Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. We are supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. There are a plethora of powerful bike lights available these days to help you stay visible on the road while also lighting your way. Whether you buy them separately, or as a set, it’s important to have a good pair of lights — white at the front and red at the rear — whenever you’re cycling in the dark. The best bike lights will not only enable you to see where you’re cycling when daylight disappears, but they will also ensure you remain visible to the traffic around you at any time of day. In fact, many brands recommend best winter cycling gloves lights during the day as well as the night, particularly in fog, low light and rain, to promote safer cycling as well as to improve awareness among motorists. Most contemporary bike lights offer varying degrees of brightness, battery life and flash patterns, and have a built-in DRL function — the output of which is measured in lumens.
When winter rolls around, you don’t need to resort to indoor cycling with your turbo trainer. With the best bike lights, your winter cycling can continue in the great outdoors for hours after the sun has set, and ride just as many miles as you did during the lighter months. Like everything else in the bike industry, the best bike lights are improving at a rate of knots with options available for all types of riders and terrain types. Don’t let the lack of daylight prevent you from taking your gravel bike to your favourite local loop or fitting some road bike mudguards, throwing on your best waterproof cycling jacket and commuting through the darkness. Scroll down for Cyclingnews’ advice on what makes the best bike lights, and a roundup of our favourites.
We’ve also included a handy guide about how to choose the best bike lights for you. Of course, if you’re looking to head off the beaten path, Bike Perfect’s guide to the best mountain bike lights might be of interest. What started as a Kickstarter project spurred on by a time Kingsley Fiegert, Co-Founder of Cycliq, was hit with an object flung from a slingshot out of a passing car, has turned into full-coverage front- and rear-light camera combos. The light itself throws out a well-shaped beam for night time riding and features a home-safe mode where if the battery drops below five per cent the camera cuts out to extend run time. There is nothing worse than outrunning the beam on your light on a ride after dark, and it can lead to some pretty scary moments on the bike. Garmin’s Varia UT 800 light aims to prevent just that by working with your Edge head unit to tailor the light to your speed. The Varia light sends just the right amount of light down the road to match the speed you are riding.
Varia are restricted to the Garmin cycling computers. Knog’s PWR lights are an innovative idea that pairs a light head to a battery pack, allowing you to customise the pieces depending on your riding situation. With a quick-release bar mount, the battery doubles as a power bank should you need you top up your phone or head unit — although you can’t use the light at the same time. The light gives you 600 lumens of brightness and throws a nice oval-shaped beam that you’re unlikely to outrun. Even though the lights pull apart, they are fully sealed from dust and moisture. The Specialized Flux 900 headlight uses two separate LEDs with optics tuned similar to side-by-side 4WD driving lights — one shoots a narrowly focused beam well down the road while the other creates a wide flood, Specialized says this makes for 180-degree visibility. Using a quick-release mount that is compatible with 22.
8mm handlebars, and can be flipped for use on either the left or the right of the stem, the Flux can be centred either above or below the stem with a long reach that won’t interfere with most computers or cables. With four modes, the claimed runtime is three hours for a full charge. The light is self-preserving, and will continually decrease its brightness as battery life drops. With a 900-lumen output, the Strada MK10 SL has Cree LEDs, is cable-free and features a road-specific beam which is optimised to light up the tarmac without blinding oncoming traffic. The 3400mAH lithium-ion battery will give you two hours at full brightness and up to 36 hours on lower modes. The six-hour charge time isn’t as fast as some of its contemporaries, but weighing in at 386g and at 100mm x 44mm in size, it’s a compact front light that is built to last.
8mm to 35mm, it can be used on both your road and mountain bikes, but it’s certainly designed for pounding the pavement. 10 programs, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right brightness for your ride. Bontrager claims the Ion 200 RT is visible from up to 2km away in daylight. With only 200 lumens of power, the lens focuses the light into a retina-burning flash that makes it one of the best bike lights for drawing attention. Tipping the scales at a mere 40g the Ion uses a silicone mount or Trek’s Blendr mounting system, the light also has a built-in ambient light sensor to auto-adjust brightness for maximum ‘be-seen’ visibility. The beam pattern isn’t ideal for lighting up the road, so if you’re riding without streetlights after dark, we suggest looking at something with a higher lumen count and a more focussed beam pattern.
