Between GPS computers and headlights, it’s hard to avoid handlebar clutter on bikes these days. That’s what inspired LightSKIN to develop flat handlebars with an integrated LED. It’s a sleek design that has a built-in LED headlight directly into the handlebar itself for a clean and theft-proof setup. LightSKIN offers the aluminum handlebars in three primary variations: H2B (battery), H2E (e-bike / external battery), and the H2D (dynamo powered). In this review we’ll be looking at the $130 LightSKIN H2B handlebar in the matte black finish – however, they do offer a polished option at the same price. The H2B is a flat handlebar design and is available in widths from 620-700mm with a slight back sweep and rise. What sets the handlebars apart is the 150 lumen StVZO LED lens built directly into the handlebars. It’s a compact design that offers a sharp beam cutoff and up to 6 hours of runtime from the 2000mAh Lithium-polymer battery.
The LightSKIN H2B offers an StVZO LED headlight built directly into a flat handlebar design for a sleek and minimalist setup.
|Rating||9.0 / 10|
|Measured Weight (g)||306|
|Likes||+ Compact StVZO projector lens|
+ Minimalist and sleek lighting solution
+ Integrated design is theft proof
|Dislikes||– Micro USB port instead of USB-C|
– Only has a low-battery status indicator
– Lens can be obscured by cables
|Where to Buy (US)||LightSKIN|
The LightSKIN H2B handlebar comes in a simple long cardboard box with branding printed directly on to it. Inside the box you should expect to find:
- H2B handlebar
- Extra long Micro USB charging cable
- User manual
The charging cable is long to account for the fact that you have to charge the handlebars while installed. We’d recommend using a powerbank to recharge the handlebars instead of tracking down a nearby outlet.
Installing the H2B handlebars is straightforward as the procedure is identical to any flat handlebars. The H2B has a 31.8 diameter center section for attaching to bike steps and tapers down to 22.2mm at the grips. If you’re putting the handlebars on an existing bike you’ll need to carefully swap over the shifters / brake levers / grips from the existing handlebars onto the H2B. Once you’ve done that you simply attach the stem faceplate and torque down the bolts to the proper value (we recommend a high-precision torque wrench like those offered by Pro Bike Tool). The handlebar should be positioned such that the LED is to the left of the stem (facing from the rear of the bike to the front). Per the manual, the headlight angle should be adjusted such that the brightest portion of the beam is centered vertically on a wall that is 5 meters / 16.4 feet away. Note you can reduce the width of the handlebars down to 540mm as long as you ensure the battery is moved inward of the cut.
FIT & FINISH
LightSKIN offers the H2B handlebars in both a matte black and a polished aluminum finish. We chose the matte black finish as it better matches our Priority Ace of Spades black and white color scheme. It’s an attractive finish with slight texture over the aluminum handlebars. Per LightSKIN’s catalog there are an additional three sub variations of the H2B: Flat / Wien (slight rise) and City (larger rise). The handlebars in this review are the flat variation which have a 9 degree back sweep and 5mm rise. There are two holes cut into the handlebar, a rounded rectangular hole for the light lens and a smaller one for the micro USB charging port and power button. There are small visible screws behind each of the cutouts that hold the electronics and LEDs in place.
The lens itself is a compact projector style with a single LED that ensures the light passes the German StVZO restrictions. LightSKIN claims this is one of the world’s smallest lenses that are StVZO compliant at only 13 x 18.5 mm. On the opposite side of the handlebars you’ll find the power button and micro USB charging port. A rubber gasket covers both with a raised rubber button that is easy to modulate. The user interface is a simple single level with a short press to cycle between off – high – low – off settings. There is no mode memory as you always have to cycle back to off to shut the headlight off. Pulling the rubber cover reveals the forward facing micro USB charging port which can be used to recharge the handlebars.
The H2B only has two constant modes to choose from: high and medium. The high setting has a claimed 150 lumen output and 4 hour runtime. LightSKIN does not state the lumen output for the medium mode, but the lower output has a higher runtime of 6 hours. With no mode memory, you always turn the light on in the high mode. We wish LightSKIN had incorporated some daytime flash modes, but that’s something StVZO does not allow so it’s not surprising that the H2B doesn’t have any flash options. The projector style lens means the H2B look brighter than the 150 lumen rating as the beam is focused on the ground. Although the beam optics aren’t as clean as larger lights like the Lupine SL, it’s still impressive and eliminate glare for any oncoming traffic. The H2B is well suited for urban or city use as it has enough light to see in front and about a car lane width around you. We’d still recommend a bright light like the Magicshine RN 1500 if you’re riding at higher speeds or in more rural settings though.
We also want to point out that the integrated design of the lens means brake or shifter cables may partially obstruct the beam. You’ll want to re-route cables or pull them out of the way to avoid blocking the light output. The other usability issue is that there is no multi-level battery status indicator with the H2B handlebars only a low battery status indicator. That means you’ll need to remember to recharge the handlebars or watch out for the low battery status light. As a precaution, we’d recommend always carrying a second headlight or using the H2B itself as a backup light to ensure you’re visible at night even if the battery is depleted.
Overall, we found the LightSKIN H2B to be a sleek and well build integrated handlebar and headlight solution. The all-in-one design with it’s compact project lens is a clever design that de-clutters handlebars and is a theft-proof design. It’s well suited for urban or commuter bikes as the handlebars are easy to install and recharge with the front mounted micro USB port. The projector lens creates a sharp beam cutoff that makes the most of the 150 lumen output. Some of the downsides to the integrated design is that shfiter or brake cables can easily obscure the lens. That said, if you’re looking for sleek integrated handlebar setup with anti-glare lens the H2B is a great option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by LightSKIN. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.