The PDW Lars Rover Bike Light is a Good Choice for Gravel Rides

The Lars Rover Power 850 bike light packs good power to illuminate your ride when you get caught in the dark.

Portland Design Works Lars Rover Power 850 Light

Straight from the Portland Design Works labs, The Lars Rover Power 850 light shines its way into the spotlight. Boasting 850 lumens, this light keeps lighting simple. Weighing 201g, it has a body made from alloy at the front and hard plastic at the back. This seems like a great way to keep the weight down as the front alloy material will help dissipate heat from the LED while the back houses the other internals and keeps a weatherproof seal for all-season riding.


We often see lights around this price mount with flimsy stretchy mounts where the light ends up dangling after a hard bump.The Lars Rover Power mount is not flimsy. PDW did a great job on their Mission Control III Mount that is included with this light. I was able to easily fit the clamp onto my 31.8mm bars and tighten them down leaving no wiggle room for the light to rotate up or down. The Control III Mount fits 22-31.8mm handlebars and there are 3 adjustments you can make for different sized bars by unscrewing a small philips screw(tool included).

Once clamped, the mount has a quick release locking rail system where the light can be slid in and out for charging or swapping between bikes. In that case you can just buy an extra $6 mount for your other bike.


Most affective when pointing the beam slightly down

I really like the nice, focused beam the single CREE LED produces. It shines a long path of light. If you want to see and be seen, this bike light will do just that.

As a mountain biker, I think it would make an excellent helmet light out on the trails to see well into those corners. Unfortunately it does not come with a helmet mount nor do they make one to buy separately which is unfortunate. That being said, I would not make this my main and only light out on a trail ride at night. This light is great for gravel, road, and commuter riders. If you do any type of aggressive night rides, you’ll want more lumens.

Light Modes

You get five light modes with this light and one button cycles through them all. The light has a feature where you must click and hold for one second to turn the light on, which helps prevent accidentally turning the light on, say in a bag. Once on, you can do a regular click to cycle through the modes. I had to push with the tip of my finger directly in the center of the pill-shaped button to get a successful click. 

The button seems to be vaguely illuminated from within. I would like the button to have its own LED to make it easier to find in dark environments. The light modes and claimed running times are as follows. 

  • Steady low (6 hours)
  • Steady medium (3 hours)
  • Steady high (1.5 hours)
  • Fast Flashing (20 hours)
  • Pulse (7 hours) 

With so many modes I think it would be nice to have two buttons: one to cycle forward and one to cycle back. I do love the fact that the light wakes up in the last mode used.

Battery Life and charging

Battery life is on par with the advertised times. I seemed to be mostly using medium and high modes which got me about two hours of run time thanks to the built in Li-ion battery. Luckily the easy-to-see five LED power meter at the top gave me an idea of how much power I had remaining.

Charging through the weather sealed Micro-USB port was easy, though charging time isn’t the quickest. I believe all bike lights should ditch Micro-USB and move to USB-C charging ports for ease of use and quicker charging. No USB-A charging brick is included with this light, so you must either buy one, use the one from your old phone charger, or plug it into your computer if it still has the right size ports.

Final verdict

Pros and cons of the PDW Lars Rover Power 850 bike light


  • Long, steady, focused beam of light
  • Solid adjustable mounting system
  • Consistent battery life


  • No helmet mount available
  • Small on/off button
  • No USB-C charging port


Overall the Lars Rover Power 850 packs good power to illuminate your ride when you get caught in the dark. The well thought out mount system gives riders ease of mounting and worry free clamping that won’t rotate the light out of alignment. The easy to see LED power-meter helps to get the most running time when cycling through the five modes.

I would love to see a USB-C charging port in its next iteration with quicker charging times along with a bigger button or up/down cycle buttons. I think PDW is missing out on more MTB trail riders by not making a helmet mount, as this would make an excellent light to strap up top.

This is a good light to consider depending on the type of riding you do. Consider this light if you’re looking for an under $100 great quality, weatherproof light, with a solid handlebar mount from a cycling company that offers lifetime warranty on their products.