It’s tough to beat a great day out on a mountain bike. There is nothing quite like the challenge of climbing up a steep hill, only to bomb down the other side at breakneck speed. Riding fast and furious technical singltrack takes skill, endurance, and concentration, but it is also incredibly fun and exhilarating, particularly if you’re riding in an amazing setting. In fact, it can be so much fun that the only reason to stop is because nightfall makes it difficult to see the trail after dark. But thanks to a powerful new light from LEDlenser, even that excuse may become a thing of the past.
The XEO 19R headlamp was built specifically with mountain bikers in mind. The designers at LEDlenser knew that riders who found themselves on the trail after dark would need plenty of light to find their way back to the trailhead, so they made sure that their latest creation was bright enough to illuminate the way. Powered by a massive lithium-ion battery pack, the XEO 19R features two bulbs that are capable of producing a stunning 2000 lumens for up to four hours at a time, making it one of the brightest headlamps ever built for outdoor use.
In addition to the incredibly bright dual-lights, the XEO 19R has a few other tricks up its sleeve as well. For instance, each of the lenses on the two lamps can be focused independently of one another, allowing the wearer to dial in exactly the type of lighting he or she needs at any given time. If you want bright light diffused all around you, set the focus broadly. But if you want to see what is coming further down the trail, create a sharp spot-beam instead. This level of versatility is quite unique, particularly when paired with the high level of candle power that this device can produce.
The headlamp also comes equipped with an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the bulbs based on the natural lighting conditions around you. As the sun sets, and the trail gets darker, the XEO 19R will automatically crank up its brightness level to compensate. For those who want to manually control the intensity of the light themselves, the headlamp comes with eight different settings that can be used to balance brightness versus battery life, and that same battery pack features a built-in USB port for charging other devices like a smartphone or GoPro camera.
As amazing as the XEO 19R sounds on paper, it does come with a couple of caveats, not the least of which is the price tag. This product sells for $330, which definitely removes it from the “impulse buy” category that many headlamps fall into. But for that price, you do get a travel case, a tripod attachment, a GoPro mounting bracket, a helmet mounting kit, and a handlebar mounting kit as well, which makes the expensive purchase a bit more palatable.
This headlamp is also quite large. Between the battery pack and the housing for the dual lights, it will take a bit of time to get accustomed to wearing it. This is especially true because it tips the scales at a little over a pound, which is a far cry from the featherweight headlamps we generally use while hiking or camping.
Despite these reservations however, chances are if you’re a serious mountain biker who spends a considerable amount of time out on the trail, you’ll probably want to add this XEO 19R headlamp to your gear arsenal. You simply won’t find another headlamp that is this bright or so well suited for the sport. It does take a bit of time to get use to wearing it, but once you do, you can extend those riding sessions well into the night.