I have tried my HID light on the handlebars and on a helmet mount and although the bar position is convenient I see better with the light on my head.
For others though a direct light in your eyes is more than an inconvenience as it reduces your night vision immediately afterwards. The convenience of a helmet mount when sorting your stuff at the car, fixing a puncture or finding an energy bar is a small price for others to pay in the form of blind riding. The only other downside is that the weight can pull on your helmet and the light unit is vulnerable on wooded trails.
A small led light clipped onto the front of the helmet makes a worthwhile difference but the best recent solution is the double light set up from Ay-Up which seems to give you the best of both worlds as the light issuing joins together so nicely.
I liked the Joystick option but the price seems high when I already have a main light so I have been looking for a LED torch with sufficient output for ages. Occasionally I trawl the mtb sites across the internet seeking a solution from near or far but until now I have not found the ideal thing. I also keep looking at the manufacturing sites from people like Cree as the dramatic technical improvements show an inexpensive, low power, high output LED suitable for an mtb use gets ever closer.
Recently I found Kriss Kanyon in the USA and an article on Muddy Moles at the same time on a new torch with a smaller size than usual. The suppliers website had lots of genuine comments, both good and bad, and the size and weight seemed similar to the original Joystick. I considered all the other torch units on the site and I also looked at all the other suppliers but eventually I bought all the items direct from Hong Kong.
I bought the five mode torch with two protected battery cells and a double charging unit. It arrived in five days and cost less than thirty pounds in total.
I attached it with Velcro as the Kriss Kanyon solution did not fit my helmet vents and off I went. It is sufficient on its’ own for open trails and as a “out too late without lights” light but not for technical trails without another light. It works compatibly with my HID as it has a strong central focus. In a comparison with a Joystick it had poorer diffusion., i.e. brighter centre point. The five modes are essential as the highest setting is not the best setting for a dark night. On low setting the light is much more diffused and the visibility better. Specific protected batteries are necessary as the large batteries are like overgrown AA units and not a standard Woolies size. Obviously you need the matching charger. It comes with a US plug but I had an adaptor already.
Overall it lasts for hours without dimming, it charges quickly from low or half charge, it is light for a helmet mounting and the 200 lumens or so feels very powerful.
So as an additional light it seems great and maybe sufficient for bridleways on its’ own but for technical riding I would need a bit more light.
So have a look at Muddy Moles, check the deal extreme website for the trustfire tr 801 cree q5, or even google up kriss kanyon.
You could buy some nice LED units from Ay-Up or Lupine, a new model from someone like Lumicycle, a discounted HID on the internet or your LBS or an older halogen system with a warm glow for only fifty pounds. Normally the more you pay the more you get with a good system costing hundreds of pounds.
Or perhaps you would more interested in a three-some with one on your head and two at the bar and only fifty pounds…..