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Old 01-02-12, 11:40 PM   #1
stbtra
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Are Magicshines bad for commuting? They seem to lack a cutoff and are very bright

I don't exactly want to blind oncoming cars/cyclists. Anyone have experience using one for commuting? I would like to mount it low on my fork ideally.
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Old 01-02-12, 11:49 PM   #2
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If you ride on an MUP, maybe. The MUP requires very close passes, and some people will have no lights, or weak ones, and therefore will be easily "swamped" by any strong light.

On the city street, don't worry about it in the slightest. On dark highways, use your judgement.
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Old 01-03-12, 03:18 AM   #3
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If you ride on an MUP, maybe. The MUP requires very close passes, and some people will have no lights, or weak ones, and therefore will be easily "swamped" by any strong light.

On the city street, don't worry about it in the slightest. On dark highways, use your judgement.
+1

If you ride on an MPU/dedicated bike road I've found that high powered lights blind other riders. On the street in the city a life saver. On the small stretch of dark road I ride about twice a year a car will flash it's high beams at me.
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Old 01-03-12, 07:00 AM   #4
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On a street, your Magicshine is nothing compared to car headlights unless you have the beam pointed directly at drivers' eyes. As other said, turn it down to low on bike paths.
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Old 01-03-12, 07:07 AM   #5
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If you commute entirely through an urban environment covered by street lamps, you'll have no need for a Magicshine, save some loot and get a blinky. But if you pass through unlighted areas, the Magicshine is the way to go. In any case you should be able to direct the beam low enough so as not to blind oncoming cyclists but still project a good field of illumination. I love my MJ816, the so called "Mickey Mouse" model (with the two little ear-like lamps attached to to the high beam) because it gives good spread on the low setting, which conserves power, and only turn it on the high for steep descents. But I just keep it on my country bikes, as it doesn't have a flash mode, which I prefer for riding in the city.
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Old 01-03-12, 07:42 AM   #6
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If you commute entirely through an urban environment covered by street lamps, you'll have no need for a Magicshine, save some loot and get a blinky. But if you pass through unlighted areas, the Magicshine is the way to go. In any case you should be able to direct the beam low enough so as not to blind oncoming cyclists but still project a good field of illumination. I love my MJ816, the so called "Mickey Mouse" model (with the two little ear-like lamps attached to to the high beam) because it gives good spread on the low setting, which conserves power, and only turn it on the high for steep descents. But I just keep it on my country bikes, as it doesn't have a flash mode, which I prefer for riding in the city.
You've got it exactly backwards. When commuting in an urban environment, you should have the brightest lights you can carry. You don't need them for illumination but for letting cars know you are there. There are thousands of other light sources and a weak light gets lost in the background as this picture (stollen from mechBgon) demonstrates.



On a country road, you need the lights more for illumination and you don't have as many light sources for competition. You could run a weaker light in those situations and still get adequate illumination, although I'd run them on full in either case.

Run the Magicshine's, stbtra, and don't worry about it. The Magicshine is bright but not all that bright. They are also 'floody' so the beam isn't all that concentrated. A wide beam and our natural position on the road make for a light that is unlikely to have much effect on on-coming road traffic. If you are worried about salmons...well they are salmon. If you are a salmon, stop doing that. And if you ride bike paths, play it by ear...or don't ride bike paths in the dark.
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Old 01-03-12, 12:57 PM   #7
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^^^ Definitely agree. Lot's of lights, visual clutter and activity in urban environments make it difficult to notice a bike. I would go with both a moderate to bright constant light and a bright flashing light. Flashing white lights may not be legal in all areas but I have gotten neither ticket nor run over yet. I also use a both constant and flashing rear lights in such situations.
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Old 01-03-12, 04:51 PM   #8
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You can get a lens that will flatten the beam and make it more usable. Aim it properly and it will be a worthwhile investment.
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Old 01-03-12, 05:13 PM   #9
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I don't exactly want to blind oncoming cars/cyclists.
If you're concerned about "blinding" a motorist with your Magicshine or similar headlight, you should simply not ride the bike at all, since you will also momentarily delay some motorists, and this is certainly more objectionable to motorists than a little more light shining in their direction for a few seconds.

