Bikeray IV: Cat's Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bikeray IV: Cat's Review

    Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be reviewing the much talked about Bikeray IV.
    I just got the light yesterday in the mail. Usually when I do review stuff I tend to get a little over exuberant. That's not going to happen this time. This time I'm going to take my time and muse somewhat on my own observations before I start going into details. That means you'll have to be patient. I intend to compare this light to others that I already own and that means I have to take the time to see how the lights work in various situation/terrains. Some of the issues I will be commenting on: Beam pattern, light intensity, design, bang for buck, battery and battery runtime and of course over-all usability. I will comment on the things I like most about it and the things I like least about it. I will try to be as fair about it as I can. In order to do that I will need to take some time to do some careful observations. Heck, I'll probably even need to take notes..

    I will be taking beam shots as well. Beam shots are hard to do. If they are to be done right it will take time so please be patient. Where I live has gotten a lot of rainfall lately so getting those outside beam shots might take some time.

    I did take a quick ride this morning around 2:00AM and I did compare a couple other lights. Being careful not to jump the gun ( so to speak ) much of what I saw was expected. No startling revelations as yet but to keep the naysayers at bay I feel obligated to throw out a quick bone so here goes.....initial observations from my first ride ( 20 min. ): Most of what I saw I liked....but details my friends will follow. Details are everything... ~ ~ ~

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    Thanks Cat, much appreciated.

    Will wait on your feedback before throwing down on double BR4s for the bars then.

  3. #3
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    Hmm...not much of a review so far, but I'll keep watching this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be reviewing the much talked about Bikeray IV.
    You could start by telling us what you paid for it

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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit
    You could start by telling us what you paid for it
    I paid $179.99 plus $10.50 shipping. www.bikerayusa.com

    And I might add that I found out about the BikeRay IV on the 12th, placed my order on the 17th after some reflection, and got it on the 19th. As far as I'm concerned, BikeRay's customer service has been great. Oh, and the light kicks ass.
    Last edited by Azra; 05-22-2011 at 09:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    Good job! Run Time

    I went riding all over creation to test the run time of the BikeRay IV.

    Condition: Brand new battery from BikeRay, arrived a few days ago, never used. All I did to it is charge it and go ride. No conditioning of any sort, no cycling, nothing.

    Temperature: In the low 70s.

    Light head temperature: It stayed barely lukewarm.

    Claimed run time: 3.5 hr on high, 14hr on low. (I was using it in high mode for this test.)

    Results:

    After 2 hr and 45 min I noticed that the battery indicator had gone from green to blue.

    After 3 hr and 8 min the battery indicator went from blue to red.

    A few seconds later the light cut off.
    Last edited by Azra; 05-22-2011 at 10:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra
    ....Claimed run time: 3.5 hr on high, 14hr on low. (I was using it in high mode for this test.)

    Results:

    After 2 hr and 45 min I noticed that the battery indicator had gone from green to blue.

    After 3 hr and 8 min the battery indicator went from blue to red.

    A few seconds later the light cut off.
    Actually I didn't know the claimed run time was 3.5 hrs on high. I think over 3 hrs is surprising considering that this light is using 4 leds. Don't be surprised if the run time increases a little after a couple cycles. Right now I am doing my own run time test. I'll update my post when it's done.

    I'm still waiting to do some more outdoor tests. I was really tempted to go out tonight but radar shows a storm front moving in and I really didn't want to get caught in the rain with my camera and such. Since I can't get the pictures I want right now I'll talk a little more about the light and how I think it compares to the stuff I had with me last night. Just keep in mind these are still just initial impressions.

    Now about the light head optics and light output: Claimed output is 1500 lumen. 1500 is more than a little over the top in my opinion. In discussions with BikerayUSA they have agreed that the actual output is somewhat less. The optics on the BR IV are supposed to be in the 15 degree range. They look a lot like the Carclo optics in my 20mm triple XPG but I don't think they are Carclo. Compared to the throw with my 3-up using the Carclo clear narrow optics...Well, still not sure about about which has better throw. Total output though favors the BR IV.

    I tend to have a heavy favoritism towards bar lights that can throw. That means my opinion might not agree with what other users might find appropriate for Mountain biking. That be as it may, like a lot of people I like a light on my bars that can provide both good throw and a decent amount of flood/spill. The Bikeray IV provides more of a flood/Spill beam pattern but on high it does have some reach albeit a bit dispersed beyond 100ft. Personally I would of preferred to have had a more tighter center spot for a little further reach. Unfortunately as others have already found out trying to get good throw from available optics is a tough nut to crack. Distance throw with the Bikeray IV was very close to my 3up which does have a more narrow beam pattern. Left with just that I would have been very disappointed. Fortunately the BR IV provides it's own brand of usefulness in the form of *wall-like flood. ( *sorry, would of said "massive" but I have to leave that for when the XM-L stuff comes out. )

    This is not to say that the BR IV doesn't have a center hot spot. It does ( as wall beams shots will show ) but you really can't notice any kind of hot spot when riding. As a result what you see is a very bright/smooth wall of light without any noticeable transition areas.
    Before getting the BR IV I thought my 3up was floody! The Bikeray IV excels in the wide illumination category. Unlike my other lights this light really lights up the trees as well as right in front. A beam pattern like this can be real useful particularly if you ride in areas that have tight open switch backs or wide fire roads. Besides, for a bar light, flood can be more important at times especially if you are using a helmet lamp that already gives you your throw.

    Because I'm picky, I like flood and throw on the bars. Still, I have no problem with using this light. For me the issue is trade-offs. Not the throw I want but more smooth/even peripheral light for dodging those nasty obstacles when they get close. I can still get throw just by adding a helmet light.

    And speaking of helmet lights, on most of my ride I didn't use my helmet light as I primarily wanted to judge the IV. However I did turn it on a couple times just to see how the combo would work. I was only using my single XP-E drop-in torch. When I turned it on I was amazed. I say amazed because the combo worked very well together. It seems there is a cumulative effect from the Ray IV when added to the throw of the torch. I'm sure if using a brighter helmet light the effect would be even more impressive.

    Enough said for now. More to come next week including ( hopefully ) beamshots. So far the run time test is still going strong @ 2hrs with the green light still on. More on that in another hour of so.

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    Continued from my last post above:

    Update on the run time test; After 2.5 hrs I got the blue light. The red came on after 3:13. Two minutes later the light went out.

    My take on this: When you see the red light you are minutes from being done. Once the light goes out it does not come back on....at all. I thought maybe you might be able to use the low level after turning it off a while while the battery rebounds but such is not the case. The reason for this is that once the light shuts itself down it must trigger the battery PCB to totally shut down.

    Because I was home I was able to reset the battery and I got another 10 minutes on low. Interestingly, the light began to strobe after that. I figure that is a good way to warn the rider he is about to lose his light. The strobing lasted a minute or so and then the light went out again.

    I think it best if when you reach the 3hr mark that you start using the low mode as much as possible. Doing so will get you nearer to the 4hr mark and give you a bit more warning as the strobing doesn't happen when in high mode. If you wait for the red light before powering down don't expect to get more than 15 more minutes in low before the warning strobe. ( IMO, automatic power-down after red light would have been a nice feature to have )

    Oh, I almost forgot, the whole time I was using the high mode I did not notice any diminishing light level the whole time, a big plus.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 05-23-2011 at 03:25 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    I think over 3 hrs is surprising considering that this light is using 4 leds.
    I was actually expecting just 2 hours at the most given how bright this light is. So getting a little over 3 hours is kick ass as far as I'm concerned.

    BTW, I got an email from BikeRay this morning asking me if I'm disappointed to get only 3:08 and if I'm an unhappy customer now and what they can do about it? Are you guys kidding me? I'm trilled with this light!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    The Bikeray IV provides more of a flood/Spill beam pattern but on high it does have some reach albeit a bit dispersed beyond 100ft
    Barreling down a straight dark road last night at over 30 mph, I did find myself wishing for a little bit more throw. But then again, flood/spill is absolutely great and most of the time I do not ride 30+ mph at night. On paved bike trail I found the flood/spill fantastic when going around twisty bits. I'm a roadie and for me I think they pretty much nailed the throw vs flood/spill combination with this light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    This is not to say that the BR IV doesn't have a center hot spot. It does ( as wall beams shots will show ) but you really can't notice any kind of hot spot when riding.
    Same observation here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    My take on this: When you see the red light you are minutes from being done
    Yes, I was kind of a little disappointed at how little warning of an impeding shut down I got. It would have been nice if the red warning lasted 10-15 min. In a $600 light I would have found that to be a flaw. In a $180 light, I can perfectly live with a few little issues like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    IMO, automatic power-down after red light would have been a nice feature to have
    You mean the beam automatically switching from high to low when the red warning comes on (with option for user to switch it back to high if they want to)? Yes, agreed. It would have been a nice feature. My old Light and Motion did that.

    PS - BikeRay: I am happy, I promise you. Don't send me another panicked email.
    Last edited by Azra; 05-23-2011 at 07:30 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra
    ....I'm a roadie and for me I think they pretty much nailed the throw vs flood/spill combination with this light.
    Well I can agree with everything you said except the above statement. For the road I would definitely want more throw if going faster than 30mph. I will say though if you're a roadie and want some daytime visibility from a front light, Dudes, this light rocks in flash mode! It is blinding!

    When I got this light I was hoping for maybe 2.5hrs on high considering it is only a 4 cell battery. I consider anything over 3hr to be the proverbial icing on the cake. I think the 24hr event people will like this light. If it runs 3hrs plus on high it should last a looooong time when using the lower mode. I'll let someone else do the run time test on low. I don't have 8-10 hrs ( or whatever ) to sit around and babysit..

    I'll do more comments on the lower mode after I ride again. The last ride I really didn't use it much.

    Quick update: It took about 5hrs for the battery to recharge. Not bad as it was thoroughly drained!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Continued from my last post above:

    Update on the run time test; After 2.5 hrs I got the blue light. The red came on after 3:13. Two minutes later the light went out.

    My take on this: When you see the red light you are minutes from being done. Once the light goes out it does not come back on....at all. I thought maybe you might be able to use the low level after turning it off a while while the battery rebounds but such is not the case. The reason for this is that once the light shuts itself down it must trigger the battery PCB to totally shut down.

    Because I was home I was able to reset the battery and I got another 10 minutes on low. Interestingly, the light began to strobe after that. I figure that is a good way to warn the rider he is about to lose his light. The strobing lasted a minute or so and then the light went out again.

    I think it best if when you reach the 3hr mark that you start using the low mode as much as possible. Doing so will get you nearer to the 4hr mark and give you a bit more warning as the strobing doesn't happen when in high mode. If you wait for the red light before powering down don't expect to get more than 15 more minutes in low before the warning strobe. ( IMO, automatic power-down after red light would have been a nice feature to have )

    Oh, I almost forgot, the whole time I was using the high mode I did not notice any diminishing light level the whole time, a big plus.
    I suspect you would get the blinking warning on high if the battery protection PCB wasn't shutting the pack down. That usually indicates that voltage sensing in the light head is being fooled because of voltage drops in the cables at the higher current. That can be due to the wiring between the battery pack and light head being a light grade and is dropping too much voltage. Or it can be because the battery pack isn't very well balanced and and the PCB is cutting if off sooner than it should. In either case, it's not really a good thing for a couple of different reasons.

