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  1. #1
    SVO
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    Any lights best Magicshines for Winter use?

    Seems like the trend towards the flashlight style light ignores those of use who ride below freezing, or even below zero. Batteries very unhappy outside of jacket!

    So, in the two-piece lights world, is there anything that now beats Magicshine for value? I had some early units and got the replacement batteries and have been chugging along fine since (occasional use) but the battery capacity is dropping and there are lots of brighter models now. Any experience with Magicshine quality of late?

    Quite frankly I think the light reviews here have gotten weak and commuter-centric. I believe this site has mountain in the name.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
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  3. #3
    <100%
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    Li-ion batteries...I have never had a battery issue related to cold, down to 0 degrees. Battery is always on my head or my top-tube.

  4. #4
    Light freak
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    How about a light built by a local front range Mountain Biker that has been building them for 6 years now? My lights have been used in the Iditarod Invitational by the previous 6 year record holder (his record fell this year due to unseasonable conditions). My lights are more expensive than the cheap Chinese stuff, but that is because I buy quality components that I know I can stand behind for years (I don't care how long you have owned it, I will stand behind it). Here is a pic I got from a customer in Anchorage, Alaska. He said other lights he tried would not even turn on at these temps -

    Any lights best Magicshines for Winter use?-alaska-temps.jpg

    I use quality Li-Ion packs that I rubber dip that seems to help insulate them a bit. Shoot me an email and we can chat about what you are looking for. Here is an example of someone that purchased a Chinese light and was not getting expected runtimes.

    Any lights best Magicshines for Winter use?-china-quality.jpg

    I know you can get a Chinese light nowadays for $25 but you have to ask yourself how they can possibly do it at those prices. By cutting every possible corner they can.


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  5. #5
    SVO
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    Oh, I have. And not just Magicshine- expensive Niterider Li-Ion set-up went out in a race below freezing. The degree of power loss is related to battery drain rate too. At -10C (14) if you have a light on high you can lose 50%+. Now if the light itself is warming the battery (sounds like you have self-contained units) that is different, but then in hot weather that design can cause premature death of the battery. All a balancing act.

  6. #6
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    Ameoba rocks!! I have had my light from Scar in very cold temps and it worked great! Trust me, his product is well worth the $$!

  7. #7
    Chronic 1st-timer
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    Amoeba for the win: scar offers a high-quality product & the BEST customer service out there!
    Les grimpées, je m'en fou!

  8. #8
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    Another vote for the Ameoba!

    A great light in a small package, I run mine on my helmet, battery as well, and don't even notice that it's there. Its a much better setup than keeping the battery in the pack or a jacket pocket and dealing with a long wire between the two. Well over 2 yrs of winter riding on mine and still going strong, not having to worry about it cutting out on me mid-ride is definitely worth the extra money over some of the alternatives. The only problem I've had with mine is forgetting to charge it every couple of rides but I can't blame that on the light.

  9. #9
    Rustycar
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    I switched from Niterider to Amoeba this year. Can't say enough good things about the light and the customer service. Go on Co Springs Wed night ride and you will be convinced.
    www.FreesNotFree.blogspot.com
    Everyone starts out as the FNG...

  10. #10
    I work in .001 tolerances
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    Re: Any lights best Magicshines for Winter use?

    Amoeba. Buy local, support local, get the best light for the night!

    / thread

  11. #11
    The 5th knuckle
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    I get SCAR sloppy eighths. It's survived me falling on my head a few times, bitter cold, hot summer nights, well worth it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  12. #12
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    This is turning into the Amoeba thread, but I echo what everyone else is saying about them. I've been running them for 5 years now and had LED upgrades on both my helmet and bar mount (pretty cool that they can be upgraded easily when new LED technology comes out). During that time, Scar has always taken care of me--despite the fact that I really put the lights through their paces. In terms of cold, I've had mine out below 10 degrees once or twice, and I can't count the number of rides I've done less than 30 degrees without ever having a battery issue in the cold.

  13. #13
    My cup runneth over
    Reputation: rmac's Avatar
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    $25 is pretty hard to beat but....

    I have been night riding for ~12 years and Before Scar (BS) used the $80 performance lights (non-LED). They did OK but I had to buy a new one after 2 - 3 years as the battery charge no longer lasted (or was as bright). I am a fairly aggressive night rider (~3 night rides/week throughout winter) and went in with Scar's light 4-5 years ago. No loss of charge or brightness yet. Consistently ride below 30 degrees and often below 20. I could see buying the Chinese lights if you only do occasional night riding but anything more and the higher quality starts to make a big difference. YMMV.

  14. #14
    Candlestick Maker
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    I have lots of lights, including an Amoeba that I really like. I also have two of these cheaper SolarStorms, which have served me well:

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2

    edit: the SolarStorm light heads seem good, but the battery capacity is low. I tend to use my better MagicShine compatible batteries, not the SolarStorm ones...
    baker

  15. #15
    SVO
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    I have lots of lights, including an Amoeba that I really like. I also have two of these cheaper SolarStorms, which have served me well:

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2


    edit: the SolarStorm light heads seem good, but the battery capacity is low. I tend to use my better MagicShine compatible batteries, not the SolarStorm ones...
    Interesting. I think those might be below my quality threshold. Nice design, but lots of problems. My guess is Magicshine is a better value, for me at least.

