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  1. #1
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    Help with light selection..MS vs. Titan

    Looking at the MS MJ808 (1000 lum one) vs. the Gemini Titan. Any thoughts? I will buy 2; 1 for the bar and 1 for my helmet. From what I have read here, I will want to replace the lens on the bar-mounted one to give me a more flood effect? Finally, any comments on geomangear vs. action led? Not interested in the eBay specials through dealextreme etc. I want some customer service available if needed. LBS sells Serfas, but I am not ready to drop $300 on lights yet. Looks like I should be able to get a more-than-adequate set-up for less than $200. I am coming off an old-school Vista Lite set (2x10w and 1x15w) so these are going to see AWESOME!

    Thanks!

    Adam
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  2. #2
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    It sounds like you've researched this a bit already so I'll only comment on my direct experences. I currently run a MS808e with an Action wide angle lens on the bars and a stock 808e on my helmet. I have very poor vision and am able to safely ride any trail I could in daylight with this setup (If you have no vision issues you probably won't have to slow down any when it get dark).
    As for Geoman vs Action, I personally have nothing nothing but good experences with both companies. With Geoman you'll get a better battery. With action you can get everything at one place and a good source to get any techinical questions answered.
    Action carries both lights you are considering - email them. Both companies have excellent reputations and I would recommend either of them.

  3. #3
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    I can't help you with the MS products, as I've never used them. Most seem to treat them as a throw-away because the initial investment is so low. If anything goes wrong, it's not a big deal. I've always used higher end gear from the likes of L&M and Night Rider, and have been quite pleased, but last fall decided to get something newer for back-up. I decided to try one of the "budget" sets. I got in on the intro deal for the Gemini Xera, and have been extremely impressed with the light, and the company. Because of production delays, Gemini sent out apology e-mails with explanations and updates, and when they got things sorted, they sent out a second free light head to their first-batch customers. Awesome.
    GeoMan sells both of the light sets you are interested in, and they have an excellent reputation for customer service. Even in the dark days of the MS battery recall last year, they soldiered on and tried to "make it right" for all their customers. Many thought GeoMan would be forced out of business by that episode, yet they are still here, and apparently doing well. I would reward that kind of service. GeoMan wasn't rep'ing for Gemini last fall when I got my Xera, so I bought mine directly from Gemini, but they do now, and I see that Gemini will soon launch their triple XM-L "Olympia", so I may get a chance to support GeoMan in the future...
    Your plan for 2 lights is perfect, and a flood or lower output light on the bars is a nice set-up. With a high powered light on the helmet, you can see far down the trail or around corners where you are looking, and the wider beam of a flood fills in the closer detail to improve your near-field vision. Another trick is to mount the "fill" light as low as possible, shining along (instead of down at) the surface of the trail. This creates a more natural shadow pattern, improving depth perception - at least for my older eyes! I actually run 2 smaller lights low on my fork stanchions, pointed nearly horizontal.
    Whatever set you end up with, today's high powered lights will allow you to ride at daytime pace. You won't be sorry you upgraded. Good luck!
    'Bones

  4. #4
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    One other question, do I save $20 and go with the 808 P7s rather than the new XMLs? Is it really going to make a @#$@ all of a difference at the end of the day?
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  5. #5
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    My first MS light was a P7 808 and it doesn't get any use at all since I got the 2 808e's.
    They both have the same beam pattern but the XML version has more than 50% more power (40 lux vs 62 lux as measured in the MTBR light shootout). I beleive the XML is easily woth the extra $20 but if price is a major consern you should check out the Titan P7 Blowout on Action's website. One thing I forgot to mention in my 1st post was that the Gemini products come with higher capacity batteries.

  6. #6
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    Those Titan's look like a great deal, a set of 2 w/helmet mount delivered for $150 form action. I like the higher capacity battery as well.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  7. #7
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    I would aslo have to give the 2- Titans the nod. The P-7 D-bin Titan i have had for well over a year still works like new and gets almost four hour run times on the included battery. Great value and reliability.

  8. #8
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    I'm considering a very similar set up. If running 2 Titans do you still want to opt for the wide angle lense for one? Anyone know if ther is a difference in the beam pattern and run time of the XM-L and P-7 Titan? It appears that Action only has the P-7 on closeout and the XM-L is only available as a Ful Set (not a base kit) and will run you $100. I'd like to stay under $200 so I might look at 1 XM-L and 1 P-7.

