The Trail Edition brought along a revolution in mountain bike lighting in 2017 with an enormously wide and evenly lit beam pattern while maximizing every lumen. Trail Evo builds on that incredible light and improves the beam pattern, even wider and stronger than before, while removing the external battery and incorporating a unique quick release mechanism that is cleanly integrated into your cockpit.
- Centered out-front quick release mount, made of die cast aluminum.
- 150+ minutes of strong output, with the ability to charge-on-the-go.
- Customized USB-C cable creates a waterproof seal while in use.
- Incredibly wide beam pattern designed for trail riding.
- Smooth falloff all around the bike enhances peripheral vision.
Please allow a day or two to build and ship your new Trail Evo! 🙂
When we developed the Trail Edition back in 2017 we set out to use the same principles from car headlights and bring them to bikes. Focusing not on big lumen levels but rather a high quality beam pattern that is optimized for twisty singletrack.
Over 4,000 customers and counting absolutely loved it. But we knew we could do better. After a year and a half of development we are excited to show you the latest evolution of our best selling light. Trail Evo
What did we improve?
To begin, we built on the development of the Trail Edition and Hangover, along with perfecting our unique blended-TIR approach to trail lighting. We spent hundreds of hours in simulation and prototypes to hone in on an even better beam pattern. Wider than the Trail Edition everyone loves, with more peripheral lighting along with a stronger center intensity to see even further down the Trail thanks to a boost in total lumen output. The difference is staggering.
The blended TIR optic uses precision engineering to finely tune the beam shape, eliminating the typical “round hotspot” edges by redirecting portions of the beam to where you need it most, creating a dramatically smoother beam. The surrounding “Light Carpet” around your periphery allows you to see and react to the whole trail and not get “tunnel vision” with harsh edges. The smoother the beam, the less strain on your eyes, the better you can see and the more comfortable your night ride is.
Just as important as beam patterns, is thermal management. When we start pushing big power output like this, we have to worry about shedding that heat to keep the LED’s in their efficient operating range. We utilized an incredibly unique way of flowing air THROUGH the light, allowing for cooling air to pass directly behind the LED’s. An industry first.
We then turned our sights to eliminating one of the main complaints most riders have these days: you don’t want to carry around an external battery pack. We get it, it’s cumbersome, takes more time to strap to your bike frame, and leaves cables flopping around. Thankfully there have been lots of developments in battery technology in the last few years and high density 21700 cells have gotten better and better. So we integrated two of them into the housing of Trail Evo, resulting in a whopping 37.0 watt-hours with only 275g of weight.
This combined with using new high-efficiency genuine CREE XD16 LED’s means we can get an incredible amount of light while maintaining 2.5+ hours of usable runtime, without an external battery pack!
Combine that featherweight with the fact that we can run this light at 150+ minutes of usable runtime and you start to wonder what else you could possibly need. Need to last longer than that? We are one of the only bike lights on the market that offer pass-through charging, so you can hook up any USB power bank you may own and it will supplement the light as your ride goes on, giving you unparalleled flexibility for your specific riding needs.
Let’s talk about runtimes for a second. The bike light industry tends to like to use the FL1 standard, which rates runtime as the time it takes to go from full brightness to 10% output, an outdated measure that harkens back to the days of using Alkaline batteries, and when you would swap out your flashlight battery…..
But this is 2020. We need to get real about runtimes. Nearly every single light on the market starts out full brightness and diminishes over time, and this is okay. Our eyes adapt to the darkness and as long as the reduction is gradual, we literally cannot tell the difference until reaching about 50-60% of the perceived brightness. Which is why we say that we have 150+ minutes of usable runtime in our standard Adaptive Mode, we aren’t going to call this “high” anymore and have a mode that isn’t actually high…. we made that mistake once.
Here is the expected runtime chart. This should be far more useful then just a single number.
Our High, Medium and Low Modes are SOLID output modes that are designed for the rider that changes the light intensity often. Low and slow for the climbs, maximum output for the fast descent. Medium is the perfect setting when paired with the Hangover on the helmet to get nearly 4+ hours of runtime. Adaptive is for the rider that hits the trail hard right from the parking lot and doesn’t want to think about changing output often. Just set it and forget it and get 150+ minutes of runtime.