There are numerous variations of the current Lumina, with lumen ratings going from 650 right up to 1800. The 1200-lumen model is our pick featuring a runtime of between one and 18 hours. OLED screen to display which mode you’re in and the remaining run time. In our experience, the OLED interface is clunky, and the version with a single button is cheaper and more user-friendly. Side reflectors help other road users see you when the light isn’t painting in their direction, and the CNC-machined casing does well to dissipate heat and resist the elements. A simple silicone mount makes for a stable and faff-free install. There is no need to rummage around for a charging cable as the Mini Drive 400 XL has a built-in USB stick that plugs directly into your computer or wall plug and a charge indicator lets you know how much battery the light has.
The Moon Nebula is one of the lightest, brightest and most affordable rear bike lights on the market. Rated at 180 lumens in its highest mode, the Nebula is incredibly bright which makes it an ideal option for those who spend a lot of time in the saddle during the day. That said it does possess eight modes which differ in terms of brightness and flash patterns. The 20-lumen flash mode is the most economic setting providing a good balance between visibility and battery life, nearly 20 hours. In terms of mounting, the Nebula can be fixed to the seat post, saddle and helmet in both a horizontal and vertical format. Everything from universal brackets, clips and rubberised o-rings are included in the package.
This is an excellent overall rear light. The Lezyne Zecto Drive Max might be one of smallest rear lights on the market but it’s also one of the hardiest units, too. Built to last, it benefits from a two-piece, plastic outer shell which mounts securely to the seat post via a rubberised band. Each of the eight modes is controlled through the power button on the top of the unit — press and hold to switch it on or off and then a single click to scroll through each mode. The most powerful setting is the 250-lumen day flash, which is claimed to last an impressive nine hours, followed by the 125-lumen flash and 35-lumen steady blast. Ideal for nervous riders or those who commute on dangerous and congested roads, the Varia RTL510 is a great piece of kit. It provides visual and audible alerts to warn of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140 metres and can be synced to a dedicated radar display unit or paired with a Garmin Edge computer.
Doubling up as a 65-lumen tail light, it offers day-time visibility of up to 1. In terms of battery life, the Varia RTL510 is on par with the Bontrager Flare RT with a maximum running time of 15 hours in flashing mode or 6 hours in steady- or night-flashing mode. Best rear bike lights for cycling: See. With a 300-lumen output, the See. CoB LED panel which gives a wide dispersion of light and 270-degree range of side visibility. Icon2 connects to a smartphone through an app where you can customise the flash patterns and brightness as well as monitor the battery level. It can also be set up as distress beacon if you crash and an alarm in the event that your bike gets stolen.
GPS is used to alter attributes such as flash rate and brightness when approaching intersections and roundabouts or when cars are approaching by sensing the headlights. There’s also a new brake mode which provides a constant beam as you reduce your speed reverting to the previous setting as you start pedalling again. Compact in dimensions, the Bontrager Flare RT is arguably the most comprehensive rear bike light money can buy. Not only is it smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the new Flare RT is also 30 per cent more powerful with a maximum output of 90 Lumens. As a result, the Flare RT is visible from up to 2 kilometres away during the day on the most powerful setting. Four other modes ranging from steady beam to flashing are also available. Bluetooth Smart connectivity which means you can monitor battery life and control it from your Garmin computer.