    Can you test the light head and battery pack independently and give the voltage levels for the various status light / blink changes at each brightness level? It would be really interesting to see the voltage level of each bank of the battery pack during the discharge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Well I can agree with everything you said except the above statement.
    Well, gee, if somebody would give me the same luxurious spill/flood and super deep throw for speed fests and 2000 lumens for good measure and the same run time from a small battery and the same $180 price tag, I'd take it gladly. I just wasn't expecting it all from one light... at least not yet. Can't wait to see what BikeRay will do with model V.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Dudes, this light rocks in flash mode! It is blinding!
    Agreed. In fact I do have the light on my bike and will try the flash mode on my way home this afternoon.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbMacgyver
    I suspect you would get the blinking warning on high if the battery protection PCB wasn't shutting the pack down. That usually indicates that voltage sensing in the light head is being fooled because of voltage drops in the cables at the higher current. That can be due to the wiring between the battery pack and light head being a light grade and is dropping too much voltage. Or it can be because the battery pack isn't very well balanced and and the PCB is cutting if off sooner than it should. In either case, it's not really a good thing for a couple of different reasons.

    Can you test the light head and battery pack independently and give the voltage levels for the various status light / blink changes at each brightness level? It would be really interesting to see the voltage level of each bank of the battery pack during the discharge.
    MtbMac you're good.. ...and yes one or both of those scenarios are possible. The wires are indeed a much lighter gauge than any other light I own. It would make sense that when on low there would be less voltage drop on the wires but as you said perhaps the battery is not quite balanced as yet. No real way to know for sure without a tear down but if I had to guess I would think maybe the lighter wiring.

    It is disturbing to think that no strobe warning occurred after the indicator change to red ( final level ) while still on high. Not good to have sudden darkness need I say. At least you do get the final red led but if you're riding you might not notice the red led. That's one of the reasons I never liked station level voltage indicators. So easy for these things to get fooled. At least I know enough to exercise caution when needed which is most important. Besides I didn't know it even had strobe warning until I saw the flashing when on low mode the second time round. I think you'd have to agree that some warning is better than no warning at all.

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    As a daytime safety light...

    ... it seems to work OK.

    While riding, as I had expected, I could see a flashing reflection on some traffic signs, but it was not distracting or a big deal by any stretch of the imagination. It's supposed to run for 10 hours in flashing mode.

    When I got home I parked the bike and walked in front of it to see what the cars would see. From right in front of the bike the light is absolutely stunning! Made my DiNotte 400R look like a toy. BUT as I moved to the side the effectiveness of it decreased very rapidly while the DiNotte did not. I guess that after all it is a pretty tightly focused beam and not designed as a daytime flashing safety light.

    If I'm running around town during the day and I'm not too concerned about run time when it gets dark, I guess I will keep it on in flashing mode - it can't hurt and it is awesome from right in front of the bike,
    Last edited by Azra; 05-23-2011 at 05:05 PM.

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    Hey Cat

    "I did take a quick ride this morning around 2:00AM and I did compare a couple other lights".

    When do you sleep? LOL

    Thx for the test.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323
    Hey Cat

    "I did take a quick ride this morning around 2:00AM and I did compare a couple other lights".

    When do you sleep? LOL

    Thx for the test.

    It's a long story but I was off last week. As such my sleep cycles got all out of sync. Back to work yesterday only to find I've been saddled with task of training another employee for the next week... That put a damper on my plans to sneak out to do some beam shots. Anyway I usually work late hours. Sometimes I survive by taking cat naps, no surprise there.

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    Beam Shots

    Okay so here goes. Before I post up I want to thank the Howard County Police for being so polite and understanding when seeing someone out in a football field at 5:00 in the morning shining a bunch of lights around. Hey what can I say Unfortunately having to explain what I was doing there did break my train of thought so to speak. Because of that I kind of lost the order of what pics were what. That being the case I can only post the ones that I am sure of.

    Anyway my same ol' Sony Cybershot Camera set on night ( one setting only ). First I don't like to do Beam shots on grass but it was only place I could use a tripod quickly. I should also note the grass was wet. Later I hope to get some decent shots on normal MTB type terrain. At least these photos help demonstrate the width of the beam. I was holding the light about the height of the bars. The two bottles in the front are both about 25ft. away. The other bottles around 50 and 100ft respectively. Sorry but I had to measure by eye and by pacing so likely a little off.

    First Photo> Bikeray IV on high

    Second Photo> sku 12060 P-7 torch on high

    ATTENTION: UPDATE, THE OPTICS ON THE RAY IV USED FOR THESE PHOTOS WAS NOT PROPERLY SEATED. NEW PHOTOS ARE FORTHCOMING THAT WILL SHOW A BIG IMPROVEMENT. JUST AN FYI.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-dsc02540-copy-2.jpg  

    Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-bikr4p7-copy.jpg  

    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 05-27-2011 at 01:50 AM.

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    I would have turned that thingy in flashing mode and told them I'm signaling the aliens. ROFL!

    And those cones? Oh, that's the designated landing area, officer.

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    BR 4 is too wide IMO.

  20. #20
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    I agree, it does look very floody, with fairly poor throw. Should make a good bar light though.

  21. #21
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    Throw wise it does not look to much different than the Bikeray lll just a little brighter, that's my only prob with the Raylll is that I have came close to outrunning the throw on some fast downhills. make sure you pair it with a good helmet light to cure that issue.
    Hey Cat do you plan on dissecting the battery Baker style and giving us a good look whats inside?
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    I would have turned that thingy in flashing mode and told them I'm signaling the aliens. ROFL!

    And those cones? Oh, that's the designated landing area, officer.
    ah....I think not. Doing that would of landed me in the local psychiatric ward. When I went out I was well prepared to explain myself in the event there was a close encounter of the legal kind. In situations like this a cat needs to be cool...

    About the beam shots: I really do want to try to get some beam shots on a trail. Doing so I think will better demonstrate the better points of this system.

    About the battery: I really see no need at this point to tear into the battery. Perhaps later if there are reports of problems.

  23. #23
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    VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE!!

    Today before going to work I decided to have a closer look at the optics of the Bikeray IV.
    The front of the light has a retaining ring that makes getting to the optics relatively easy.
    It took very little effort to remove the retaining ring. That fact alone had me a bit worried. With the front ring so loose I figured it was possible that the optic had not seated properly on the emitters.

    After inspecting the optics I could clearly see that holes designed to seat the optic on the light are quite over-sized. No doubt this would allow the optic to move a bit unless the retaining ring was nice and snug ( which it wasn't ). All of this is easy to fix though. Hopefully just tightening the ring will be enough to keep it place. If not no problem to add a little glue on the optic legs.

    Anyway, this discovery has some advantages. You might be able to adapt this light to another optic if you can find something that can fit. I've been doing some searches. More on that later.

    Luckily the guy I was training this week was off today so that gave me time to run out to do a couple quick beam tests. The effect of the re-seating is that the output now has triple the throw it had before which gives it a much more effective beam pattern for mountain biking. To add a bit more detail, the IV now has the reach of of a P-7 torch but with a more usable/ wider /smoother beam pattern. ( ~ 100 ft. ) Gone is the wide wall of light but in return you have a much better/usable and controlled beam pattern. It truly does look more like a typical 15 degree beam pattern since tightening the optic and yes you could use this on the road. Even so I would think most people would still want more throw for the high speed stuff.

    The search is on though for a suitable 10 ~ 5 degree quad optic...which need I say would be......to my ears.

    New updated beam photo's will come as soon as I get the chance...

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    wow, that's a huge difference. Doesn't fill one with confidence about QC or longevity though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    wow, that's a huge difference. Doesn't fill one with confidence about QC or longevity though.
    Yeah, i guess but at least it was easy to fix. It does help explain why the throw completely sucked on mine while other people seemed quite pleased. The next beam shots should look much better not to mention that now I'm quite anxious to try riding with this light.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    Doesn't fill one with confidence about QC or longevity though.
    Yeah, you would think that during the extensive testing process they would have pointed the beam at something to see if it looked ok.

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    Hi Cat man do;
    Sorry that particular one had to ended up on your hands.
    After reading your comments, we rechecked all Ray-IVs and they are all in perfect beam angles and so on. Checked and rechecked all retainer rings, lens alignments etc. All perfect ~!

    And thank you for your honest opinion so we could take more attention on QC.
    Team BikeRay USA
    LED Bike Lights

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The effect of the re-seating is that the output now has triple the throw it had before


    Well, that explains why we didn't agree on the throw quality of this light.

    Looking at my light, the black metal retaining ring was not exactly loose, but certainly easy to unscrew. Too easy for my taste so I tightened it a bit.

    Under the retaining ring, there is a flat, black, o-ring thingy, like a gasket of sorts.

    And under it is the glass.

    Just out of curiosity, what did you do to fix your problem? Just tighten the retaining ring? Or did you do something with the optics first?
    Last edited by Azra; 05-28-2011 at 02:01 AM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post


    Well, that explains why we didn't agree on the throw quality of this light.

    Looking at my light, the black metal retaining ring was not exactly loose, but certainly easy to unscrew. Too easy for my taste so I tightened it a bit.

    Under the retaining ring, there is a flat, black, o-ring thingy, like a gasket of sorts.

    And under it is the glass.

    Just out of curiosity, what did you do to fix your problem? Just tighten the retaining ring? Or did you do something with the optics first?
    ummm....that might explain some things. I don't think mine had the flat black gasket. Matter of fact I was wondering how well it was going to resist water without one. I might have to get BR to send me one.

    After removing the ring I used a very small ( jeweler type ) screw driver to lift out the optic. I only did that to inspect the set-up. Basically I just reseated the optic and carefully re-tightened the retaining ring. I suppose it's possible the gasket might have stuck to the ring and I just didn't see it. I'll recheck it later this weekend but I'll be careful not to get it wet till I know for sure. If it's suppose to have a gasket and doesn't have one that would explain why the optic was not as tight as it should have been.

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    This little thingy?

    If you don't have it, I'd definitely give BikeRay a call and have them replace the light. It also makes me wonder about their "quality control passed" sticker. Please say it ain't so.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-image1.jpg  


  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    This little thingy?

    If you don't have it, I'd definitely give BikeRay a call and have them replace the light. It also makes me wonder about their "quality control passed" sticker. Please say it ain't so.
    Quickly took it apart before going to work. It looks like mine has the same as yours. That semi/clear-OP-ring around the optic just looks like part of the optic to me as it is firmly attached to the optic. It just appears black when looking into the light head( If that's what you are referring to ). It turns out though that there is an O-ring ( red ) right underneath the optic. I didn't see that before.

    When you take the retaining ring off the optic comes out real easy however if your beam pattern is pleasing to you I wouldn't recommend taking it out as it might take a couple tries to get it back right. I say that because I took mine out again and when I put it back in the pattern was worse than the original. Luckily, when I took it out once more I got it right and perhaps better than the first time I did it. This time I'll leave it be.

    Oh, by the way nice photos there Azra.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    When you take the retaining ring off the optic comes out real easy however if your beam pattern is pleasing to you I wouldn't recommend taking it out as it might take a couple tries to get it back right. I say that because I took mine out again and when I put it back in the pattern was worse than the original. Luckily, when I took it out once more I got it right and perhaps better than the first time I did it. This time I'll leave it be.
    Hi, Newbie here. Just want to point out that when tightening the retainer ring, the optic can turn clockwise slightly putting the lens out of alignment with the four LED. The four alignment pins in the back of the optic can move CW or CCW a lot. Perhaps maybe design that way for alignment?

