TESTED: Topeak Whitelite HP 5W

For an on-trail comparison between this light and seven other LED models click HERE.

Topeak WhiteLite HP 5W
Price: $350
Contact: 800-213-4561
More Information: Topeak.com
Includes: Top-cap mount, handlebar mount, wall charger, extra handlebar/batter mount, Li-Ion battery

Right off the bat, this light sticks out from the bunch for its unorthodox but surprisingly effective mounting system. I thought for sure the little brick-shaped battery would eject itself from it's proprietary top-cap mount at the first really hard jostle, but jostle as I might the powerpack stayed put.

Although the top cap is easy enough to change out, when you're not running the light you run the risk of slicing your knee whereas with a regular stem cap you'd just bash it pretty good. Sharp edges on a mountain bike: bad.

In a way, the design is minimalist. An integrated battery mount connected to a stable handlebar-mounted single LED light by a short cord. But in a way it's sort of hacked on there. It takes two tools to get this thing mounted up – a 5-millimter Allen to change out your top-cap and a 4-mil to mount the light to the bars via a plastic hose clamp.

If you're careful you won't gall out the plastic bolt on the hose clamp, but if you're not you could easily strip it out. If or when you strip that mount out the unit also comes with a zip-tie mount.

On the trail the "WhiteLite" lives up to its name, putting out a fairly clear swath of useable light.

Once on and powered up, colored indicator lights let you know which of the three light settings you're in. Which sounds like a great idea, and is, but the color choice of the high/medium/low settings defy mnemonic device. Red-yellow-green would seem to make sense, but instead the settings are blue/green/red, which I still don't remember, although it's pretty well apparent on the trail.

A single 5-watt LED bulb spits out 4, 7 or 12 hours of light depending on setting, and a smart charger juices the lithium ion battery back up in just 3 hours. A helmet mount, extension cord and even bigger battery all are available as aftermarket accessories, so for $350 you're paying for a handlebar-only light.

For an on-trail comparison between this light and seven other LED models click HERE.