As the company’s flagship rear bike light, the Lezyne Strip Drive Pro boasts some impressive features including a 300-lumen daytime flashing mode and a 53-hour battery life. Strip Drive Pro caters for all types of riding conditions and disciplines. Unlike its rivals, the Strip Drive uses an integrated cable-free USB stick for recharging purposes — a nifty feature but the chunky body housing can get in the way when mating it with certain laptops and charging devices. Diminutive in design the Blackburn Dayblazer 65 is one of the most underrated rear bike lights in the segment. Its narrow profile makes for an easy and snug fit thanks to a recessed, rubberised backing plate. Burn times vary from 90 minutes to 6 hours, mode dependent of course but the two LED globes ensure brightness and visibility levels of the highest order — 65-lumens in high flash, and 50 and 30 respectively in steady and low strobe modes. That said, if it’s something a little brighter and more powerful that you’re after, the Blackburn Dayblazer 125 is well worth a look.
In this setting, the light will stay on for around one hour — not great by any stretch — but there are five alternative settings including a 30-lumen flashing mode that boasts a 30-hour battery life. The X3’s narrow profile and rubber-band-style mount means it’s compatible with most bicycles and can be attached to any part of the frame including round and aero seatposts, seat-stays, handlebars and forks. It’s also worth looking for bike lights that are durable, waterproof and capable of emitting a strong beam regardless of the time of day. Before making a decision, it’s worth considering the following factors as each one has a direct bearing on quality and price. The best front bike lights which are designed to help you see also aid with visibility, but not all lights designed for visibility are bright enough to light up the road in front of you. Lights to help you see will often have larger lumen counts, have reflectors and a lens that throws a wide beam of light down the road, while lights for visibility will put out an unfocused beam in every direction. If you’re commuting down a well-lit road or bike path, a simple flasher will probably suffice, but if you’re heading out for a night time training ride or your route is lit like the beginning of a horror movie, look for something brighter with a more road-specific beam pattern.
Lights are rated in lumens, however, which is an imperfect measure because the calculation is based on the LED power and battery charge in ideal conditions. For riding on the road you don’t need a 5000-lumen light on your bars, something between 500 and 1500 lumens will do the trick. Some lights will be completely self-contained, while others will use a separate battery pack. On the road, we tend to go more for self-contained lights which eliminate the awkward cables and cumbersome battery packs, the latter of which are usually bigger and considerably more substantial. As batteries degrade over time, external packs can be replaced or upgraded, and some brands even offer options with different capacities. If you’re commuting and you need to secure your bike outside with a bike lock, look for lights that can be quickly removed without a multitool.
Take into account how long you’re planning to ride for and budget a bit extra when looking at run time. Also keep in mind that many batteries are affected by temperature, and the cold can have a severe effect on run time. If you live in an area where night time temperatures go below freezing, consider buying a bigger battery. Knowing how much juice your lights have left is also vitally important. Some bike lights have rudimentary green, orange and red battery indicator lights, while others will show you time or per cent remaining. The last thing you want is a light that fails mid-ride, especially a rear one that you’re unlikely to notice right away. Therefore, it’s imperative that you invest in a set of bike lights from a reputable brand. As a result, many cyclists run both flashing and constant lights just to be safe, and some lights feature a pulse setting which consists of a constant beam with a pulsing brightness.
Cycliq Fly12 CE,Garmin Varia UT800,Knog PWR Road,Specialized Flux 900 front light,Exposure Strada MK10 SL,Bontrager Ion 200 RT front bike light,Niterider Lumina 1200 front light,Lezyne Mini Drive 400XL,Moon Nebula rear bike light,Lezyne Zecto Drive Max rear light,Garmin Varia RTL510 rear light,See. If you’re thinking about carrying on riding your bike throughout the cold, wet winter months, it pays to invest in clothing to take the bite out of the weather. Chief among your purchases should be a thermal cycling jacket. As most of us know, layers are the key to keeping warm when it’s chilly and while they can be of great benefit on the bike, they can also leave you feeling trussed up like a turkey. At the same time, keeping warm air next to the skin is key to staying comfy so it’s best to avoid anything too spacious and loose, which means striking a balance. Thanks to clever fabrics, many of the jackets here can now be layered over a jersey or coupled with just a baselayer and worn in place of one. Best winter road bikes: What makes a good winter bike?
