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  1. #1
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    MagicShine - OK, Im a believer...

    Hi Guys,

    I just got back from a night ride. Went longer today as I work from home on a Friday and can set-off at 4pm sharp. I wanted to test out a new MagicShine light I picked up from dealextreme.com:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-808e...-4x18650-57100

    They claim that its as bright as a car headlight. I can confirm - it is! Super bright, and as I like to ride after work days it should get lots of use. Highly recommended. Took forever to get here (4 weeks) but worth the wait. Lights up a good area with a nice spread. These dark nights were a hazard with my old Planet Bike Blaze 2w.

    The big difference was lighting up the shadows on a descent. I had been keeping it to 10-11mph as I simply could not see with the PB. The MS throws out a lot of light where I had no issue "letting it go" on a descent. Highly Recommended!
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    Last edited by magohn; 12-16-11 at 08:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mansram01's Avatar
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    Nice write-up. How long was your commute? Did it the battery charge indicator change colors? Sounds like you were riding with the lights in the high position (full intensity). I have a new MJ-808 but I haven't taken it out yet on a ride.

  3. #3
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    I rode just short of 18 miles (it was cold!). The LED changed from green to blue at the 1 hour mark which sounds about right on high intensity. Blue means there is approx 75% of power left.

    I tried to take cellphone pics but it just didnt do the light justice. I had the PB light on and it throws out a solid 5-7ft sprerad out to about 35ft. Switching to the MS and the MS literally lit up the whole road and most of the side footpaths etc.

    BTW- It took 4 weeks to arrive as DX was 'backordered' for a week. I emailed them and they were very responsive and I thought pretty good customer service. They emailed me when the light was expected to restock, when it was in stock and then when it shipped. No complaints for a great price.

  4. #4
    gbg
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    Yep!

    I have the 808 (900 lumens) on the helmet and the 872 (1600 lumens) on the bars.
    The 808 is going on 3 years old on the original battery and the 872 is brand new. I got their
    their superbright tail light as well but is was just shipped a few days ago, looonnngg shipping time.

    For about $300 I got 900 lumen and 1600 lumen headlights a superbright tail light and 3 batteries and chargers.
    So I think I will be set for some time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    I love mine too. headlight and taillight - taillight is incredibly bright.

    the new 4.5 battery they are selling drove the headlight on full power for 4+ hours. headlight & taillight together run for a couple hours, very nice.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  6. #6
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Im assuming I got the "updated" battery pack. It looks like the packs that were causing problems were encased in shrink-wrap. My battery is in a rubber shroud and seems pretty waterproof.

  7. #7
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    That is an amazing price for a light that bright.
    One Foot Less

  8. #8
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    That is an amazing price for a light that bright.
    Especially when I paid $40+ for the Planet Bike Blaze 2x. Its like comparing a birthday candle to the sun.

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    I love mine! I have two of them... one on my handlebars and one on my helmet. I LOVE then. I run both of them on medium. Some parts of my commute I run the bar one on high. Just depends.

    I love the fact that the back of the light glows. This is helpful to tell the battery level but ALSO on the helmet, it gives me another tail light.

    I have had MANY people tell me, on my commute to work, that I am lit up like a Christmas tree. he he he he

  10. #10
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    I have two headlights because I had to buy extra batteries during the recall wait, talk about bright I also have a wide lense and a soft lense from mtbl robs http://mtbl.robs-x.com/page15/page21/page24/index.html These lenses do wonders for the beam pattern...definitely worth getting.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Not to rain on the parade here, but I'll have to say my experience with MagicShine has not been stellar. My battery stopped taking a charge in less then 6 weeks, then had to wait 8 months to get a recall replacement. My friends light head assembly fell apart in less 3 month of use. He got it covered under warranty, but was without a light until the the new head arrived. I will agree that they do put out a lot of light for the money, but I have gone to higher end lights and not regretted the decision.

  12. #12
    gbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper View Post
    Not to rain on the parade here, but I'll have to say my experience with MagicShine has not been stellar. My battery stopped taking a charge in less then 6 weeks, then had to wait 8 months to get a recall replacement. My friends light head assembly fell apart in less 3 month of use. He got it covered under warranty, but was without a light until the the new head arrived. I will agree that they do put out a lot of light for the money, but I have gone to higher end lights and not regretted the decision.
    Yeah, but the high end stuff has failures too. You just don't hear about them as much since they sell way less units.
    There is always a % failure, and if it is lets say 1%, 1,000,000 units will have 10,000 failures. That seems like a lot
    but it is only 1%. If a high end light has a 1% failure and they only sell 5000, thats 50 unhappy people not 10,000.
    And I have usually found if someone buys something expensive and it has a quality problem they are less likely to
    make it public, because they want to keep the expensive is better mystique untarnished.
    I will say if they don't get satisfaction with customer service they tend to be more vocal.