    Mine BRIV came with the lens just slightly too much in the CW direction where I can see the lens not perfectly center and there were some gap on one side of each of the LED.. I had to align the optics and press down preventing the lens while tightening the retainer ring to avoid having the optic glass turn CW as the gasket on the retainer ring have a tendancy to twist it. Sorry I don't have before photo showing the off center but I do have a picture here showing them being more center.


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    BikeRay IV: First ride in with readjusted Optics

    I have to say I'm very pleased. Output is much, much better as is the throw. Matter of fact I found it wasn't necessary to use the helmet light as much because the throw was that good. ( I was only using an XP-G torch though. )

    To describe the output and throw is not easy as it is unlike any other light I own. Still, I'll give it a shot so here goes. The Ray IV now has decent throw very much like a standard P-7 light but does not accomplish that using a reflector. Because of that it produces a much wider even beam pattern. Although not as intense as the spot on a P-7 it easily out-classes the P-7 stuff by it's ability to just light up everything it front of you for a good distance with the wide/forward throwing swath of light it produces. And I will say that light does carry a good distance depending on the terrain. Now I'm sure adding a helmet light is still going to help but if you use one it better have more punch than a single XPG as the Ray IV practically ate up the light from my torch. Well,.. almost all the light.

    In my previous ( initial ) review ( before adjusting the optic ), I noted that the optics sent light everywhere...up, down, to the sides and up into the trees. Now it still does some of that but it is now more directed toward the front which is where you are going making it much more useful . Tonight as I was descending a hill towards a stream crossing I was able to see not only the stuff right in front of me really well ( and a lot of stuff at that, rocks, ruts, etc... ) but the beam also lit up the whole stream and even reached the other side BEFORE I HAD EVEN REACHED THE BOTTOM! I guess I'll have to call that "Upward spill", which in this case absolutely rocks

    Anyway, just one ride so I'll let that go for now. Tomorrow will be another ride in another area that will include some faster descents. I'll let you know how it works out but I have a feeling that the smile on my face is just going to get bigger.. ...Oh and one last note: I found a good trail tonight for beam pics so maybe some good trail shots if the good weather continues.

  34. #34
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    adjusted optic wall photo

    Before going out today I thought it a good idea to post a wall beam shot. I want others to know what the beam pattern should look like in case they were to have doubts about whither or not their optics are seated and adjusted properly.

    This is a wall beam shot of the Bike Ray IV on low. Distance is about 4ft. from the wall.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-ray4walll-copy.jpg  


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    Cat, when you had it open to adjust, how did the build quality looks say vs a Dinotte, Lupine or other high-end lights? Things like thermal paste, thermal coupling, boards quality,fit and finish? Reasonable trade-off vs cost?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by skoor View Post
    Cat, when you had it open to adjust, how did the build quality looks say vs a Dinotte, Lupine or other high-end lights? Things like thermal paste, thermal coupling, boards quality,fit and finish? Reasonable trade-off vs cost?
    Your asking me to compare apples to oranges. BUT....I will do my best. From what I could see the build looks pretty solid however I am not an expert in such matters. I could not detect the use of thermal paste but that doesn't mean it isn't using any. The quad led configuration is firmly planted on the metal heat sink ( with screws ) and all the electrical contacts looked very clean and shiny. The only issue I saw was in the placement of the holes used to mount the legs of the optic. With those holes there was lots of wiggle room. Not a big problem really as long as you know about it.

    The Ray IV is suppose to incorporate thermal monitoring of the leds that powers down from high when over-heating. How well that system works is anyone's guess. Not sure I want to test for something like that.

    I don't think you can compare these to a Dinotte or a Lupine. Those systems are much more custom engineered and have way more features. Like I said before, "apples and oranges".

    Now as to the issue of of "reasonable trade offs to costs"...I can't speak too much towards the trade offs as it depends on what you expect to get. With the limited use I have had with it so far it seems to be performing as expected. The high mode ( with 3hr run time ) is the biggest selling point of the Ray IV. I could always wish for a little more throw and another brighter mid-mode but in products designed for simplicity this is what you get for less than $200. With all things considered I think it is a decent value. If it sold for $150 it would be ( hands down ) a much better value. At least for the $179 you get the system as well as the guarantees and customer support of the North American vendor, which I may add is standing firmly behind his product...a big, big plus.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ After deciding to cancel my ride Monday because of excessive heat and humidity I decided instead to get some quick beam shots at the local trails. My loss was to be your gain. I went home and got the camera gear and the rest of the stuff. Not a cop in sight. Quickly got set up and paced out the markers. Lastly I turned a light on to adjust the camera and then turned the camera on to set it for night. That was when I noticed the camera telling me the following, " No memory stick in device". Would someone please do me a favor and kick this -> REAL HARD!

  37. #37
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    Cat or BikeRay,
    For dark NewEngland singletrack, what bar/helmet combo would you recommend? Two IIIs or a III helmet and IV bar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawndart View Post
    Cat or BikeRay,
    For dark NewEngland singletrack, what bar/helmet combo would you recommend? Two IIIs or a III helmet and IV bar?
    Hi Lawndart;

    Thank you for the interest on BikeRay lights.
    I will say, Ray-IV on helmet and Ray-III on the handlebar.

    Ray-III will give you a wide beam spread of 24+ degrees. And that will cover most of your views all around you.
    Ray-IV has 15 degree beam, which will give you wide yet focussed to reach far deeper than Ray-III.

    We have racers who uses only Ray-III or IV on hadlebar and Ray-I or II on helmet, and they said it was plenty of light for their needs.
    Team BikeRay USA
    LED Bike Lights

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    Cat, thanks for making your observations.

    It might be "apples to oranges" at one level, but if one looks just at the lumens, same XPG LED and comparably li-ion batteries, these new generation of multiple LED lights give you the functionality of higher-end lights with a lot lower entry cost. So the issues of long term reliability beyond warranty vs functional life is probably the remaining consideration especially if you factor in the technology improvement over just a few years.

    Really mixing these apples and oranges, but just look at a Nikon D1 DSLR. Built to professional standard, state of the art $5k at the time and now goes on eBay for less than $200. The still ticking Timex like Nikon D1 reliability is a moot point now. Will my Lupine Betty look like this in say 4+ years? One can attempt to argue that it still shines (or takes a good a pictures) as the day you got it. But most folks would just smile and pull out their IPhone and say smile.

    For a more realistic comparison (and the reason I asked you), I only had a Geoman MS for a few day last summer before the battery/charger failed completely. But looking back, I recall how well made the actual lamphead seemed for the price. I just looked at another higher-end light and also have the Lupine Betty. If a BR IV holds up for say 3-4 years that might just be a reasonable expectation, since about that time you will be wanting a brighter and longer running light anyway.

    Please keep us updated on the BR IV.

    BTW, In case one thinks I am just a disposable junkie, my newest vehicle of three is 16 years old and my bike carrying truck is 24 (almost classic in Colorado) with 289k miles. But I go through digital Nikon DSLR every 2nd generation so far, so mixed bag of fruit, I am.
    Last edited by skoor; 06-02-2011 at 02:25 AM.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by skoor View Post
    .... If a BR IV holds up for say 3-4 years that might just be a reasonable expectation, since about that time you will be want a brighter and longer running light anyway.

    Please keep us updated on the BR IV.

    .
    I agree with your expectations. And yes, I'm sure more cheap Chinese lights will be sold in the future using more brighter and more numerous LED's. I totally expect someone to make a cheap duel XML light head. If they did it would likely beat everything out there for throw as long as it is driven at least around 2.8A. Then Bikeray might come out with a BR V or VI....

    I think it a very good chance you'll get 3 years out of a Ray IV light head if not more. Batteries though are always a question regardless of what you buy. Battery technology is still lagging behind somewhat. How long your Li-ion battery last depends not only on the quality of the cells ( the main issue ) but how much you use them and or abuse them. That's the reason the vendors can only offer so many months warranty on a battery. Some fool will buy one, use it almost everyday driving it into deep discharge on a regular basis. Then they will store the battery in a hot car during the hottest days of the year. After a year when the warranty ends they will b**ch and moan because the battery doesn't last as long as it use to.

    In the long run I think if you get three years out of any Li-ion battery pack you've done well. When you start noticing a 20% or more loss of run time it's time for a new battery. Just use the old one for back-up.

    While on the subject of batteries I just thought I'd mention that I discovered the other day that my Dinotte 4-cells work just fine with my Bikeray IV. Just for kicks I'll likely charge up one of my 3yr old Dinotte batteries and see how long it runs the BR IV.

  41. #41
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    Li-ion battery are basically a PITA as compared to Eneloop from Sanyo unfortunately a necessary evil today.

    After the MS battery failure, I did a lot research and came to the same conclusion as you. About 3-4 years is about it- even with TLC and good storage techniques (cool and 40% charge). And one should do only about 1/2 discharge with preferably a slower 1C max charge for better life and should use a true CCCV charger with termination. I think a lot of the "so called" smart charger are not true CCCV.

    For my light, I looked at my typical ride and went with the larger battery that give a 1/2 discharge cycle for my light power setting. Not sure if BR is giving us many options as a kit. And right now, I don't trust the BR battery- yet.

    However Lupine and Geoman are really giving us some good battery options and reasonable prices with good cells.. Other brands max out around 4.5- 5ah, so it is easy to go over 50% discharge on a 2hr ride at full power. As you know nothing breaks immediately, but one is only going to get a few hundred cycles at best before they lose a lot of capacity. Then you hear the B&M on the forums. If folks just topped them off after every ride you probably can get at least 2 years-maybe more. Al the most reason to get a 7 or 8+ah battery, since as it ages it still has reasonable capacity while its daily use is less likely to go into the deep discharge- a win-win in my book.

    Unbelievably some folks still think they are supposed to run them down before charging or even deliberately do a discharge cycle. This is know as extra profit to the dealer and probably why so few talk about it. Cynic me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerayusa View Post
    Hi Lawndart;

    Thank you for the interest on BikeRay lights.
    I will say, Ray-IV on helmet and Ray-III on the handlebar.

    Ray-III will give you a wide beam spread of 24+ degrees. And that will cover most of your views all around you.
    Ray-IV has 15 degree beam, which will give you wide yet focussed to reach far deeper than Ray-III.

    We have racers who uses only Ray-III or IV on hadlebar and Ray-I or II on helmet, and they said it was plenty of light for their needs.
    BikeRay,
    thanks for the swift reply. been away from the computer for a while.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    Hi, Newbie here. Just want to point out that when tightening the retainer ring, the optic can turn clockwise slightly putting the lens out of alignment with the four LED. The four alignment pins in the back of the optic can move CW or CCW a lot. Perhaps maybe design that way for alignment?....
    Colleen, just wanted to let you know your post wasn't ignored. I noticed the same thing when re-tightening the retaining ring on mine. This can be eliminated if you apply moderate pressure to the optic while re-tightening the retaining ring very gently. By the way yours don't look as aligned as they could be.. Mine are about dead center. If you don't get the wall beam pattern that I posted earlier ( done on low mode @ 4ft. ) you might want to fiddle with it again unless you're happy with what you have now.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Last night I did another ride and put the Bikeray IV through some paces. The trails I rode were much more rugged. Because of that the light did vibrate a bit over the rough spots but did maintain it's position on the bars. In keeping with the above paragraph I wanted to make sure this did not effect the optics. Real important that the optics keep their alignment. Wall shots show the optic didn't move so no problems there.

