Changing the night riding game: Inexpensive Chinese Lights
I’m relatively new to the mountain biking scene, only seriously riding bikes for 3 years. I therefore don’t know how it was in the “olden days”, but even 3 years ago, night riding meant buying a $400 light and riding slower than normal for 1.5 hours before the battery went out. Now with the abundance of inexpensive Chinese lights, night riding is a lot more approachable and so many more people can enjoy riding their mountain bike during the short days of fall/winter.
Our riding group was a mix of old and new lights, but recently one of the guys bought a $130 light from Amazon (Lumintrek 1600). Having had two of the “900 Lumen” Magicshine 808 series lights, I thought “meh, it’s not going to be better than my 2 light setup.” Boy was I wrong. It really is a game changer. The beam pattern and pure power of the Lumintrek 1600 light is way better than my Magicshine, and was leaps and bounds better than the older lights the rest of the guys were on. It’s not a total spot beam like the Magicshine, and it’s also not a flood. It seems to be a perfect blend of the two, to where it lights up quite a lot of the trail in front of you, but also let’s you really light up the area you are focused on. The one light is enough to where I can just throw a light on my helmet and don’t need a secondary bar light. Also the battery lasts a full 2.5 hours at high, so you get a great ride in after work. Needless to say, a couple of weeks later, we are all riding with the Lumintrek lights and all the older lights have been retired or sold off.
Luminktrek 1600 on the trail. 1/15s camera shutter so a great representation of what it actually looks like
It’s like a different sport. It’s daylight out there. We’re not any slower than during the day and when you are 3rd in line with those 1600 lumen lights all around, you almost don’t need a light yourself. Now there are a lot of other options in the market other than the Lumintrek light, and many at similar price points, but what really impressed me was the quality of the product, bike mount, battery, and helmet mount all for $130. It allows pretty much anyone, regardless of budget, to go out there and rip it up on their local trail after the sun goes down, which in itself is awesome!
Any of you guys using these inexpensive Chinese lights? What are some of your experiences?
(Editors note: This isn’t a formal review and we were not provided this light by the manufaturer. We were just happy enough with a product to write about it!)
What do you think?