Just stay home, you might annoy or offend a motorist, and clearly their convenience and comfort are far more important than your safe passage or continued survival.

For those of you who are unconcerned with this trivial reality of life, please carry on as usual.
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Old 01-03-12, 11:01 PM   #10
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There's a lot more to "blinding" motorists than being "offending", seeker. A poorly-aimed light, especially one with a floody pattern like a Magicshine, can be a very real hazard to YOU and other road users when you compromise another motorist's vision. What if they come upon you on a curvy road and lose sight of the centerline? What if their glass is dirty and you create enough glare to compromise their peripheral, unlit areas--these are very real possibilities, doubly so in dense, urban areas where there are other road users in the mix, one that a blinded driver momentarily can't see.
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Old 01-03-12, 11:13 PM   #11
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There's nothing wrong with being considerate to other road users and the people around us. People generally react better when you don't approach them with a "**** you" attitude and that has a real effect on yours and my safety when we share the road.
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Old 01-04-12, 07:47 AM   #12
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There's a lot more to "blinding" motorists than being "offending", seeker. A poorly-aimed light, especially one with a floody pattern like a Magicshine, can be a very real hazard to YOU and other road users when you compromise another motorist's vision. What if they come upon you on a curvy road and lose sight of the centerline? What if their glass is dirty and you create enough glare to compromise their peripheral, unlit areas--these are very real possibilities, doubly so in dense, urban areas where there are other road users in the mix, one that a blinded driver momentarily can't see.
Consider what you are saying. A light that has a wide beam...a flood pattern...disperses light over a wide area. The wider the area, the less light there is per unit area so the light is not as bright as a tightly focused beam. Anything that disperses the light further like say a dirty windshield lessens the ability of any light, much less a floody light like the Magicshine, to cause visual problems. A dirty windshield would only scatter the light even more. If the windshield is so dirty that the scatter of the light causes visual problems for the motorist, it's not the bicyclist fault.

Motorists have to deal with many more, much brighter light sources at many different heights that are a lot closer to the driver than bicyclists but they seem to get along quite well nevertheless. If you lose sight of the centerline because of lights and crash or are unable to deal with light and crash then you have no business operating a motor vehicle on any roadway.
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Old 01-04-12, 11:50 AM   #13
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If you're concerned about "blinding" a motorist with your Magicshine or similar headlight, you should simply not ride the bike at all, since you will also momentarily delay some motorists, and this is certainly more objectionable to motorists than a little more light shining in their direction for a few seconds.

Just stay home, you might annoy or offend a motorist, and clearly their convenience and comfort are far more important than your safe passage or continued survival.

For those of you who are unconcerned with this trivial reality of life, please carry on as usual.


Can be put or said any better!!
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Old 01-05-12, 01:13 PM   #14
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You can get a lens that will flatten the beam and make it more usable. Aim it properly and it will be a worthwhile investment.
Any suggestions on where to get these? I've looked but not found any. I don't like that when I aim the beam center of my MJ816 a good way down the trail, 1/2 the light is going up to the sky. Neither do oncoming cyclists.
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Old 01-05-12, 02:59 PM   #15
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Any suggestions on where to get these? I've looked but not found any. I don't like that when I aim the beam center of my MJ816 a good way down the trail, 1/2 the light is going up to the sky. Neither do oncoming cyclists.
Aebike.com has the Philips SafeRide in the US now. They're designed for your scenario.

As for the concern over impacting motorists with glare, I have a couple videos that illustrate it. My car (a common Dodge minivan) has considerably greater impact than two powerful non-cutoff bike lights combined, and yet in the US we have no problem dealing with cars like mine. Remember, motorists have you seriously outgunned on lumens, it's not a trivial task to blind them.

