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  1. #1
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    Lupine, Exposure or Jet Lites

    I'm sending back a Magicshine and looking for a replacement. The light is used for general road riding just before dawn or riding up a fireroad (so I can get out 30 minutes-1 hour before the sun comes up). I'm probably not going to be riding singletrack with the light. The absolute amount of light probably doesn't matter so much.

    The Magicshine worked great for what I do. Any suggestions as to which light to choose? Any reason to choose one light over another? Which of these would be most durable/reliable?

    I'm considering the:

    Lupine Piko
    Lupine Tesla
    Exposure Diablo
    Jet LItes A-51

  2. #2
    BBW
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    I have only own/seen the Tesla and I think it might be a very good pattern for road riding. It has very good throw with plenty of spill to be able to see what's in front of you and on the sides. Others will chime in about the other lights. All those are as reliable as it gets
    BBW. MS, RD

  3. #3
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    Hi Spectre, all you are choosing from are good choices from quality company's. If you are going for helmet light then your best choices in my opinion would be between the Piko and Diablo.Both very light weight,and similarly priced.
    The Diablo the brighter of the two but with only 70 minutes run time without piggy back battery.
    The Piko is very well made still quite bright and has150 minutes run time.
    For the bars i would go for the Tesla all the way if price isn't a concern. It is basically the same set up as the Jet A-51 but a fair bit brighter,just over 20% brighter,but twice the price.
    You can't make a bad choice with any of them,you just have to go for it.

  4. #4
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    For what you are wanting to use it for, the Lupine Piko would be ideal. I use mine for similar riding on the road.


    Mikey

  5. #5
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    If you mount a Piko on your helmet, you will not even notice that it is there, except that you will be able to see wherever you look. If you mount it forward on the helmet, you will be able to read your bike computer by tilting your head down just slightly. The cable is just barely long enough to mount the battery horizontal low-aft, and the lighthead clear out on the visor.

    The Piko beam pattern is a narrow flood, with quite a bit of spill. They really designed it to run solo, I think. It belongs on a helmet, but it would work fine on the bars. The battery pack is a 2 cell hard pack with strap loops. Very high quality package. One downside: you will cry when you crash and scratch it up.

    gerG
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  6. #6
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    Any preference for handlebar or helmet mount for road/fireroad riding?

    Any reason I should prefer mounting on the handlebar vs on the helmet?

  7. #7
    BBW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre
    Any reason I should prefer mounting on the handlebar vs on the helmet?
    It gives you a different perception; also if you have a helmet light and turn your head to talk to somebody (group ride) you'll blind them
    Some times I like to ride with a helmet so I can flash cars (drivers) to make sure they notice me
    BBW. MS, RD

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre
    Any reason I should prefer mounting on the handlebar vs on the helmet?
    A light mounted on the bars will give you some shadowing over uneven ground giving you some warning when there is a good dip or two.Helmet light,not as much.

  9. #9
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    I greatly prefer a handlebar light for the road, stops me from accidently looking at cars and dazzling the driver. But from a riding perspective I dont see much difference when I'm on the road.

  10. #10
    MC MasterShake
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    I'm a big fan of the Diablo. I picked one up a couple months back when my MS batteries bit the dust and I could not be happier. I use my light mostly for MTB as a helmet light and it's been an amazing light. The battery is enclosed in the light so you have no need for wires. This would work great for your purpose as you could run it on medium or low and have plenty of time. They also make a bulb that attaches to a port on the back of the light so that you can be seen from behind.

    Personally, I'm a helmet mount kind of rider as I like seeing where I'm looking and not having light only right in front of me. But, they do make a bar mount as well. What's kind of cool is the the light just pops out of the mount and looks pretty much like an ordinary flash light. I actually use it as a flashlight all the time now.

    The light itself seems very durable and watertight. I have ridden it in rain and snow for hours w/o problems. I have dropped it a couple of times as well. I did have a charger go bad on me and Exposure sent me a replacement out the very same day I reported it. Their customer service has been excellent as I barraged them with questions before I purchased.

    I have not tried the other lights you listed. From what I've read it looks like they all are pretty solid lights and would be a significant improvement over the Magic Shine junk.

  11. #11
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    just received the Lupine Piko - it's great when mounted on the handlebar of my roadbike

  12. #12
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    IMO, It's even better when mounted on the helmet......plenty of light at all settings and goes where your eyes look.


    Mikey

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak
    ....I have not tried the other lights you listed. From what I've read it looks like they all are pretty solid lights and would be a significant improvement over the Magic Shine junk.
    I agree with everything you said except for the final word you used to describe the Magic Shine. The MS is cheap. It is a basic no-frills light. The batteries on the early models were questionable ( although most people had no problems ). The Magic Shine beyond a doubt is indeed the "Red-headed step Child" of the bike lighting industry. Does this mean it is nothing but "junk"? I beg to differ. Tens of thousands of these lights have been sold to people who never would have ever bought a bike light costing $400+ and as such a lot of people have been introduced to the sport of "night riding" just because of the MS.

    You can say there are better lights than the MS and no one will argue with you. Just remember, before LED lights became available as bike lights most people used halogen, ( or later ) HID systems. The maintenance and failure issues with those light systems continued for years and historical speaking, were much more expensive to maintain than the MagicShine. The original MagicShine batteries were cheap, no argument there, BUT...$30-$40 dollars gets you a new ( and better ) one. The MS light heads are dirt cheap as well. If you take all issues into perspective: Cost, light output, quality ( or lack of if you must.. ), replacement cost and parts availability....I don't think you can call the MagicShine "Junk" unless you are willing to totally forget about the other light systems ( historically speaking ) that have been far worse.

