Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    4,203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    My latest reality check

    Most of my posts about the performance and reliability of Craig's List equivalent Chinese products as well as some MagicShine and MJ clones are more than a little skeptical, and on ocassion I've been asked if I've even used any of this stuff.

    Well actually I have, and my opinion is based on my own personal experience, some of the feedback I've gotten from customers at the shop, and some of the online reviews I've read.

    But every once in a while its good to due a reality check cause things can change and one of the customers is running a MJ-818 rear light. His comment was: "It'll BLIND you!" Didn't have a chance to check because he runs it off the electrical outlet on his BionX battery, which wasn't in the bike at the time.

    So thinking that maybe things had changed for the better - I ordered 2 from Action LEDs before Christmas.

    Got them in the other day and they LOOKED pretty OK. Lines are clean - things looked well sealed - the magnetic switch ring operated smoothly.

    So I powered one up. Or maybe tried to. Got the main central LED to come on - that's as far as it got, even after fiddling with it for a few minutes and charging the light angle and orientation the switch would only operate in that one setting.

    As per the instructions, there are supposed to be three modes:
    • All LED blink
    • Centre LED blinks 5 times - outer LED blink 5 times - the cycle repeats
    • All LED on

    OK so there were two - lets try the other one. Ooooooops! On this one the outer ring would light up and I did get a slow blink, a rapid blink, some kind of blitz mode followed by a pause, and a solid mode - but at no time would the inner LED on that second one light up.

    And obviously some of the patterns didn't match what was described in the instructions.

    OK so just to be sure - I connected both lights together with one of the included Y- connectors and plugged things in again. Nothing changed. Both lit up and operated exactly as before.

    And there's supposed to be 3 watts of power in there somewhere? I'm underwhelmed.

    Seriously.

    I have a Serfas TL 60 here that's only supposed to have a 2W output and the combined output from both of these on solid (equivalent to one light with inner and outer rings lit) is minuscule compared to the Serfas. Maybe they really meant 0.3W and forgot the decimal

    I photographed the Serfas / MJ comparison in a single frame with both lights projected at the ceiling at the same time. When I have a chance I'll upload it.

    I actually do have 3W red LEDs here and they're bigger and heavier than these MJ units, but the output dwarfs the MJs and they don't even get warm doing it. I could feel those 818s heating up in my hands after just a few minutes.

    That leaves me with two out of two defective products. Should I be impressed? I might return them or might just trash them. As I've commented on several occasions, shipping charges can sometimes make products not worth returning. But this was an Amazon purchase so they'll definately be hearing from me.

    Which of course leaves me to wonder again about the apparent popularity of some of this junk. Have some people never used a decent product? Or are many of the rave reviews just an effort by lots of individuals who have a vested interest in promoting sales of this stuff - maybe because they're running a sideline and having them drop-shipped from China through an eBay front? I'm clueless!

    I'll keep things updated on how the warranty or return claim goes, but don't think I have to explain why there isn't a bike store in Montreal that I'm aware of that carries this stuff.
    Last edited by Burton; 01-07-13 at 02:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Pretty rigid member BykOfALesserGod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    The 951
    My Bikes
    Sycip Unleaded, Raleigh SS, Trek 1.5, IF Crown Jewel, QR Kilo
    Posts
    506
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The old adage "You get what you pay for" still holds true for many things. Good luck with warranty/return.
    IFCJ

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    48
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Burton, sounds like you received some defective ones there. My experience with the MagicShine MJ818 is very different - super bright and the modes work as advertised for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    -- snip --
    Which of course leaves me to wonder again about the apparent popularity of some of this junk. Have some people never used a decent product? Or are many of the rave reviews just an effort by lots of individuals who have a vested interest in promoting sales of this stuff - maybe because they're running a sideline and having them drop-shipped from China through an eBay front? I'm clueless!
    -- /snip --
    Not junk, and yes I've tried others. My experience with mine mirrors the descriptions made by many others. Perhaps you need to consider the option that you are the victim of a bad batch instead of automatically assuming the worst about other people? MJ818 is bright and a great value IMO, especially for those on a budget and if they already have a battery pack. Sure it's not perfect - two negatives that come to my mind are that mounting requires some 'do your own tinkering' to get the angle right and there's no 'dim' mode (too bright when I'm riding in a group). Good luck with the return and happy riding!

  4. #4
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
    Posts
    11,567
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been running the MagicShine taillight in question for over 2 years. When I got it, I also had a Dinotte 140R. The MagicShine was almost exactly as bright. I've been told by coworkers that they can see me easily 2 miles off.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  5. #5
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    4,203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sherbona View Post
    Burton, sounds like you received some defective ones there. My experience with the MagicShine MJ818 is very different - super bright and the modes work as advertised for me.