Every mode has a 20-minute reserve that drops to low, we don’t want you getting stuck in the woods with no warning, or no way to get out in time. Plus let’s be honest, if you left it on high you probably were really only going to get another 3 minutes of runtime before totally going out, so lets put in a safety measure…
Outfront Centered Mounting
For a bar light to act like a proper headlight, we need to put it in the best location for a headlight. Out front and centered on the cockpit. For this we developed a durable and easy to use quick release mounting system that has been used for years in the professional camera industry. You simply click the light in and tighten the over-cam, and with one hand can release the light. We designed this to be used easily with thick gloves.
Standard USB-C Quick Charging
Just like with Hangover, we have USB-C quick charging as standard. This allows you to quickly charge the light using anything you might already have. A USB QC 3.0 compatible external battery pack will work to charge Trail Evo while in use, or before you hit the trail. In Medium output you can extend runtime by several hours.
With Trail Evo, while not as quick to charge as Hangover (single 18650 battery vs. two 21700 cells) it still charges at higher power than any other self-contained light on the market without requiring a proprietary charger, because we don’t want you to ever have to deal with mis-placing a charger that you can only get from one place. Trail Evo can each >80% charge in <3 hours.
The included customized USB-C to USB-A cable is designed to create a snug and watertight seal around the USB port of the light.
American Made Quality.
Like the Trail and Road Edition, these lights are built in America. We work closely with our PCBA supplier in Phoenix, AZ with full-time staff on-site assisting with assembly of Evo. We put a massive amount of engineering work into making sure we can assemble our lights quickly, accurately, and with the highest quality to ensure that we keep production stateside for years to come. Backed with a no-questions-asked warranty and amazing customer service. We want you to be a customer, a friend, and an Outbound rider for life.
What is included?
- Trail Evo light
- USB-C charging cable
- 31.8mm bar mount clamp
- 35.0mm bar mount clamp
- Quick release “shoe”
- Choice of orange or black anodized washers
- Hex tool to cleanly install the mount
- Instruction manual
Customer ReviewsWrite a review
Last year I rode 2000+ on the mtb in the pitch dark. 0445-0630 ~5 days a week. 20 min ride across town to the trails, 45min climb followed by 5min rowdy, rocky full tilt descents. My combo has been a Nightrider Lumina 600 on the bars and 950 boost on the helmet. I bought the EVO+hangover combo.
The EVO BLOWS my decade old Lumina 600 out of the water. I would guess that the EVO by itself surpasses my former NiteRider combo. And I could easily get away with just the EVO for anything besides full-tilt Strava PR chasing. I pedal the pavement and the climbs at low (plenty of light with a helmet light also on low) and DH at full power and can easily get 4hrs of use out of it. I bet I could get 5. Because of this supurb runtime, it's also heavy.
1a. The bar mount is fragile. I crashed and the impact of bars (not light) to ground and the cantilevered mount + heavy light snapped the bar mount at the puny split pivot. With the terrain I regularly ride in the dark, I do not have a high degree of confidence that a bottom-out after a drop wouldn't fail the same way except I'd suddenly have no light at Mach 10 in the dark (except for helmet light). Outbound had me a new clamp in 5 days.
1b. the 3mm bolt responsible for adjusting the rotation angle of the light is too small to adequately torque and keep the light from slipping. I don't think it's even necessary. Once could totally control angle of the light based off of rotation on the bar. I'm not confident this will stay tight long-term.
2a. I wish the light field was maybe a little narrower top to bottom and had some amount of "cut-off" at the top. As it is, it projects some light beneath my axle, lights up the top of my tire. Places I'm not convinced I need light. We occasionally run into early morning hikers and trail runners and it is BLINDING. As mentioned earlier, I also pedal to and from the trailhead. It wound be nice to not be blinding cars (I can control where my helmet light points). Perhaps an aftermarket lens hood could be used? I still feel like I am "losing light" up high that could be better projected down the trail. (and again I have a helmet light if I want to see something overhead like a low tree limb or maybe the EVO does this better)
2b. The low mount position also reflects light off your cables into your eyes. Outbound sells a aftermarket cable management hook that retains your cables under the light that solves this. It should just be included with the product because it works and makes a big difference.
