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  1. #1
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    newbie race light setup help

    im new to night riding and im looking to do a few night races and i think i have decided to get a light and motion stella 200l and 300l, one for the bars and one for the helmet. i was wondering if this would be an adequate setup or if i needed something like the l and m seca 700 and maybe a stella 150? i work in a shop (i get a SWEET discount), but id like to keep this cheap as im a poor college kid and need chris king wheels. any advice would be great. oh, i can also get cateye and nightrider at discount- if you like their offerings. thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    What length of night racing will you be doing?Personally i don't think the Stella set up would be enough light output for racing as i believe you would out run your light at higher speeds. Even with a decent discount,i doubt you would come close the the Magic Shine 1400/900 combo for light output.And only for a shade over $200 from Geoman, there's nothing out there that comes close in that price range.To put in perspective,you would need at least a Seca 700 for handel bars and a Seca 400 for the helmet to achieve similar light output.Even with your discount i'm sure you would be close to tripple the MS combo's price.Good luck!!

  3. #3
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    i had an inkling towards the magicshine the last few days, but it just seems like there is a large disparity in the quality of each light. like some put out all the claimed light, while others put out like 600 lumens. im also one for durability and easy of servicing, and the "name brand" lights seem to have better ability at that(as in you can probably bet most higher end shops sell or carry light and motion/nightrider stuff).

    more than anything im trying to buy a setup that will last me 5 years or more and i feel like some of the better "for the money" picks lack that potential longevity (thats why many people, myself included, buy king/phil/ white ind/ indy fab products).

    lastly, i am looking at racing (but i mostly plan on doing solo and group rides after work) in sport/expert level night races which should not last more than 3 hours- if they take longer either im lost in the woods or broke myself/my bike.

    thanks for all the input, i have not ruled out anything yet. and if it makes an difference i almost exclusively ride narrow, wooded, PA singletrack where seeing long distances in front of you has no real importance (lets just say im not doing long mountain descents- im doing twisty trails in inner city parks).

  4. #4
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    I guess it just matters on your budget to what else can be suggested.Even though i haven't used them,the Dinotte has had a good reputation for quality.The 600L/400L would be a great combo as like myself i do mostly narrow single track and on reviews of these two products sounds like you would get just what your looking for.Even a pair of 400L's would retail for just under $400 and give you lots of light and the reliability your looking for.Trailled also has a great reputation for there products and they will customize to your spesifications.Also i had a Triden X Extra,i put this thing through hundreds of miles of the crappiest weather you can emagine this past winter.It took everything including many endo's and never blinked,and has very long run times.Saw it for $298.

  5. #5
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    Well you are on the right track with a two light setup, but you are likely going to want higher output lights than the 200l and 300l. I think you should aim for a minimum of at least 800 actual lumens between the helmet and bar light combined. I would have to agree with indebt that the magicshine combo would be the way to go. That would be much cheaper than a l&m combo of equivalent output and even if you had to replace it in 2-3 years you would still be ahead of the game. I spent a small fortune on 2 Lupine lights, but I am not a poor college kid anymore and can afford the pricey stuff. If I was back in college I would go with the Magicshine light combo without a doubt. I also bought a magishine 900 light from geoman too and it has held up just fine. I use it as a loner light to my friends when I can get them to join me on my rides. I would say the actual lumen output of the magicshine 900 is more like 500 lumens, but still you cannot get equivalent output from any of the other various brand lights at anywhere near the price and if you buy from geomangear.com they will have the best customer service you can ask for. I bought one of the early magicshines and now the newer ones are actually improved so I wouldn't worry too much about quality issues.

    You say you are looking for a system to last 5 years, but a lot can happen in 5 years and lights will continue to improve so if you only spend about 1/3 the price now on magicshines, that you would on a l&m combo, then you won't feel bad in 3 years buying something new again that is brighter and with longer runtimes. Good luck and whatever you go with enjoy the heck out of your night rides.

  6. #6
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    Have you checked out an Amoeba?

    95% of my riding is done in the dark at 5am because of all of my other commitments, therefore I need lights. I also like sharing my stuff with others that value a handmade, custom light and the service that goes with it.

    Are any of these factors important to you when choosing a light?

