Why do none of you use jetlites?
WTF? These guys used to be it, and now there's hardly anything said about them?
You know I could write a book on this subject but I'll try to be brief:
Originally Posted by aBicycle
Back in the day ( When Jetlites ruled the world of halogen bike lights ) there was very little competition outside the USA. Most people bought bike lights based on advice from friends, LBS people or reviews made by magazine writers. Times and technology have changed the market place and unfortunately Jetlites were one of the last U.S. manufactures to enter the market of LED lighting. By the time they brought their first LED lamp to market the Chinese had already entered and captured a major segment of the bicycle LED light market and were the talk of the town. Because almost everyone has a computer now-a-days no longer does the public have to rely on reviews done by magazine editors or friends. As such everyone with a mouse now knows where to find information on where to find affordable bike lights and who has the best prices.
Sadly when Jetlites released their first LED lamp it really didn't have a great lumen output. At least that was my take on it when I first viewed the beam shot photos from the MTBR shootout but that was years ago. When releasing new products with new technology it really is important to get it right the first time. *Fail to do this right and you will lose your customer base. ( * as per the saying, " You don't get a second chance to make a first impression". )
The current crop of lamps sold by Jetlites look nicely made. Unfortunately they are not competitively priced. Now-a-days if you sell a lamp in the $200 range it almost has to output somewhere around 1200 to 1500 lumen to be competitive. Anyway, that's my take on it.
Last edited by Cat-man-do; 08-15-2012 at 02:10 AM.
The combo a-51+x-51 is priced at 299.... 1700lm and mixed throw seems like a pretty good combo..
My head is literally about to pop.. I got the idea tonight "i need a bike light" .. lol.. The more a read the more i realize---forget it-- ill just ride in the day.. Trying to figure out what to get is overwhelming lol..
After Jim died the place was never the same.
I love my Jetlite. Bought it a few months ago. One of the best cycling purchases I have made.
Which one you got?
Originally Posted by mtb4146
I am happy with my JetLite. This is my third lite set from them, as I have upgraded over the years. I'm sure that I could of got something cheaper with more lumens but I don't want to worry about reliability far from home in the dark of night.
Roscoe's Chicken 'n Waffles
I have the X-51. I ride mostly singletrack with it and it lights up everything just fine on the low setting. I rarely ride it on the high setting. I have used it for some road rides with the handlebar mount and that too has been great with this light. The burn times are pretty spot on as advertised. The helmet mount is strong and secure. The battery mount for the frame is probably my least favorite thing about the light but I use zip ties instead and they are faster and more secure. As for customer service, I wouldn't know becasuse the light is bombproof and there is no need to contact them at all. And for 199, you can't go wrong.
I just had this conversation yesterday with a guy that is an off-road fabricator, we were discussing the consumer's desire to save money (I am a consumer too, so I get it) vs. the need for quality/customer service and how that relates to and affects American companies that produce their products here in the states - like we do with our truck/motorcycle lights.
Frankly it's all understandable, but nonetheless frustrating from an American light manufacturing company perspective. Perhaps there can be a Magicshine and Clone forum and an Everyone Else forum for riders that would like to read about anything other than those type of light systems?
Jet is a great American company with quality reasonably priced light systems, I have heard nothing but good things about their customer service over the many years they have been around. Their prices are with $40-50 of the MS stuff typically, I say if you in the market for new lights give them good hard look.
When you consider some of the low powered over priced dross American consumers had to put up with (lights, cars, whatever) until foreign competitors gave them a kick in the pants and forced them to innovate again, I'd be careful what you wish for.
Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
Magicshine, for all their many faults, has really spurred a great deal of innovation in the light market, including the popular mix of American design/ validation and Chinese manufacturing, which brings us well built but affordable mid-market products like... oh, Baja lights
Haaah! I agree with you Matt, the free market is what it is and I wouldn't have it any other way - frustrating or not.
If I am very/overly honest, I will tell you that I dislike what MS and it's prolific clones have done to the bicycle lighting market. The primary thing that it has done is lower the perceived value of LED lighting. For some reason riders understand that there is a difference between a $150.00 Walmart "mountain bike" and a much more expensive bike purchased at an IBD, both bikes have wheels, a frame, and some handlebars and can basically roll over the same ground but there are many actual differences between the two - even if they are both (unfortunately IMO) made in China and riders understand that. But when it comes to bicycle lighting...
When it comes to lighting, any system can just spew out light from a discount bin XM-L LED, but what kind of reflector(s) is it using? What Kelvin rating is the LED? What kind of weather proofing does it have? What is the warranty? Customer service? Race support? What is the overall likelihood that the company will be around in three years? I also dislike the concept of a throwaway light system, and in my opinion Magicshine introduced us to the that.
To be clear, we design, test, retest, and redesign our bicycle lights here in the U.S. and then have them made in China - our truck and motorcycle lights are physically hand built here in California by genuine Americans. Honestly having something made in China is kind of a bitter pill, but a necessary one at the moment. We have to use that American design/validation that you are talking about Mr. Muppet to be even remotely competitive. Heck, just watch the right side of this forum, there will be a new China based manufacturer advertising there ever other week or so. (ie; mtbRevolution.com - welcome to the Thunderdome mtbRevolution )
I have faith that we Americans will figure out a way to produce lights that will not just function better, last longer, and have better backing from the company in the long run - but also come in at a competitive price. Luckily we, and most American light manufacturers, already do that.
But...aBicycle's original question was: "WTF? These guys used to be it, and now there's hardly anything said about them?"
Jet needs to get on the ball and be more aggressive in their marketing and talking about there lights here and everywhere else for that matter, and then there will be more people talking about there awesome new light systems.
Last edited by Baja Designs; 08-21-2012 at 10:24 AM.
You're selling a product that a small fraction of people in a relatively small sport use for a small fraction of their riding which will be superseded by a better/brighter/cheaper model by the time they need to use it the following year and you're suprised that they don't attach more value to it? I would have expected more awareness of your market than that.
Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
These aren't the halogen days, when a decent light system cost a fortune and lasted several years because there was nothing else better to buy. It's a highly dynamic evolving market and a huge part of that dynamism comes from outside competition. I've been night riding for the last 15+yrs and I've seen plenty of heavy, dim and overpriced lights come out of the UK and US. That pretty much changed overnight when Magicshine copied the Lupine Tesla (I think that's the name). Now, some of those old halogen era dinosaurs have disappeared and new manufacturers appeared.
I for one have absolutely no desire to return to those dim expensive "Made in America/UK" only days, no rose tinted glasses for me thanks, I like to see where I'm going
Thanks for the welcome Shannon. Really thought this was a place to promote for free. Paying double (you and I understand what that means) but still having to fend off attacks so Thunderdome is quite apt.
Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
Agree with what you are saying. We hold on to the ideals as much as we want to but the power of economics cannot be reversed.
People (our individual selves included) will not pay a dollar more for something that looks, walks and quacks like one. Nothing is worth repairing nowadays. Extended warranties can be a joke - they are run by private companies that can go bust like anyone else.
Majority of companies are outsourcing and opening factories in China and other cheaper alternatives - blame Nike, they more or less pioneered this trend in the 80s. All this for cheaper selling price, lower margins but more customers in the end.
It's a vicious cycle. People buy cheap because we can't afford more > because cheap is the way to go companies have to outsource > companies outsource means no job security for locals > locals are Pelicans, everywhere they look they see a big bill > that's why they need to buy cheap > and back to first base...
Something else that Matt forgot to mention is that along with LED technology came the simplicity of the build possibilities. Parts and accessories were jumping out of the woodwork. It soon became apparent that anyone with basic DIY skills could fabricate a decent LED lamp. As long as you didn't care what it looked liked it could work and save you a boat-load of cash. Then along came MagicShine and it's clones to spoil the DIY fun as well. Yep, even the DIY'ers had to admit that you no longer needed to try to do your own build if all you wanted was a simple build that worked and didn't cost a boat load of cash.
Right after I bought my first DiNotte 600L ( $400 ) MagicShine came out. I also learned during that time that I could buy LED torches powered with 18650 Li-ion cells that had light output almost identical to my 600L. That's $400 vs. about $45 for a P-7 torch set up...didn't take me long to do the math on that. Hate it if you will but it was inevitable that someone would come in and low-ball the market that was prime for the taking.
