Beginner question: Have $120, which light to buy?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    146

    Cool-blue Rhythm Beginner question: Have $120, which light to buy?

    Hey all -

    Been browsing through this forum for the past hour or so, and just want to say I had no idea how detailed / how much variety there was with night lights. Frankly, I'm just looking for a good light given my $120 budget, and wanted to get your input!

    So I had a couple questions for you guys:

    - I've been told a helmet lamp is much better than a handlebar lamp. I know most people will say the best is to go with a combo, but I'm not looking to spend too much money (unless I'd get more bang for buck spending $120 on a combo than a standalone helmet lamp)
    - I'd prefer one with a rechargeable battery. As long is it lasts 3+ hours on a single charge I'm okay with it.
    - And of course, one that's bright, isn't narrowly focused, and has a good amount of range.

    Any suggestions all?

    Thanks!
    Kevin

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,462
    Are you firm on your $120 budget?If so i have a couple of recommendations.The NiteRider Minewt is very small and light,and has the narrow beam your looking for,but it's only 150 lumens and replacement battery's are very expensive.There are three (Cygolite Milion) models,200/180/150 lumen.Self contained battery,aprox three hour burn times.I think a little brighter than the NR but not as good of beam pattern.And of coarse i'm sure you have read the consencus favorite, the MagicShine brand.Best bang in your budget,brighter than the others mentioned, and three hour burn times.Heads up though, as In my opinion the beam pattern may not be as narrow as you want.Has a tight hot spot in the middle followed by a huge hallo.
    For a few bucks more you can get into a couple of very nice products some DIY have brought to retail.Trailled makes a nice 500L,and i'm sure you have come accross Scar's products in your research on this forum.Good luck!!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,106
    Get the magicshine for $90, stick it on your helmet (depending on your helmet, you may not even need the helmet mount).

    With the other $30, I'd get some type of flashlight for your handlebars. I use these flashlights and these batteries and this charger and these mounts .

    These lights provide a good flood light to fill in between your front wheel and where your magicshine is aimed.
    On longer rides you may have to swap the battery in the flashlight, but it only takes a few seconds.

    I'd say this is your best bang for your $120 budget.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    64

    DX torches FTW

    You can get a floody P7 flashlight for the bars and a throwy Q5 for the helmet, four 18650 batteries, charger and mounts for under $120 at dx.

    If you search the forum, you'll find torch recommendations.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    13
    i got a cygolight Pace 295 (rebadged mitycross 300) for 150 at performance recently, i dig it and from what ive read its a bit better than the NR Miniewt.

    I need an MS for the bars and i think im set.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: portnoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    276

    For your budget...

    ...Magicshine is the way to go (get the one with three heads on it and run it on your handlebar-- I don't know the model name or number). It used to be that if you could only run one light a helmet light was best because it is directed whatever way you are looking. However, lights are so good now that depending on what you use and how twisty your trails are a very bright handlebar light such as the newest Magicshine offering can do just fine. That said, I run an $80 Magicshine on my handlebars with a flood lens in it, and a $400 Light and Motion HID spot on my helmet. When the HID fails I'll be replacing it with another Magicshine. The price difference is simply too huge for me to resist. If it were $100 or less I'd no doubt go with another L&M, but its not. It's $300 and it is what it is.
    I'll be along... eventually.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    169
    Magicshine 900 is retarded... My L&M Arc gets dwarfed by the MS. Feel bad for those that bought expensive lights before finding out about Magicshine and laugh at those that bought $300-500 lights knowing better.

    Magicshine = end game for overpriced, "high end" lights.

    If you can wing an extra $40 bucks and slap 2 on your bars, you'll have no need for a helmet light, regardless of how twisty the trail.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by AzTreky
    Magicshine = end game for overpriced, "high end" lights.
    I think that is probably true and, unfortunately, I think what you will start seeing most of the U.S. (and other countries) manufacturers moving their production to China to stay competitive.

  9. #9
    discombobulated SuperModerator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,221
    Quote Originally Posted by punkaccountant
    I think that is probably true and, unfortunately, I think what you will start seeing most of the U.S. (and other countries) manufacturers moving their production to China to stay competitive.
    Wow, just how many of the big name high volume light MFR's are currently making them in the states?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by CdaleTony
    Wow, just how many of the big name high volume light MFR's are currently making them in the states?
    NiteRider, Cygolite, L&M and Dinotte are all made in the U.S. There are probably more I can't think of off-hand. Like Cannondale moved their manufacturing, I'd hate to see these companies move their production overseas. I know I'll start to the hear the hate from others claiming a global economy and this forum isn't limited to bikers in the U.S. but I can still express my opinion and that is I prefer a product made in the U.S.A vs. one made in China. Sorry but that's just how I feel.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,462
    That's kind of funny to me as i just saw on a recient post a Seca 900 battery pack with a made in China sticker still on it. And as much as i would by far prefer to buy North Amarican made products most of those products have components in them from China or Korea.I don't know if there is such a product anywhere in the bike light industry 100% North American or 100% German.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    24
    I believe magicshines have been on the market for about a year now.
    I could be wrong but it doesn't seem the expensive lights have gotten any cheaper yet. Maybe the market segments will remain mostly unchanged, those who wish to buy (and can afford) expensive lights such as Lupine will continue to buy them. The difference now is that if you're on a small budget, you can get a high power LED light, whereas a few years ago you would've bought an ordinary halogen system.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    169
    It makes ZERO sense to spend that kind of money on a product that is only marginally better than the Magicshines. The comment about the internal parts not being made in the US is dead on. Just try to look up an American semi-conductor company.
    My best guess is that you are actually buying a mostly foreign built light that was only assembled in the USA. You're buying a light that includes a bunch of Chinese, Guadalajaran, and Singaporian, middlemen anyway... Few US companies show loyalty to it's own and pray on your 1940's era values as a means of justifying their obsurdly priced products.
    Folks can marginalize these lights by saying they aren't of significant quality. But in the end it's their dollar (American) that's getting short changed.
    I'm about American when American is about America once again.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    494
    Quote Originally Posted by AzTreky
    It makes ZERO sense to spend that kind of money on a product that is only marginally better than the Magicshines. The comment about the internal parts not being made in the US is dead on. Just try to look up an American semi-conductor company.
    My best guess is that you are actually buying a mostly foreign built light that was only assembled in the USA. You're buying a light that includes a bunch of Chinese, Guadalajaran, and Singaporian, middlemen anyway... Few US companies show loyalty to it's own and pray on your 1940's era values as a means of justifying their obsurdly priced products.
    Folks can marginalize these lights by saying they aren't of significant quality. But in the end it's their dollar (American) that's getting short changed.
    I'm about American when American is about America once again.
    Sorry to tell you Pilgrim, but you don't have a clue.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gjenkins@'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,600
    Magicshine ... helmet for tight twisty singletrack ... on bars for flat open riding.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,106
    Quote Originally Posted by suba
    Sorry to tell you Pilgrim, but you don't have a clue.
    "Pilgrim"? Really?

    Anyway, let's please stick to the original posters topic.

    So tittiot, did you make a choice yet? What did ya go with?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1

    ... and if we just ... Props for Geoman



    Just a note for those of you looking at lights. I highly recommend dealing with Geoman and getting Magicshines. Our riding group has 11 of them among us and they can't be beat for the price. We race in 24 hour events and 'just ride at night for fun' as well as cross country night skiing.

    We've had Niteriders, Vista's, BLT's, Trailtech, Marwi plus some others I've forgtten about. The Magicshines are all you need and for a hundred bucks they cannot be beat. The Trailtech Hids that some in our group have are brighter but also a lot heavier so for those of you who dont want to carry a Camelbak, you can throw the lightweight Magicshine battery in your jersey and just go.

    Also, based on our groups experience, every light is going to have problems eventually. Whether it's the battery or the connection or the bulb, something will go wrong. It's how the problem is addressed that determines customer satisfaction. Turnaround measured in weeks just doesn't cut it these days.

    On this note, out of the 11 Magicshines we have used on and off for about 9 months I had an issue with one defective charger and one loose connection that caused intermittent 'on/off' issues. Obviously not good heading downhill at night!

    I sent a note to Geoman today at noon explaining the situation and by 3:00pm the SAME DAY he had put a new charger and light assembly in the mail under warranty! Needless to say I was more than happy as I was expecting the "send it in and we'll look at it" reply.

    Of course I have to send the defects back but as far as our group is concerned this level of customer service has just confirmed my decision to deal with Geoman.

    I definitely recommend Magicshines and more importantly Geoman as the place to buy them. He has just earned a lifelong customer and confirmed the positive reviews here on MTBR about his company.

    Cheers,
    Bobby G
    Brockville ENDO MTB Club

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    169
    Another significant piece is that you can buy the Li Ion battery for $35ish if you wear the original out, and a replacement light head is $40ish if you bounce one off a rock. Accessoried such as Y-splitters and headlamp straps are $7. Compare those figures to what it would cost you to replace a light head or battery with any of the supposed higher end lights and you'll make up your mind on the spot.

    suba - you obviously would buy my clue for $600 if I told you it was of the highest quality and made in the US... PILGRIM.

  19. #19
    Pimpmobile
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    487
    My full Magicshine kit should be here Wednesday... 2300 combo and a taillight kit!

    Can't wait... it's frikin hot around here when the fiery ball travels across the sky!
    "Fear not the ob-stackles in your path"

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: monstertiki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    710
    Just got my ms900, this light is amazing for the price. I rode around my block for over an hour tonight playing around with it. I cant imagine why you would spend more on something else.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RallySoob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    83
    you guys are gettin me excited, cant wait for my ms900
    "Life is for living, not living uptight"

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Oracle7775's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    422
    I used my new ms900 for the first time on my road ride this morning, and I am extremely happy with it. I no longer have to "guess" where the potholes are!

    I can't wait to use it on the trail.
    Don't take anything I say seriously.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    56
    you guys are making me want to get into night riding. I've seen a bunch of cheapo lights or really expensive lights but the ms900 seems like a great value.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    24
    I'm curious as I have the original MS900 that I bought last year.
    Aside from the new water-resistant battery pack, are there any modifications?
    One minor gripe I had with the original was the lack of a true off-mode. You have to disconnect the battery otherwise it will slowly discharge due to the indicator that illuminates the switch on the lamp.

  25. #25
    Pimpmobile
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    487
    Sweeeet Nectar!!






    Can't wait till the sun goes down!


    GeoMan RULES!!
    "Fear not the ob-stackles in your path"

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    16
    Get the magicshine for $90, stick it on your helmet (depending on your helmet, you may not even need the helmet mount).

    With the other $30, I'd get some type of flashlight for your handlebars. I use these flashlights and these batteries and this charger and these mounts .

    These lights provide a good flood light to fill in between your front wheel and where your magicshine is aimed.
    On longer rides you may have to swap the battery in the flashlight, but it only takes a few seconds.

    I'd say this is your best bang for your $120 budget.
    Awesome info!

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.