In a market of commodity mountain bike lights, Gloworm stands out with a set of features to make its products unique. I’ve been testing the Gloworm X2 Adventure as a helmet light over several night rides this year, and here’s what I’ve found.
The Gloworm X2 Adventure (85.4g as tested) features two LED bulbs connected to an external battery pack. The light ships with an extension cord, allowing riders to carry the battery pack in a jersey pocket or pack, or mounted to the helmet itself. I’ve experimented with both setups and I prefer mounting the battery to my helmet. Otherwise the cord seems to get in the way. Of course the X2 Adventure doesn’t have to be used as a helmet light; it can also be mounted to handlebars.
Speaking of mounting options, Gloworm uses a GoPro-style mounting system which is welcome news to anyone who has a drawerful of various mounts. For those who don’t already have a set of mounts, both a helmet mount and handlebar mount are included. The stock handlebar mount is designed for a 31.8mm clamping diameter, so if you’re running 35mm bars you’ll need to purchase a different bar mount separately for about $18.
The handlebar mount is one of my favorites among those I’ve tested, with a nice quick release lever, and it takes up minimal bar space. Not only that, it places the light pretty much dead center on the bike for optimal lighting.
Similar to many designs on the market today, the Gloworm X2 Adventure features a metal housing with fins to dissipate heat. This particular unit has two LED bulbs capable of producing up to 1700 lumens. Gloworm claims the X2 Adventure is IP67 protected, which means it’s sealed from harmful dust, and can be submerged in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. That should be plenty of protection for riding in any conditions.
What makes the X2 Adventure unique compared to other lights is the ability to change the optics at home. Gloworm ships the X2 Adventure with spot and flood lenses installed and includes extra spot and wide lenses in the box. The spot lens produces a narrow beam of light, the flood lens widens the beam, and the wide lens diffuses the light even further. Riders can try different combinations of lenses to find what works best for various types of trail rides. Most of my rides take place on narrow, forested trails where a spot beam helps me stay focused on the line ahead. I opted to keep the flood lens in front of the second bulb for times when I find myself riding on the road in between trail sections.
The X2 Adventure features a 2-cell Lithium-ion battery for up to 1.5 hours of runtime on high. The X2 from Gloworm uses the same light head, but ships with a 4-cell battery instead. This doubles the battery life, adds a few bucks to the price, and notably increases the weight of the battery pack from 141g for the 2-cell to 248g for the 4-cell. For most riders, the heavier battery pack on the X2 means using it as a bar-mounted light or carrying the battery in a pack instead of on the helmet. The weight of the X2 Adventure is just fine for mounting to the helmet, but I wouldn’t want to go much heavier.
Gloworm uses a proprietary charger cable system unlike many lights which use a USB connector. The upshot is that the charger is able to deliver juice more quickly, with a reasonable 4 hour charge time for the big battery. There’s a battery life indicator on the battery itself which is handy for checking in the field.
The X2 Adventure ships with a wireless remote that’s easily mounted to the bars. Obviously this is convenient for changing the light mode on a helmet-mounted light like the X2 Adventure without taking a hand off the bike.
What sets the Gloworm remote apart is that it can be programmed to control ALL of your Gloworm lights with a single remote. So if you’re running the X2 Adventure on a helmet in tandem with a brighter XSV (3-LED) on the bars, you can make both lights brighter or dimmer with one tap.
I’ve been using my light in Trail mode, but there’s another configuration for commuting that features a flashing option. In Trail mode, a single tap turns the light on, and subsequent taps scroll from low to medium to high, and back again. Hold down the button for two seconds to access the “super dim” setting. Holding down the button for five seconds turns the light off.
If the default light modes aren’t to your liking, you can even program the light to do pretty much whatever you want. The button presses to accomplish this are a little complicated, but Gloworm has good instructions and videos for those who enjoy tinkering.
The Gloworm X2 Adventure is easily one of the most versatile, customizable mountain bike lights on the market. With the ability to mount the light virtually anywhere, swappable optics, and programmable brightness modes, riders can dial the X2 Adventure in for any nighttime mission.
MSRP: $212 (buy at JensonUSA)
Thanks to Gloworm for providing the X2 Adventure bike light for review.