  9. #9
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    Okay, I decided to go with Geomangear and his 2 MJ-808 P7 special they are running right now for $160 which includes the helmet mount. He said the beam pattern between the P-7 and XM-L is the same, the difference is the XM-L is ~30% brighter and more efficient so it only decreases the run-time slightly for having more brightness. I would think its the same deal for the Titans, but can't say for sure, just email them and ask. I decided I would save a few bucks b/c I am sure that I am going to think that these lights are GREAT compared to what I had in the past ('90s stuff). The Titan's through Action-LED are an even better deal but I heard so much good stuff about Geomangear I went with them. I decided not to order a wide-angle lens; I will try them first and see if I even need it. Again, I probably won't even notice!
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  10. #10
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    I'm glad to see you made your mind up and can start enjoying your new lights. I remember when I first started night riding (off road), more light helped but I never was quite comfortable doing it until I tried a flood on the bars. I couldn't believe how much better I could see and how much more fun it was. I say this hopeing you'll reconsider the flood lens. For just a few dollars more I think you'll be alot happier with your new light combo.

  11. #11
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    definitely get one of the wide angle lenses for your bar mounted light.
    i first started riding at night with a friends P7 version mj808 with the standard OP reflector and clear lens. i ended up buying a magic shine copy off ebay with the XML, as well as the OP reflector and wide angle lens from action and it is by far a better light to have on the bars out on the trail.

    now i couldnt really afford to spend the extra 25-40 bucks for a single magic shine or gemini light, but already spending 160 for a pair of lights i would have spent the extra 10 bucks to get the XML version. i actually think it puts out a better light color than the P7.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    ....Okay, I decided to go with Geomangear and his 2 MJ-808 P7 special they are running right now for $160 which includes the helmet mount. He said the beam pattern between the P-7 and XM-L is the same, the difference is the XM-L is ~30% brighter and more efficient so it only decreases the run-time slightly for having more brightness.
    Yes, the same type of beam pattern but the XM-L model will throw a much longer and brighter beam pattern and have more spill while doing it. That is main difference between the two. Also the 808E has a fantastic mid-mode. While the 808 you bought does have a mid-mode it will not be as bright. On the up-side you can always decide to buy just the 808E light head later if you think you want a little more throw.

    Regardless, if you were using halogens before you should be pleasantly pleased with your new 808's.

  13. #13
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    Ok, for $6 delivered I ordered it What the hell.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  14. #14
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    I know it seems silly to save $20 but if you always use that mentality, you will have a $400 light set before you know it At some point, you just buy what you can afford and be happy with it. Remember, I am sure even the lowly P7s are 10x as bright as what I used to ride/race with back in the 90s. When I get them this week and I will do a ride and and a review to let you know what I think.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    I know it seems silly to save $20 but if you always use that mentality, you will have a $400 light set before you know it
    It's inevitable. Slowly but surely. You'll get there eventually!

    If its not one lump sum spent on any single unit, it will be an amalgam of the quantity of lights you end up purchasing. That's what the dark side does to you.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    I know it seems silly to save $20 but if you always use that mentality, you will have a $400 light set before you know it At some point, you just buy what you can afford and be happy with it. Remember, I am sure even the lowly P7s are 10x as bright as what I used to ride/race with back in the 90s. When I get them this week and I will do a ride and and a review to let you know what I think.
    Hey, it's your money! Spend it like you want!

    Still with all things considered ( guarantee, cost, shipping time, expected output...etc. )..
    If it had been my decision I would of bought the 808E from Action Led ( along with their flood lens *if just to test it... ) That would of gave you a brighter helmet light with a reliable vendor that also sells a lot of extra MS accessories as well. Next I would of bought something like this ( triple XPG ) for the bars from Kaidomain. Yeah, it would of took 16-20 days to get but the trade off in lumen output would of been worth the wait AND the better bang-for-the-buck by far. As far as I know there are no major complaints against Kaidomain.

    The way I figure it my options wouldn't have cost that much more and would have given you maybe another 300 to 400 lumen in combined output. If it had cost another $20 it would have been well worth it. I know, I know, all this is water under the bridge now.

  17. #17
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    I went ahead and dropped $6 (even though it pained me..ahahaa) and ordered the lens today from Action-LED. Can't wait to get all my crap this week and try it out!
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  18. #18
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    I'm glad to see you changed your mind on the wide angle lens. It will allow you to get the most out of the lights you ordered. I look foreward to hearing how you like them. Both Geoman and Action are pretty quick on shipping so you should have long to wait.