Why do we ride slower in the cold? The best thermal cycling jackets for winter 1. This jacket from Castelli headlines the Italian brand’s winter range for good reason. Recently updated, its two-layer system helps solve the issue of overheating during winter, an ever occurring problem when riding hard uphill. Done up tight, it’ll also keep you dry whatever the rainfall. This it archives via an outer made of Gore’s new Infinium Windstopper light rain-resistant membrane. Highly breathable and moderately waterproof, crucial seams on the shoulders are further sealed eternally, giving the Alpa ROS jacket a distinctive look. The cut is close like usual for Italian garments, however, this isn’t a jacket that’s designed to be worn over anything too bulky.
Cleverly, despite all its insulating properties, the jacket remains both svelte and flexible. Reflective trims, a zipped pocket, and a new cuff design that eliminates any gaps between the jacket and your gloves round off an expensive but high performing jacket. You can read our review of the original ROS jacket here. True to its roots, the Core Winter Jacket delivers the Rapha name without shouting too loudly or trying too hard. Despite feeling thin to the touch, it’s proved more than adequate at lower temperatures while never causing us to overheat when the mercury starts rising on sunnier days. It manages this thanks to a weather-resistant three-layer laminate front section which helps keep the wind out and a breathable back that lets excess heat escape. 110, the Rapha Core winter jacket is significantly more affordable than jackets of a similar performance from rival brands.
It’s also around half the price of some of its internal rivals within Rapha’s own range. A beautifully cut garment suited to more athletic riders, its wind-stopping front panels and a stretchy rear combining with the brushed interior to make a riding partner you’ll be happy to spend extended time with. A premium product with a comparatively digestible headline cost. The use of several high-spec Polartec fabrics keep this jacket useable across a wide range of temperatures, down to around freezing. With the front, shoulders and upper half of the arms made of water and windproof material, the trailing panels are made of more breathable fabric. Lined with a comfortable and fast wicking fleece, it’s comfy worn over just a base layer, something that helps it retain an extremely fitted look when on the bike. Definitely at the racier end of the spectrum, keep an eye on sizing, and expect to size up if you’re anything other than rake thin. Shielding all your crucial bits, but more breathable in areas where you’re less at risk from rain and wind, it’s a lovely place to spend a long ride and happily covers multiple conditions.
Taken all together, the dhb Aeron Lab All Winter Polartec Jacket has looks and performance to match almost anything else on this list. This versatile jacket combines wind and water-resistance in a convertible package that lets you choose between long and short sleeves. Coming with a relaxed cut, it’s a garment that will suit commuters, gravel riders, cycle tourists or just anyone less concerned about being aerodynamic than they are about comfort. Using Gore-Tex Infinium fabric, this is splendidly windproof and pretty near waterproof. Covering the front and sleeves of the jacket, these latter parts can be quickly detached via subtle zips hidden around the shoulders. Allowing the jersey to cover both warm and cold conditions, its sleeves will easily fit into one of the three rear pockets should the weather turn while you’re out and about. With a secure zip pocket for your valuables, the back is made of a stretchier and more breathable material.
At the top, a high and lined collar locks out the chill, while reflective details add some bright colour options add visibility. All in, a practical, adaptable and reasonably priced addition to anyone’s cycling armoury. Costing the same as an entry-level racing bike, but significantly less than some plain white t-shirts you’ll see at Fashion Week, the Assos Equipe RS jacket is aimed squarely at the top of the market. Designed as a jacket to cover all cold-weather scenarios, it does at least work extremely hard to justify its price tag. Besides a novella’s worth of fabric technology and an equally long list of patents, its stand-out feature remains its diffuser air intake system. Visible as the blue tabs located on the shoulders, these allow the jacket to either suck in or block out passing airflow depending on the rider’s position.
Sit upright, as is common when riding at lower intensities, and the jacket remains sealed. Switch to a head-down position on the drops and the vents automatically open. Almost as clever, but requiring a bit more input from the wearer, there’s also dedicated storage space for adding Asso’s Clima Capsule shell or Thermobooster insulating layer. However, even without these, the Equipe RS jacket is designed to function just as well in the rain as it does on cold clear days. Of course, for something likely to get spattered with muck, the high price will likely put many off. Still, if you can afford it, why not?
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Cycliq Fly12 CE — the battery compartment is connected to a series of heated wires that are embedded throughout the gloves’ fabric. The most powerful setting is the 250, icon2 connects to a smartphone through an app where you can customise the flash patterns and brightness as well as monitor the battery level. With the front; the back is made of a stretchier and more breathable material.
And with just a touch of fleeciness alongside its inner surfaces, the Rapha Core winter jacket is significantly more affordable than jackets of a similar performance from rival brands. These mittens heat up every part of your hand for up to six hours. Many brands recommend using lights during the day as well as the night, and finger tips for ultimate warmth. Exposure Strada MK10 SL, the Ultraz gloves are finished with strategically placed palm cushions to protect the hands from damage and reflective details that make you more visible to fellow traffic in low light. Lit road or bike path — there are a plethora of powerful bike lights available these days to help you stay visible on the road while also lighting your way.
Although it’s expensive you’re likely to get your money’s worth if you ride enough. Softshell often used to be shorthand for windproof and water-resistant. Imparting qualities normally associated with shell-style materials, it’s no surprise that this clever jacket comes from the sibling label of Castelli, maker of the famous, and similarly smart, Gabba. Pretty much watertight, almost all the jacket’s main seams are taped. Meaning it’ll fend off all but the most prolonged downpours, it does this while being both highly breathable and tight-fitting. Comfortable to leave on all day, the result is a race-style jersey that’s ideal for fast riding in changeable conditions. Whether for intensive training or competition, despite its protective qualities it’s aerodynamic and free-moving enough to cause minimal drag. Available in a wide range of bright colours, the Sportful Fiandre Pro is an uber-stylish jacket that’s virtually waterproof and will keep users happy through three seasons’ worth of riding.
Another jacket marrying a water and wind-resistant wrap-around front to a series of more breathable back and under-arm panels. Part of the brand’s racy Pro SL range, its cut manages to be both comfy and aero. Ideal for training in, it includes a thick, high collar to lock out the cold, a trick repeated on the sleeves, which are tight to sit in place under your gloves. The effect is a cosy and comfortable garment that’s suited to both the bagging of base-miles and racing. Held in place at the bottom with silicone grippers, its front will keep out short showers, although you’ll want to throw a shell over it during longer downpours. If the weather isn’t too rainy this is a versatile and racy jersey in which to rack up the miles. There’s not much to the Perfetto.
With little insulation, you can layer it however you choose. But thanks to the stretchy Gore-tex Infinium Windstopper fabric it still feels very much comfier and more substantial than a shell. In fact, it’s both more water-resistant and lighter than the more expensive Castelli Alpha RoS jacket listed above. However, with a design focused on shoulder-season riding or racing, it’s a little less warm than its pricier sibling. On the plus side, match it to the conditions and you’ll get excellent breathability, and with just a touch of fleeciness alongside its inner surfaces, it’s happy to be used in wet, dry or alternating conditions. Subscribe to Cyclist Sign up for Cyclist subscription here. Cyclist Shop Shop the Cyclist merchandise here.
Cyclist Newsletter Sign up to the Cyclist newsletter here. US brand’s most versatile wheels ever? To manage an existing subscription, please visit Manage My Mags or visit our subscription FAQ page. 8482 is a registered trade mark. A solid pair of gloves is a must-have item for any cyclist looking to continue riding through the winter months. Your extremities tend to feel the cold first and worst, so it figures that any gloves you use will ideally need to be windproof, insulating, breathable as well as good at keeping the wet out. They’ll need to be fit for purpose, too. Yes, good quality ski gloves may have similar properties to the best cycling gloves, but they rarely allow the same degree of flexibility and therefore offer a more limited dexterity.