    This is the first time I used a light that uses the rubber O-ring mounting system. That being the case if there was one thing I could change about the BR IV it is the mounting hardware.
    I'm a nit-picker for small details but I would prefer not to have the light head vibrate over rough stuff. Very minor effect but noticeable none the less.

    Once again I'll comment about the led mode indicator: It is bright. This is the second ride I've done that I've forgotten to bring some black tape along. I'll not do that again. For the most part you don't notice it riding with the light in high mode. You do notice it when riding in low mode or if you turn the light off while resting. With the light off that "big green eye" just shines right in your face and is quite annoying. It is so bright that it actually throws shadows. A little black electrical tape over about 80% of the button goes a long way and is an easy fix. A sliver of green light in my face I can live with.

    Now about the low mode: My initial impression of the low mode was not favorable. However since fixing the optics I have come to appreciate the low mode more and more every time I ride. Hard to say how bright the low mode is because the beam is dispersed but if I had to guess judging by eye I would say it is about 1/3 the intensity of the high mode. Yes, a lot less light but I am surprised at how well this lesser level of light still manages to cover a lot of terrain. I find it very useful both on the trail and on the road and a wider beam pattern than any other bar-mounted mid-mode I currently own. Yes, my more spot oriented torches will out throw it but the torches can't come close to matching the nice wide area of terrain that the Ray IV can illuminate.

    The High mode on the other hand continues to rock. Earlier I stated that the throw tripled when I realigned the optics....well, maybe I over stated that. Depends on the terrain though. Certainly doubled the throw but I'll side step that issue for the moment. I very much like the intensity and beam pattern of the Ray IV. Almost usable without a helmet light when on high. Still, I always ride with a helmet light even if it is just an XP-E or G torch.

    As for the throw, I'll let the light speak for itself. Hopefully if the weather holds out tonight I should be able to get some more beam shots. Pop-up storms in the area so I'm crossing my fingers

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Colleen, just wanted to let you know your post wasn't ignored. I noticed the same thing when re-tightening the retaining ring on mine. This can be eliminated if you apply moderate pressure to the optic while re-tightening the retaining ring very gently. By the way yours don't look as aligned as they could be.. Mine are about dead center. If you don't get the wall beam pattern that I posted earlier ( done on low mode @ 4ft. ) you might want to fiddle with it again unless you're happy with what you have now.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Last night I did another ride and put the Bikeray IV through some paces. The trails I rode were much more rugged. Because of that the light did vibrate a bit over the rough spots but did maintain it's position on the bars. In keeping with the above paragraph I wanted to make sure this did not effect the optics. Real important that the optics keep their alignment. Wall shots show the optic didn't move so no problems there.

    This is the first time I used a light that uses the rubber O-ring mounting system. That being the case if there was one thing I could change about the BR IV it is the mounting hardware.
    I'm a nit-picker for small details but I would prefer not to have the light head vibrate over rough stuff. Very minor effect but noticeable none the less.
    I took your advice and readjust the lens again. I was able to use a piece of old tubing to hold the lens from turning as I tighten the ring. This is my beamshot at 4ft on low:

    I replaced my mount with a clamp mount from Bikeempowerment. It fits very well and no more vibration movement when I use this light on my commuter.nor my MTB.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    I took your advice and readjust the lens again. I was able to use a piece of old tubing to hold the lens from turning as I tighten the ring.....
    ......I replaced my mount with a clamp mount from Bikeempowerment. It fits very well and no more vibration movement when I use this light on my commuter.nor my MTB.
    Colleen, I think the beam shot looks about right. The clamp mount is a great idea. I plan on adapting mine to an old Marwi mount. If it works it will slide on/off the mount and tilt as well. For the moment though not a major issue.

    Now about those BEAM Shots: My camera is not the best so in order to get a better sense of what the Ray IV can do I recommend viewing the photos full screen in a darkened room.

    Photo #1) Bikeray IV on high. Markers at 50-75-100ft. The lit sky is from a lit Basketball court not more than a quarter mile away.

    Photo #2) same service road, Bikeray IV on low.

    Photo #3) Bikeray IV on high. Markers same distance. This is an uncut field. Doesn't throw as well on uncut grass. The line through the photo is a moth flying through the field of vision during the take. I thought it cool so I included it.

    I really do want to get some shots on some trails but trail photos are hard to get. To take night shots you need a tripod and lugging a tripod on a bike is not easy. Unfortunately there are no decent straight 100ft stretches of trail close to any trail head I know so it may take some time. Hopefully photo #1 will give you an idea of what the light can do.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-rayroad1-copy.jpg  

    Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-rayroad2low-copy.jpg  

    Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-rayfieldbug-copy.jpg  


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    Are these shot at the MTBR settings? If not, can you post the EXIF data?

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Are these shot at the MTBR settings? If not, can you post the EXIF data?
    This is my very old Sony CyberShot DSC-P50. It only has one day and one night setting and is not adjustable for exposure otherwise. Still, takes a pretty decent photo at night. As others have mentioned before, night photos can only reveal so much as the eye tends to see things differently. In this case the photos can't really show the wide spread of light that the Ray IV provides. To do that I need a trail that is wide but with some trees and brush for spill reference. That means strapping the tripod to my backpack. It does collapse but still a pain to haul ( along with all the other camera stuff ).

    My Adobe Photoshop program list the following information for the photos:

    exposure time: 2 sec.
    F-Stop: 3.8
    ISO speed: 100

  48. #48
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    Been a while but the other day I noticed a couple more things about the Bikeray IV that I thought worth mentioning.

    I took a ride the other night on some trails that turned out to had just gotten a quick shower. When heading back there was a good amount of fog that was hanging in the air about head high. This pretty much was making my helmet torch useless as most of the light from my torch just ended up lighting up the fog and limiting what I could see. That meant I was Ray IV almost all the way back. Because the fog was not low to the ground it had no effect on the Ray IV. I have to say the Ray IV works very well when used alone. I really didn't miss the helmet light at all. Then again trails were wet and I wasn't going as fast as I usually do. On a side note, I never noticed before but the when changing modes on the Ray IV you get a nice "click" that you can feel and hear. Likely you won't hear it going fast but you will still feel the click. Real important when switching to high from low. Two quick clicks will quickly by-pass the flash mode and put you in high mode.

    Since I also had a bar torch along every once in a while I would turn the BR off and try riding with the torch. All I can say is , "Wow!, What a difference"! When I was using the torch ( XM-L emitter ) though it had excellent output, whenever I turned the bars to dodge something it seemed like half the trail had almost vanished. Since I wasn't using the helmet light, this was making a big difference in what I could see and what I couldn't see. With the Bikeray IV on high I could see almost the whole trail, even when dodging obstacles! This wider beam pattern is very, very useful. The more I use it the more I like it.

    After exiting the trail I rode about two miles on the road back to the car. During that ride I noticed something else about the Ray IV; It seems to have even more throw when riding on the road. I think that's why I previous thought that the throw tripled after aligning the optics because the first test was in a completely dark parking lot. Anyway, I can't say how far it's throwing on the road because, well ...hard to do when riding. Let's just say I don't think you could out-ride the throw unless you were going really, really fast. And for those people who might fear having deer jumping out of the woods and not seeing them until too late....Not going to happen with the Ray IV. The beam pattern on high just lights up the whole road ( on a double lined road ) and the light extends all the way to the tree line ( on both sides of the road ) Of course tree lines vary on how far away they are to the road but I think you get the idea. If you have trees near a road edge, you are definitely going to see anything that pokes it's head out. Sadly, I wouldn't recommend using the high mode with on-coming traffic. Car drivers are not going to like having this much light shining in their eyes.

    I really hope to get a couple more good beam shots on some good trails. I also want to try the BR on some more faster trails or fire roads. Matter of fact, I have one particular area in mind near me that will incorporate a real "white knuckled", high-speed, 30-35mph, two mile plus forest road descent that is filled with lots of the typical fire road hazards. I'm talking pot hole hell, loose scree, killer blind turns and throw in a couple on-coming cars to make things interesting. Maybe this week if all goes as planned.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-14-2011 at 04:07 AM.

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    Hope you come back in one piece so you can share your thoughts with us!

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    I know everyone always wants to know about the latest and greatest, but as for someone who has been doing nighttime riding for 20 with high power lights, BY FAR the most important thing is reliability. This isn't just long-term reliability, but general, night-to-night robustness. Having your light fail 10 miles out in the woods or in the countryside is really no fun.

    I know nobody is going to do long term reviews on this stuff, but that would be the greater value than what beam pattern is "cleanest"

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootmaster View Post
    I know everyone always wants to know about the latest and greatest, but as for someone who has been doing nighttime riding for 20 with high power lights, BY FAR the most important thing is reliability. This isn't just long-term reliability, but general, night-to-night robustness. Having your light fail 10 miles out in the woods or in the countryside is really no fun.

    I know nobody is going to do long term reviews on this stuff, but that would be the greater value than what beam pattern is "cleanest"
    Long term reliability is of course a very important issue. Back in the day when higher power lights first started to become popular it was halogen technology that was most used by MTB'ers. If you were lucky the bulb lasted a couple seasons. Not to mention the problems with the batteries ( Ni-cad and NiMh ), so yes reliability sucked. Still, most people still bought the bulbs and worked with the batteries. Back then it was the only game in town so no one really B&M'd about it too much.

    Today, LED technology is so much better that there really is no comparison. As long as the driver and component connections are solid they should continue to work for a very long time. Water resistance is important too not to mention battery life. So far I've not heard of too many people complaining about their LED light going out while raining. That goes for the expensive stuff as well as the Chinese made merchandise which I'm sure is not so carefully made.

    Regardless, trusting in a single product's reliability only goes so far. That is why I always carry at least two light sources ( but usually 3-4 if I include my torches ). I think for most people simply running out of battery power is the number one reason their light will fail. That is why it is real important to know the do's and don't's of your battery's chemistry. That and it is always smart to charge the battery before you go out to ride. If you do a run time test on the battery a couple times during the riding season(s) you should never be surprised by running out of juice while on a ride. Reliability, whether it pertains to Chinese bike lights or NASA space shuttles, only goes so far. Being educated about, "How best to prepare for riding at night" will get you a lot further regardless of what light(s) you use.

  52. #52
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    I was out tonight for a really nice moon lit night ride. Conditions couldn't of been more perfect. Did bring the camera along but after fiddling with the tripod I decided to leave the tripod home. I do have a little mini tripod than can strap to a tree or branch if you can find a good one. Sadly really hard to find a small sapling close to the trail when you need one.

    Anyway as I was heading back I thought I'd try mounting the camera to the handlebars thinking that maybe that could keep it steady enough. Well, the picture turned out not too bad but a little blurry and a bit dark. Thats what happens when you don't use a stable tripod and the camera moves during the exposure. Not too bad for whats up near you but you lose the ability to gather light at a distance.

    With all this said I'm going to show you the picture after I altered it to compensate for the camera movement. I adjusted the sharpness, some brightness and some contrast using photo shop. I truly believe the result shows you what the Ray IV actual does. Sorry I had no way to mark distance but the top of hill is maybe 75-80 ft.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-ray4trail1-copy.jpg  

    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-16-2011 at 03:07 AM.

  53. #53
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    Bad news!!

    On my way home today I was caught in a typical summer-day afternoon shower. Short, but admittedly very intense.

