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Torches for bike lights

Posted on June 17, 2015

Why choose a bike-mounted torch in place of a dedicated bike light? Bike mounted torches are becoming an increasingly popular way for the discerning cyclist to illuminate their way for a number of very good reasons, primarily because they’re versatile; why have one LED torch to do just one job when you can have one that does many things?

There are a few reasons why customers prefer an LED torch for night cycling, instead of a dedicated bike light:

  • Outputs (lumen and range) are comparable with more expensive bike lights
  • Cheaper than many dedicated bike lights
  • Require no external, heavy battery packs
  • Can be quickly and easily removed for versatile, multi-purpose use

Below are some tips on what to look out for when choosing a torch for use on a bike. It's not an exhaustive list, just some points to consider. Then we make some recommendations based on the Klarus range of torches, which have proven most popular with cyclists.

Durability

You want your bike light to be able to perform whatever the weather and terrain. Tactical torches are designed exactly for this and Klarus torches are all IPX8 rated waterproof and very robust.

Output/ Use

While it may be tempting to go for the torch with the highest lumens output in high mode, this may not be the wisest move for night riding in unlit areas where 150 to 200 lumens may be sufficient. Most road cyclists use medium mode ensuring they can see and be seen. The Klarus XT2C is a popular cycling torch (often doubled-up for greater off-road beam spread) because it has a high lumen output in medium mode. The XT2C kicks out an extra 40 lumens on medium mode than the more powerful XT12!

Throw/ Beam distance

You want to see clearly ahead without glare. All the torches below have a beam throw of over 150m with good beam widths for a usable spread of light.

Runtime and Efficiency

Being plunged into darkness is no fun while out on the roads or on a particularly precarious downhill trail. So knowing that you can rely on a good few hours of illumination is important. All the Klarus torches use powerful 18650 batteries for optimum performance. These can be charged via a separate charger, although some Klarus models are directly rechargeable.

Light Modes

All the featured torches have at least 3 brightness levels: High, Medium, Low and also a strobe function. Having various brightness levels will help you achieve the right amount of light for your ride.

Battery Charging

The Klarus XT12, RS11 and RS20 are all directly rechargeable via a USB cable, so you can make sure they will always be ready for your daily commute or weekend mountain biking. Those lights which are not directly rechargeable can use an 18650 battery and separate battery charger – these are included in our bike kits.

Remote Operation

Want to operate the torch modes from your grip? The Klarus XT2C, XT10, XT11 & XT12 all have optional remote switches. 

Recommended Klarus Torches

XT2C: A compact every day carry (EDC) which punches well above its weight at 725 lumens. Serious cyclists double-up on this for a greater beamspread and versatility. It can also be used as a lightweight helmet torch when used with the helmet mount.

 

XT11: This best-selling tactical torch packs 820 lumens and throws a beam over 180m. It is increasingly popular as a cycle light.

XT12: A rechargeable and more powerful version of the XT11. 930 lumens over 246m. It’s ready for whenever you are.

 

RS11: Directly rechargeable, outputting 930 lumens and with a beam throw of up to 254m on high mode. Medium mode exceeds the XT range to 230 lumens with a 6-hour runtime. Versatile for many more applications.

 

RS20: This is the most powerful torch (1050 lumens) in this collection with the longest beam throw (316m) and being rechargeable it’s extremely versatile. But the RS20 has yet more to offer the keen cyclist...

A separate sidelight on the RS20 means that you not only illuminate the way ahead but also directly below at the same time; an illuminated bike is hard to miss! This is an incredibly versatile torch for cycling, hiking and camping. Once back at base following an arduous night ride, the RS20 then becomes a lantern for your camping area. 

Need help?

If you are unsure about which torch would be best for your needs, please contact us by email or phone 01275 512919.

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