Mountain Bike Lights: How To Use & Set Up Bike Lights

Mountain Bike Lights: How To Use & Set Up Bike Lights

In association with Exposure.

Night riding is one of the coolest things you can do on a mountain bike. To make sure you have the best time possible, find out everything you need to know about lights right here.

Subscribe to GMBN:
Get exclusive GMBN gear in the GMBN store!

Lumens, burn times, mounting positions, there’s a lot to know about lights before you head out on a night ride with your mates. Luckily you’ve found the video that will tell you everything you need to know about mountain biking lights!

When choosing a light, make sure you have a think about exactly what type of riding you’ll be doing, the light thats right for a short commute, won’t be the same one that works for some night time singletrack action!

When you’ve decided which lights you need, spend a good amount of time setting them up. It’s no good buying expensive lights, then having them set up so you can’t see anything 🤦‍♂️You want your handlebar light pointing well down the trail, with your helmet mounted light right on top of your helmet.

Finally make sure you read the manual for whatever lights you’ve bought. You need to know exactly how long your lights will last on both high and dimmed settings. Once you’ve done that, plan your route well, to ensure that you’ll be back well before your lights die.

If you’d like to contribute captions and video info in your language, here’s the link 👍

Watch more on GMBN…
Martyn Rides Whistler: 📹
Top 10 Cable Tie Hacks: 📹

Click here to buy GMBN T-shirts, hoodies and more:

The Global Mountain Bike Network is the best MTB YouTube channel, with videos for everyone who loves dirt: from the full-faced helmet downhill mountain biker to the lycra-clad cross country rider along with everyone and anyone in between.

With the help of our pro and ex-pro riding team we’re here to inform, entertain and inspire you to become a better mountain biker, including videos on:

– How to ride faster with expert knowledge
– Fix everything with pro know-how
– Ride anything with world-cup winning skills
– Dial in your bike with bike set-up advice
– In-depth entertaining features
– Chat, opinion and interact with us on the Dirt Shed Show

Welcome to the Global Mountain Bike Network | Covering Every Angle

Thanks to our sponsors:
Canyon bikes:
SCOTT bikes:
crankbrothers pedals:
crankbrothers seatposts:
Six Six One Protection:
POC helmets and eyewear:
Park Tool:

YouTube Channel –
Facebook –
Google+ –
Twitter –
Instagram –
GMBN Shop –

Leave us a comment below!


  1. miguel padilla on July 5, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    This lights you have are so expensive but I found really good ones on Amazon $25 for 2500 lumens so I bought 3, 2 for my bar one on my helmet they also have a great burn time but I never run out because I climb before it gets dark and wait it out at the top smoking a joint then I decent after its dark

  2. Jo Pi on July 5, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Lupine Piko 4! Only Helmet is perfect.

  3. Thanh Le Quang Ngo on July 5, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Doddy , thought that something is missing . How about stiffness , toughness , waterproof , weight . And especially , what kind of batteries for the light . It’s quite important I think so . I prefer 18650 batteries than build-in batteries . It’s cheaper , so you can bring more spare batteries . Buy a good charger , 2 x capacity spare batteries (for example , 4 if your light need 2 in a time) . I use cheap cigar tube to stock the batteries in my backpack , which is nice , safe and sound 😉

  4. Toon _85 on July 5, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Cool video, what about taking a back up torch with you in your backpack?

  5. Ben Stein on July 5, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Great vid as usual! I do a fair amount of night riding in the woods, especially when it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon in winter. I use 2 lights, one on the helmet (1200 lumens) and one on the bars (1600 lumens). Both are Brigtheyes brand with remote battery packs and can last up to 5 hours (depending on how bright you run them) and are very affordable. One other thing I do is use a GPS tracking app called Glympse. You can share your location with others, especially when going out by yourself. It will send them a text with a link which displays my location, speed, etc. overlayed on Google Maps. So if I do crash and am immobile, they can find me. Or if you loose your phone, they can help you find it…

  6. Garry Bunk on July 5, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    One big issue not addressed here is the tint of the light. Typical cool white tints wash everything out cause glare. A more natural neutral white tint allows you to see details of rocks, roots, etc. much better. Those of us over in MTBR’s Lights & Night Riding forum have been trying to educate riders on this.

    Also, you can’t always trust manufacturers specs (esp. Chinese "budget" lights). Take specs with a grain of salt and search for reviews on the lights. There are some hidden gems in the "budget" options.

  7. esequiel hardwell on July 5, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Any one else rides nite rider pro3600?