3. There's a halo/glow of light reflecting off the fuzzy rubber upper molded hood. This is distracting, not as bad as the cables, but still light in your eyes. It was worse before I trimmed some of the rubber fuzz off, but as you can see in the picture attached, it's still visible, so I made my own janky "hood" out of Aluminum tape (peeled back for photo) to block the light from my eyes.
Again the CARPET of LIGHT is AWESOME.
This light is so good I don't think the Hangover pairs well with it. I will be returning my Hangover because I prefer the narrow and brighter spot from my NR Lumina 950 that reaches out further than the Hangover does for those nighttime STRAVA CUP attempts. I'll be writing a separate 3* review for it.
I haven't had the chance to go out for a long ride yet to test how long it lasts but man it is bright. It has made night riding so fun.
I had the original outbound trail light with external battery pack and loved it except when the battery pack became unstrapped and went through the spokes of my front wheel, luckily no damage occurred. That's mainly why I bought the new trail Evo. When I got the Evo and started using it I could tell something was different between the Evo and the trail version but wasn't sure what it was, It just felt like I was having a little harder time reading the obstacles in the trails and when I compared the two lights side by side I realized why. The Evo light with 9 horizontally mounted LEDs casts a series of shadows from objects while the original trail version with one centrally positioned LED casts a nice clean sharp shadow from objects making it easier to read them at a quick glance. This is more noticeable at lower speeds with closer objects but it is noticeable "see attached pictures below, picture with the blurry shadow is from the Evo and other picture with clean sharp shadow is from the original trail version. I feel this is the only real downfall for this light and would love for outbound to try and redesign the Evo with the single central LED optic from the trail version to correct this issue. I'm still giving the Evo 5 stars because I'm sure there's some efficiency vs lumen output reason behind why they went from one LED to 9 LEDs and we're able to get the amazing amount of light output and run time that they are with the Evo.
Let me start by saying I have the Trail bar light and two Hangover helmet lights (for those extra long night rides). All of this products have performed flawlessly.
I'll admit, I was a bit skeptical about the Trail EVO light. I mean, how could it possibly be better than the Trail bar light? It is.
Short and sweet: The quality of the materials, the mounting and quick release feature, the attention to detail, the overall fit and finish... AND without having to connect to any external battery packs... it's simply PERFECT. If you're concerned about the reduced run-times compared to the Trail light with the external battery pack, don't be. I run the Trail EVO on medium and my Overhang on medium and the combination provides ample light without any issues whatsoever. I can easily get a solid 2 hour night ride without the lights going dim. I do love my Trail light and might still use it as the ultimate lighting combination. But hands down, the Trail Evo combined with a Hangover is the perfect lighting setup!
Note: the quick release mounting was a little stiff the first few times I tried to install and remove the light. However, this was due to the paint on the machined surfaces of the light that caused a tight fit. Now that the paint has worn off on the surfaces that interact with the quick release mechanism, the light installs and locks into place very securely and removes with ease.
Some bike products, through thoughtful engineering and design, become legends as soon as they're released. The Chris King headset, the DT Swiss hub, and the Maxxis Minion all changed the game the minute they stepped on the field. The Outbound Trail Evo is one of those products.
The best way to describe the beam pattern is natural. It feels like you are riding in the light, rather than behind it, which in turn just feels like mountain biking. By comparison, riding with my previous lights always made the trail feel like a 2D movie projected 10 feet in front of me. It wasn't until I rode the Trail Evo that I realized just how disorienting this is. In addition to amazing optics, the Trail Evo is a near perfect piece of industrial design. The casing is sturdy cast magnesium finished with a soft touch plastic cap that sits seamlessly on top. The main button is easy to use. Finally, the handlebar mount pretty much puts every other bike light to shame. It's aluminum and tightens down enough to keep the light from falling down during the ride.
I can't remember another product I've bought where I simply couldn't find a fault. Every aspect of the light, from the optics to the charging port to the mount, reflect a careful attention to detail well beyond the standard in the world of parts and accessories. I really can't recommend this light enough.