compact and discrete. The M2 has 2 rows of LEDs, one row provides a wide flood beam pattern whilst the other row emits a punchier spot beam and both rows can be easily controlled separately. Which is a nice touch and allows you to dip your beam for oncoming traffic or to extend runtimes. The four-cell hard cased battery pack fits securely with silicone straps. But if you were hoping to use your old Magicshine battery with this light as a spare, you'll have no chance as Magicshine in their infinite wisdom have decided to change their battery connectors. We also found that the wireless remote although useful had a tendency to wander around the bar as you tried to hammer in a button press. With these issues aside the magic shine is still a very capable and bright light and a bargain for the £87.97 asking price. Which is why we’ve given it our Bargain buy award
Price £284.95 Remote switch optional
Hi Output / Runtime: 3000Lumens / 2 hour. (3500Lumen smart boost with 3min step down)
Like: Bombproof design and wide yet punch beam
Dislike: Clunky remote switch
This was my top light from last year, it stood out because of its solid build and simple yet smart features. The light just feels like it could last a life time, which is great news considering its £284.95 asking price. New for this year is an optional gopro mount which really helps increase and simplify your mounting options and the remote switch (price TBA). The beam pattern fills the trail with a wide yet still punchy beam pattern that makes the explorer great mounted to your lid or the handle bars. The standard clam shell QR mount is again simple and easy to mount to the bars and the battery mounts to the frame with two Velcro straps. But the stand out feature with this light only becomes apparent when you team it up with a second lumicycle light and remote switch. Once paired together both lights can be controlled in unison. Which means you can instantly get a huge amount of light from a simple press of a button. If it wasn’t for the clunky remote switch this could have been a group test winner.
Hi Output / Runtime: 4000 Lumens / 2 hour
Like: Low profile design, awesome remote switch, Huge output
Dislike: It’s pretty much perfect.
Now let’s move on to the Gemini-Titan, Wow what a light. One tester (Paul) when asked which one he would claim the test winner said, “this one the rest are utter sh*t” I could stop the review there but I should probably elaborate a little. It Seems that the Titan just out classed all the other lights on test. Which helps justify the £289.99 price tag. The 4000 Lumens from the 6 LEDs put out a slightly rectangular beam pattern that floods the trail ahead with light. We found the light bar style design sat very discretely on the bars and was easy to mount with the provided O-rings. We also liked how easy it was to mount the “Toblerone” shaped battery pack. Then there’s the simple and compact remote switch that lets you flash the light should you need to or change modes. Because of the switches compactness, we found that it was easy to put it right where your thumb could easily find it.
All in all a very well executed light that is well deserving of our dialled in award.