B&M Ixon IQ review

When I went on the Dunwich Dynamo I wanted a bike light that wouldn’t mess me around. Plenty of light, easy to install and would last the entire way.

The kind of bike light most people tend to opt for is something around the £10 – £20 mark. This is where I say to you that its wrong and stupid to do that. But its not. Those lights are perfectly fine in most situations. Especially around central London where there is plenty of street lighting anyway and you just want to be seen.

However, if you have various particularly dark spots in your commute or you want to go on a few night rides, such as the Dunwich Dynamo, then you need to take things up to the next level. Now the next level doesn’t necessarily have to be £300 level such as the Light and Motion Seca. Those lights are extreme and only useful if you doing some crazy night mountain biking.

The right level is roundabout the £60 – £80 mark and the obvious light that falls into that category is the Busch and Muller Ixon IQ. This cheeky little number:

B&M Ixon IQ light in for review

So when the guys over at Amba Marketing agreed to send one over to review I was pretty excited.

Luckily, it arrived in time for the Dunwich Dynamo. Installation was so easy even I could do it. My handlebars are fairly thin and I’ve had problems before with lights slipping around but this one accommodated just fine.

B&M Ixon IQ bike light sat on the bicycle handlebars

I happily rode off to the event with extra batteries in my bag just in case. Setting off at 9pm I used the low power setting. You have two choices. You can either put it on full power or low power. Of course with the latter you get more battery life.

The Ixon IQ light was quite incredible. It provided a decent beam that even as we cycled at high speeds down pitch black lanes I had no problem seeing around me and the road ahead. I found the high power mode largely unnecessary.

There were a couple of features I really liked about the B&M Ixon IQ. For one turning the light on involves holding down the button for a few seconds. This prevents it being accidentally pressed while it is in your bag. A problem that plagues a lot of rear bike lights. The other was the quick release mechanism and also the tool-less release of the bike mount. This is great for anyone who is alternating between two different bikes and doesn’t want their light to be stolen.

Upon arriving in Dunwich the light had coped the entire way. I used the B&M Ixon IQ for maybe around 6-7 hours and the beam was showing no signs of dying out and the unit hadn’t got hot to touch. Since then I’ve also used it a little when cycling around London. Despite not being entirely necessary for most London roads I did like having that extra light power and knowing that I would definitely be seen by pedestrians and drivers.

Here is a quick YouTube video someone else made showing the power of B&M Ixon IQ the beam. It doesn’t entirely do it justice but it is useful to watch:

What I liked

  • Bright beam (40 LUX output)
  • Good battery life (At lower power setting which was surprisingly bright you apparently get 20 hours)
  • Good bicycle mount that doesn’t slip and quick to remove
  • Doesn’t get hot

What I didn’t like

  • Could have a slightly more compact design
  • No blinking light mode

Overall review of the Ixon IQ

At £60 the Ixon IQ is the next step up from most low-priced bike lights. For that you get a very bright beam and well thought out design. A worthy upgrade if your commute involves a number of dark stretches.

Where you can buy one

The one place I managed to find the light at a decent price was Amazon.co.uk

See also:

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10 Responses to B&M Ixon IQ review

  1. Corin 03/08/2010 at 11:42 am #

    Great review, and really useful as I am thinking about getting a light for some night riding.

    From the sound of it, the Ixon IQ probably doesn’t have a blink mode because it would be like having a stobe attached to your handlebars!

    • Andreas 04/08/2010 at 10:22 am #

      Can highly recommend it Corin. Though I’m sure there is plenty of competition in this market space I can’t think of anything against the B&M Ixon IQ. You can get brighter lights at the same price point I’ve been told but I can’t see why that would be necessary and plus you’ll take a big hit on the battery life.

  2. Joe 03/08/2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Most German made lights (like Sigma or B&M) don’t have a blinking mode because it’s illegal in Germany.

    The models that do have it usually include in the package something like “European model” or stuff like that to indicate it’s not to be sold in Germany.

    • Andreas 04/08/2010 at 9:14 am #

      Hi Joe – that’s correct and probably should of mentioned it in the article. Thanks for adding 🙂

  3. Rebecca 06/08/2010 at 12:46 pm #

    I had this light and loved it – and then some yobs smashed it just for fun. 🙁
    Lesson learnt… since then, I always remove all accessories when leaving the bike locked up (two good locks!). Sadly haven’t been able to afford another Ixon IQ just yet. Used a £20 Cateye light on the DunRun (barely adequate) – really missed that Ixon IQ.

  4. Amoeba 10/11/2010 at 7:12 am #

    I have recently bought the Busch & Muller Ixon-IQ, I’m pleased with it, and it’s really bright, bright enough to see well on the unlit Thames towpath. The beam geometry means that it puts the light where you need to see without dazzling, but there’s plenty of spill light to be seen by other road users.

    If you’ve ever seen the Fenix L2D torch, the Ixon-IQ outshines it by some margin, with a cyclist-friendly beam pattern.

    I haven’t really had the Ixon-IQ sufficiently long enough to recommend it whole-heartedly – yet. But it certainly shows promise. However, I would advise users to take handling it and not to wear woollen or similar gloves while handling it. Because you may drop it, and the four NiMH batteries that it requires are quite heavy, despite its rugged construction, I wouldn’t want to risk damaging it. I’m not saying it wouldn’t survive a drop on a hard surface (especially in the cold), but I am saying just be careful.

    YouTube user Magnatom (creator of the video above) damaged his Ixon-IQ in a crash.
    Magnatom: ‘It is the Busch and Muller Ixon IQ. A great light, but unfortunately mine is a little broken now due to my recent crash! I was fine, unfortunately the light took the brunt of the crash! :-(‘
    But then Magnatom’s a bit of a speed-freak.

    The Ixon-IQ, is the battery version of the LUMOTEC IQ Fly, (dynamo powered). I’ve several of these that run off hub dynamos and the build quality and same beam geometry and light output (40 Lux) is excellent.

  5. Neil Warner 12/01/2011 at 11:16 am #

    The anti dazzle strips shown on the B&M site is now available in the UK so we can climb out of the saddle and not be blinded.

  6. Keith 10/10/2012 at 10:17 am #

    . I bought the Ixon IQ and Blackburn Flea and they are both excellent. Just checked out the site again to see if your recommendation had changed, as my daughter has moved to Scotland and needs decent lights! Couldnt help noticing the Iphone holder, could you tell me what it is? Thanks for the great reviews. Keith

  7. Liam 05/02/2013 at 8:38 pm #

    I have had a couple of these for a few years and am a massive fan.

    I use them on audax rides and commuting. In the night on a country lane they are fantastic and, on full beam, throw out enough light to both show-up potholes and guide you around bends. A motorist would have to be very blind indeed not to see you coming!

    I have the rechargeable version – it gives me a good three or four hours on full beam. The back-up beam is still pretty useful.

    The clip that secures the back is not very robust – being hit from a passing car by a Macflurry saw the end of the first one. The manufacturers replaced it without a quibble!

    One complaint is that it interferes with wireless computers – my audax bike has reverted to a cable computer.

    But it’s only a minor gripe. The customer service alone is worth of a four star review!


  8. Amoeba 06/02/2013 at 8:33 am #

    I’m still very happy with the Ixon IQ. The low power beam 10 Lux (20 hour run-time) versus 40 Lux (5 hour run-time), is still pretty bright, and is perfectly adequate in town and cities.

    Don’t forget this light is German approved StVZO and is K-rated for both light levels. That means it is Approved for use in the UK.
    Many off-road lights may put out more light, but it is wasted light and on the road an off-road light is prone to dazzle and that’s a) illegal b) anti-social and c) dangerous.
    In the event of a collision this light complies with the regulations. It is very noticeable.
    Note: On-road, it must be properly adjusted to prevent dazzling drivers and riders of oncoming traffic, but the beam geometry greatly facilitates this.

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