    I had my BikeRay IV flashing in front and my DiNotte 400R in the back.

    When I got home after a 10-15 min ride in the rain, the DiNotte was still flashing like it always does. What a gem of a little dependable light. The BikeRay IV, on the other hand, was dead.

    Interestingly enough, the button was solid green. But pressing the button did nothing, unplugging and re-plugging the battery did nothing. Since I have a spare DiNotte battery at hand (which, like the Cat Man has pointed out, works just fine with the BikeRay IV), I tried using that battery. No luck. For what it's worth, I could see mist on the inside of the lens.

    Well, crap!

    I really liked that light. Really, really did. I just can't believe that one single little shower would kill it like that.

    I'm gonna contact BikeRay and see if they want to replace that light. If they do, I'd give it another try because I really want that light to work. But, from what I've seen so far, reliability of the BikeRay IV is questionable to say the least.
    Last edited by Azra; 06-16-2011 at 03:43 PM.

  54. #54
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    After further examination, the lighthead is full of water. This is not because for some reason my unit is defective, but by bad design. As this thing currently stands, water will get in, rest assured of that.

    So I think I'll just be asking for my money back. I just don't believe that another example of the BikeRay IV will fare any better in the rain.

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    This is where the water got in, I think. All that stands between a shower and the electronics inside is this little button cap. It's soft and can be removed with a fingernail. It just pops out without any resistance whatsoever. Of course water will get in there.

    In fact it didn't take long at all since I wasn't riding in the rain for more than 15 min.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-.jpg  


  56. #56
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    This is the front of the light. It is actually much better designed (notice the red o-ring seal) and probably more or less waterproof. But since water got in from the back, now it's pouring out the front.

    It's kind of white-ish. Must be some thermal paste inside, I guess.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-b.jpg  


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    Success! After exposing the BikeRay IV to a hair dryer for a while, then letting it dry some more, it has come back to life.

    Like as good as new. But useless. I mean, what am I gonna do with a light that's too delicate to ride in the rain? It's not like I have control over the weather.

  58. #58
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    Would a healthy dose of silicone then reinstall the silicone cover fix this water intrusion because there are a lot of these on the market already and a fix would be in order?
    Do you think a larger outer flange on the button cover and get rid of those 2 cutouts on the button hole would cure it?
    Seems like it would be a easy fix just throwing out some ideas.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    Would a healthy dose of silicone then reinstall the silicone cover fix this water intrusion because there are a lot of these on the market already and a fix would be in order?
    Beats me! I'm not well acquainted with silicone - don't have any in me. All natural here. But if there is an easy fix, I'm all for it. Because it really is a sweet light.

    BTW, the battery survived the rain just fine. The pouch thingy got soaked, but the battery was fine. When I got the light, I thought the lighthead looked pretty cool and the battery cheap and probably the weak link. Well, I was wrong.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    and get rid of those 2 cutouts on the button hole would cure it?
    You are probably right about those two cutouts. The switch cap is very soft and delicate. As you operate the switch, it can easily move around a little bit. Probably enough to allow water to enter through one of those two cutouts. If you throw enough water at it, even a very small hole is enough.

    After all, it was a heavy downpour, I've already said it in my first post. But not an unusual one for a summer day, and not one that has every killed any of my other bike electronics - powertap hub, powertap computer, diNotte rear light... none of those had any problem with the rain today (or ever, for that matter).

    Anyway, the good news in all this is that if water is indeed penetrating through the switch hole, BikeRay could easily devise a solution for future production and a retrofit for existing customers. Now we will see if they really stand behind their product. I hope they do.
    Last edited by Azra; 06-16-2011 at 08:13 PM.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    You are probably right about those two cutouts. The switch cap is very soft and delicate. As you operate the switch, it can easily move around a little bit. Probably enough to allow water to enter through one of those two cutouts. If you throw enough water at it, even a very small hole is enough.

    After all, it was a heavy downpour, I've already said it in my first post. But not an unusual one for a summer day, and not one that has every killed any of my other bike electronics - powertap hub, powertap computer, diNotte rear light... none of those had any problem with the rain today (or ever, for that matter).

    Anyway, the good news in all this is that if water is indeed penetrating through the switch hole, BikeRay could easily devise a solution for future production and a retrofit for existing customers. Now we will see if they really stand behind their product. I hope they do.
    Azra, I was going to argue that perhaps most of the water came through the front. This would be possible if the retaining ring were not quite as tight as it should be. Still, after taking a good look at mine and looking at the switch button......I have to say, the switch button is certainly a weak spot. I'm not convinced it was to blame but it is certainly a possibility. It is possible that your button was not entirely seated since they are so flexible. Dang! Why did they put cut-outs on the switch hole? I mean there really is nothing to keep water out but the material in the very flexible switch button cover. That is not a good thing. The strange thing is that almost every other Chinese made light uses a similar set-up. I wonder if any of those had a similar problem.

    I rarely ride if I think it's going to rain but like you sometimes you just get caught in a sudden pop-up storm. That being the case I certainly wouldn't want this to happen to me.

    In order prevent this from happening to me...( not that it would, but I'll consider it a possibility )...I would think a nice dose of lithium grease on the threads of the front retaining ring would do wonders to improve water resistance. Now as far as the switch button goes, that is an entirely different problem. Not sure there is a good quick fix. Since the button cover is rubber ( or rubber like ) I'm not sure how it would hold up to grease or oil ( or if adding grease or oil might make the problem worse ). Personally, I use a bit of black electrical tape over my switch button to cut back on the button led light. Although I've not considered it until now it would also definitely limit exposure to rain. That being the case I will continue to do that.

    Looks like mine is going to get a water ( shower ) test real soon. I'll let you know how that works out.

    Azra, I'm really glad your light still works. Hopefully this is an easy fix.

  62. #62
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    Lithium grease, eh? Never heard of such a thing. I'll just ask for it at the hardware store. Anyway, the front retaining ring was not lose when I dissembled the tight to dry it. But if a little grease can make it even better, why not?

    The back hole, I don't know what to do. I'm tempted to use crazy glue all around the perimeter of the switch cover. If noting else, it'll prevent it from moving around and eventually exposing one of those two cutout holes. Wouldn't look pretty, tho.

    What's that silicone Rakuman was taking about? Can you buy that stuff somewhere? How do you apply it?

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    What's that silicone Rakuman was taking about? Can you buy that stuff somewhere? How do you apply it?
    Silicone is what the switch cover is made of. you can buy a tube of it at any hardware store run a small bead around the perimeter of the hole and fill in the slots put the switch cover back on give it a day to cure and I will bet it will not leak.
    http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...624903.2624913
    Make sure to clean the hole and the switch cover with a little rubbing alcohol before you do it to get better adhesion
    Last edited by Rakuman; 06-16-2011 at 09:41 PM.
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    This is where the water got in, I think. All that stands between a shower and the electronics inside is this little button cap. It's soft and can be removed with a fingernail. It just pops out without any resistance whatsoever. Of course water will get in there.

    In fact it didn't take long at all since I wasn't riding in the rain for more than 15 min.
    This strikes me as a serious design flaw, but perhaps one that can be remedied with something as simple as a new switch cover.

    I don't expect an inexpensive bike light to be submersible-waterproof, but clearly it needs to be capable of resisting an hour or so in the rain.

    Most cheap (<$25) tailights will continue to function in the rain, and a $180 headlight should do the same. Even my $87 Magicshine 900s have survived a few unexpected rainstorms without incident (yes, I was surprised too).

    I was seriously considering the purchase of a Bikeray 4 before reading this post. Thanks for the warning, Azra.

    Rakuman's suggestion to seal with silicon might work in the short term, but if the button is loose fitting, which seems to be the case, then the caulk repair would probably fail after a short time. Caulk does stretch, but it doesn't adhere well to slick surfaces like anodized aluminum. The caulk seal would probably break free after pushing the button a few times.

    Hopefully this discovery will motivate a prompt, effective remedy from Bikeray.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    ...After further examination, the lighthead is full of water. This is not because for some reason my unit is defective, but by bad design. As this thing currently stands, water will get in, rest assured of that.....
    Continuing along this subject line from my last post above: I just finished giving mine the "rain deluge" treatment by placing it in a cold shower for about 25 minutes. I made sure that both sides of the light got equal treatment and I did not use any grease, oil or tape while testing. No problems to report as the light functions as normal. No water seen inside the housing.

    Moving forward, I think perhaps a touch of clear silicon sealant around the outer edge of the button cover couldn't hurt. Just read the fine print on the sealant to make sure it will work with rubber.


    Azra, Whatever you do to correct the problem please do a shower test afterwards and let us know the results. Keep your fingers crossed and remember; This could all have happened because the button moved the wrong way while changing modes and didn't re-seat. If that happened water would get in big time.

    edit: Lithium grease, otherwise known as simple bicycle grease. * the stuff used to pack wheels and bearings.

    Anyone know if this button situation exists with the other Chinese lights??
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-16-2011 at 11:02 PM.

  66. #66
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    Seeker your right this would not be a permanent fix just long enough till bikeray came out with a solution silicone will stick quite well to slick surfaces if properly applied IE Prepping the metal and switch cover with rubbing alcohol. it will act more as a filler to the voids between the switch cover and the metal in turn sealing it you would be surprised how long it will last because its not going to be the part that is moving it will just be holding it in place
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    Seeker your right this would not be a permanent fix just long enough till bikeray came out with a solution silicone will stick quite well to slick surfaces if properly applied IE Prepping the metal and switch cover with rubbing alcohol. it will act more as a filler to the voids between the switch cover and the metal in turn sealing it you would be surprised how long it will last because its not going to be the part that is moving it will just be holding it in place
    I respectfully disagree - I don't think it would work even as a temporary solution.

    No one will be happy spending ~200 bucks on this light just to have to run to Home Depot for some caulk, then pump their slick new light full of glue.

    BikeRay ought to suspend sales until they solve this problem, and devise a fix for the headlights they already sold.

    I'm guessing the mis-aligned lens and lack of waterproofing is only the beginning of trouble for the BikeRay 4 headlight. I just noticed that BikeRay's website clearly states that their batteries and chargers have NO WARRANTY.

    All BikeRay-III & IV lights from BikeRay USA comes with a Limited Life Time Guarantee for replacement to original purchaser. Purchaser must register the Ray-III or IV online as soon as he/she purchases the BikeRay light from our dealer or from us direct. This warranty is applicable to Ray-III or IV light head only. Battery or any other product/part(s) are not covered by this warranty.

    http://www.bikerayusa.com/new-bikeray-iv.html

    PS - I've PMed BikeRay, referencing this thread/post, requesting a response to the waterproofing issue, and perhaps some comment on a lack of warranty for the essential components of battery and charger.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    Seeker your right this would not be a permanent fix just long enough till bikeray came out with a solution silicone will stick quite well to slick surfaces if properly applied IE Prepping the metal and switch cover with rubbing alcohol. it will act more as a filler to the voids between the switch cover and the metal in turn sealing it you would be surprised how long it will last because its not going to be the part that is moving it will just be holding it in place
    I have to agree. I think the clear silicone could work and last a good long time. It might be a little messy to apply but it should work. Be sure to have a supply of tooth picks on hand to aid in application.. ..Dang! Wouldn't you know...I discovered I have an unused tube of Plummers Goop on hand. Looks like it will work on almost any surface including rubber and it is an adhesive and sealant in one. Not sure what product is best ( DAP Silicon Sealant or Plummers Goop ) but both are clear and should work. Just make sure you let it cure about 48hrs to be sure it seals real good.

