ASK MBA: SHOULD I USE A HANDLEBAR OR HELMET MOUNTED LIGHT?
In the dark.
IN THE DARK
Q: I’m looking to do some night riding in the future, and I’m trying to figure out my ideal light setup. I am not sure if I want to put a light only on my helmet, only on my bar or both. What are your thoughts?
Palm Beach FL
A: We like to think about it in terms of where we’re riding and what features we plan to hit. If it’s a mellow trail with not a lot of undulation or technical features, we like to only use a handlebar-mounted light. If we were to ride a trail that’s more technical with more pronounced features, we like to have a helmet light along with a bar light for more definition.
The weakness with only a bar light is long shadows, but that also helps you read the terrain. With a helmet light being higher up from the ground, it can pierce the darkness behind rocks and on landings much better than a stationary bar light, but can make the ground look more flat than it is. We recommend both at the same time if possible. If you only want to use one, we’ll usually go with a bar-mounted light for ease of use, plus you can get a more powerful light on your bar than your helmet. The uncomfortable weight involved in a helmet light is also a factor we don’t like to deal with if we’re only using one light. We hope this helps point you in the right direction. Happy night shredding.
Have a question for the MBA crew? You can send your brain busters to [email protected].