• Simon Carlsson

    What I’ve learned riding eMTB at night!

  • eMTB riding at night

    Husqvarna E-Bicycles’ super Swede Simon Carlsson is well-versed in the art of eMTB night riding and knows a thing or two about how to make the most of the long, dark winter nights in his Swedish homeland.

    With winter comes long, dark nights, which means less daylight hours for getting your regular eMTB rides in. However, it also creates a new opportunity – nighttime riding! If you haven’t tried it, it’s certainly something you should experience at least once. With the right setup, you’ll be hooked on nighttime spins and itching to get out for regular midweek rides after work.

    Calling Sweden home, Simon Carlsson is experienced in the ‘dark art’ of night riding during the long winter months. With less day light hours during winter than most other European countries, Simon’s grown up having to adapt and overcome, in order to continue having fun during the winter months.

    Here is some of his hard-earned advice, all about making the most of a nighttime ride…

    Setup is key

    “It kinda goes without saying that you need a good lighting kit to get the most out of any night ride. There are a tonne of options out there and it is worth investing in a good quality setup for visibility, battery life, and ease of carrying. I use one light, mounted on my helmet. It’s called the LEDX MAMBA 4000 X-PAND. It’s lightweight, but also robust for helmet mounting and can withstand the Swedish elements. With a strong light beam, I feel just one light, mounted on the rider, is enough. If the light is mounted on a helmet, no matter where you look the light will always point in the same direction.”

    Battery life goals

    “My light is 4,000 lumens, which is super strong. That’s pretty much what you need to see where you’re going. I normally run it on full beam too. It uses more battery that way, but I get about two and a half hours in this mode, which is more than enough. The battery is separate from the actual light.”

    Dress warm with layers

    “People forget that riding at night is much colder than during the day, even more so in winter. You need to wear extra layers. Start with a merino base layer, then jersey, outer vest and top off with a shell jacket to stay warm. Wear a buff around your neck, neoprene gloves, and overshoes to keep your shoes and feet dry.”


    Group rides are best

    “Sometimes only a solo ride is possible, but it’s always more fun, and safer, to do a group ride with friends. I prefer being out with my buddies than going alone. There’s more laughs and we have each other’s back in case of a problem.”

    How long is long enough?

    “Generally, I would suggest one hour of riding is enough. It works best for me. I know I have over two hours battery life from my light, but I like to factor in time for a problem or maybe a puncture. Night riding isn’t for training, it’s just for fun.”


    Go where you know best

    “Everything looks and feels completely different at night. Even those trails you know inside out. My advice is to stick to the local trails you know - ones that are well marked and not too technical. Don’t go too crazy with it. Riding in the dark with limited visibility makes even the tamest blue graded trails difficult.”

    Watch out for the boogie man!

    “Ok, so maybe not the boogie man, but the forest has a weird feeling at night! It’s almost spooky and eery, but I like it like that. With only a light to guide you, everything is more still, calmer somehow, and you can’t see into your surroundings like you can during the day. At night I kind of feel freer on the bike and really enjoy this style of riding. It’s something we do a lot of in Sweden, but everyone should try it for sure!”