    Seeker, you quoted the "Limited Life time warranty". No one warrants a battery for life. I don't see it on the web site but I'm sure there is a "Limited warranty" on the battery. Contact BikerayUSA for more info. (* sorry, my bad. Looks like you already did )

    I also sent BikerayUSA an email. Hopefully there will be some answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    This strikes me as a serious design flaw, but perhaps one that can be remedied with something as simple as a new switch cover.
    Not sure I would consider it serious but it is a problem. By playing with the switch a bit I noticed how easy it is to unseat the rubber switch cover ( not the whole cover but just a small portion ). It is unnerving but not a fatal flaw. It's kind of like owning a pair shoes where the strings keep coming untied. Easy to fix but a PITA. At some point you need better or longer shoe strings. Doesn't mean the shoes aren't any good. I will likely seal mine just for the hell of it ( because mine seems fine as it is ). If it turns out not to hold in place I'll be sure to let you know.
    If it does turn out to keep the button in place all that would need to be done by Bikeray would be to either send the buyer out a small tube of sealant with a couple replacement button covers or have the buyer send in the light head and let Bikeray do the work. I think most people would likely chose option one as it would be the easiest way to go.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-17-2011 at 12:58 AM.

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    Ok, so plan here is to use some fanciful Lithium grease (otherwise known as bike grease - DUH!) on the front retaining ring - as suggested by Cat Man, and some silicone sealant on the switch cover - as suggested by Rakuman. Then I'll give it the shower test and report back... probably sometime next week.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Ok, so plan here is to use some fanciful Lithium grease (otherwise known as bike grease - DUH!) on the front retaining ring - as suggested by Cat Man, and some silicone sealant on the switch cover - as suggested by Rakuman. Then I'll give it the shower test and report back... probably sometime next week.
    Why don't you simply return it under BikeRay's "limited life time warranty".

    Surely it covers "died after 10-15 minutes use in the rain".

    There's a good chance that after you've fiddled with the guts of this light, you will have voided the warranty, and you'll be stuck with it.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    ..you quoted the "Limited Life time warranty". No one warrants a battery for life. I don't see it on the web site but I'm sure there is a "Limited warranty" on the battery...

    ...Not sure I would consider it serious but it is a problem...
    I quoted the only product warranty on the entire BikeRay website. I think all electronic components of a bike light should carry some warranty, especially the battery and charger. I think you'd be stupid to try and promote/sell a new bike light in the same forums which cover the Geoman battery debacle and not offer a warranty on your battery.

    A defect which results in the complete failure of the product after 15 minutes exposure to rain, for a product intended for use exclusively outdoors, is a serious flaw. Once the inside of a bike light is wet, it's not going to dry unless it's opened up. This normally voids the warranty in electronic products. The guts of that thing aren't going to last long after they've been soaked repeatedly. This is a moot point since the light will probably be damaged simply by disassembly / reassembly before sufficient corrosion occurs.

    Cat-man-do, you sound more like a shill for BikeRay than a guy who just found out that his new ~$200 dollar headlight will likely die in the next rain storm. I hope that's not true, but that is how it appears based on your comments.

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    You know you want another Dinotte. Just do it. Or a Lupine. Ride the bike.

  73. #73
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    re the issues from the poster above, i would expect that bikerayusa would take care of it. They seem to want to stand behind thier product, i copied this from their facebook page:

    Free repairs and parts for the first year.
    Any BikeRay light purchased within USA from our website and our appointed dealers, we will provide Free Repairs and Parts for the first year from purchase date. Free return shipping is also included~!

    means, your fault or not~! Even if you broke it, we will fix it for FREE. Don't forget to fill out and register for your bikeRay light on our website's Warranty section ~!
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
    I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    ...Cat-man-do, you sound more like a shill for BikeRay than a guy who just found out that his new ~$200 dollar headlight will likely die in the next rain storm. I hope that's not true, but that is how it appears based on your comments.
    Rarely do you see someone who is a shill openly expose and critique the very product they are supposedly representing. Matter of fact I was the first one to have a problem which I quickly disclosed.

    I am saddened to hear of someone having a serious problem with their light. The problem was talked about and openly discussed including possible causes and fixes. Seeker you are absolutely right. Having water entering the light housing is a major problem, especially if there is no way to fix it. Fortunately, the easy fix can be as simple as just making sure that the button cap is re-seated if you think it might rain ( if it needs re-seating that is ) ( takes about 3 sec. ) or as was discussed, some sealant could be applied as a longer term preventive measure. ( jury still out on that one ).

    So far only one person is reporting the problem. In his case the smart thing to do would be to return the light head for a new one but that is up to him. The one I have works fine even though I gave it a good test in the shower. That doesn't mean mine won't do the same as I have already indicated. Regardless, excuse me if I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. I'll continue my review ( as I am the OP ) and give you my honest opinions.

    Some quick insights about my views on consumer electronics: Over the years I've spent much money replacing typical consumer electronics. These are some items I've had to replace due to failure: T.Vs, Computers, printers, microwaves x 2, phones, cell phones, fans, digital cameras, Multi-disc CD players, VCR's, Sony playstation...I could go on but I think you get the picture. Now if there were easy fixes for these things I certainly would have rather done that then spend more money on new stuff. All this has taught me one important fact of life, ANYTHING made by humans can and will break with time. That goes for Bikeray, that goes for Dinotte, that goes for Lupine, that goes for NASA or any other agency of man. Matter of fact, one of my favorite personal sayings is, "There is a first time for everything".

    Not my job to sell Bikeray. If someone else wants to spend the bucks for Dinotte, Lupine, or Niterider...more power to them. I hope they get a good product. As a reviewer for Bikeray I've put the Ray IV under heavy scrutiny and stated honest opinions. If you think that makes me a shill I would have to disagree with your definition of shill.

    About the battery issue, I'm glad you brought that up as that is very important. Not sure why there is no mention of a battery warranty on the web site but I do remember BikerayUSA saying on forum that there was some kind of limited warranty for the battery. Hopefully they will clarify that issue shortly when they read the discussions here on forum.

    Anyway, all this makes for lively reading. Time for Cat man to hit the sack. That reminds me of a verse, "Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shill say good night till be morrow".
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-17-2011 at 07:25 AM.

  75. #75
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    I had my switch cap off last weekend and noticed the same. It was extremely easy to pull the cap off. I wanted to paint the inside off the cap black with a small area untouched so that the green led would not glare at me. Anyway one remedie to fix the leak is to take an Oring with the ID is very close being the same size as the OD of the indicator button. Apply a small bead of silicon or caulking to one side of the Oring and slip over on to the button cap. Press down slightly on the Oring without any pressure on the button and let it dry out.

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    I'm convinced the light head will be warrantied PLUS MrBikeray will take the water proofing issue up with their suppliers. Don't lose any sleep over it.

    I know people don't want to hear this and I apologize in advance if it does offend but with budget priced lighting systems only a certain level quality standard can get factored into the design and manufacturing process. I've come to accept it.

    I've had issues with my Magicshines in the exact same wet conditions as Azra. So far luckily after the 24 - 48 dry out period they come back from the dead. I won't bank on that happening forever though. The BR3 and BR4 rubber switches are overly delicate straight out the box yet MS though much more secure, still allow water to gain access. Having said that, neither company has made any "impervious to water" claims as far as their lightheads go.

    Just IME, lightheads and batteries that have survived multiple torrential 1-2 hr downpours while riding with them on include the Dinotte and the Baja Series lights. Not in the Lupine price bracket but very solid through and through.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post
    I know people don't want to hear this and I apologize in advance if it does offend but with budget priced lighting systems only a certain level quality standard can get factored into the design and manufacturing process. I've come to accept it.
    .
    I could not agree more we get what we pay for we want Lupine lumens for a walmart price we have to expect some flaws, First thing I do when I get a new light is check the orings and locktite the mounting bolts, then use Vulkem Polyurethane to seal any weak links in waterproofing.
    Last edited by Rakuman; 06-17-2011 at 09:04 AM.
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post
    but with budget priced lighting systems only a certain level quality standard can get factored into the design and manufacturing process.
    I would agree for $90 MS or other direct-from-China lights, but to pay $100 more for the same quality doesn't seem quite right. The issues that have come up with the BRIV make me think that you either get a $90 MS and expect it to last a season (anymore is a bonus) or shell out a couple hundred bucks more and get a Stryker or Lupine Piko. Or make your own, which is what I do

    As for waterproofing the switch, I wouldn't bother with silicone - it's crap for sealing anything that can move (wires, switches etc). I've tried for many years with no long term success, though I do use the non-acetic acid cure stuff for sealing my housings. A better option would be clear 5-min epoxy (Lowes have it for ~$4) which will both hold it in place and provide a durable seal. I'm not 100% sure how it will stand up to repeated flexing, but it should be better than silicone.

    Or just warranty it

  79. #79
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    Questions for BikeRay USA:

    1. If I decide to proceed with some DIY improvements to the switch cover as discussed on this forum (which I believe are needed in order to make the light usable in inclement weather), would that void the warranty? If down the road the light dies for whatever reason, would you replace it even tho it's been tampered with?

    2. It's been 28 days since I received the light. Is a full refund still an option?


    Thank you.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post
    I'm convinced the light head will be warrantied PLUS MrBikeray will take the water proofing issue up with their suppliers. Don't lose any sleep over it.

    I know people don't want to hear this and I apologize in advance if it does offend but with budget priced lighting systems only a certain level quality standard can get factored into the design and manufacturing process. I've come to accept it.

    I've had issues with my Magicshines in the exact same wet conditions as Azra. So far luckily after the 24 - 48 dry out period they come back from the dead. I won't bank on that happening forever though. The BR3 and BR4 rubber switches are overly delicate straight out the box yet MS though much more secure, still allow water to gain access. Having said that, neither company has made any "impervious to water" claims as far as their lightheads go.

    Just IME, lightheads and batteries that have survived multiple torrential 1-2 hr downpours while riding with them on include the Dinotte and the Baja Series lights. Not in the Lupine price bracket but very solid through and through.
    Chromagftw, Thanks for posting this information. It helps give a little perspective to the problem with the Ray IV. Everything you said in your post is spot on. Particularly what you said about the quality of these kinds of product. They likely are only going to achieve a certain design quality level. That means you're not going to get a Dinotte design quality at the Wal-mart price as Rakuman has already wisely said. As a consumer you're either going to dismiss the product as Seeker has done or lay your money down anyway as I'm sure many will do just like they did with the *MagicShine stuff ( *Magicshines were also quickly dismissed by others when they were first released due to minor imperfections ). I do have to agree with MattMuppet though. Easy to take the chance with a $80 product, not so easy if it's $180. Still anyone willing to buy 3-4 MagicShines will still consider these.

    Colleen, Nice idea about painting the inside of the cap. Not sure how well it would work but interesting idea.
    Not sure I follow you about the O-ring but I think the priority here has to be to keep the rain from getting into the electronics area. Rubber by it's very nature will naturally adhere to metal. I think that was the idea behind this kind of design. Unfortunately it will slide around a bit ( and possible wedge up ) if pressure is applied at an off-angle. As long as you know about it, an easy quick fix. Since I also use tape to cover most of the button anyway ( to block the battery indicator leds ) my button would normally see little if any water whether I sealed it or not.