    The 8 month wait is probably because they can't keep up with demand. That can lead to quality problems too,
    look at toyota.
    Last edited by gbg; 12-17-11 at 04:42 PM.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the link, as they have a better price than Amazon and I already had this light in my Amazon wish list. Since I commute occassionally to work and my commute starts in the dark and ends in the dark, I really need good lighting on my bike.

    Is there mounting hardware for this light to place it either on a fender or fork? I really want to mount the light as low as possible on the bike so that it will light up potholes as well as possible. On the crappy chip-seal roads I ride, my biggest danger in the winter is new potholes that I can't see in the dark. Well, a close runner-up in the danger department are the friendly motorist who blind me with their bright lights to the point that I am not able to see the edge of the road.

    Thanks for the review!
    RUSA #8269

  14. #14
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I bought a Magicshine a couple of years ago through Geomangear. And that retailer is highly recommended.

    First observation, a friend of mine just bought a Magicshine, and it has 4-lights mounted in the unit, meaning it's an altogether different unit from the one I had. It is apparently similarly bright, though.

    Geomangear did have the recall, but I never did bother swapping out my batteries. The new battery packs should have any issues taken care of, as of about a year ago.

    One issue I had was that the plugs started getting unreliable, so that I could be riding along and suddenly be in the dark. I probably could have fixed that with a couple of bent paper clips and rubber bands to hold the plugs together, but they really needed a redesigned plug, and hopefully have that.

    A bigger problem was user neglect. I would come in from a ride and forget to plug the thing in, then wouldn't be able to ride the next night.

    When I started doing longer rides, I switched to a hub generator. Total light output is quite a bit less, but the light pattern is shaped a lot more advantageously which makes up a lot of the difference.

    By the way, as for reliability in general- I've noted problems with my Magicshine. Before that I had a Niterider light, but the lead-acid battery wouldn't hold a charge after the first year or so. I've not had problems with the hub generator light, but a friend did have one of them go out, so nothing's immune. If you have one of the clip-on handlebar lights (the Blaze, etc.), take it along for emergency backup.

    I've used the Planet Bike Superflashes for taillights, but they have issues too- not every waterproof, and when they start getting old, the switches get unreliable.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  15. #15
    gbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    One issue I had was that the plugs started getting unreliable, so that I could be riding along and suddenly be in the dark. I probably could have fixed that with a couple of bent paper clips and rubber bands to hold the plugs together, but they really needed a redesigned plug, and hopefully have that.
    The 4 led unit is the MJ-872 that's the 1600 lumen unit I have on the bars. I have heard of several people mention
    the plugs being cheaper, but I have one of the first 900 lumen units and the plug is totally tight. It is so
    tight that I have problems disconnecting it with gloves on and have to use my bare hands.
    The 872 is just as tight and secure. I wonder if there are 2 different plug manufactures?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    One issue I had was that the plugs started getting unreliable, so that I could be riding along and suddenly be in the dark. I probably could have fixed that with a couple of bent paper clips and rubber bands to hold the plugs together, but they really needed a redesigned plug, and hopefully have that.
    I've had my Magicshine for over a year, use it daily and am very happy with it. The only issue I've had is flaking out of the plugs, and I recommend that Magicshine users buy an extra "Y" cable and leave one end free so you can plug in your recharger w/o unplugging any of the main wiring harness. I'm pretty sure the flakiness comes from plugging/unplugging.

  17. #17
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drbenjamin View Post
    I've had my Magicshine for over a year, use it daily and am very happy with it. The only issue I've had is flaking out of the plugs, and I recommend that Magicshine users buy an extra "Y" cable and leave one end free so you can plug in your recharger w/o unplugging any of the main wiring harness. I'm pretty sure the flakiness comes from plugging/unplugging.
    Now THATS a great idea! Where would I purchase such a "Y" adapter? Would there be issues with reverse polarity etc and making sure I didnt fry the unit?

  18. #18
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    I will agree that they do put out a lot of light for the money, but I have gone to higher end lights and not regretted the decision.
    I've gone through a few Niteriders and one Magic Shine battery (wouldn't last 1.5 hours on high) and consider them to have similar reliability.

    The Magic Shine was much less expensive than the bright Niteriders and much brighter (I nearly ran off the road with the original MiNewt) than comparably priced lights. I'll buy another Magic Shine before I get a Niterider or similar name brand lamp.

    I'd happily spend more if I could get a projector head light with comparable brightness and asymmetric beam with a sharp cut-off but higher price tags just seems to get a better brand name with the same vague reflector.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 12-18-11 at 01:08 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    I've gone through a few Niteriders and one Magic Shine battery (wouldn't last 1.5 hours on high) and consider them to have similar reliability.

