I've been a big fan of night rides for the last few year, there are lots of good reasons to ride at night; it improves your technical skills, keeps you fit during the winter, makes riding all year and all conditions possible, helps with those summer 24hr team races when the sun goes down and it's FUN! A good set of lights gives you access to all this fun!
When I bought my first light almost 6 years ago it was £60 and it wasn't really bright enough for riding off road at any pace, the battery life was poor, it was heavy and gave no indication of remaining battery life. Fast forward to present day and there is a huge choice. I’ve owned several Exposure lights, they have very good build quality and nice features, but these come at a premium, the cost. An Exposure light suitable as a main light starts at £200 which is a lot of money for a casual rider who wants to dabble in night riding.
Enter Magicshine, originally they could be bought direct from China, but now its much easier to get hold of them, with several UK distributors selling at the same prices.
I tested the £90 Magicshine MJ872, with a claimed maximum output of 1600 lumen it's almost as bright as my £450 Exposure Six Pack.
I'd never seen the light before testing it, but I had it installed on my bike within 5minutes, the light head mounted on my bars with the simple, but secure O-ring mount, making angle adjustment simple and tool-free, the battery pack tucked away under my top tube. It was a nice change to have the low profile light head on the bars instead of my large Six Pack.
The light was very simple to use, the brightness button was easy to operate even with thick winter gloves, and once I understood the button had a brightness up & down function as part of the same button it was easy to adjust the brightness. It had 4 brightness settings, the button indicates the remaining charge by changing colour, the same as an Exposure light.
I used it in conjunction with a Helmet light as I like to look around whilst riding and it helps illuminate twisty single track, and I understand this light can be helmet mounted with the correct mounts and leads, which can be purchased cheaply. The beam pattern was a large flood of light, which is what I am used to, so it felt familiar.
In conclusion the light was brilliant for the money its costs and for the rider experimenting with night riding and the casual night rider it is perfectly suited and a great investment, for me personally I still think my Exposure lights have the edge, due to their slightly lighter weight and longer battery life which is essential for races like Dusk 'til Dawn where it was dark for 9 hours, even with my Exposure lights it was hard to race all night, but they lasted 8 hours and helped me to second overall.
|Brighton MTB night ride|