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EMBN’s Guide To Bike Lights And Night Riding

EMBN’s Guide To Bike Lights And Night Riding


(leaves rustling) (skidding – Whoa, there’s nothing better than hitting your local woods for a spot of night riding on your e-bike. Actually turns your regular trails into a totally different world. There’s lots of options out
there when it comes to lights. So today’s video: taking a look at all those different light options to help you guys get the
most from your night riding. (machines beeping and whirring) (hypnotic music) Night riding on your e-mountain
bike is simply amazing. It can turn those trails
that you ride regularly, you might have ridden
that trail 100 times, but I can assure you if you
hit that trail at night, it’s going to be a
totally different place. You’re kind of going around in
the silentness of the night. You’re in your own little light bubble. You might be riding with some mates. It is an absolute blast to do. So get out there and hit the trails. (entrancing music) The type of riding and where you ride is definitely going to dictate what style of lights
on your bike you need, but the big question you
need to ask yourself: Do you need to see or be seen? As a bare minimum, you’re going to need a front and a rear light, especially if you’re riding on the road. Now, if you’re riding in a lit area, such as a urban environment, then you’re going to get away with this cheap, LED,
commuter-style light. And combine that with a rear light, you definitely going to be seen. But if you need to see in
those off-road situations in the middle of nowhere where there’s no streetlights whatsoever, then you’re going to need a big
helmet or bar-mounted light, which needs to be a
minimum of 1,000 lumens. Then, of course, there
is a new age of e-bikes that have lights already built into them, integrated into that build
fresh from the factory, from the likes of Haibike with the FLYON or Bianchi, great bikes. They all have in-built headlights. Now, the great thing
about these bikes is that the light is actually powered
by the onboard battery, meaning there isn’t much chance of the battery actually
going flat on your light. Also, you got no flailing
cables and a really sleek look. (airy music) Light power is measured in lumens. A candle is around 13 lumens. The cheaper, LED, commuter-style lights can be around 200 to 500 lumens. I think if you’re hitting off-road trails, then you need to be above
1,000 lumens ideally. To give you a rough idea of power, a car headlight is 700 lumens on low beam and 1,200 on high beam. So bear that in mind when it comes to choosing your light’s power. (airy, hypnotic music) There are two options when it comes to mounting your front lights. You can run a bar-mounted light, which you put on your handlebars, or you can stick one on your helmet. Now I think if you’re
just going to be riding on tame, off-road trails,
or, obviously on the road, you can get away with a bar-mounted light, but the moment you head off-road into the proper darkness,
into technical terrain, then I think a helmet-mounted light is going to work wonders. If you combine the two, that is definitely going to be the best of both worlds. The great thing about
a helmet-mounted light is it allows you to spot lines and allows you to look around corners before your handlebars get there but also things like steep drop-offs. If you go into that with
a helmet-mounted light, you can look down the
bank and spot a line. With a bar-mounted light,
it’s projected forwards, and there’s going to be a black
spot, a dark spot, suddenly as you drop into there, waiting for that light to play catch-up. A helmet-mounted light
is also really handy for those mechanicals and to
look around you in the woods if you hear an odd noise, but you can get away with either. I suggest you head out to the woods and try your helmet-mounted
light or a bar-mounted light or try both, see what works for you. (ethereal music) Your cheapest option for a front light is going to be these
basic start LED units. Now, these are to be seen
with, not to see with. They’re not that much good
in a off-road situation, but, on the road, they are great. They’re also great to
stick in your backpack to get you out of trouble if