    1. - Size
    2. - Weight
    3. - Non proprietary batteries and multiple options (AA holders or 3hr, 6hr, 9hr, 12hr Li-Ion choices)
    4. - Customer service (talk directly to the person that built your light)
    5. - A light that is made by someone who uses their lights on an almost daily basis and knows the importance of reliability and has the same passion for biking.



    I am now offering a Cree XP-G R5 version. 600 lumens, 3 1/2hr runtime.










    Got many racers using the Amoeba, check out some customer feedback - Amoeba received


    An SSC P4 U2 version on the bars and the a Cree XP-G R5 version on the helmet is a sweet set-up.



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  7. #7
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    yes scar, all of those factors are important.

    im looking at the magicshine 900 which is like 100 bucks right now, and i think id go for that, but after talking with a guy i work with (who has done a lot of riding over the last 20 years) i think id get the seca 700 for the helmet, as having he brightest light on the helmet is key. however, im still unsure if i want to get a 200 lumen l and m light for %10 percent more than the 900 lumen magicshine.

    Are there any downsides to the magicshine besides maybe durability and consistency of the quality? can anyone vouch for the stella 200 as a secondary bar light (and commuter light)? does the L and M have a better beam pattern or light color? its hard for me to understand how one company can put out more than 4 times as many lumens as another company for 10% less money than EP for another company (which is already over half off).
    are there better "modes" on the l and m, is the charger worth it?

    if 1-2 persons can vouch for the seca 700 and stella 200 setup vs stella 200 and magicshine 900/ magicshine 900 and seca 700 setup ill pull the trigger. sorry for my rant but i just cant understand how/why the magicshine is so great and cheap.

  8. #8
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    also, if there are any other lights out there id take suggestions. this light seems comparable to a seca 700, and at retail its only a few bucks more than my cost of a seca

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeem
    also, if there are any other lights out there id take suggestions. this light seems comparable to a seca 700, and at retail its only a few bucks more than my cost of a seca
    I would strongly advise against that jetlite HID light. You should only consider LED at this point. HID are heavy, fragile and just inferior to LED for bike lights now.

    The scar lights get good reviews and are extremely light weight. I would really want to have a dimming option on those lights and I don't think they are offered now. Please correct me if I am wrong scar.

    Another thing to consider when you are buying your lights is that it makes sense to stick to one brand if possible so that batteries, mounts, and cables etc. are interchangeable. I bought two of the same lights and it is nice to know that if I could run one light and bring both batteries to get really extended runtimes if needed and I can use the same cables, helmet mount and charger for each.

    None of the magicshine 900's will put out the full 900 lumens so you need to understand that, but still if the real world output is closer to 500 lumens then you would still be hard pressed to match that output for the price. Right now is a great time to be looking at purchasing a bike light. There are so many options and you need to spend some serious time looking through these forums and also the lights shootout here that gives some good reviews and beam shots.

    Also it would be a good idea to skim through the Lights DIY forum and see what is possible and offered there.

  10. #10
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    Since you're looking for opinions, here is mine that I posted a while back. Hasn't really changed any since that post. I am really interested if Dinotte will release any new models of lights before the next night riding season start this fall in the US.

    Magicshine poll

  11. #11
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    thanks maximus, and where can i find these scar lights? also, i was thinking about the benefits of led and having the same brands but nobody seems to really value that. in all honesty i think id go with the seca 700 and the stella 200 just due to the ease of getting them and interchangeable parts etc etc, but im still up in the air. i have, however, decided to scrap my plans for a night race (as i have 1/2 a night ride under my belt 2 weeks before said race) and i just ordered some chris king hubs and dt rims, as they are no brainers (apparently, unlike light systems)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeem
    thanks maximus, and where can i find these scar lights? also, i was thinking about the benefits of led and having the same brands but nobody seems to really value that. in all honesty i think id go with the seca 700 and the stella 200 just due to the ease of getting them and interchangeable parts etc etc, but im still up in the air. i have, however, decided to scrap my plans for a night race (as i have 1/2 a night ride under my belt 2 weeks before said race) and i just ordered some chris king hubs and dt rims, as they are no brainers (apparently, unlike light systems)
    Skeem, was just wondering, if you do go with the Seca products, do you think the stella 200 will have enough output? I think the Seca 700 will completely wash it out to the point your eyes may get to used to the 700 and make the Stella a non factor. I know it's more money but the Seca 400 would be a much better match.