  16. #16
    SVO
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    Nice looking product. I really like to support local but I am an occasional night rider and I need bar and helmet. $450 is just not in the game plan for something I use a few times a year. If I were a commuter, I'd be on that!

  17. #17
    The 5th knuckle
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    It's pretty Cliche but true. I buy a little more than I can afford. In the end it turns out being cheaper.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  18. #18
    Motion activated
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVO View Post
    Nice looking product. I really like to support local but I am an occasional night rider and I need bar and helmet. $450 is just not in the game plan for something I use a few times a year. If I were a commuter, I'd be on that!
    Everyone seems to really like their Amoeba lights but if they're not in the cards....

    Amazon.com: NEW Cree XM-L T6 LED 1600-Lumens Bicycle Headlight 3 Mode Rechargeable Bike Light +battery+Charger+head strap: Sports & Outdoors

    I don't own one, but for the price, I think I'll give it a go myself. I've bought some really cheap ( < $4 shipped), direct from china LED flashlights, and they've worked really well... much better than most made in china crap.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  19. #19
    SVO
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycastlerock View Post
    It's pretty Cliche but true. I buy a little more than I can afford. In the end it turns out being cheaper.
    I generally follow that rule (my Ti hardtail with ancient X.O. would be testament) on bike stuff but I'm going to disagree on lights. I've gotten a lot of good use out of my Magicshines over several years. And LED technology is moving at a really fast clip. Now if Amoeba has a good upgrade path that might change the equation, but I still don't have $450 to drop on these. I might just DIY new battery packs and be done with it.

    Good ten year old bikes can still ride great. Good ten year old lights either no longer work or suck.

  20. #20
    The 5th knuckle
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVO View Post
    Now if Amoeba has a good upgrade path that might change the equation....
    Kristian and PBR just had their drivers and bulbs upgraded after 5-6 years of running the same stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  21. #21
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVO View Post
    I generally follow that rule (my Ti hardtail with ancient X.O. would be testament) on bike stuff but I'm going to disagree on lights. I've gotten a lot of good use out of my Magicshines over several years. And LED technology is moving at a really fast clip. Now if Amoeba has a good upgrade path that might change the equation, but I still don't have $450 to drop on these. I might just DIY new battery packs and be done with it.

    Good ten year old bikes can still ride great. Good ten year old lights either no longer work or suck.
    Please see post #12 below regarding the upgrade topic. Or better yet - just email scar and talk with him. He's good people.

    Here's a thought - get a good Amoeba light for the bar and a cheap-o for the helmet (or da other way 'round).

  22. #22
    SVO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    Everyone seems to really like their Amoeba lights but if they're not in the cards....

    Amazon.com: NEW Cree XM-L T6 LED 1600-Lumens Bicycle Headlight 3 Mode Rechargeable Bike Light +battery+Charger+head strap: Sports & Outdoors

    I don't own one, but for the price, I think I'll give it a go myself. I've bought some really cheap ( < $4 shipped), direct from china LED flashlights, and they've worked really well... much better than most made in china crap.
    Yeah, that's a version of what I have now. Reviews griping that it doesn't meet the lumen spec- hilarious! Very questionable QC. It is what it is. At that price it wouldn't pay to even DIY new batteries. Silly cheap.

  23. #23
    Light freak
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVO View Post
    I generally follow that rule (my Ti hardtail with ancient X.O. would be testament) on bike stuff but I'm going to disagree on lights. I've gotten a lot of good use out of my Magicshines over several years. And LED technology is moving at a really fast clip. Now if Amoeba has a good upgrade path that might change the equation, but I still don't have $450 to drop on these. I might just DIY new battery packs and be done with it.

    Good ten year old bikes can still ride great. Good ten year old lights either no longer work or suck.

    Sorry I am just getting around to answer your question, been carting the family around in the weather this evening. Hard to tell what the future holds as far as form/fit factor. I can currently upgrade any light I have built in the last six years to the most current release of LED's and reflectors for $60. I am currently using Cree XP-G2's and XM-L2's. I have been using these versions for about a year now while most manufacturers are just transitioning to them.


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  24. #24
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    I can currently upgrade any light I have built in the last six years to the most current release of LED's and reflectors for $60. I am currently using Cree XP-G2's and XM-L2's.
    One of the coolest parts about upgrading is that each upgrade has had noticeable increase in light, yet still uses the same battery, and has had the same run time (gotta love the heroic pace of LED technology!). My helmet light has had the same battery the whole time I've had it (5 seasons), and it's still going strong. This saves $$ in the long run, and is certainly better for the environment than getting a new $40 light/battery every season.

  25. #25
    t.i.t.s.ceo/FR amoeba rep
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVO View Post
    Nice looking product. I really like to support local but I am an occasional night rider and I need bar and helmet. $450 is just not in the game plan for something I use a few times a year. If I were a commuter, I'd be on that!
    With an Amoeba or two you just may become addicted to the night like we all are!! Granted I have fallen off of the t.i.t.s. Rides for a bit but they light the $hit out of my local trails a lot!! And I bought my gal one too and she loves riding at night ! As long as it's not too cold ;-)
    I'm a cowboy on a steel horse i ride!

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