  8. Nick S on July 5, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    It should be recommended that cheap lights can be had online for around $30 (coming from Asia via e bay) and give around 1000 lumens . They are perfect for getting started and maybe all you will ever need. Batteries are cheep and easy to come by, worth the 2+ weeks to arrive. I did receive one that was dead on arrival, but the seller replaced it no problem. Have a solid couple years of training and racing on one, no issues.

  9. user name on July 5, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    is 350 lumens safe for night rides on intermediate trails

  10. David on July 5, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Because of my work i ride 2/3 times at week at night. My suggestions?
    If you have only 1 light, put It on your helmet.
    Buy lights with external batteries, more powerfoul, last more and cheaper.
    Carry ALWAYS a spare battery and a small light to fix your bike to not run out of the main light.
    ALWAYS go out with someone, is more safe and alone is scary AF.
    Take It easy. If you don’t know your limits and you don’t know the trails be a bit in safe mode. If you call your GF at 1:00 AM she will a little bit pissed.
    Use a back light, essential in road and off-road, so that your mates don’t run over you.
    Remember that the led light flats rocks/routes and jumps. And remember that you have a light on top of your head (watch the trees).
    Carry your phone, Google maps is usefoul to find the civilization near you.

    BTW is really a cool experience, even if you ride on your usual trail, if you try It once you’ll be waiting for the next time.

  11. Vault-Boy Dan on July 5, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    We have a lot of boars where I live, not sure if it’s too smart to ride at night XD.

  12. Daniel Reisenbichler on July 5, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Nightriding every week m/

  13. Nathan J. DeVries on July 5, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    You will need a great bike light for the sake of your safety.

    Let everyone save money!!!!

  14. Jordan Yang on July 5, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Everything I have thought of and needed you guys have a video on it

    Thanks GMBN.

  15. Freeride Bros #1 on July 5, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    plis check out my chennel and give me some support. i wuld apriciate it.

  16. FangPaw on July 5, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    For commuting, you want two bright rear lights. Much more eye-catching than just one. Off road, a single fairly dim rear light will let your mate(s) see you better without dazzling them. If you rely on a single high-power light, carry a spare (if only a torch). I use 3 single-emitter lights on the bars and one on my helmet, each with its own battery pack.

  17. Marc Wittkowski on July 5, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    I really like Doddy’s style of presenting.

  18. Colinator4321 on July 5, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Perhaps a light giveaway next?

  19. David Zentner on July 5, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Is that 3000 lumens combined between headlight and handlebar light?

  20. James Owens on July 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Great vid. Winter riding awaits!

  21. calvinjones on July 5, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    First time i broke a bone was my first night ride. Never again!

  22. Michał Sopa on July 5, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    There is another issue with running the helmet light alone or running it at all. When the weather is foggy you can’t see anything because it puts a huge cone of light that illuminates the fog in front of your face and blinds you. For that kind of weather you need your main flodlight to be mounted as low as possible and avoid projecting strong beams from the head area.
    Also, the lower you mount your main light, the more prominent shadows obstacles will cast and you will notice them easier.

  23. Ross Stewart on July 5, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Love night riding , usually go for about an hour on a route i know well. Always have a normal road light front and rear as back up and to use on the roads on my way home .

  24. Aaron Hill on July 5, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Personally I run 1000 lumens total between two lights and find it’s plenty for all the local blue / red singletrack around Afan Argoed, South Wales.

    Lezyne Macrodrive 600xl on the bars, Macrodrive 400 on the helmet (weighs less). Both without external battery keeps it nice and simple, last my 4 hour rides without issue.

  25. Maafa 1619 on July 5, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Nope. There be mountain lions.

  26. 3l3m3nt1987 on July 5, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Good video! What I would have mentioned as well is the temperature and battery life. Especially in winter, when I go night riding, the battery life is much shorter than with warmer conditions. I always carry a spare battery with me. I even switch the batteries before descent just to make sure, the battery doesn’t run out of power.

  27. MTB Ryder on July 5, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Riding at night in Australia is awesome. Avoiding kangaroos can be a challenge during the day but at night it’s a real danger. Night riding makes you feel like you are riding faster than you really are and your adrenaline levels can be way up.

  28. Joel Christensen on July 5, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Great video! I missed most of the season due to a**ho*es stealing my bikes, so I figured the seasons’ not gonna stop me now that I have my kitted out CD Jekyll 😀 Thanks for the tips! And if in Norway, let’s ride!

