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Your Complete Checklist for Mountain Biking Lights

Your Complete Checklist for Mountain Biking Lights

Mountain biking at night

If you’ve never hit the trails at night before, odds are you don’t have the essential mountain biking lights.

Riding a mountain trail at night can be an incredible experience and presents amazing challenges you won’t have the opportunity to face in daylight. But to have a successful night ride, you’ll need some of the best lighting equipment to illuminate the road ahead.

Luckily, Fenix has compiled all of the lighting essentials for a great outdoor adventure. Below, you’ll learn why biking lights are important, what to look for when you’re shopping and examples of our experts’ favorite mountain biking lights.

Importance of Lights for Mountain Biking

It’s no surprise that 80.5% of riders report that their main reason for mountain biking is the adrenaline rush that comes along with the sport. But just like any spike in adrenaline, there’s often some risk associated as well.

Mountain biking at night is never going to be safe without a few reliable devices to provide ample light. That’s why it’s important to learn about which bike lights will keep you safe when you're on the trails.

The brighter your lights are, the better your nighttime ride will be. With proper lighting, you’ll be able to see the road ahead and its obstacles hidden beneath the shadows.

What Makes A Biking Light Great?

Now that you understand why mountain biking lights are important, you can learn about what aspects make up the best kinds of light for your outdoor adventure.

High Output

The best lights for biking at night have high outputs. With high outputs, cyclists can stay safe in environments that are off the beaten path.

Lumens

When it comes to assessing how much light your unit will produce, it’s important to look at lumens.

Lumens (lm) are used to measure the overall “brightness” emitted from a source or total light output perceived by the human eye.

When you’re in need of a great light for mountain biking, you’ll have to determine how many lumens are appropriate for your excursion. Typically, lumens needed per activity are as follows:

- Reading & everyday tasks: 1-300 lumens
- Night walks, runs & camping: 300-900 lumens
- Mechanics & work light: 1000-1300 lumens
- Hunting, law enforcement, military & nighttime sporting activities: 1250-2500 lumens
- Search & rescue: 3000+ lumens

Mountain biking at night falls into the 1250-2500 range due to the amount of ground your technical light will have to cover. You can get away with less, but it’s better to have more lumens than not enough.

One of the best high-output lights is the Fenix BC30 V2.0 Bike Light.

Fenix BC30 V2

This unit has a max output of 2200 lumens and a beam distance of 187 meters. With the BC30 V2.0, you’ll also have access to wireless control and ability to switch between several levels of light output. Rechargeable and water resistant, this bicycle light is sure to provide an outstanding experience.

Beam Pattern

Your light’s beam pattern is just as important as the number of lumens. The beam pattern refers to how the light is dispersed across the trail and will ultimately determine how well you can see.

There are two types of patterns you’ll find in lights: spot and flood. Spot patterns are focused to highlight details right in front of you whereas flood patterns disperse light over a wide area.

Spot vs flood beams

If you have to choose one or the other for mountain biking, flood patterns are best because you’ll have a better sense of what’s around you and what lies ahead. 

Some bike lights, such as Fenix’s BC30R LED Bike Light, feature a dual-distance beam system. This kind of beam provides light both directly in front of you and further down the trail. With a light like this, you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Fenix’s advanced dual-distance bike light beam system is featured on all Fenix bike lights. The BC30R is rechargeable with adjustable output to fit all of your adventure-lighting needs. Equipped with a display screen that shows remaining runtime, this unit has everything you need to have an amazing outdoor experience.

Mountain biking lights

Battery Life

When you’re out on the trail, you’ll want to trust that your light won’t give out on you. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your light for mountain biking has a reliable power source. 

Typically, a rechargeable battery is preferable to a disposable one. Not only will it save you money from re-purchasing batteries, but you’ll also minimize battery waste which is harmful to the environment. 

In addition to using batteries you can trust, it’s always a good idea to bring an extra set on your ride. This way, you’ll be prepared if you run into an emergency, or your battery dies quicker than expected.

Versatility

While high outputs are important for dark environments, lower outputs are usually ideal for urban environments. Instead of buying two different units for all of your bike-light needs, invest in one quality unit that allows you to choose between multiple levels of brightness.

This way, you’ll not only save money on using the same unit, but you’ll also prolong battery life by using a lower brightness level.

Mounting

Since your hands will be occupied, mountain bike lights are always secured in two spots: on your handlebars and helmet.

Handlebars

A light mounted to your handlebars is most important because it provides a stable lighting solution. With a bike mount, your favorite hand-held flashlight is secured to your handlebars with a collar or strap, ensuring a reliable beam centered on the path ahead. 

Our favorite handlebar mount is the Fenix ALB-10 Quick-Release Bike Mount. With this mount, you can enjoy the benefits of both a secured bike light and hand-held flashlight within seconds.

Fenix ALB-10 Quick-Release Handlebar Mount

Utilizing the unique split-type design for quick release, this bike mount can effectively reduce the flashlight mounting steps and the time. Meanwhile, featuring the solidity and wide compatibility of Fenix bike mount, it will ensure your safety during your night riding.

Helmet

Helmet mounts are a great secondary source of light for our outdoor excursion. At Fenix, we know the ALD-08 Bike Light Helmet Holder is the best.

Fenix ALD-08 Bike Light Helmet Holder

The lightweight body of the ALD-08 has a wide design to provide security when placing your bike light on your helmet and thick cushioning to maintain stability while riding. With the ALD-08 Bike Light helmet holder, it’s easy to add an additional lighting source to your cycling setup.

When mounting light onto your helmet, it’s important to pay attention to weight. If your light is too heavy, you’ll have to keep adjusting your helmet, ultimately taking away from your experience.

Before committing to your light source, make sure it’s lightweight so you can get the most out of your nighttime bike ride.

Durability

Regardless of what kind of path you’re riding, you should be able to trust that your bike light is one that can handle different environments and last a long time.

When you’re shopping for a light for mountain biking, look for units that are made of durable materials such as aluminum alloy.

Not only will these kinds of lights be lightweight, but they are specifically designed to withstand harsh conditions.

Start Your Excursion Today!

Now that you’ve learned how mountain biking lights can keep you safe on your outdoor adventure, you’re almost ready to hit the trails.

Let Fenix provide your ultimate lighting units for mountain biking and visit fenix-store.com to choose the biking equipment that’s best for you!

Your Complete Checklist for Mountain Biking Lights
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