    Not junk, and yes I've tried others. My experience with mine mirrors the descriptions made by many others. Perhaps you need to consider the option that you are the victim of a bad batch instead of automatically assuming the worst about other people? MJ818 is bright and a great value IMO, especially for those on a budget and if they already have a battery pack. Sure it's not perfect - two negatives that come to my mind are that mounting requires some 'do your own tinkering' to get the angle right and there's no 'dim' mode (too bright when I'm riding in a group). Good luck with the return and happy riding!
    Thanks for the input. I have absolutely no doubt that there are a few happy campers out there. However, just the fact that your experience is so different from mine kind of underlines the lack of consistency that these have a reputation for. So you might get lucky - or you might not. I guess I'd rather deal with products that cost a bit more and are a lot less of a gamble.

    There are some real contridictions on these forums. Walmart bikes seem to be considered 'not real bikes', but at least you can dissasemble those and straighten out any mechanical problems. Electrical appliances are more complicated, usually not meant to be disassembled, and troubleshooting one is generally beyound the reach of the average cyclist.
    Last edited by Burton; 01-07-13 at 09:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,164
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It is really a shame people spend money on Chinese junk (furthering the decay of the American economy) when there are amazing lights and much better than anything made by MagicShine, made right here in the USA.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,969
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    It is really a shame people spend money on Chinese junk (furthering the decay of the American economy) when there are amazing lights and much better than anything made by MagicShine, made right here in the USA.
    I hate to burst your bubble, but they are also made in china.

  8. #8
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,164
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Dinotte is made in the USA.
    Cygolite is made in the USA.

  9. #9
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,164
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    And NiteRider too.

  10. #10
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    4,203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmmmmm .... OK guys - the facts are that most LED emitters and a lot of other semiconductor components are made in China anyway, so at this point its virtually impossible to get a 100% 'Made in USA' product. And the Chinese people aren't stupid, or lazy, or incapable of producing quality products - some extremely high tech stuff is currently coming out of China.

    My own issue is about quality control, and thats entirely dependent on the company behind the product, and the standards they chose to work to. That's what brand names and reputation are all about. And to underscore the idea - one of the mechanics at one of the shops here is a Chinese immigrant and was a systems analyst in Beijing before immigrating here a few years back. He had a house and car there but immigrsted to Canada because there's more opportunity here. So besides being a consciencious worker - he also managed to go to night school, save enough money to buy a new car, and is currently saving for a downpayment for a house. Because in the middle of all that he also is a proud dad (brought his wife with him) and is expecting his second kid. Both were 'made in Canada'.

    So the point is? We discussed life in China a number of times. Choices there are similar to choices here. There are quality products and there's junk on the market. There are original and counterfeit products available. There are honest business-people, unscrupulous individuals out to make a buck, and criminals - just like here.
    Its up to YOU to decide what you decide to buy and who you decide to deal with. There ARE extremely high end products and extremely expensive goods both made and sold in China. Not everyone there can afford it either.

    The real problem we're talking about is a lack of quality control in some of the bicycle lighting products. Well lets face reality. The same cities that are 'mass producing' some of this stuff are the same cities home to companies mass producing industrial LED lighting components. And every high tech product does has some level of quality control - thats how your computer CPU was graded and thats what LED BINNING is all about.

    But products that don't meet the highest specs may still be suitable for other applications, and even 'defective' semiconductors can be used in applications that don't need those faulty circuits. But there's a reasonable limit to everything. Some small companies are building items with components that should probably have been scrapped because ....... obviously there's money to be made - we're buying them!

    So please - if there are 'dollar stores' on every corner, and Walmart is taking over neighborhoods, and lots of cheap junk is being marketed over the Internet - don't blame the Chinese. Most of them just work there and aren't the one's doing the exporting.

    Historically Chinese laborers were actively recruited from China as cheap labor to build almost every railroad in the USA. North American bussinessmen were once again the ones responsible for moving the manufacturing and technology segment from North America to the Chinese mainland. Exactly the same thing happened to Japan after WWII when American businessmen used cheap Japanese labor to flood the American market with cheap 'Made in Japan' junk. It was the Japanese people themselves that turned that whole thing around and started insisting on producing high quality products. It was a question of national pride.

    And personally since the largest part of the North American bicycle market caters to individuals that buy inexpensive bicycles from Walmart or used bicycles on Craigs List - the Chinese Internet bicycle light thing is pretty understandable. Its just not my own personal choice. But then I NEED and therefor EXPECT more from any product I buy then the average consumer.
    Last edited by Burton; 01-08-13 at 04:14 AM.