  29. Colinator4321 on July 5, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    All we really need is a bright light than can be charged on the fly with some external battery pack either mounted to the frame (for the handle bar light) or in your pack with a long cord (for helmet lights). I would love to do some all night rides but I cant afford the lights bright enough, and even if i could the batterys never last more than 5 hours on max

  30. Jon The Beast Bowler on July 5, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Wicked mate thanks just godda tell the wife now how much they are haha 😂 👍

  31. James Garrett on July 5, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    First night spin of the season last night. So much fun 😎

  32. Road User on July 5, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    In order to cycle legally on the roads at night you need lights mounted on the bike not your body.

    I find a helmet mounted light can really flatten out the terrain, whilst a handle bar mounted light actually highlights bumps by creating shadows.

  33. Harry 8642 on July 5, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    I have an idea, just go and get lost then wait for day 😉

  34. Jon Younghusband on July 5, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Nice nod to Sustrans!

  35. jonboy1066 on July 5, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Hate to say this but for my first time ever I disagree with Doddy on Bars v Helmet light. I find a light on the bars distracting as it rarely points where I’m looking. Whereas a light on my helmet relays to me exactly what I’m looking at. I do have a light on the bars, but only to use in the social gaps between trails so I don’t dazzle my mates when I’m looking at them. A Solarstorm x2 on the helmet is not heavy with the battery pack in my back pack. And you can get them now for less than £10 with a usb plug so you can run them with a reputable powerpack instead of the dodgy cheap batteries.

  36. 1011001101 on July 5, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Another bit of advice, bring an extra pair of shorts to change into after you soil yourself when the (big and small) critters go crashing through the woods trying to flee some dweeb on a bike. Scares the living s**t out of me!

  37. Brian Maynard on July 5, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Very useful info. Thanks

  38. Nick Zarnetske on July 5, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Would you guys rather have one 1500 lumen light (bar or head mounted) or two 750 lumen lights (one on the bars and one on the head)???

  39. Noctifago on July 5, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    Worth mention, being careful with the battery packs because they can go boom

  40. Jerson on July 5, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    One of your best videos.

  41. silkbomb on July 5, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Could you give me a Ideal of where to get a helmet mount in the U.S. And a light to go along with it . thanks

  42. Aidan Hoggard on July 5, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Carry a small back up set of LED lights. Will get you home on the road if your main lights fail.

  43. Edu on July 5, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    You guys should hit up Harry Main!

  44. GaTeMuCy on July 5, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    I ride all year round, so night lights are a necessity over winter. I agree with some of the other comments here, the helmet light is the most important light so if you can only afford one light then go for a helmet light. However, I’d also say that if you can only afford one light, don’t mountain bike at night until you can buy or borrow a second light. I’ve been night riding for over 15 years, and there have been a few occasions where a handle bar light or helmet light has stopped working due to vibrations from the trail causing the battery to lose contact, turning it off. It’s always been on a fast downhill section, not a good time to lose light. The fix was simple, take out the 18650 battery/s, stretch the contact spring a bit, then put the battery/s back in. I think Doddy’s lumen ranges were quite good. I use a 1000 lumen helmet light (light weight flashlight with a single 18650 battery in it – I don’t feel the weight of it at all and the run time on a single battery is about 2hrs on "medium") and my handlebar light puts out about 3000 lumens. My handlebar light has about a 100 degree spread so I get pretty good light in my peripheral vision, my helmet light has about a 30 degree spread, so it’s a pretty tight spot light. I usually run both lights on medium, I will go to "high" on the downhills, and drop to "low" if I have a long grind uphill section. I always carry spare 18650 batteries and a spare flashlight because you never know when your 2hr ride will turn into 3hrs due to a mechanical issue. As Doddy said, ride a trail you know, or ride with a group that knows the trail and will look out for you (not leave you behind). It is great fun, and totally different to day rides.

  45. Nicholas Holzer on July 5, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    It would be cool to see a comparison video between a low/mid/high quality lights. There’s an app called "science journal by google" that will take the camera on your smart device and use it to measure the lux in an area. I think 1 lux = 1 lumen/m^2. Some lower end lights provide a range of lumens or say "up to…", but I’m guessing their actual lighting ability of an area is pretty low on those cheaper devices.

  46. theotherfred on July 5, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    24 hour race tomorrow at Rocky Hill in Smithville, TX. I can’t wait for the night riding!

  47. inflation fart lover on July 5, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    I 100% disagree with the main light on your handlebar I keep my secondary light on my handlebar (1000 Luma) and my main light on my helmet (1500 luma) with a extension cord to battery pack in backpack. This whole main light on your handlebars does not work for the North Shore.

  48. Matt Baldwin on July 5, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    I think a challenge of riding with night vision goggles is in order!

  49. Rob Garneau on July 5, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Also, keep in mind that some manufacturers exaggerate the lumens of their lights.

  50. RC Gremlins on July 5, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Would wheel light be a good upgrade