  19. #19
    Action LED Lights
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    TiGeo, I have to say I'm a little disappointed in your choice.
    Here is another piece of data to consider. The Magicshine XM-L draws 1.48A of current at 7.4V. The Titan P-7 draws 1.20A. (The Xera draws only 1.17A) I'll grab a XM-L Titan and check it later today.
    The set you bought comes with 4.5Ah batteries. The Titan comes with 5.2Ah batteries.
    So the MS setup will have about 3 hours of run time and the Titan P7 will have about 4.3

    Update on the XM-L Titan. It also draws 1.17A.
    So the Xera, Titan P7 and XM-L all would have the same run time. We can assume the Xera and XM-L Titan put out the same light and the P7 somewhat less because it is a little less efficient.
    At the risk of being over some readers heads, at 7.4v and 1.17a the light is drawing 8.66 watts. From CREE's XM-L specs, the LED needs 8.13 watts to produce 800 lumens. (2.5A @ 3.25V) So power out divided by power in equals 8.13/8.66 = .939
    This tells us that the driver is 94% efficient (@ 7.4v) That is very good. Gemini obviously has a top quality driver.
    Last edited by Action LED Lights; 02-02-2012 at 08:34 PM.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  20. #20
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    Hey, at least I dropped a cool $6 on your wide angle lens.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Hey, at least I dropped a cool $6 on your wide angle lens.
    So how do you like your lights? An initial impression would be great.

  22. #22
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    I bought 2 P7 Titans on close out. One helmet mount, wide angle for the bars and a hard case for the battery going in the camelback. For around 150 I can't imagine a better bang for the buck set up. Just my 2 cents.

  23. #23
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    I've had my Titan p7 for about two months. For the price I paid ($70 with the wide angle lens) it's been great light. I have had a few issues though:

    1) The light head came loose on the 3rd ride. Some loctite on the mount screw fixed that.
    2) On a longer ride, about 2h10m in the indicator light turned orange. I finished the ride at about 2h30m with it still orange. This is far from the 4h claimed run time on high although it was about 25F that night.
    3) Recently, when plugging the light in to the battery initially, it does not make a connection. I have to unplug and replug several times before a connection is made.

    Overall, I really can't complain though since I have a trustworthy Jet Lite for my helmet so I never worry about being stranded.

  24. #24
    Action LED Lights
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullxtr83 View Post
    I've had my Titan p7 for about two months. For the price I paid ($70 with the wide angle lens) it's been great light. I have had a few issues though:

    1) The light head came loose on the 3rd ride. Some loctite on the mount screw fixed that.
    2) On a longer ride, about 2h10m in the indicator light turned orange. I finished the ride at about 2h30m with it still orange. This is far from the 4h claimed run time on high although it was about 25F that night.
    3) Recently, when plugging the light in to the battery initially, it does not make a connection. I have to unplug and replug several times before a connection is made.

    Overall, I really can't complain though since I have a trustworthy Jet Lite for my helmet so I never worry about being stranded.
    fullxtr83,

    1. The mounting screw should not have come loose. Glad you were able to fix that easily and no damage was done.
    2. Cold temperatures will definitely effect battery capacity and cause the indicator lights to change early. If you finished the ride on yellow you still might have had quite a bit of time left. I usually run the extension cable under my jacket and put the battery in a rear jersey pocket to keep it warm.
    3. If the plug continues to be a problem you have a 1 year warranty and you can return it for repairs.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  25. #25
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    First impression of my new Magicshine 808 P-7s. Holy crap, they are so small and lightweight compared to my old 500-series Vistalites I got in '95 ($250 and HEAVY/BIG BATTERIES). They are very bright, more than enough from what I can tell from the cursory ride around the 'hood. The wide angle lens appears to do as advertised and I think this will help not get "tunnel-vision" on the trail. The quality appears very good...I am impressed for what I got for $175. Things I don't like: the O-ring mount is probably going to go in favor of one of the other clamp-type mounts; I really like the mounts on my old Vistalites. The light mount has the wire coming out where it gets in the way of the O-ring..dumb design. Should come out of the back of the light so it isn't in the way. Out of the box, the helmet mount is *ok*. My main issue is the weird velcro that comes on it; I cut it off and swapped in the extra frame battery velcro strap which fixed it so I can cinch it tightly now. Will hopefully trail ride with this weekend and see how she works.
    Last edited by TiGeo; 02-04-2012 at 05:20 AM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

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