  11. #11
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
    Posts
    11,567
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    It is really a shame people spend money on Chinese junk (furthering the decay of the American economy) when there are amazing lights and much better than anything made by MagicShine, made right here in the USA.
    I'm happy to buy US made products when I can. But the MagicShine was $30 and the equivalent Dinotte was $150. About equivalent performance. I know that the consistency isn't great but I've personally had good luck - I have been using Chinese lights for about 5 years and have yet to have one fail on me. I'd pay 50% more for a US built equivalent, but there are few such beasts in existence - either there isn't a US equivalent, or they costs 2 or 3 times as much.

    Yes, there's a valid argument that the US built units are better quality so the comparison isn't fair, but GIVEN that I'm willing to be more careful with my equipment and spend a little of my time repairing it or improving it, I'm willing to save a ton of money and get something that gets the job done and costs a lot less.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3,332
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds like you got scammed. Caveat emptor.

    I have a Magicshine rear, and it's insanely bright. Makes a 2watt rear blinkie look remarkably puny.

    FWIW - the true Magicshine light is so inexpensive and effective (was even moreso when it came out 2 years ago but others have been gradually catching up) that I still think it's one of the best deals out there.

    My buddy ordered this MS clone:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...F8&me=&seller=

    and while it's not as heavy/built as the true Magicshine, it's a solid performer. Easily 500+ watts. Can't beat that for the bang for buck for a front headlight. AND it works great for running as well with the headstrap (I run at 4:30AM-6AM and it's my goto light.)

    Nothing against Niterider etc., but it's hard to pay 6x-8x for a light when this one's so good.

  13. #13
    Randomhead
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    12,498
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Hmmmmm .... OK guys - the facts are that most LED emitters and a lot of other semiconductor components are made in China anyway, so at this point its virtually impossible to get a 100% 'Made in USA' product. And the Chinese people aren't stupid, or lazy, or incapable of producing quality products - some extremely high tech stuff is currently coming out of China.
    I didn't read through your whole post, so you may have made this point. But it doesn't really cost that much less to make a product in China over what it costs to make that same product in the U.S. or Canada or Europe. So if you are getting something cheap, it's probably because it's made more cheaply. Sure, the labor costs are lower in China, and there is a multiplier effect. Magicshine and their clones have an advantage of not having an engineering or marketing staff to support.

  14. #14
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2012 Stumpjumper FSR Comp...2010 Scott CR1 CF...2007 Novara FS Float2.0...2009 Specialized Hardrock Disc...2009 Schwinn Le Tour GSr
    Posts
    1,802
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I own at least 20 China made front light and 4 of the MJ818 tail light. Of these 24 total lights, I had three failed on me. One had waterproofing issue which I prevented from being an issue. One light did not turn on after several hours of use. Another front light had a bad solder joint, while the last one was from the Magicshine 818 tearing a solder joint from turning the ring. I don't personally use all these light because I only ride so much, but I do lend them out to friends, coworker and neighbor who does use them and even some of them get abuse. So they pretty much did get some kind of runtime testing.

    Three bad light out of 24 seem not to bad considering the cost I am paying for these light. However, I will admit that the MJ818 does have some flaws with their design with the housing and switch and they are prone to have wire tearing out after some use. Another thing to consider is that some of these light I got were still in their early development stage and some improvement was still in the making while other were given to me for review. Given that fact, I kind of expected a higher failure rate than what I have experience so far.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  15. #15
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,671
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    ...I ordered 2 from Action LEDs before Christmas...
    Just return the defective lights already. You could have packaged them and taken them to the Post Office in less time than it took you to write the posts in this thread.

    Action LED is a reputable company with great customer service. I'm sure you'll get either replacement lights or your money refunded right away. I just purchased a Gemini Duo from Action Led, ordered it last Friday afternoon, and it was in my hands Monday at noon. I also bought a second generation MS "900" 808 P7 from Action in 2010, it arrived in only a couple days and it still works fine after more than 300 hours use. MS lights are cheap, but most of them work.

    Consider Dinotte as an alternative taillight supplier. I've used a 140 taillight hundreds of times since purchase in 2009, and it still works like new and is very bright. The Dinotte 300 taillight is slightly brighter but has a better mount and is more compact with integral battery. The 400-Li is Dinotte's brightest taillight but does require separate Li battery. There is also a 400-AA model powered by 4xAA NiMH - it looks the same as the 400-Li but is approximately the same output (and cost) as the 140.

