We’ve ridden the Gloworm Lights X2 mountain bike light for a full winter – time to check in on how the Kiwi underdog is getting on.
What’s your vibe on mountain bike night riding? Some riders absolutely bloody hate it, swearing blind it combines only the worst elements of mountain biking.
Personally, I have a complicated love and hate affair with the night ride. In the deepest winter, it’s a miserable, cold, muddy-bummed drag. In the Spring and Autumn when the weather is bearable and the trails are sweet it’s a genuine delight. There’s a undeniable sense of bad-assery at getting out and pillaging the trails when the softcore are tucked up on their sofa watching Netflix. The Gloworm X2 mountain bike light has helped achieve that smug satisfaction.
Regardless of the season, the night ride is your way to ride in those hours when work, available daylight or the kids force you to be elsewhere.
Gloworm X2 mountain bike light
- 1700 lumen
- 3 hours burn time
- Comes with wireless remote
- Use programmable settings
For most of the last 6 months I’ve been riding the Gloworm X2 mountain bike light. I’ve tested it on and off-road with plenty of late night mountain bike rides and hacks home from the pub.
The X2 is a 1700 lumens light that can be handlebar or helmet mounted. In my case, I’ve run it on my helmet via a GoPro mount, supported by a USE Exposure Race Mk12 on the bars.
The Gloworm X2 is a ‘light on a string’ style set up with a head unit, cable and separate battery. It also has the option of a bar-mounted remote to switch it on and off and cycle modes. The head unit weighs just 89 grams and the total weight including battery is 370g (a bit less than a can of coke).
The head unit is CNC machined from a solid piece of aluminium and is built with two Cree U2 XM-L2 LED’s. The battery is a 6.8 AHr Lithium Ion Battery with a capacity indicator on the side and will last you about 3 hours on max brightness.
For the most part, I’ve had a really good experience of the Gloworm X2. The build quality of the head unit is excellent and at just 89 grams (a mars bar is 60g, don’t you know) it’s very comfortable when helmet mounted. Using a GoPro mount, it’s very easy to fit and adjust and can be removed without faff. The low-weight means you probably won’t even notice it’s up there.
Adjusting settings is easy with a big, easy to find button on the back of the head unit. I tend to conserve battery life by flicking between modes on the trail, which is a doddle when riding along. There’s also a wireless remote to alloy much easier change of settings on the fly.
I’ve never run out of battery life so far and the Gloworm regularly outlasts other lights in our group.
Punting out 1700 lumens, the X2 is bright, powerful and with a pleasingly wide beam. If you ride in a group with plenty of lights you won’t have any trouble seeing where you’re going. If you’re riding solo you should still have plenty to guide your way, for all but the techiest of trails. Combined with a decently bright bar light you’ll never feel under-gunned.
Any down-sides to the Gloworm X2 come from the light’s design, rather than any technical failings.
By running a separate battery you’ll always need to find a means of carrying said battery. That means a back pack, bum bag, stuffing it down your shorts or putting it in a pit-zip pocket of your jacket.
If you don’t mind transporting a battery, the X2 offers plenty of power and a long battery life. There are lots of lights with integrated batteries though finding one with a guaranteed 3 hours at maximum power and 1700 lumens is tough.
If I’m being really fussy, it would also be great to have a USB charge option for the X2. The battery indicator is also a bit of a pain and is difficult to interpret. But, that’s being really fussy. Neither of those have stopped me riding or enjoying using the light.
What do we think?
The Gloworm X2 is a powerful light with a long battery life that’s more than bright enough for proper, technical mountain bike riding. It’s comfortable to wear on your head and the battery isn’t particularly heavy.
I’d love to find an alternative to the X2 that doesn’t require a separate battery… but so far, I don’t think it exists with the same power and battery life. If you need a long burn time, plenty of power and don’t mind carrying a battery then it’s a great investment.
At £225 it’s also very competitively priced compared to lights from other brands.
Parting thought. Are you busy, running around after the kids, work long days? Don’t restrict your night riding to the winter. Grab a ligh like this one and add some night rides to your week, whatever the season. Night riding is the secret to riding more. And that’s what we all want to do right?
- Light weight and very neat and tidy head unit
- Easy to use on the fly
- Big and bright beam for technical riding
- Long battery life means no stress on the trails
- Wireless remote
Could do better:
- Separate battery won’t suit everyone
- Battery indicator is a little hard to read
- No USB charge option