your main lights were to fail. Now, your next step up is going to be these internal,
battery-style kind of lights. These are great, again, to be seen with. Some of the higher-powered options can actually be great off-road, too. Some of these units can be up
to 1,600 lumens plus as well, so they’re good price point, but some of the mounts tend
to be a little bit more flimsy for those really hardcore
off-road enthusiasts. External battery lights like these ones, this sort of thing you’re going
to find on eBay and Amazon. They come in at really good prices, and they do provide a lot of power and a lot of lumens
for not a lot of money. Now, we have heard horror stories about these things setting on fire in the middle of night
when they’re on charge, but I’ve also heard really good things about these lights providing
years and years of service. So you definitely come
in at a good price point. It’s something you
definitely want to consider if you are hitting those
trails just a few times. The ultimate bar-mounted light, then, something like this Exposure Six Pack, is something you
definitely want to look at. It has literally thousands
of lumens packed into it. It’s an all-in-one package
with a in-built battery so you got no flailing wires. It’s also really intelligent light. It’s got such things
an accelerometer in it, meaning, that when
you’re trundling uphill, the light power’s going to dim, but when you start going
fast down the hill, it knows that, so it’s going
to increase in brightness, too. Loads of fancy features and something that will last years and
years of night riding. (calming electronic music) There is, of course,
e-bike-specific lights that you can wire into
your bike’s battery, and via the head unit on the bike, you can display all that
details of the light. You can toggle the power by
the settings on the light, too. So really good options
and a real sleek way of having a light combined
into that bike’s battery, meaning you’re never going to run out of battery on a ride, too. (entrancing music) Helmet-mounted lights also come in a couple of different options, too. You got the external battery lights, meaning you can stick that
battery pack in your backpack and stick that light on your helmet, meaning that you got a wire going from your backpack to
your helmet at all times, but they can offer big, big burn times with those bigger battery packs. Really good option, too. Sometimes, the mounts
might be a bit flimsy, too. But another option is going to be the internal battery-style light like I’ve got on my helmet here. Now, these have an in-built battery. They’re a lot more lightweight, and they offer the ultimate
when you combine that with a bar-mounted light for that ultimate night riding package. (electronic music) If you are riding any
road sections whatsoever, you are going to need a rear light, too. It’s super-important to get
you seen out there on the road. Now, lots of different options
for mounting this as well. You can get some options that
wrap around the seat posts. You can get some options that are magnetic that can stick to your
clothing or your riding pack. I tend to prefer the latter one because it means that that
light isn’t going to be susceptible to all the mud and water flicking off the rear tire, making it really hard to see. If you got one mounted on
the back of your jacket, on your helmet, it’s out of harm’s way. Just be sure to remove those lights if you are riding them off-road because they tend to rattle or come loose, or, as I mentioned earlier,
get covered in mud, meaning they’re not
going to be a lot of use when it comes hitting
the road on the way home. So there you go. I really hope you’ve
enjoyed tonight’s video, all about lights and the different options and the different way you can mount them, but we want to hear from you guys. How do you go night riding? Do you use a helmet-mounted light, or do you use a bar-mounted
light, or do you use both? Get involved. Hit the comments down below. If you want to stick around
to check out another video, check out the commute video down here. Give us thumbs up if you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to smash a globe in the middle of the screen
to subscribe to EMBN. I’m off for a night session, let’s go.

