Words and photos: Andy Lloyd
Bike Magic editor James McKnight first tested an earlier version of these bike lights last year, but now the Kiwi outfit has pumped up the Lumens to 1500 and made an already excellent package even better.
The light comes with fittings for both handlebar and helmet and fits snuggly on either with logical, self-explanatory attachments. My preference has always been for a helmet mount as generally where your head is pointing is the way you are going – which isn’t always the case with your handlebars. Having said that I used these solely on the handlebar for one night ride and was not disappointed with the light coverage despite all the cornering and jumping.
The mount is via a simple ‘powerband’ (not sure what the manufacturer calls it but it is a strong rubber band), which keeps the very light and inconspicuous unit tightly where it should be, with the remote unit for controlling it attached via a neat Velcro pad attachment which sits wherever you need it – in my case on the top tube directly behind the stem. The battery with its handy power indicator is slung under the top tube with a Velcro strap. Its 2.5 hour claimed full power run time is an underestimate in my opinion as I used them on numerous occasions without a recharge.
When the light is mounted on the helmet it cannot be faulted. The X2 throws a clean, broad spread of light with there being no real need for a supplementary unit on the handlebar. I used the X2 in horrifically rainy, muddy conditions which simply have no effect on it – there is even a waterproof test video by Gloworm to prove its worth.
The different programme settings for the X2 is one area that frustrated me a tad. If you read the instructions there seem to be a fair few different programmes all reached through differing length presses on the remote, which confused the hell out of my simple mind and thus I only used it on the ‘Trail’ setting (as will most mountain bikers).
For an even more thorough test I have brought the X2 out to the Alps from where I currently type these very words: I have even been using it for a spot of night ski touring. Not only can it cope with the sub-zero temperatures of night time at 2500 metres up a mountain but it also recently provided the best night skiing experience I have ever had by basically allowing me to go as flat-out on the descents as I do during daylight hours.
A well-constructed and robust light that provides a clean throw of light. The settings are slightly confusing but all in all it’s a good option if you are after a lightweight unit.
More information: Gloworm X2 lights