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Gloworm G2.0 X2 and XSV Adventure bike lights review

Our favorite, super-versatile mountain bike/gravel lights have had a serious battery and programming upgrade, plus a bit more power and the results are literally brilliant

Gloworm G2.0 XSV
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Already excellent remote-controlled and super versatile lights get more power, smarter, more communicative batteries and app tuning to create the best after-dark double act we’ve used

For

  • Great default light output
  • Bombproof reliability
  • Great price for tech
  • App tuning
  • Decent run times
  • Full range of quality mounts
  • Optional optics
  • Powerbank function
  • Well waterproofed
  • Totally comprehensive accessory pack

Against

  • Some people prefer self-contained lights

Bike Perfect Verdict

Already excellent remote-controlled and super versatile lights get more power, smarter, more communicative batteries and app tuning to create the best after-dark double act we’ve used

Pros

  • + Great default light output
  • + Bombproof reliability
  • + Great price for tech
  • + App tuning
  • + Decent run times
  • + Full range of quality mounts
  • + Optional optics
  • + Powerbank function
  • + Well waterproofed
  • + Totally comprehensive accessory pack

Cons

  • - Some people prefer self-contained lights

Gloworm is hands down one of the best mountain bike light manufacturers in the world. Last year, the Gloworm XSV LED lights scored an impressive 4.5 stars with the only gripes being the awkward-to-read battery gauge and the sliding battery. The new versions solve both those problems in particularly fine style, expand output-tuning options with an app and add a bit more power. Plus you can still keep all the reliability and ultra comprehensive spares/options bundle versatility we’ve always loved about Gloworm.  

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Gloworm G2.0 XSV

Gloworm has upped the power of the Generation 2.0 XSV to 3,600 lumens (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Gloworm G2.0 XSV

The light unit itself can be securely mounted to the handlebars, but it can also be mounted on the helmet (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Gloworm head units

Gloworm Generation 2.0 XSV

The Generation 2.0 XSV (eXceSsiVe) head unit keeps the same three-LED format inside a machined metal head with built-in radiator fins. Full power from the three Cree XHP 35.2 emitters, which has been upped from 3,400 to 3,600 lumens with three different power settings (20%, 70%, 100%, plus a ‘special mode’) as standard. The new Gloworm Link app uses Bluetooth to let you fully customize the power percentage and number of steady/flash modes. You also get a Bluetooth TX bar remote that can operate two sets of lights at once.

The default setup of the central honeycomb lens (medium spread flanked by two spot lenses) gives tons of punch and reasonable peripheral vision. You can unbolt the faceplate (hex key provided) to swap these lenses for either another spot or honeycomb lens or a wide-ribbed diffuser lens to suit trail conditions. A bolt-on GoPro mount (plus ‘Fastlock’ helmet clip and strap mount) are also included as well as a long lead if you want to put the XSV on your head. A secure, quick-release 35mm bar clamp with a 31.8mm shrinker is included, as are all the hex keys, zip ties, helmet and battery straps you might need.

Gloworm X2 Adventure

The X2 Adventure lends itself more naturally to helmet use as it's a lot lighter and more compact. It uses two LEDs to give a 2,000 Lumen output (up from 1,700). It comes with a spot and honeycomb lens as standard which is great for head- or bar use. There's also a ribbed wide lens or a spot lens included in the box. The double spot is definitely a win in terms of faster road/gravel-bar use boasting impressive range and clarity. Modes are again fully customizable via the Gloworm Link app and you get a Bluetooth TX bar remote so you don’t have to rummage around on your head. You get the same totally comprehensive accessories bundle as the XSV, too.

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Gloworm G2.0 XSV

A Bluetooth remote makes changing modes easy (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Gloworm G2.0 XSV

The battery packs are longer and flatter to take up less frame space (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Battery power

As if more power and fancy Bluetooth tuning options being added to our favorite lights weren’t enough, the big news is the new batteries. The new hard-case designs are longer and flatter - even the ‘Power Pack 10’ battery of the XSV (155mm) won't take up much real estate. 

Gloworm Generation 2.0 XSV

The Gloworm logo wrap strap and rubberized feet keep things stable on your frame. The 10,000 mAH capacity of the PP 10 gives over two hours of run time at max power (we got 2:10 after a few charge cycles) and there’s now a super easy-to-read OLED bar display on the strap mount to keep track of charge. You can also check battery health in the Link app and it recharges nice and fast with the supplied USB C smart charger. The new USB C cords provide excellent sealing (they're IP67-rated) and a right-angle plug neck makes for a tidier setup.

Gloworm X2 Adventure

The X2 Adventure gets a 50 per cent smaller capacity than the XSV but run times are identical. This can be synced via the Bluetooth remote to help provide a more efficient and less stressful riding experience - no more trying to remember/juggle modes. You get the same OLED and Link charge info and super-fast recharge but the big win here is the ability to use both batteries as power banks (granted you've got some charge left to spare). There's even a USB C to standard USB adaptor included in the box.

Gloworm G2.0 XSV

Gloworm provides a ton of accessories  (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

We were already big fans of the Gloworm for its excellent, multi-source light output and ultra-comprehensive bundle packaging. The remote switch is another win, as are the multiple, really well thought-out mounts and the almost comically comprehensive bombproof reliability. We've experienced zero issues with its products over years of rigorous all-weather use, and the lights and mounts are tough enough to take hit after hit over rugged terrain. Being able to tweak menus on the fly is also useful, we basically simplified things to 50- and 100 per cent power options plus a disruptive flash for daytime road use, but you could go entirely the other way if you want. Factor in the new batteries and the neatly configured cords and wiring, and these New Zealand-designed lights have fully cemented their position as our winners in the highly competitive best mountain bike lights segment.

Tech Specs: Gloworm Generation 2.0 XSV light

  • Price: $389.00 / £305
  • Weight: 541g complete (battery and strap 366g, lead 16g, head unit with bar clamp 136, remote switch 21g 
  • Lumens: 3600 Lumens

Tech Specs: Gloworm X2 Adventure light

  • Price: $269.99 / £225 
  • Weight: 318g overall (battery 196g, lead 48g, head unit with GoPro clip 74g) 
  • Lumens: 2000 Lumens
Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He got an archaeology degree out of Exeter University, spent a few years digging about in medieval cattle markets, working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit he’s also coughed out a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too. We trust Guy's opinion and think you should, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel Ltd MTBs, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Di2 Disc road bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg