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  1. #1
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    top 5 do's and don'ts When buying Chinese bike lights

    I'll give you some back story, I purchased a yinding for review which quiet frankly was pants and half finished. Which was very disappointing after hearing all the good experiences on here.

    I've had some people mention to me that they've had good and bad experiences with these lights and other lights like the ssx2 etc. I know that some times it looks like your buying the same light but some times its actually not.

    So I'm working on a video for my youtube channel (Prevous called TheSpankedOne )

    My Idea is to put a video together of the Top 5 do's and don'ts when buying Chinese bike lights. To help guide people through the gearbest / deal extreme jungle of lights.

    My top 5 do's so far

    1) DO your research, Check out cycling forums like MTBR etc they are a great pool of knowledge

    2) DO more research on the vendor, is it a secure website do they have good customer feed back.

    3)Can it be purchased locally, even if it costs a little extra? This should help eliminate any issues with shipping with shorter delivery times. It'll also gives you better buyer protection.

    4)Pay via paypal or purchase on amazon. You'll benefit from the payment protection they offer if things go missing in the post or if the product isn't as described

    5)Invest in a better battery. Notoriously the weakest point of these lights, A good battery from a reputable supplier should be more reliable. Also you can then keep the battery and buy a new light head for when the next fancy batch of brighter leds have been released
    The Dont's

    1)Don't say you've Just brought your self a 5000000lm cree bike light. You know that's BS.

    2)Don't forget about delivery charges and potential import charges

    3)Don't leave it charging unattended. Much like leaving a lit candle, it may be fine all by itself. It may burn your house down with all you bikes inside, the kids and the family pets. (This one goes for any electrical item tbh)

    4)Don't get your hope up, even after all the research, tracking down the right light, waiting for it to be delivered etc. It may still be a turd in a box. But if your lucky it might be bright reliable an freaking awesome
    That's my list so far. Do you agree / disagree, would you add any thing?

    http://youtu.be/jgT0eJQk51A
    Last edited by spankone; 4 Days Ago at 08:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    When you say you bought a Yinding that wasn't finished, are you speaking of the New/Original XM-L2 Yindings from GearBest or the cheap copies from other vendors? I know you won't find construction in a Chinese light better than the New/Original Yindings.

  3. #3
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    top 5 do's and don'ts When buying Chinese bike lights

    Unfortunately it had yingding on the back but it was a copy from deal extreme.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankone View Post
    Unfortunately it had yingding on the back but it was a copy from deal extreme.


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    Ya I got my first one from FastTech right as they started making them cheaper. I finally got an original from GearBest in this new batch.

  5. #5
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    For number three don't: you're not going to babysit the battery for 4 hours after each ride, so set up a safe charging station: in a metal bucket or sitting on the concrete floor. Actually my batteries are zip tied to my bike but my charger was purchased locally with a NZ safety test done.
    DIY LED Bike Lights:
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  6. #6
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    top 5 do's and don'ts When buying Chinese bike lights

    Im not say stair at it whilst holding a fire extinguisher lol. But show caution whilst charging.


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  7. #7
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    I would say a "DO" in relation to the cheap Chinese battery pack / charger is to:

    a) DO open up and check the internals of the battery pack, looking for "fake cells" (with a DMM) and checking that the cells are at least nearly balanced (also with a DMM).

    b) DO use a DMM, or better yet one of these cheap simple voltmeter/ammeter devices, to check the charger operation to make sure it is outputting proper voltage (+/- 8.45v with no load), terminates at or very close to 8.40v(this is EXTREMELY critical), and preferably shows the current lowering as it approaches 8.4v (showing a proper CC/CV Li-Ion charge method).

    -Garry

  8. #8
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    I saw this thread just before walking out the door. Very good OP. I'll have thoughts to add when I get home tonight. I will add one quicky though;

    DON'T expect to get the best quality from your purchase. Keep expectations low. It if works and lets you see well while riding a bike you got your monies worth. If it works better than expected than consider yourself lucky. The next time you might not be as fortunate.

  9. #9
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    top 5 do's and don'ts When buying Chinese bike lights

    Thanks Cat


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  10. #10
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    I suppose we are talking about the ultra-cheap Chinese lights, not a company like Magicshine which is legitimate company.

    I have an issue with 3 and 4 on the "Do" list.

    3) Purchase locally? They are called Chinese lights for a reason, they come straight from China. That's why they are cheap. Any local reseller adds cost without any benefit, plus it removes any possibility of knowing the actual source of the item. This was the fundamental problem highlighted by the Yinding debacle. Fasttech sources a fantastic light and once the positive reviews come in they switched to cheaper clone manufacturer. These newer lights sucked. Any light that becomes successful seems to be rapidly copied by third parties with varying quality. In the fasttech example, the price stayed the same which makes it an even worse deal.

    It's only recently that GJHS discovered that the original "good" Yinding was still being made all along. This was accomplished because he established a professional relationship with a Gearbest employee. This employee seemed to know the original manufacturer. This could potentially take out all the guesswork/gambling out of buying a Chinese light because we can avoid the third party manufacturers. If one person gets a light and finds it to be good, then someone could be the same light four months later and it would also be good. That's the best case scenario and what we are hoping to accomplish.

    Also noted when we are talking about the Yinding is that it's a clone, i.e. copy, of the Gemini Duo light. Gemini is a legitimate company and the manufacturer of the Yinding is in a way committing intellectual property theft. We gloss over this fact in this forum but perhaps we should talk about it more. So the people who are making a copy of the Yinding are making a clone of a clone.

    A second note is that Gearbest itself may not be the holy grail of light buying either. They recently sent a light for review to Garry and he discovered that two cells of the four cell pack were well disguised fakes. So maybe Gearbest isn't the answer either, although right now I think it's the best bet.

    It seems that in the past many people bought from DX then moved on to fasttech and lightmalls. But some people got burned including me. I thought lightmalls was the answer after receiving a quality light, but then I got a bum version of the Solarstorm X3. Are they secretly switching to third party manufacturers behind the scenes. Who knows? Are the original manufactures cutting corners to maximize profits or to keep up with orders. Again it's unknown.

    4) ebay/amazon There were many people who swore by specific sellers on ebay for the single xml light and solarstorm x2's. I still think it's more of a gamble compared to dedicated websites such as dx/fastech/lightmalls. I think amazon is even worse because you get the little box on the right in which you can select the actual third party seller. Who knows who those guys are. In my mind you really have no idea what you are getting. Is it the original or a bad clone (or clone of a clone). I remember a couple of people got burned on Solarstorm X2 clones on Amazon. There were some exciting light such as the triple xml which started off on ebay and continued to be a good place to buy them.

    So I think the whole idea of what light to buy and where do I buy it remains a very fluid situation. We seem to be getting some very positive help from the people at Gearbest in securing quality lights. Will this still be true 2,4 or even 6 months from now? It's hard to say.

    While I think this a good thread I hope that you provide a link to this forum and this thread in particular when you do make your video.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    I suppose we are talking about the ultra-cheap Chinese lights, not a company like Magicshine which is legitimate company.
    Didn't Magicshine make the 20,000 unsafe batteries that Geoman had to do a recall on, without their support?
    Geoman Gear Gone?? - Page 2- Mtbr.com
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Didn't Magicshine make the 20,000 unsafe batteries that Geoman had to do a recall on, without their support?
    Yes, and both the MS lights that I have repaired for friends were poorly soldered and had under spec'd and poorly mounted driver components. Maybe not as bad as some of the really cheapo Chinese lights though.
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  13. #13
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    Ummm... kinda doubt MagicShine ever made their own batteries, at most they assemble packs. Right now MS generally source BAC cells, which are fine; also higher capacity SamSungs are an option with some models.

    Scored my first Magic Shine, an MJ-816, just when they came out with their first "new improved" battery pack and it's lasted me over three years so far (well the velcro bag, not so much) as has the adawable Mickey Mouse light head. Charger finally went south, turned out the connector was shot. But couldn't positively diagnose the problem at the time so used the excuse to order a freshly updated, 816-U light set with the latest XM-L2 and XP-Gs, thing way outshines its predecessor. Came with both a really great rubberized silicone battery pack and a rock-solid charger that weighs like three times as much as the generic ones you get with the knock-off light sets.

    Buy MagicShine from a reputable dealer like ActionLED or Brightstone Sports and they will quickly and cheerfully take care of any issues. Those guys are the BEST.

  14. #14
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    top 5 do's and don'ts When buying Chinese bike lights

    Keep it on topic guys


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  15. #15
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    top 5 do's and don'ts When buying Chinese bike lights

    So ive done my little vid. Ive tried to keep it short and to the point. And given mtbr a shout out.

    Let me know what you think. And thanks for your help guys.


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  16. #16
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    > safe charging station: in a metal bucket or sitting on the concrete floor.

    Outdoors. And if it vents, don't inhale.
    Exploding Battery pack - CREE XM-LT6 LED Bicycle Light

    Hydrogen fluoride causes permanent lung damage although it may take a few hours before you realize you need to go to the emergency room to find out what's wrong.

  17. #17
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    How about under "do not" Ride alone w/ just one cheap light. I may be working fine but w/ those things you just never know! The batteries, the connectors, soldering w/in the light head, etc, etc are all as expected for a 20 buck light.

    They still a deal if U ride w/ 2 (or more)

    MB

  18. #18
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    My recommendation for the top Don't:
    !)Don't buy them.

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