Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    46

    Better to get a brighter single light or two lower lumen lights?

    My current light died, and I need to buy a new set-up.

    I'm looking at two options. I want to keep my budget $300 or less.

    I get either get a Cygolite Triden X xtra for $300, or a Mity Cross 400 and Million 200 (Mity for bar, Million for helmet) for $300 combined. The off-road stuff I usually ride is not that fast (Vietnam in Milford, MA for those who might know the trail), but also occasionally road ride at night, but rarely go more than 25 mph. My old light was a helmet mounted Jet Light, which I found adequate for what I was doing, but I did have problems on the trail sometimes with depth perception. I don't think I would like a bar-only set-up, though.

    Would it be better it to get the brighter, longer lasting single light for helmet mounting, or two, less bright lights for helmet and bar combined? Also, would it be better to have the brighter light on the bar or helmet, if I go the two light route?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/experience anyone can give me.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    811
    I do like the Triden X, but since i've been riding with both helmet/ handel bar lights i couldn't emagine not using both.I would go for two lights with less lumens. In your example i guess it wouldn't be less, but split between the two lights. For aprox $100 more,you could (double) your lumen output with either a pair of Trailled 500L's,or Scar's Amoeba 550L's.I hope my price recomondation is accurate.I don't know of any other true 1100 lumen setups,in that small of a package with there quality,in the $400 range.Good Luck on your choice.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,066
    quasi, there's a better answer.....get 2 bright lights for less then you're looking to pay for one. The Magicshine.

    Get 2 from geomangear.com and you're set, $180 (I forget what shipping is).

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    46
    Thanks for the feedback guys. It is very helpful.

    I think I definitely want the two lights over one. One other thing I always worried about was light failure during a ride. Having two would provide redundancy that would make the likelihood of being stuck out in the woods without a light virtually zero, along with the benefit of depth perception improvement.

    Fightnut,

    I have a couple of concerns about the MagicShine, which I did look into. One is the way you switch modes (have to turn off to toggle between High/Low light modes), and the mounting system.

    I'll be switching between various bikes. It looks like the bar mount is simply a rubber ring wrapped around two hooks. If you are switching back and forth between bikes, or simply removing/re-installing, which I will be doing a lot, what will the durability be? Do they actually hold the light securely enough to the bar/helmet mount? Have you had long term experience with these lights and the reliability/performance/durability of the mounting system? Also, do you know if they sell spare of these mounting bands, if one were to break? It would be a good thing to have a spare for in the hydration pack, I think.

    This link is actually different from the version of the light I researched, which didn't have a sealed battery and was only rated at 700 lumen. This version was also in the MTBR light shootout, and showed actual brightness rated way lower than the rated brightness (although still bright), even more so than some other brands (most seemed to over-rate themselves). Do you know if this version still has the issue of having to be turned 'off' when switching brightness settings?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,813
    I've run the MagicShine for almost a year now. Most of the hours have been commuting during the winter, rain or shine. I've done about a dozen 1-2 hour night rides on the trails as well. So far, so good! I will be getting another soon, just to have a light on the bars and the helmet while on the trail. It's always good to have a backup.

    _________________________

    I'll be switching between various bikes. It looks like the bar mount is simply a rubber ring wrapped around two hooks. If you are switching back and forth between bikes, or simply removing/re-installing, which I will be doing a lot, what will the durability be?
    I've moved mine between the road bike and MTB, and from bars to helmet (my preferred mode for trail riding). There have been no slipping, breaking, or other problems yet.

    Do they actually hold the light securely enough to the bar/helmet mount?
    Yes, very secure but you are still able to point it up/down depending on your speed or preference.

    Have you had long term experience with these lights and the reliability/performance/durability of the mounting system? Also, do you know if they sell spare of these mounting bands, if one were to break?
    I haven't had a band break yet, but you can buy replacements.

    This link is actually different from the version of the light I researched, which didn't have a sealed battery and was only rated at 700 lumen. This version was also in the MTBR light shootout, and showed actual brightness rated way lower than the rated brightness (although still bright), even more so than some other brands (most seemed to over-rate themselves). Do you know if this version still has the issue of having to be turned 'off' when switching brightness settings?
    Mine is the older Magicshine, which has a 5 mode "circular" switch. If you hold down the button, it will shut off. Otherwise you can click through the various modes: High, Med, Low, Seizure Mode(strobe), or SOS. It never has bothered me as I run it on High pretty much all the time.
    "Got everything you need?"

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    46
    Thanks to all again for the feedback!

    Think I may go with two of the MagicShine 900's, one standard and one racer's special, to give me redundancy for all components. I need a helmet mount anyways, and the racer's special will give me that and an extra battery for only 30 dollars more. Seems worth it in case one of the packs goes bad, or if I want to go on a longer ride and run the helmet light on Low and the bars on High, for example, being able to change the battery mid-ride for the bar light.

    Now I think I understand how the mount works with the band; it seems OK. I'll just pick up a spare with the order in the unlikely event one might fail. The helmet mount looks much better than what I saw before, which was basically a stretchy head mount wrapped around the helmet (didn't look very reliable or comfortable), but the helmet mount on this GeoManGear site looks pretty good and mounts to the helmet in a conventional manner with velcro straps.

    This puts me at $250 with 3 day shipping, which seems like a pretty good deal for all that I'll be getting with it. If one of the two chargers, or three batteries, or even one of the lights goes bad and needs to be sent back, I'll still have enough gear to keep riding without losing time on the bike. Hopefully I'll have the same good luck most folks seem to have had with this system after going through the reviews, and this updated system seems to have solved or improved most previous gripes.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,813
    Keep in mind that on a lot of helmets you don't even need a helmet mount. On mine, I can just wrap the small band through an air vent and it works great. Very sturdy, but also allows me to move the light a bit in all directions to get the beam pointed where I want. Depends on the helmet though for sure.
    "Got everything you need?"

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,066
    I only use my MS900 on my helmet, so I can't say much about how well they do on the bars. I do know that the newer MS1400's tend to bounce on the bars, but I haven't really noticed that with the MS900's on my group rides.

    I mount mine directly to my helmet, no mount. It is a bit of a pain to put on and take off each time (I generally only night ride once a week though, if you were doing it daily, maybe you'd want to use the velcro mount then).

    As far as getting extra rubber O-rings, you can probably even pick them up at a hardware store.

Posting Permissions

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