    I hate to sound like a MS shill but Dang it! Sometimes you got to give a product it's just due respect, even if it's not the best. ( Dang, I hope I didn't start another MS feud. We really don't need another one of those... )

  14. #14
    MC MasterShake
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    I agree with everything you said except for the final word you used to describe the Magic Shine. The MS is cheap. It is a basic no-frills light. The batteries on the early models were questionable ( although most people had no problems ). The Magic Shine beyond a doubt is indeed the "Red-headed step Child" of the bike lighting industry. Does this mean it is nothing but "junk"? I beg to differ. Tens of thousands of these lights have been sold to people who never would have ever bought a bike light costing $400+ and as such a lot of people have been introduced to the sport of "night riding" just because of the MS.

    You can say there are better lights than the MS and no one will argue with you. Just remember, before LED lights became available as bike lights most people used halogen, ( or later ) HID systems. The maintenance and failure issues with those light systems continued for years and historical speaking, were much more expensive to maintain than the MagicShine. The original MagicShine batteries were cheap, no argument there, BUT...$30-$40 dollars gets you a new ( and better ) one. The MS light heads are dirt cheap as well. If you take all issues into perspective: Cost, light output, quality ( or lack of if you must.. ), replacement cost and parts availability....I don't think you can call the MagicShine "Junk" unless you are willing to totally forget about the other light systems ( historically speaking ) that have been far worse.

    I hate to sound like a MS shill but Dang it! Sometimes you got to give a product it's just due respect, even if it's not the best. ( Dang, I hope I didn't start another MS feud. We really don't need another one of those... )
    My real world comparisons:

    DIY Halogon = Not Junk. Battery died on me awhile back but it was very reliable when it was working. For cheap money and old technology it was pretty solid. $99

    Nightrider Halogen = Not Junk. Still running today at 10 years old. The light output and battery life sucks but that's old technology and to be expected. I had no issues with breakage or the light dying on me. Very consistent.$199

    Trailtech HID = Junk. Got 3 years out of this light. Had to replace the ballast 2x and the switch 2x. Early on they gave me some warranty parts. It died on me one time while I did a super steep roller. Almost killed me. Very sketchy. The battery is still working though on an other light.$199

    Iblaast II = Not Junk. 3 years and still running. Decent light that user fix-able and upgrade-able. I was able to use the battery from my Trailtech to keep the cost down and get me into LED's. The headlamp is on the heavy side and I had some issues with the light dying on me w/o warning. $199 for headlamp

    MagicShine = Junk. Got about 3 months before I had battery issues, both batteries completely crapped out on me around 6 months. No warranty so far from the company. Light output is decent but not nearly 900 lumens. Both the HID and Iblaast are significantly brighter. Had the light completely die on me at 3 a.m. on a 24 hour race while I was pushing the big ring. Very dangerous. Cost me 2 laps and a podium spot. $110 w/2nd battery.

    Diablo = Not Junk. Only a few months on it and it's been a rockstar so far. $300 w/piggy battery.

    I don't care to get into an argument either but I expect to get more than 3 months out of a product. Having a reliable light isn't just a convenience it's a necessity if you want to ride safely at night, especially if you are a racer. I wasn't expecting gold when I threw down $100 for a light but I expected more than what I got. 5 out 5 friends who have purchased this MagicShine light (based on my earlier recommendations) have had issues with their lights. MS's response to all this is that we will get to purchase a replacement battery someday when they have one that's tested. I'm not willing to invest any more $ into a disposable light.

  15. #15
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    Hah - Anything Cat gets into gets good! I have to agree with both Cat-man-do and woodyak, as a guy that worked at NiteRider for many years and have seen lot's of companies and tends come and go in lighting, I have to admit that the Magicshine thing has been interesting.

    On the one hand, being able to get out there and ride fairly inexpensively on a system that is pretty darn bright is awesome. On the other hand, I personally would never trust a questionably built light system with my life. (Magicshine or anyone else for that matter). Years ago I had a NiteRider Trailrat with a big fat lead acid battery, it was a little 10w halogen and it got me hooked on night riding and no matter how much abuse it took it never failed me, so I don't believe inexpensive needs to equal unreliable.

    My two cents on Spectre's original question; I don't think you could go wrong with any current Lupine system and I have personally used the Jetlites A-51 and liked it. For road use it would be a good, solid light system. The A-51 has a pretty tight beam pattern that I think would work great on the road whether you ran it on the bars or your helmet.

  16. #16
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    Got the Lupine Piko last month

    What a great light! I'm really impressed with the Piko. Great light output for its size and the battery life estimate of 2.5 hours seems to be conservative.

    I had also purchased the handlebar mount, but after riding with the Piko for a while with the helmet mount I don't mind using the Piko on my helmet. Certainly makes mounting and removing the light a lot easier than with the handlebar mount.

  17. #17
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    It is an awesome little and I do mean little light. I like to use the headband attachment as well as the helmet mount due to the low weight, I don't even know it's there.
    I have used mine for riding, both mountain and road as well as snowshoeing at night. Those poor little Petzls and Princetons at 100-200 lumens just don't hold a candle to this one. Granted it is a bit more money.


    Mikey

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