58 comments on “EMBN’s Guide To Bike Lights And Night Riding

  1. i'm not sure if i would even have the balls to ride at night. But it doesn't matter anyway considering the trails are closed before it even gets dark.

  2. I might add..cover your lights with your hand or turn them off if you meet a person night walking on the trail.
    A pack of 500 lumen lights can leave someone night blinded for 10 mins.

  3. dark early morning e-commuter . the rear light is just as if not more important than the head light on roads . i wear hi-vis reflective vest , 1 rear flashing ,1 rear steady red light , 1 head light. Been Seen Folks 💚🚲

  4. Solar storm X2 from eBay , going strong after 3 years , all for 20 quid ( when I bought it) now around 13 to 16 quid …. one on helmet one on bars , cracking light

  5. I know not everyone has a shed or something to charge in, but if you do have a place away from the house to charge and don't, well then my friend you are silly, never charge indoors if you can avoid it. I haven't had any fires… Yet, but at least if i do it'll be the shed and not me on fire.

  6. Bar light and helmet light. 2500 lumen on the bar 1350 on my helmet both with external batteries. I also take a 1500 lumen back up light as well.

  7. ok guys, tell me now please what kind of helmet light i should get and what kind of bike bar mounted light i should get, i wanna hit my local bike park at night

  8. I absolutely love you guys! And my most favorite saying is: "hit those trails" – which I actually do quite often 😁. You keep me motivated and updated with lots of interesting things. Your creativity is awesome! Keep on going! 👍

  9. Love it, but badger swerving, bouncing two bats off my lid and multiple rabbit and deer near misses it can be carnage!

  10. I am even afraid of riding my local trails at daylight at this time of the year. Winter and alps on slippery and steep trails are a pretty frightening combination, even with proper downhill tires:-D

    Not even thinking of riding them at night:-D

  11. Have been enjoying night rides, using a Cateye Volt 1700 on the bar and Exposure Joystick on my lid… Great way to get out on the bike mid week.

  12. The other day I got stuck at the edge of darkness riding down a steep trail to make it home. It was a bit of a panic ride. So, just today, before knowing this video had been published, I mounted a wired-in light on my Moustache Trail 8 ebike. Luckily I did not have to drop the motor to do so, but on some unfortunately it has to be done(not a big deal, just a small hassle). I like the idea of a helmet mounted light, and I wish Chris you had added a link to the one that you have mounted on your helmet…looks like just the ticket. Let the search begin…

  13. Guys, if you could make buy guide for E-bikes would be great. I bought a new Cube withe the Bosch 4Gen but i don't know the best option.

  14. Come to Arizona, go night riding by yourself out in Mountain Lion country, you will be lucky to get a mile in before strange "sounds" have you turning tail for home. Never again!

  15. Love night riding! Used a variety of cheap eBay lights for years, replaced the batteries a couple times, overall good experience for minimal $$.

    These days I'm using Gloworm lights out of NZ and they're fantastic, complete with remote and customisable output, easy setup, super bright – can't think I'll be looking anywhere else in future.

  16. I've ridden at night for 5yrs. You really only need a good handlebar light, with a remote external battery to keep the weight of the battery off the bars, like these below. Multiple LED headlights, from 3 to 5 LED with the CREE T6 LED is essential. Any more than 5 LEDs and the battery wears out too quick, and the added light isn't needed. Helmet lights aren't needed for riding with this bright headlight, it's more light than a car puts out, literally turns night into day. Helmet lights are good for working on a broken bike at night, so having something on the helmet for emergency work to the bike is a good idea, and as a backup to the headlight, but don't bother using it while riding, as your backup may have a worn out battery when you need it the most. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074PXQM7Z/?coliid=I10965OFHWW4EF&colid=28RDZTYBAU8BY&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it or this one https://www.amazon.com/Skycoolwin-Headlight-Headlamp-Waterproof-Flashlight/dp/B00XHFUBN6/ref=sr_1_129?dchild=1&keywords=LED+bicycle+light+Cree+T6&qid=1574140497&s=hi&sr=1-129

  17. I run the Exposure lights, they are incredible, bullet proof quality and extremely bright. They are rather spendy but are a lifetime investment, and if you're serious about hitting the trails after dark I can't recommend them enough, you can ride exactly as you would if it was broad daylight. Even if you just get the Six Pack for the bar and something cheaper for the helmet.

  18. Just to make point that choosing lights brighter than a cars dipped beam and using them on the public road 'on the way home' puts everyone involved at serious risk. Worse what tends to happen in my area (New Forest) is large groups of mountain bikers each with thousand lumin plus light pointing straight at oncoming traffic. The result is total blindness for anyone coming the other way. Solution… Manually point your lights down when on road as a min. Preferably don't use light that would be illegal for any other road user on the road. Do we really need to see 1/2 mile in front of us when doing 15mph on the road? It's an increasing problem in the mtb community and it's a shame these guys didn't highlight it.