Anyway, where are most bike frames made nowadays?.......good for the goose, good for the gander. When you tip the first domino over it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure what's going to happen next.
Last edited by Cat-man-do; 08-21-2012 at 12:17 PM.
Captain Muppet, I do understand the market quite well my little green friend, particularly the lighting niche. I started at NiteRider in 1999 and started working at bicycle shops in 1994 while I still on active duty in the Marine Corps. I was around during the hey day of the halogen era, was one of the first people on the planet to test the then new HID technology, and was still at NR when they started working with high-end LED technology. I would definitely agree that we live in a whole new world than it was in 1999.
I have looked at this market from many perspectives, and definitely agree with you that the driving force, particularly for the type of individual that regularly lurks about MTBR. The brighter and brighter cheaper and cheaper every year crowd is never going to be won over by the longevity, parts availability, and customer service over the long run argument. For those guys I say go for it, enjoy yourself, I understand the fun in that and for guys cool with dumping money into lights yearly that is a great thing. For everyone else there are companies that build lights to last for the long run and then - gasp - provide parts and customer service a few years down the road.
There are other things that factor into what's going on in our little market, but that's another story for another time...
Mr. Man Do - I did mention that those higher end frames were also made in China, as we all know by this point there are differing levels of quality coming out of that country. Honestly it is a very sad reality that most American companies have been pushed in that direction. But just because that is the world we live in now it doesn't mean that I have to like it or take joy in the fact that some American frame builder was put out of work by a Chinese robot.
As far as DIYers go I thought they actually did that primarily because they enjoyed building their own systems and took pride in their accomplishments - I didn't think it was such a price driven thing for them.
Are you not involved in an industry that has been effected by this phenomenon Cat? I have seen first hand the effects of it all on real people here in San Diego that I know personally, so I don't have a cavalier attitude towards it.
This is all of course just a tiny part of much bigger picture, but again that's a much bigger story for some other forum.
Hmmm...let's break this down: I don't necessarily agree that the power of economics cannot be reversed. Case in point, one of my hobbies is flying R/C airplanes. I used to buy things from Chinese importers then I found that buying aircraft/parts from an American manufacturer that sold its products through local hobby stores made life much easier - if slightly more expensive. Plus the quality was quite a bit better on the aircraft and most of the replacements parts. So at least in that case my values/economics did reverse.
Originally Posted by Xeccon
"People (our individual selves included) will not pay a dollar more for something that looks, walks and quacks like one." - Completely disagree, just because one bike tire is round with knobbies just like another one, does not mean they will work the same. Lights are very much the same way, there are numerous differences physically between the systems that are out there, as well as performance and longevity differences.
"Nothing is worth repairing nowadays." - Really? Does everyone else actually feel that way? I do not.
"Extended warranties can be a joke - they are run by private companies that can go bust like anyone else." - An extended warranty is only a joke to a company that knows it will not be around in a year or two or know that its product may be sub par in build and reliability. A solid manufacturer, that produces well built products and takes care of its customers will be around for many years - hopefully.
"Majority of companies are outsourcing and opening factories in China and other cheaper alternatives - blame Nike, they more or less pioneered this trend in the 80s. All this for cheaper selling price, lower margins but more customers in the end." - You are correct, we have had to as well with some products - fantastic.
"It's a vicious cycle. People buy cheap because we can't afford more > because cheap is the way to go companies have to outsource > companies outsource means no job security for locals > locals are Pelicans, everywhere they look they see a big bill > that's why they need to buy cheap > and back to first base..." - I can't disagree with that, it's a difficult cycle to break, but I don't like the idea that we are driving ourselves into a downward spiral.
Welcome to the Thunderdome indeed.
Yes to all the points you make. Specifically, there are two different types of people who typically DIY. One is the guy on the lower economic scale who wants to save a buck while building himself a workable bike lamp. He's not too concerned how it looks as long as it works and cost him peanuts. The other type is the person who enjoys DIY as a hobby. These people take a greater pride in their workmanship and sometimes spend lots of money while doing it. For them the cost of the tools and materials is not the major issue but rather making something unique that looks nice, works well and brings pride of accomplishment.
Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
As for being effected by outsourcing: I think everyone is affected by the down-turn in the economy as well as the high unemployment. That includes me as well. Outsourcing and foreign competition will always be factors that effect the American worker. Unfortunately there are many factors that are effecting the economy as a whole with outsourcing being but one factor. The key is being able to control all the factors so that there is a turn around. Between me and you I'm not expecting that to happen anytime soon.
In the mean time us folks on the lower economic scale make due with what we have. We buy what we feel we can afford and hope like hell that it will last long enough before we need more. I won't complain too much. I have food in my belly and a roof over my head. By standards here in the U.S. I feel fortunate to have what I have. Compared to what people have in other parts of the world I would be considered a millionaire by their standard of living.
Anyway, enough of this crying over the spilled milk, let's get back on topic.
Now now Shannon, please don't go the way of some of the other manufacturer's reps who post on here and go off on rants/ using sarcastic names for forum members/ etc. I've always admired your professionalism, please don't let it slip. As Shakespeare said, respect is like a balloon; takes a long time to blow up and no time at all to pop.
As I've pointed out above, you're living, breathing and making your dime in a company that off-shores manufacturing. Please don't then point out how evil manufacturing is. I believe that would make you a hypocrit. There are plenty of macroeconomic studies that describe the benefits of the shift in manufacturing to the Far East, largely in reducing inflation and cost of living, which in turn frees up money (that used to be spent on expensive bike lights, crap cars, giant fridges etc) that can be spent on other things, like bigger houses and flashier cars. Oh, hang on, perhaps that's not so good...
Please don't bring this down to the brainless soundbites politicians like to brainwash their electorate with, there's enough of that on TV as it is. Go out and look into it yourself, there's plenty of information out there.
Matt, I was just playing on our silly names here on the forum no sarcasm intended, I apologize if it came off that way. I was countering your assertion that I might not know this market very well is all, just wanted you to understand where I got my street cred.
I did point out that I feel it's a somewhat bitter pill to swallow, in another cliche' it's also a two edge sword because on the one hand it allows us to bring lights to market at a lower price while on the other hand we haven't paid an American worker to machine the light head, mold the bezel, etc. I am hoping we can do that in the near future and still keep cost down - we are working on that actually.
Yep, I definitely see your point, Cat's, and mtbRevolution guys as well. I think it's possible to agree with some and disagree with others and still be pals. This is serious stuff, there are people who feed their families by making a living in this small industry - I happen to have a wife and four kids depending on my selling lights into this market. So believe me when I say that to me this subject is more than a political soundbite.
In the meantime...Hey new night riding guy looking for a light, give Jet or any other American based company a fair shake before deciding completely on price alone. You might find that you can get a good quality system at fair price that will have backing in the long run.
no worries, no offense taken. I think you understand the market for your lights very well, but may wish to appreciate that the price bracket your company is in isn't the whole market. Besides, from my experience the whole Magicshine thing has expanded the market (as opposed to taking market share away from existing players) as all the riders that I've met using them or similar lights would never have dropped $300 on a single light to do something they only do 5 or 6 times a year. However, I have met (in real life and on the internet) plenty of people that have bought cheap Chinese lights, got into night riding and discovered the limitations of what they bought, then started searching for lights in the next price bracket up.
As a personal level, sure the flight of basic manufacturing jobs overseas can be devastating, I understand that. However, capital and people will at the economy level flow to where it's most efficiently put to use. So, instead of having a few companies with lots of low skilled, relatively low paid manual jobs, you have more companies with fewer high skilled, well paid jobs. It's they way the developed world is moving (and Apple seems to have done well with that model) and trying to fight the tide out of nostalgia/ misplaced patriotism seems misguided at best and a poor business decision at worst. Most people really aren't going to associate any extra value to a more expensive light just because it's been machined by someone in the US as opposed to someone in Taiwan or China. They're going to want tangible benefits (the ones you rightly put in your above posts) instead.
All true Matt, I agree with the gateway drug idea and everything else for that matter. I think figuring out a way to work within the tide is the smart way to go and figuring out a way to keep as many of our neighbors employed as possible while doing so will work best in the long run.
Got any other huge geo-political challenges we can fix?
Climate change and people/ drug smuggling are next on my list. Hopefully get those done by the end of the month.
Haaaahh!! Let me know if you need any help, after a couple of PBR's I am pretty
Originally Posted by mattthemuppet