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Old 01-05-12, 03:13 PM   #16
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Never had a problem with blinding motorists. Occasionally, my magicshine does start moving so it's pointing more up than forward, but where I ride, blinding oncoming traffic isn't an issue. Getting the mirrors of people I'm behind, well, they're enough faster than me that it won't bother them for long.
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Old 01-05-12, 03:46 PM   #17
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I love mine for commuting. In more rural areas or when there is a full or near full moon I turn it off, but when I meet up with traffic it goes on high beam, and then I click it down to low beam as we approach each other. I try to let the drivers know that I have a high beam, and that I have switched to low beam out of consideration for their approach, and that I expect them to do the same. I also flash my high beam at any driver that doesn't dim their high beams for me as well. If they still don't dim their lights I flip them off as we pass each other.

I did this to one of our corporate VPs two years ago, and he has graciously dimmed his lights ever since. I just think he didn't realize how distracting his lights were to a bicyclist.
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Old 01-05-12, 03:59 PM   #18
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I love mine for commuting.
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Old 01-06-12, 04:34 PM   #19
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I agree with the comments above when riding with cars, more light is good, and also more number of lights is good. My commute has some of that, but more of dark paths. When on those dark paths, I turn my light intensity down out of respect for oncoming riders. I also made a side diffuser for the MS light head (from the plastic butter container top). This helps reduce the light intensity to those passing on the trail next to me, and gives some "be seen" side light that is visible at 90 deg or more to my line.

People should look where their lights are aimed, stand the bike up, get off, and walk up the trail 30 feet to see what oncoming cyclists will see. It can be surprising how bright your light is.
Sometimes an oncoming rider approaches with many bright lights which tend to blind me and are overkill, in that case, I use my helmet visor to block them, but it is annoying. Perhaps it shows a lack of respect, or a sign that they do not know what oncoming riders will see.
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Old 01-06-12, 05:20 PM   #20
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I tend to put my 900 lumen Magicshine on high fast strobe if the sun has just come up or gone down; dusk can be very hazardous. The light is borderline seizure inducing if pointed right at you; I use it to blast drivers who are creeping out into an intersection and not looking at me - as soon as I point my head at them they whip their head around, squint, and slam on the brakes. Very empowering. On the MUP I turn it to low however.
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Old 01-07-12, 01:26 PM   #21
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I guess it is a "good thing" that cyclists would care about blinding oncoming traffic. Certainly the unfortunate status quo among the motoring public is "my head lights came this way - I don't have to care about their adjustment.

And another unfortunate development among thoughtless cyclists is that "since my bike light is cheap" or on "blinky" mode I can leave it on my handlebars anyway I want. Often people blind others at trails and parking areas - thinking their little old light isn't that bright.
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Old 01-07-12, 01:50 PM   #22
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The only time I put my ChinaShine (MagicShine clone) on strobe is when I'm bombing down a forested park road. Its about 2 miles of narrow closed-in dark winding roads. Everywhere else its on high or low beam depending on if I need to see or want to be seen.

Like I mentioned earlier. You can get a wide angle lens for these lights that flattens the beam pattern and makes it more usable on the road. Less of a hot spot.
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Old 01-07-12, 10:54 PM   #23
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I've never seen a real magicshine. Is it clipped on a bracket and easily removable like the regular cheap battery lights? When you park your bike outside, do you take the light with you so it'll be not lost?
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Old 01-07-12, 11:02 PM   #24
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Not really. The one that it comes with isn't quickly removable. I made a custom bracket and leave mine attached all the time. I'm more worried about the bike being stolen than I am the light.
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Old 01-07-12, 11:16 PM   #25
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I've never seen a real magicshine. Is it clipped on a bracket and easily removable like the regular cheap battery lights? When you park your bike outside, do you take the light with you so it'll be not lost?
The light head has a curved base and is "secured' by an o-ring. So in a way, it is quick release. But then you have the cable and battery to deal with...
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