  19. As an electrician you need to know

    Many manufactors promise a much higher amount of lumen than the product delivers.
    Look for Lumens not the amount of Watts
    Lumens measure total amount of light output
    Lux measure light intensity
    Lumens does not equal perceived light quality

  20. The same trail you’ve ridden 100 times is completely different at Night great fun especially during summer when the days are hot you ride in the cool at night

  21. I feel that you forgot to say that a helmet mounted light could very well increase your chance of injury if you have the sort of accident that involves a head impact. A light could well cause the helmet to shatter or cause some sort of severe rotational injury. Some mounts are probably better than others at Breaking away in an impact (like the Smith Forefront mount) but with many who knows how they are designed – It's never mentioned. I chose not to wear a helmet light for these reasons and you should at least consider the increased risk before you do.

  22. I buy cheap Chinese Cree from eBay approx £20 then throw the shitty battery pack away, add some nice rc connections "deans/xt60/and a nice 2s or 3s lipo for that SUPER NOVA bright light, NEVER failed or let me down, you get a good few hours with a 5000mah lipo.

  23. Nust heads up for Yamaha motor eMTBs, the featured L&M Seca 1800 will only work on portion of the power (900 lumens), and using the built-in switch on handlebar does not work well. I can make it work with an inline connector (DC power cable extension), where I activate the light with the button on the bar first, then connect to the inline second. This works 100%, but not as neat as I wanted. Still, it's about £100 ish for direct connection light. Non-Yamaha bikes with more amps supply would work no problem.

  24. Actually my experience is that lumens are overrated. I have a fixed 235 lm light (Supernova v521s) on my eBike and that's enough for riding in the woods. Especially when you have a decent helmet light also. Which shouldn't be too much more powerfule than the fixed light, or you lose shadows.

    More lumens means that the off-light areas will be darker.

  25. Hi Chris. Usual well produced video but why can’t you guys give us more price points on the items you demo or pick price ranges to help us out here on a budget. Could you also do an updated mudguard video especially this time of year as I’m sure there are more available for plus size tyres. I’m trying to get something not stupidly oversized to give a little butt protection but more to protect the rear suspension, frame and dropper post. 😎

  26. I'm all for paying a bit of money for quality stuff, but £435 for that Exposure Sixpack Mk10, come on! It must have some pretty hi-tech hardware in it with that kind of price, and it better be atom bomb proof. A buddy of mine has used a 40€, five led, external battery light from Aliexpress for a few years now. It's really bright and has endured mud, snow, freezing temperatures. So what's so special about that Exposure for example?

    I have a handlebar mounted Blackburn Dayblazer 800, and a cheap Aliexpress light strapped to my helmet. I've been happy with those so far.

  27. I have the 1600 lumen light from Bike hut (Halfords), £50 does the trick, used regularly on trails, I don’t think you need to spend much more than that. But that’s my opinion.

  28. Nearly all these lights claimed "LUMENS" are utter TOSH. You'll be hard pushed to get a light that is actually near 1000 lumens. Most claim "600 lumens and 30,000 lumens on full". Its all a load of gobbledey goop and you should see the light and try some to get a good idea. Cat eye are close with their lumens and I'm surprised that they didn't so a sponsorship.

  29. "If you hear an odd noise" Peeps in BC be like: Sasquatch is gonna bum me…

    Actually, I have the 1600L bike hut one you showed in the vid and it's awesome. I spent a month cycling to work through the wicklow mountains at 5 in the morning, and it lit everything up like a Christmas tree. I found it quite nice being in that bubble of light with the silence around me and the stars above me, but it actually freaks people out, that you might enjoy it.

    I don't think I'd want to be on my own off road though… Definitely sounds better with a club

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