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Verdict: 
The MK13 has gained a few grams as it shores up its build quality, and that's about it. It is great though!
Weight: 
102g

Exposure's MK13 version of its Joystick is as good as last year's MK12... in fact it's as-near-as-makes-no-difference exactly the same unit, aside from a slight weight increase that indicates a focus on improving build quality this time around.

  • Pros: Bright, focused beam; multiple modes; sensible features; many accessories
  • Cons: The price

Exposure is pretty good at this incremental improvement game; any light that's had 12 editions come before it demonstrates the brand's preferred method of developing its products. And so it is with the MK13 Joystick – in terms of features and functionality, it's ostensibly precisely the same unit as the MK12 that Mike reviewed almost this time last year.

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It seems pointless giving you a blow-by-blow account of the MK13 when a perfectly valid review – from the 1,000lm maximum output to the up-to-36 hour battery and its function modes – are all exactly as Mike described. I've read that review thoroughly and have tested the MK13 for both its handlebar and helmet-mounted fitments, and I agree with his assessment of the light.

Exposure Joystick MK13 Black - mount.jpg

It's certainly a light that prioritises the focus of its beam over a wide peripheral vision, but that's okay, especially when you have the light installed on your helmet so that it points where you point your head. Understandably, its target user isn't only a roadie, but a gravel and even mountain bike rider looking for focused vision out on the fire road or trail.

That 1,000lm is more than enough output for anyone (albeit with the limitation of a narrow focused beam), while it doubles as a compact and handy torch too. The 3,100mAh capacity battery yields an impressive battery burn-time as Mike discovered last year, with the 15% incremental LED life indicators.

> Buyer's Guide: The best front lights for cycling

I still question why a near-industry standard USB-C connection is rejected in favour of a circular jack that is far rarer – perhaps the power transfer is higher so that charge times are reduced to the three hour mark using the plug – but I wouldn't mind being able to use any of the 20-odd USB-C cables I have lying around rather than having to specifically worry about having this one with me, and sacrificing some time charging.

The fact is, though, on paper at least, the MK13 is an identical twin of the MK12, so MK12 users needn't be thinking about upgrading. In fact, if you can get hold of a MK12 (which were also available in some snazzy colours at one point last year) at a cheaper price, I'd be urging you to do so and not worry about the fact that you don't have the latest one – it's not like you can tell.

The one difference that you might notice is the weight – it's gained 9g over the MK12. Okay, actually, you probably wouldn't notice even with it on your helmet, but that extra bulk has gone into shoring up the light's build quality and resilience to drops and the like, and although that was hardly an issue with the old one, it's nice that Exposure is thinking about constantly improving its units... even if you could arguably ask the question, 'why?'

Verdict

The MK13 has gained a few grams as it shores up its build quality, and that's about it. It is great though!

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Exposure Joystick MK13 Black

Size tested: Lumens: Max 1,000

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Exposure says it is a light with an "intense and narrow beam to punch through the flood of a main handlebar light to focus on the line ahead, be it roots and off camber or fire road cruising."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Features:

Output

- LED Configuration: 1 x White XPL2 Cree LED

- Lumens: Max 1,000

Battery

- Battery: 3,100 mAh Lithium-Ion

- Runtime: 1.5hrs - 24hrs

- Rechargeable: Mains and USB

- Charge Time: 3hrs

Construction

- Weight: 93g

- Anodised 6063 Aluminium

- Water Resistance IPX6

Dimensions

Length: 112mm

Head Diameter: 30mm

- Optimised Mode Selector

- Cable Free Design

- Smart Port + [charge and power other units on the go]

- Intelligent Thermal Management

- Fuel Gauge

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
10/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10
Rate the light for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10

The only point to change since the MK12 review last year - it has gained 9g, after all.

Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

Still a great front light, but the cost does limit the value score of course.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's still one of the best.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Like Mike with the MK12, the fact that it was bright, had a focused beam, multiple modes, sensible features, and many accessories.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Still expensive.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's certainly very expensive compared with similar style lights – and you can get similar outputs from Light & Motion for £40 less. But this is a lovely product.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? I'd think about it.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, especially if they wanted a helmet-mounted light.

Use this box to explain your overall score

It hasn't changed much, so MK12 users need not worry, but the MK13 is a top, top light and still worthy of a 9/10 score.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 188cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016)  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

4 comments

Avatar
Welsh boy [599 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I bought one of these for road use and it is almost perfect.  I have mounted it centrally on a bracket under my Garmin and used a remote switch mounted next to the stem so verry little handlebar clutter.  The beam is perfect for road use, it points up the road where I want it, I dont want/need a light which illuminates both verges of a dual carriage way, I want the light up ahead on the road which this does.  Obviously there is some illumination to the side which is enough for road riding, I think this obsession of wide beams on road lights is rather strange, I can understand it for off road use but I dont need wide flood lighting on the road.

Avatar
tourdelound [174 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I've got a Mk7  version of this light with a maximum of 400 lumens and weighs 87g. It's around 6 years old and still works well with no noticeable battery degredation. I use it as a helmet light only to aid peripheral vision, ie, wherever I look is where the light is directed.  It's great when cornering but where it really comes in handy is when approaching junctions, you can give distracted motor vehicle drivers a glance, or even a stare to get their attention. I also fit the red eye attachment to the charge point so I've got an extra, high level rear light.  This could be one of the reasons for the round charge point rather than a USB-C.

Avatar
kevvjj [457 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

so, an identiacal light to the last version in every way except that it weighs ever so slightly more... and this warrants a whole new version?? Really? I've checked the calendar and it's definitley not April 1.

Avatar
Prosper0 [186 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I’d like to know what the design difference is between the Sirius and Joystick. Both have very similar form factors. 

 

On the USB C charging times - is there an electrical engineer cyclist out there that can confirm this? My laptop uses USB C to charge, I can’t belive that the power requirements of a bike light are higher. It’s a very serious limitation for Exposure to use these proprietary charging cables.