The USE Exposure Diablo Mk10 is a superb helmet mounted mountain bike light. It’s light, it's powerful, it has lots of pre-set modes to choose from and it also includes clever TAP technology. There’s lots to like and it’s our favourite helmet mounted front light to date.
The MK910 has many of the same features as the MK9 if offers a large 1500 lumens at maximum output with a direct beam pattern using 3 high quality Cree LED’s. The light is cable free meaning no external battery packs, the Diablo offers anything from 1 - 24 hrs of burntime depending on your preference and the setting or programme used. Exposure say this Diable MK10 charges 30% quicker than its predecessor at just 3 hours of charge time.
The programmes listed on the rear of the light allow customisation of the power outputs over all 3 modes (low, med and high), just used the engraved table as a guide and pushing the rear button in a certain order, instructions for which are easily found on the web. I set the light on programme two which instead of one hour at 1500 lumens gives me 2 hours of a slightly lower lumen output but ensures the light lasts for my average night ride.
The rear of the light features a coloured light to show battery health and also the charge port which doubles up as the site to attach a booster battery or a rear red light. Although not tested this time around, this rear red light is extremely bright and very useful, I really like having it installed in addition to my rear bike light. This port is covered by a rubber cover, which as with the other more powerful Exposure lights I reviewed is one of my only niggles with the light. This cover is tricky to close, needing firmly pressing and wiggling around to ensure the flexible rubber stayed put over the port.
As well as punching out a good beam of light, the Diablo also offers Exposures ‘TAP’ technology. With this enabled, it allows you to switch between the low, medium and high modes by simply tapping the light. The sensitivity of this varies, a setting which you can access and set to your preference via the rear button. I set mine to the least sensitive mode to prevent the light altering the mode of the light when the going got rough.
Exposure say that positioning the light on the head means that it benefits from the ‘natural suspension of the neck’ meaning the light won’t change mode with rattles from the head. I found that the light was liable to change very occasionally on very steep and rough terrain, where I could also feel my head move jerkily. To combat this I set my light to the least sensitive mode to prevent the light altering the mode of the light when the going got rough, no further problems encountered. It’s worth noting that the TAP tech isn’t to be used when the light is bar mounted – then it will change modes at will!
The Diablo is nice and light (120g) for a helmet mounted light and it’s hardly a chore to have it up there using Exposures neat helmet mount. A word of warning though, if you take the helmet mount on and off a lot you are going to round off the plastic Allen key tightened bolt very quickly!
The light emitted from the light is superb, the beam is wide enough that covers the trail well, it also penetrates the night well, lighting the way ahead very well indeed. I’ve used this light with an Exposure Six Pack, MaXx-D and a Lumicycles Apogee and found the beam of light emitted a real help when cornering and taking on more technical terrain at night time. It’s also a pretty useful little torch for off-bike bikepacking use!
At £215, it’s a fiver more than the MK9 Diablo but you do now get the choice of black, purple, burnt orange and blue light casing colours. Inside the neat case are a helmet mount, a handlebar mount, a wall charger and a useful USB charging cable. Having owned one of these in the past it’s well worth the expenditure. The build quality means it’ll last a lifetime and the performance on offer means it’s alight you’ll look forward to using time and time again.
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