  16. #16
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
    Posts
    11,567
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
    and while it's not as heavy/built as the true Magicshine, it's a solid performer. Easily 500+ watts.
    I think you mean lumens. A 500+ watt LED headlight would be frightening indeed.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  17. #17
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    4,203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    Just return the defective lights already. You could have packaged them and taken them to the Post Office in less time than it took you to write the posts in this thread.

    Action LED is a reputable company with great customer service. I'm sure you'll get either replacement lights or your money refunded right away. I just purchased a Gemini Duo from Action Led, ordered it last Friday afternoon, and it was in my hands Monday at noon. I also bought a second generation MS "900" 808 P7 from Action in 2010, it arrived in only a couple days and it still works fine after more than 300 hours use. MS lights are cheap, but most of them work.
    I got these lights delivered two days ago. A return request has already been filed and accepted by Amazon.
    I've purchased non-electrical components from ActionLED previously with no issues.

    You and I have a difference in opinion on what constitutes good customer service. Accepting returns and processong refunds is picking up after the fact. IMO good customer service is designing products that perform as advertised and checking international orders before they're shipped to eliminate any possibility of an issue.

  18. #18
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    4,203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    I own at least 20 China made front light and 4 of the MJ818 tail light. Of these 24 total lights, I had three failed on me.
    (snip)
    Three bad light out of 24 seem not to bad considering the cost I am paying for these light.
    Thanks for the post Colleen, however, from a retailers point of view - I can't consider carrying or recommending any product that could have a failure rate of over 10%. I guess individuals can make their own decisions and take their own chances.

  19. #19
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2012 Stumpjumper FSR Comp...2010 Scott CR1 CF...2007 Novara FS Float2.0...2009 Specialized Hardrock Disc...2009 Schwinn Le Tour GSr
    Posts
    1,802
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Thanks for the post Colleen, however, from a retailers point of view - I can't consider carrying or recommending any product that could have a failure rate of over 10%. I guess individuals can make their own decisions and take their own chances.
    Keep in thoughts that in all fairness, two of the three bad lights I obtain was during the very early production stage. They were bought on pre-sales order. If I had waited later on, the failure rate might have been reduce after th bugs are worked out but who knows. The third light, the mj818, were bought after it's been out for a while. Somehow even with the reported issue of the wire breaking off, they did not do much improvement of that problem.

    I had better quality stuff break on me and it seem like just as often. I had a cygolite 150 bought at REI with the wires totally yank out of the unit with ease. Then there is my 2 cell Dinotte pack that lasted less than a year under heavy use. The saying you get what you pay for may hold true in most cases but not all. It still a crapshot even with the more expensive stuff. My $300 Replay XD 1080 is now having battery issue along with a button falling out, but yet I am still willing to buy another one just because it has features I like. However, in all honesty, if there is a clone copy of that for 1/2 price, I'll tke my chance with the clone. That's just me and like you said, it really is more of a personal opinion and decision.

    I work in manufactoring and do a lot of purchase of OEM and aftermarket parts. I find the problems in both to be about equal with sometime the aftermarket being better improve than the OEM while being cheaper too. as much as I hate seeing jobs and product being made oversea taking over our nation, I just don't see much ways of getting around that at the moment when the economy is bad where cost cutting seem to be the way of the norm....sigh.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  20. #20
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,671
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    I got these lights delivered two days ago. A return request has already been filed and accepted by Amazon.
    I've purchased non-electrical components from ActionLED previously with no issues.

    You and I have a difference in opinion on what constitutes good customer service. Accepting returns and processong refunds is picking up after the fact. IMO good customer service is designing products that perform as advertised and checking international orders before they're shipped to eliminate any possibility of an issue.
    You clearly don't understand the conventional definition of Customer Service. It does not include the designing or manufacturing of product.

    Most anyone else in your situation would have simply thought, "Gee, I got a dud" and never bothered to waste time ranting about it on a forum.
    Last edited by CbadRider; 01-08-13 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Removed comment that violates forum guidelines

  21. #21
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Burnaby, BC
    Posts
    4,144
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I didn't read through your whole post, so you may have made this point. But it doesn't really cost that much less to make a product in China over what it costs to make that same product in the U.S. or Canada or Europe. So if you are getting something cheap, it's probably because it's made more cheaply. Sure, the labor costs are lower in China, and there is a multiplier effect. Magicshine and their clones have an advantage of not having an engineering or marketing staff to support.
    In my industry, we compete with Chinese prices and win all the time. Very few modern industries are so labour intensive that wages are a significant portion of the final retail cost.

    So, in my experience unter. here is correct.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •