Exposure Lights MAXX D MK9 2017 Mountain Bike Review

Exposure Lights MAXX D MK9 2017

Reviews / Lights

Exposure Lights 8,139

At A Glance

In the rather high tech world of Exposure lights, you'd be forgiven for thinking the MAXX D MK9 is the biggest and baddest weapon in their arsenal. With 2350 lumens, and up to 3200 with Reflex (we'll come back to this) it's hugely powerful, but there is also the Six Pack M7, which blows it out of the water with 3400 lumens! I digress slightly, but it's important to know quite how powerful the range is, and the trickle down effect, which is in full flow. The MAXX D is a good mix of size and power output unless you want to blind the woodland animals on a night out.

Buy Lights on

It’s powerful, compact and doesn’t have a battery pack. Beautifully made, it also has the new 'retro' stainless button on the back rather than the 'non-button' button from last year. The clamp is the traditional arrowhead design which mounts securely into the base of the coke can scale light. Ten programs are easily swappable via the screen on the rear, which shows percentage power, program number and burn time remaining. Reflex technology adapts the output depending on speed, angle and roughness of the trail, basically it is artificial intelligence for your bike!

On The Trail

The Maxx D MK9 is best described not in terms of its illumination but rather defined by its ability to provide an absence of dark. The unit feels like mounting a light cannon onto your bike and heading out to chase the night away. On full power, the light spread is huge, with both great forward distance and also plenty of power around the sides for peripheral vision.

The Reflex system is pure genius, and it's so good it's easy to forget it's there, adapting intelligently to what's happening under the wheels. The Maxx D MK9 knows when you're moving, and knows how rough the ground is underneath; it even knows if you're climbing or descending. Stop for a chat and the light dims to save power, set off again and dark is forced away once more. Get up some speed and get on the rough and the light will boost to ultimate power, giving you everything it has to allow for maximum speed. If you want to change mode yourself, the button in there, and run times on low power can be up to 36hrs, while on full power is at least 2hrs. In full power, on Reflex mode, the output in boosted to 3200 lumens, and standard full power is 'only' 2350 lumens. Swapping between the programs or Reflex is easy with the Exposure standard hold and press of the single stainless button, ten different modes to balance your needs for power or longevity.

The only downside of the Maxx D is the inability to look around corners, and no matter how much power on the bars, I would always want a helmet mount for technical, twisty trail. I wouldn't put it past Exposure to develop a light, which can see around bends, but for the time being a helmet light combination is the answer for me. The Diablo MK8 is the perfect companion for this light!


It's expensive yes, but this is about as powerful as you can get for a mountain bike light. If you ride in the dark all winter or race 24hr events, then this could be the package you need. Simple and blindingly bright, along with the Reflex technology it makes for an easy to use and intuitive system. This is the ultimate night riding solution in a fantastic package.

Buy Lights on

This review was in Issue 44 of IMB.

For more information visit Exposure Lights


By Ewen Turner
Ewen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.

Tried this? What did you think?