    For the time being I'm going to leave mine alone and continue to give it periodic water exposures. If it leaks, you will know about it. ( I might even get brave and do a submersion..ehhhh...maybe ).

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    I quoted the only product warranty on the entire BikeRay website. I think all electronic components of a bike light should carry some warranty, especially the battery and charger. I think you'd be stupid to try and promote/sell a new bike light in the same forums which cover the Geoman battery debacle and not offer a warranty on your battery.....
    Just a quick FYI....Looks like the Bikeray website has taken down the previous warranty information that was posted. I have a feeling this is in response to this thread. Hopefully an updated version will be forthcoming as is usually the case. In the mean time the only other info on warranty mentioned is in the news section of the website and says the following:

    Any BikeRay light purchased within USA from our website or our appointed dealers, we will provide Free Repairs and Parts for the first year from purchase date. Free return shipping is also included~!

    Means, your fault or not~! Even if you broke it, we will fix it for FREE.
    Hopefully an updated version will include info on the battery as well. Thanks seeker for pointing this out.

    Azra, I hope if you request a refund that they give you one. In the mean time at least you know a replacement will still be provided if you request one. Another point to be made is that certain Credit cards include a warranty for items purchased with the card. Not sure if this includes a money back warranty if not satisfied but worth looking into if you used a credit card for the purchase.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post
    I'
    I've had issues with my Magicshines in the exact same wet conditions as Azra. So far luckily after the 24 - 48 dry out period they come back from the dead. I won't bank on that happening forever though. The BR3 and BR4 rubber switches are overly delicate straight out the box yet MS though much more secure, still allow water to gain access. Having said that, neither company has made any "impervious to water" claims as far as their lightheads go.
    Arguably any bike light should be waterproof because that a "reasonable use".

    Bikeray... No mention on 1/2/4 but BR3 is:
    • Power supply: 4x 18650 battery 100% waterproof designed
    • Water proof: IPVI


    IP51
    So the lighthead is protected from condensation/light rain. Not good for riding in the rain.
    The battery will be fine.

    I seemed to think the MS light heads were rated IP54 but a quick look through DX shows no rating on the 900/1400... the MJ872 is listed as IP54 though, and its noted as waterproof.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    In the mean time at least you know a replacement will still be provided if you request one.
    I'm not sure I know that. And I'm even less sure what will happen if I do apply silicone or glue or whatever I'm gonna end up doing with that switch cover, and the light dies down the road. I'm waiting to hear back from BikeRay USA.

    In the meantime, the more I look at the light, the more I am absolutely convinced that the two stupid cutouts are the culprits. If the switch cap is perfectly centered, and I do mean perfectly, then the two cutouts are covered. But operating the switch (especially if you do it while riding - as I did the other day) can result in the cap moving around ever so slightly and exposing one of the cutouts. Then it's a direct hole to the electronics inside.

    Those cutouts just boggles the mind. Did anybody at BikeRay test this light before they put it on the market? Or am I the designated tester?
    Last edited by Azra; 06-17-2011 at 07:17 PM.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Just a quick FYI....Looks like the Bikeray website has taken down the previous warranty information that was posted. I have a feeling this is in response to this thread. Hopefully an updated version will be forthcoming as is usually the case. In the mean time the only other info on warranty mentioned is in the news section of the website....
    .
    Sorry, my bad. Looks like warranty info is still listed under the Bikeray IV link at the bottom of the page. Still no update on a battery guaranty.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Colleen, Not sure I follow you about the O-ring but I think the priority here has to be to keep the rain from getting into the electronics area. Rubber by it's very nature will naturally adhere to metal. I think that was the idea behind this kind of design. Unfortunately it will slide around a bit ( and possible wedge up ) if pressure is applied at an off-angle.
    Here is what I did to my switch cover. The lip of the hole which slip into the groove of the cover is far too small and easily pushed out of place exposing the two holes. I feel that silicone around the switch in the groove and lips may not hold because of the lack of material for a strong grip unless a large glob is apply around the endge on the outside. I found a 5/8 ID O-ring will fit around the cover quite nicely. I place a fair amount of silicone on the underside of the oring and on the inside edge of the oring. In one of the picture show the bottom side of the o-ring with the silicone. Slip the O-ring with the silicone side down over the switch cover and press down on the O-ring so that the excess silicone get pushed out. Wipe off excess and allow to dry.

    The silicone and o-ring will add more material around the seal to keep the water out. The cap is also now trapped by the oring and held in place which helps lessen the chance of the switch cover getting misalign during switching.

    In my sample, I have yet not painted the inside the cover to reduce the glare because the paint may not stick to the cover due to the flexing of the cover everytime it get push. I may have to use a black pernament marker instead.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  86. #86
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    Unfortunately I think the cutouts are there for a reason , to screw the back of the light on. they need to make a tighter fitting switchcap with more flange and go with a 3 prong cut out that would not need half the depth for grip. or machine it on the surface of the rear housing . its a pretty easy fix but some retooling is in order,
    My personal opinion on this is they were in such a hurry to get these to market to coincide with there release of the new and supposedly improved Raylll that they just didn't have this light dialed in yet. and yes the consumer would be the tester. this is just my opinion but when they were taking preorders for the Raylll they saw $ signs and said send it out we will deal with any problems later that's why the emphasis on warranty. I see this all the time in other industries trying to beat the completion to the punch, I have no doubt that these are bright and decent lights but they need to work out the bugs before you release them to the public.

    Sorry about the rant but after seeing colleens pic of the slop that switch cover has is unexcuseable and the more I think about this the more it starts to bug me
    Last edited by Rakuman; 06-18-2011 at 06:06 AM.
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    Colleen, that is simple, easy, and neat. Great thinking,

    And unless the BikeRay people are the worst ***** on planet earth, should not void the warranty since you haven't touched anything inside the light.

    PS
    And thank you for the great how-to pictures.
    Last edited by Azra; 06-17-2011 at 09:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Colleen, that is simple, easy, and neat. Great thinking,

    And unless the BikeRay people are the worst ***** on planet earth, should not void the warranty since you haven't touched anything inside the light.

    PS
    And thank you for the great how-to pictures.
    The two great thing about this is that little if any of the silicone will get inside the housing and the parts are cheap.

    You can use clear caulking in place of silicone. It is easier to clean the extra off the unit and cover with just a slightly damped towel or napkin before the caulking is completely dry, the downside is that I find silicone longer lasting and much stronger than caulking.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    ....Slip the O-ring with the silicone side down over the switch cover and press down on the O-ring so that the excess silicone get pushed out. Wipe off excess and allow to dry.

    The silicone and o-ring will add more material around the seal to keep the water out. The cap is also now trapped by the oring and held in place which helps lessen the chance of the switch cover getting misalign during switching.

    In my sample, I have yet not painted the inside the cover to reduce the glare because the paint may not stick to the cover due to the flexing of the cover everytime it get push. I may have to use a black pernament marker instead.
    Colleen, Let us know how this holds up. As long as the O-ring ( and sealant ) keeps it's place it should help.

    Below is what I do. As I said before I was doing this just to limit the amount of light coming out of the back led indicator. All I am doing is using a couple pieces of black electrical tape. Doing this I can view as much of the light as I want and the kicker is it will also prevent any rain from getting to the button. The back of the light has a nice smooth rim around the edge that the tape sticks very well to. If I wanted to I could close the entire back off and cut a small peep hole for the light to come through. Tape is s-simple and also limits movement of the button, not to mention no way you could lose the button either unless you crashed. Anyway, not the prettiest fix to look at but no water is gonna get through that tape. ***edit*** Oh heck, just had a great idea! I could cut out a little cat face or smiley face. Now that would be cool. Now to just find the razor tools.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-ray4back.jpg  


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    How would silicone sealant react to the heat generated by the light? To implement Colleen's solution, should I use something like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Red-Devil-Indu.../dp/B000H5Q5VG

    Or would any run-of-the-mill silicone sealant I can get my hands on at the hardware store work?

  91. #91
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    Azra any silicone will hold up to the temps a light will put out.
    Colleen nice fix that should hold up well until Ray comes threw with a permanent fix thanks for the pics
    znomit thanks for letting us know the waterproofing rating, IP51 yikes I had know Idea what those # meant
    https://www.airmet.com.au/ProductFil...ting_Chart.pdf
    On a side note seeing I have the older style Raylll I was concerned that this would happen to mine, Nope its a different switchcover all together and it appears to be either a real tight fit or glued in place. the New Raylll appears to use the same switchcover as the one pictured above on the Ray lV . the old one has the same slots but I cannot peel it back to expose them, its has the same IP51 rating thou.
    Food for thought

    Photobucket
    Last edited by Rakuman; 06-18-2011 at 01:16 PM.
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  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    Azra any silicone will hold up to the temps a light will put out.
    Colleen nice fix that should hold up well until Ray comes threw with a permanent fix thanks for the pics
    znomit thanks for letting us know the waterproofing rating, IP51 yikes I had know Idea what those # meant
    http://www.airmet.com.au/ProductFile...ting_Chart.pdf
    On a side note seeing I have the older style Raylll I was concerned that this would happen to mine, Nope its a different switchcover all together and it appears to be either a real tight fit or glued in place. the New Raylll appears to use the same switchcover as the one pictured above on the Ray lV . the old one has the same slots but I cannot peel it back to expose them, its has the same IP51 rating thou.
    Food for thought
    Yep, the switch cover on the old Ray III looks like is is more stiffer. Of course that might make it harder to replace. Hard to say.

    In some strange way I think all this information about IP ratings and how it relates to these Chinese made lights is going to be beneficial to anyone who is either thinking of buying a Chinese made light or already has one. Unfortunate for it to be exposed during the review of the Ray IV but if this product has a weakness, surely this is one of them.

    I was looking over that chart of the IP ratings. When they talk about sprinkling with water or water spraying jets there is no mention of a duration factor ( time ).
    So far mine is holding up to an IP rating of 54 for at least 25 min. When I tested mine I sat it in the shower about an inch off the bottom of the tub. Since my tub drains a little slow the water tends to pool a bit. That did create some splashing.

    Now if I was planning on using this light in some kind of endurance event I would seriously consider lubing the front retaining ring and sealing the button cover ( or taping the back of the light off as I mentioned before. )

    Now someone might say, " I shouldn't have to do any DIY modding If I paid $180". Good point, don't buy one then if you feel that way. The Dinotte and Lupine people will be glad to take your money. Just be expected to pay at least twice what one of these cost. Anyone else not afraid of a little quick and cheap maintenance can easily increase the IP rating of there own Chinese made lamp. It still won't be as good as the more elite brands but at least it will hold up better in extreme conditions.

  93. #93
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    BikeRay Warranty

    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    I respectfully disagree - I don't think it would work even as a temporary solution.

    No one will be happy spending ~200 bucks on this light just to have to run to Home Depot for some caulk, then pump their slick new light full of glue.

    BikeRay ought to suspend sales until they solve this problem, and devise a fix for the headlights they already sold.

    I'm guessing the mis-aligned lens and lack of waterproofing is only the beginning of trouble for the BikeRay 4 headlight. I just noticed that BikeRay's website clearly states that their batteries and chargers have NO WARRANTY.

