We love cycling gear that remains useful year round, on and off the bike. When it comes to staying safe, there are few things we need more while adventuring than light. Whether it be a night hike, a dusk dirt road ride or just a commute home, having the right lights is crucial for staying safe and having fun outside. That’s why we love the usability and versatility of the Silva Trail Speed 4x.
The Trail Speed 4x separates itself from the competition by being both obscenely bright and obscenely flexible. The light can shine up to 1200 lumens (insanely bright) and attach to a head strap, your helmet, or your bike’s handlebars. And it’s easy to use it often since the interchangeable system makes changing activities a breeze. The head of the light has a small bracket on the bottom that slides into each mount, either the elastic headband, rubber handlebar bracket or adhesive helmet pad, and keeps it locked in no matter how hard you jostle.
We love the flexibility of its mounts. The bike mount gives a solid connection to your handlebars that keeps the weight of the battery on the frame and off of you while consistently pointing light towards where you ride. For even easier light access, the headlamp and helmet mounts let you see exactly where you look, which is particularly useful if you have a windy ride home, or are looking for something like the next trail turn.
Regardless of mount type, the light is not only bright; it is smart. The Silva puts out both a flood light, to allow you to see the things close by, and a long-reach spotlight to show you what’s far off ahead. At its brightest setting the light will shine up to 525 feet at 1,200 lumens for up to 5 hours, while at the low setting it will shine 132 feet at 80 lumens for up to 20 hours. It’s hard to express just how bright 1,200 lumens is, but it’s more than enough to see down a city street or wide open suburban road. This combination is also great for cycling where you need to see the obstacles directly in front but also need to pick a safe path off into the distance
While some won’t like that the Silva lacks a flashing setting, the light more than makes up for it by incorporating other smart features that we love. If you have the light on the Silva Flow Light setting, the light changes how it distributes light between spotlight and floodlight depending on the angle you point the light. The further down you point the light, the more floodlight you get to illuminate the area directly in front of you, and the less spotlight you need to see far off ahead. This specific technology is great for activities in the headlamp strap, like hiking and trail running, but you can turn it off for biking when you’ll really want the spotlight to see what is far ahead.
Some may be scared by the physical size of the battery, about the size of a small bar of soap, but the clever mounting system helps keep the weight in areas that won’t throw you off balance. When you are using it as a headlamp or helmet lamp, the included extended cord lets you put the battery in your pocket or around your waist. And when mounted on your handlebars the battery pack has a velcro strap that helps you strap it to your toptube or handlebar stem. It makes it easy to benefit form the large runtime and lumen output without paying the price of a swinging or flopping battery
Overall, this light is a winner and great for the person getting into a variety of outdoor adventures who wants versatility, a lot of light and smart features. Aside from the usefulness, ease of attachment and smart direction of light, we also love useful features like the on-battery battery level indicator, and ability to charge quickly via usb in just a few hours. While some may be scared away by the price (MSRP $200, but usually available between $170 and $200) the usability and performance show once again that you do, in fact, get what you pay for.