When it comes to cycling at night, you might be asking what’s better? A mounted front bike light or a headlamp on your helmet?
Here’s what we found from our research:
· People are more confident when riding a bike if they have 2 sources of light
· A helmet light gives the biker more confidence
· A mounted bike light needs to be at least 500 lumens when trail riding
Curious about finding more about this topic?
Let’s hop right in.
The thinking goes like this: a helmet light follows the eyes as opposed to a bar light which follows the front wheel.
As you might know by now, where there’s light, there’s shadow. Adding another piece of light, whether it’s a torch mounted on the helmet, or a headlamp, helps eliminate the shadows associated with each individual light. Your perception of the area will get better, which, as all mountain bikers know, is an important factor for avoiding crashes.
People who use both methods often say “I get a much better field of view when using both lights”.
How bright should a bicycle light be?
What happens if the bike light has just enough lumens, lights up a whole area in front of you, and you feel like you don’t need anything else?
Take the BR25 Nitecore bike light, for example, with 1400 lumens on max output. This type of bike light has a diffuse reflection design, which allows you to see under your front wheel too, as well as it doesn’t blind people or oncoming cars.
BR25 it’s also portable, you can quickly dismount it from your bar, and use it as a hand held torch. This is helpful if something breaks down on your bike, or if you want to take a break on foot, and explore the surroundings.
Here the opinions don’t exactly go in the same direction. It depends if you’re a pro biker or a more of a newbie. It also depends on your trail, and on how confident you are.
Many people say that even with a good mount bike light, they still feel more confident when having a helmet light too.
A headlight on your helmet is useful though if you’re trail riding, because it will light up wherever you’re looking. When you turn left or right, that will allow you more visibility on what’s to come.
Bottom line: The headlamp allows you to pinpoint exactly what’s coming out around the corners of the trail.
What if you’re just road cycling?
If you’re planning on cycling in the city, an additional headlamp will make it far too bright for what you need.
The Nitecore BR25 also has a warning flash mode, which is the classic blinker that bikers often use, to signal other cars if needed.
Having a mounted bike light with just the blinking function won’t be enough. It will be impossible to light up the road and difficult to judge distance, so that will force you into getting an additional helmet light, to properly see.
Wouldn’t your rather use the blinking mode only when needed?
Nitecore BR25 is also USB C rechargeable, powered by a 5000mAh 21700 li-ion battery, and it runs for 2h and 30 min on the highest setting.
Here are the runtimes:
· 1400 lumens- 2h and 30min
· 430 – 3h and 15min
· 170 lumens- 12h
· 28 lumens- 60h
Do I need a waterproof bike light?
The answer is yes. Of course, you don’t want to ruin your bike light if it starts raining.
The BR25 is IP68 waterproof and dustproof rated. It’s also 2m submersible.
Does speed matter when choosing a bike light or helmet light?
Speed always maters when cycling, depending if you’re racing or just riding for fun.
If you know you’re a speeder, than you probably need a torch that handles that.
For example, if you get a hard and wobbly bike light or helmet light, it will bump on your head or bar, leaving you with jumpy light that will ruin your vision.
The BR25 has an aerodynamic design, made to reduce air resistance. That means your bike light will go in tandem with how fast you’re racing, leaving a smooth beam in front of you.
Go for a bike light that emits just enough light, and that can be adjustable, so you won’t blind the traffic. If you’re trail riding in complete darkness, we recommend having a headlight on your helmet too.
Before you go, take a quick of this unboxing of the Nitecore BR25:)