    The Magic Shine was much less expensive than the bright Niteriders and much brighter (I nearly ran off the road with the original MiNewt) than comparably priced lights. I'll buy another Magic Shine before I get a Niterider or similar name brand lamp.

    I'd happily spend more if I could get a projector head light with comparable brightness and asymmetric beam with a sharp cut-off but higher price tags just seems to get a better brand name with the same vague reflector.
    Maybe I should clarify my statement since it seems that I have incensed a few by it. I was merely saying that I had some issues with the the Magicshine light that I bought, and a friend of mine did too. I am not one who believes that spending more money on equipment is always the best answer. I am one however who will spend more money if it means getting better reliability and quality. I, like yourself, found that most lights found at a LBS are no better the the MagicShine. This led me to do some very serious research in which I found a couple of lights that I deemed worth the extra money. My bar mounted light is a Baja Designs Stryker. It is a Mil-Spec light that can be submersed to under 30 feet of water and comes with both a spot and flood reflector. My helmet light is an Exposure Lighting Diablo, which is cut out of billet aluminum and should be a piece of art. It is built in the UK where fowl weather is the norm. Both lights put as much, if not more light then the MagicShine on their medium setting and both have lifetime warranties. Plus they both have actual phone numbers so I can talk to someone if there is an issue. These lights might be overkill to so some, but for the way I use them, I am glad that I spent the money.

  20. #20
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper View Post
    Maybe I should clarify my statement since it seems that I have incensed a few by it. I was merely saying that I had some issues with the the Magicshine light that I bought, and a friend of mine did too. I am not one who believes that spending more money on equipment is always the best answer. I am one however who will spend more money if it means getting better reliability and quality. I, like yourself, found that most lights found at a LBS are no better the the MagicShine. This led me to do some very serious research in which I found a couple of lights that I deemed worth the extra money. My bar mounted light is a Baja Designs Stryker. It is a Mil-Spec light that can be submersed to under 30 feet of water and comes with both a spot and flood reflector. My helmet light is an Exposure Lighting Diablo, which is cut out of billet aluminum and should be a piece of art. It is built in the UK where fowl weather is the norm. Both lights put as much, if not more light then the MagicShine on their medium setting and both have lifetime warranties. Plus they both have actual phone numbers so I can talk to someone if there is an issue. These lights might be overkill to so some, but for the way I use them, I am glad that I spent the money.
    Arent' the combined $ values of the Baja and the Diable close to $800? Yikes! Though I respect your descision, those lights BETTER beat any MAgicSgine on any day as the MS is $75 (incl shipping).

    To me, there is no comparison. It would be like comparing a Ford Escort to a Rolls Royce. Both do the job but both have different customer expecatations.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Arent' the combined $ values of the Baja and the Diable close to $800? Yikes! Though I respect your descision, those lights BETTER beat any MAgicSgine on any day as the MS is $75 (incl shipping).

    To me, there is no comparison. It would be like comparing a Ford Escort to a Rolls Royce. Both do the job but both have different customer expecatations.
    I'm not sure where you came up with $800, but I paid no where near that price for the pair. If I really wanted the "Rolls Royce" of lights, I would have bought Lupine's. In the end value is always up to the end user and how they use their equipment. For some people, an X-Mart bike is value, and to another , a full carbon frame is the only way to go. So, some people have nice full carbon bikes, and I have nice lights.

  22. #22
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper View Post
    I'm not sure where you came up with $800, but I paid no where near that price for the pair. If I really wanted the "Rolls Royce" of lights, I would have bought Lupine's. In the end value is always up to the end user and how they use their equipment. For some people, an X-Mart bike is value, and to another , a full carbon frame is the only way to go. So, some people have nice full carbon bikes, and I have nice lights.
    True

  23. #23
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    Mine have worked well for commuting - about a 1.5 hour round trip. I have plenty of bright for that amount of time. If I were a mountain biker bouncing about the forest near here, I might go for something else. But for my purposes, MS lights are super.
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

  24. #24
    Senior Member Mansram01's Avatar
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    Finally took my Magicshine MJ808's out for a couple of rides. Very pleased with the multiple intensity options available. I was previously riding with the no longer made Niterider Sol headlight. I can see where the Niterider quality in build is superior to the MS but not so much to put me off. The MS is a great value considering that its several times brighter than my Niterider and has the ability to adjust the brightness (only one setting for the Niterider at 100 lumens). I think the MS build might be better suited for road than off-road simply due to the mount and battery connector not being as rugged as other makes.

    Having said that, I'm very pleased with my purchase. I can clearly ride faster and take descents with having to grit my teeth and slowing down. Plus I'm all that more visible when it counts. The medium setting appears to suit me for most of my ride. Great product but this could be premature as I can't quite comment on durability yet just observations and comparisons on my own experience. All smiles so far.

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