  13. #13
    Light freak
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    Originally posted by skeem
    thanks maximus, and where can i find these scar lights?
    skeem, you can find more information about my lights by clicking the links in my signature. There is one for my current classified ad here on MTBR and there is also one for my blog. Check them out and let me know if you have any questions.

    Here is a link to a thread with customer feedback - Amoeba received



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  14. #14
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    Probably you could get a pair of XPG Amoeba for your cost on the Seca 700 alone. This will give you over a thousand true lumens,and the quality and customer satisfaction your looking for.The light output on that combo should be a fair bit brighter than your Seca combo your leaning towards.I still can't believe how small a light package this is pushing that kind of output.Nice work Scar!! The more i've looked into your options Skeem,i've just realised that there are some very high quality,high output bar/helmet combo's for under $500 out there.Good luck on your decision.

  15. #15
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    There are some good reasons for going with L&M/Dinotte/NR or other big names, but if money is an issue you cannot beat the MagicShine. Be sure to order through Geomangear.com because they offer fantastic service and have a presence here on mtbr and other bike forums. They stand behind the product, and have even helped out people whose products are out of warranty or who bought from a different vendor. They are also the master distributor in the US for Magicshine products and therefore have some sway with the company, and influence over the design and engineering of future products.

    But the really important part is that you can get a TON of light output for $250, comparable to the $450+ setup from the big names. In your position I would get two of these: MS900 Racer Special.
    - Lighthead
    - 2x Battery Packs (each pack runs roughly 3.5 hours on high)
    - Helmet mount
    - charger, extension cable, O-rings

    Two of those will give you a ton of light, redundancy, and you can have a couple batteries charged up as backups or for long races.

    For warranty/replacement/service concerns, check out these posts:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post10523815
    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/foru...tml#post688119
    http://roadbikerider.com/428.htm?sessid=haTmpKUvUPJXw
    12 Hours At Night in Prescott July 17-18, 2010
    Last edited by TwoHeadsBrewing; 07-15-2010 at 01:04 PM.
    "Got everything you need?"

  16. #16
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    scar, i like your lights and right now its between them and a dinotte setup. after doing more research i think the dinotte helmet mounting system is better than the light and motion one and it looks a bit less bulky (who wants big bulky things on top of their helmet anyway?). also, a sweet dinotte ~1000 lumen setup wont cost me too much more than EP on a light and motion setup- maybe a 100 dollar difference and id be paying RETAIL (the word no bike shop employee likes to hear) for the dinotte one.

  17. #17
    Light freak
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    skeem - No problem, thank you for considering my light as an option. Whatever you decide to get, it is nice to have more people come over to the dark side (night riding).




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  18. #18
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    scar, is your email address on your blog, i wanted to ask you a few questions about your lights etc.

    just curious, can anyone vouch for dinotte? ive been changing my mind a lot and have only heard good things, but id just like to know more.

  19. #19
    Light freak
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    It is listed in my classified ad - http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...t=51569&cat=27



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  20. #20
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    I know this is a fairly old post. But I have to add in, for anyone looking into lights to hit the trails in the dark, I need to say, don't skimp out on them. If money is tight, I suggest holding out a bit longer and saving up. I run a Full-Beam Night Nemesis on the bars (150 Lumens on low - 700 Lumens on medium - and 2150 Lumens on high). This light is actually rated and tested to produce the stated amount of Lumen. This light is customisable so that you can set each power level to either more or less Lumens, depending on your riding needs. You can go up to 2500 Lumens, max. I also run a Full-Beam Nightfire Pro on my helmet. This one is set roughly the same. On high it sits at 1900 Lumens. They are a seriously well made light. If you're running on high for an extended period, or you forget to switch it back, it automatically shuts out of high mode, and switches you back to medium so that it doesn't overheat. The seals when connected to the lights are waterproof. There are two battery pack options. An enduro pack, or a race pack if you're into the whole weight thing. Around 3 hours on high is the average on the enduro battery pack. You will pay for these lights. But I can't state enough how good they really are.
    I run both the wide versions of the mentioned lights. You can see a beam shot here.
    http://www.fullbeambikelights.com/Im...mshotwide5.jpg

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