    All BikeRay-III & IV lights from BikeRay USA comes with a Limited Life Time Guarantee for replacement to original purchaser. Purchaser must register the Ray-III or IV online as soon as he/she purchases the BikeRay light from our dealer or from us direct. This warranty is applicable to Ray-III or IV light head only. Battery or any other product/part(s) are not covered by this warranty.

    http://www.bikerayusa.com/new-bikeray-iv.html

    PS - I've PMed BikeRay, referencing this thread/post, requesting a response to the waterproofing issue, and perhaps some comment on a lack of warranty for the essential components of battery and charger.
    Sorry guys~!
    And special thanks to SEEKER for letting us know about this isse.
    And I must thank you all for pointing this issue that we were not really aware of.
    We will make neccessary correction(s) as soon as possible.
    Our warranty will cover all & any part(s) for one full year from purchase date on top of what are listed already.

    And about switch cover issue, we will replace all switch covers with better, thighter designed ones. Just need little time to make them to get here.

    If you have any issues with BikeRay lights or other concerns, please let us know freely. Your inputs will help us to make better, finer products in the future.

    Again, thank you for your kind understanding on this issue.

    Sincerely,
    Patrick C
    Team BikeRay USA
    LED Bike Lights

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerayusa View Post
    Sorry guys~!
    And special thanks to SEEKER for letting us know about this isse.
    And I must thank you all for pointing this issue that we were not really aware of.
    We will make neccessary correction(s) as soon as possible.
    Our warranty will cover all & any part(s) for one full year from purchase date on top of what are listed already.

    And about switch cover issue, we will replace all switch covers with better, thighter designed ones. Just need little time to make them to get here.

    If you have any issues with BikeRay lights or other concerns, please let us know freely. Your inputs will help us to make better, finer products in the future.

    Again, thank you for your kind understanding on this issue.

    Sincerely,
    Patrick C
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post

    I was looking over that chart of the IP ratings. When they talk about sprinkling with water or water spraying jets there is no mention of a duration factor ( time ).
    So far mine is holding up to an IP rating of 54 for at least 25 min. When I tested mine I sat it in the shower about an inch off the bottom of the tub. Since my tub drains a little slow the water tends to pool a bit. That did create some splashing.
    Jets of water is pretty much what you would expect in a rainstorm or spray off a tyre.

    Note this is during operation so you need to work the button while in the shower, and aim the water in all directions. Decent pressure too. Garden hose might be better.
    Note if water gets under the rubber when the light is on, it may get sucked into the light when you turn it off.... Eventually you'll have a damp lighthead.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Jets of water is pretty much what you would expect in a rainstorm or spray off a tyre.

    Note this is during operation so you need to work the button while in the shower, and aim the water in all directions. Decent pressure too. Garden hose might be better.
    Note if water gets under the rubber when the light is on, it may get sucked into the light when you turn it off.... Eventually you'll have a damp lighthead.
    ...znomit, your a hard dude to please. For what's it's worth I did do mode changes when doing my test. I have no yard so no hose treatment. I think the idea behind jets is pressurized water. To do that you have to rotate the product, not possible for me. Best I can do is try to get it real close to the shower head. I have no ladder so have to figure a way to do it.

    Colleen, The idea suddenly occurred to me that maybe a tall/flat ( rubber or plastic ) washer might be better. Since a washer is squared off, if you find one that slips right over the button top, the square ( or flat ) surface would supply more support and surface area for the sealant. Not only to the button but to the lamp base as well. There does need to be some wiggle room for the button top or else the lower part could lose contact. Don't want that to happen. Anyway, thought it worth mentioning. Please continue to give feedback on how your O-ring mod is working out.

    I'm real glad Mr BikerayUSA has added some comments and acknowledged the problem. Hopefully some new buttons will save the day. I don't think he mentioned it here on forum but in a PM he told me some new information on the Battery Warranty will be forthcoming by next week. Azar, hope the Bikeray people get your problem sorted out. Let us know what you decide and maybe perhaps do your own shower test.

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    The IP Code is interesting - it sounds great, but there is enough wiggle room for it to be less useful. Taking IP_4 as an example, it only has to last 5 minutes & show "no harmful effect". That is water can get in as long as it isn't harmful - water getting in later doesn't appear to affect the test, nor does it seem to cover corrossion caused by moisture in the enclosure for days or weeks.

    Given the positive response from bikeray USA, it sounds like their "limited lifetime warranty" may come in very handy.

    Of course if you are using an L333 module, no problems

    Quote Originally Posted by quazzle View Post

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by find_bruce View Post
    The IP Code is interesting - it sounds great, but there is enough wiggle room for it to be less useful. Taking IP_4 as an example, it only has to last 5 minutes & show "no harmful effect". That is water can get in as long as it isn't harmful - water getting in later doesn't appear to affect the test, nor does it seem to cover corrossion caused by moisture in the enclosure for days or weeks.

    Given the positive response from bikeray USA, it sounds like their "limited lifetime warranty" may come in very handy.

    Of course if you are using an L333 module, no problems
    Well now that you mention it, looking over on wikipedia where they explain the ratings...well....10 minute duration really ain't squat in my book to be worthy of giving something a rating.

    I think that means we need a MTBR standard for bike lights. No need for fancy numbers. Pass/Fail...If your light can withstand 5 episodes of being in a hard shower( 45 min duration) and show no sign of leakage or malfunction that would be a good place to start. Also add that several mode changes would also need to occur as well while being immersed.

    As far as I'm concerned, IP ratings mean nothing now unless they are talking complete submersion. Any bike light that could handle a complete submersion for 10-15 minutes I would likely consider waterproof. Not sure if there are any bike lights that would meet that standard though. Need I say, scary to do those kinds of tests. For the time being I think I can be satisfied with the 5 episodes HS. I don't plan on cycling underwater anyway.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, IP ratings mean nothing now unless they are talking complete submersion. Any bike light that could handle a complete submersion for 10-15 minutes I would likely consider waterproof. Not sure if there are any bike lights that would meet that standard though. Need I say, scary to do those kinds of tests. For the time being I think I can be satisfied with the 5 episodes HS. I don't plan on cycling underwater anyway.
    How about Baja Designs Stryker Pro, courtesy of Baker's review

    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    I couldn't resist testing the waterproofness...
    Stryker Pro underwater
    Sure it's around twice the price of the bikeray IV and more than 3 times the price of a magicshine, but it appears to be a very well built unit

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Colleen, The idea suddenly occurred to me that maybe a tall/flat ( rubber or plastic ) washer might be better. Since a washer is squared off, if you find one that slips right over the button top, the square ( or flat ) surface would supply more support and surface area for the sealant. Not only to the button but to the lamp base as well. There does need to be some wiggle room for the button top or else the lower part could lose contact. Don't want that to happen. Anyway, thought it worth mentioning. Please continue to give feedback on how your O-ring mod is working out.
    I looked into a flat washer. I had some various rubber washer from a plumbing o-ring/washer kit. The concave shape of the back cover of the light housing makes it a challenge to get a washer over the switch cover while still retaining the height of the switch to be flush. However if I can find a very thin flat rubber washer, than that might work better than the o-ring.

    I did some testing to see if the o-ring was secure enough to stay in place after it has dried. The switch still works as it should and I tried to pushed the cover and purposely misalign it out of place. It was better than I expected. Here is a short video where I used a pen to push the cover side ways to check if it is going to hold. You can hear the switch clicking on and off and also you can see I was pushing hard enough that the bar extender was twisting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjE5NlAzTT0

    I believe Rakuman is probably correct that those cut out are for used for tightening the back housing cover to the main housing. After some thoughts, I wonder if water can get through the thread of that cover. Or perhaps Azra light unit may have a loose back cap where water got past the edge. I cannot confirm if that is how the back housing cover is made or if indeed it is threaded on since I already silicone my ring and cannot get acess to the cutout and try loosening or tightening it with a spanner wrench or sharp needle nose. The picture here shows where I think water can also enter from the back.


  101. #101
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    I agree for our applications IP testings should be longer in duration to prove water resistance at the higher spectrum's but I respectfully disagree that they do not apply to this case....in this case Its telling us something important! that some these lights can not survive 10 minutes of rain coming at a 15% angle which is what it would be if your bike is moving at just about any speed, would you not consider that to be a failure and not acceptable for our purpose ? The IP rating that this light was given has proved itself to be accurate as Azras experience can be used for a direct example simple rain coming down at a angle because he was moving breached the seals of this light and caused it to fail.
    Sure there will be individual lights that can withstand more water than the rating states as in Cats example but in laboratory testing with I have to imagine multiple lightheads it could not make it past a #1 rating.
    I never took IP ratings into consideration but in this case It told us don't get this light wet or it could get past the seals and damage the light.
    Last edited by Rakuman; 06-19-2011 at 11:07 AM.
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    But IPVI ISNT a valid IP rating anyway, the scale is numeric not roman. My Ray III is certainly more waterproof than IPX1

    I think IPVI is the chinese method of saying VI = 6 ie what they mean is IPX6 which is what I would say my Ray III is nominally, judging by the number and locations of O rings in the head

    I think the Ray IV has a major design flaw there and it needs to be sorted. Especially as they claim CE testing (which the IV clearly doesnt meet)

    Personally I took no chances with the ray III, I used silicon grease on the O rings and the front face internally, and then used Captain Tulley's seak n seal on all possible water ingress points. Pretty certain mine is now IP67

    The batteries are waterproof (plasticote dipped) and the wire connector is O ring sealed

    My next project is to re-anodise the front silver ring to gold

  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    Or perhaps Azra light unit may have a loose back cap where water got past the edge.
    That is certainly a possibility, although I can report that the back cap does not appear to be loose on my light. But what's behind, I don't know. I mean, is there an o-ring seal there?

    There are 4 places water can get in and any one of them could have been the culprit.

    1. At the front of the light, around the lens.
    2. Trough the cutouts around the switch cover.
    3. Around the back cap.
    4. Around the cable hole.


    I think #2 is the most likely cause. If it's not what killed my light, I'm certain it will kill it sooner rather than later in a future rainstorm.

    Anyway... After this light has died on me once, I need to know that it will survive the next rain. I'll make your mods and then I'm gonna give it one hell of a test. I mean, shower for at least an hour, jets of water from all angles, and the bowl full of water to boot. It better pass or else DiNotte is getting an order from me. I'll report back.

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    I agree for our applications IP testings should be longer in duration to prove water resistance at the higher spectrum's but I respectfully disagree that they do not apply to this case....in this case Its telling us something important! that some these lights can not survive 10 minutes of rain coming at a 15% angle which is what it would be if your bike is moving at just about any speed, would you not consider that to be a failure and not acceptable for our purpose ? The IP rating that this light was given has proved itself to be accurate as Azras experience can be used for a direct example simple rain coming down at a angle because he was moving breached the seals of this light and caused it to fail.
    Sure there will be individual lights that can withstand more water than the rating states as in Cats example but in laboratory testing with I have to imagine multiple lightheads it could not make it past a #1 rating.
    I never took IP ratings into consideration but in this case It told us don't get this light wet or it could get past the seals and damage the light.
    About IP ratings again: I don't think any of us know the whole procedure when it comes to IP testing. I mean how many units do they test and how long ( do they test and retest ) before giving a rating? If the manufacturer is not happy with the rating, can he retest? Do mode functions have to be operated during testing? Many unanswered questions here. Anyway, all this assumes though that the manufacturer does indeed want a set rating for his product.

    Bikeray IV has no IP rating listed on the web site that I see. This could be an omission on the part of Bikeray or maybe they never did seek to have the product rated. Heck, even if it was rated would you believe the rating anyway seeing it is coming out of China? Just food for thought.

    Whither a product is rated or not, it still has an unverified rating ( as all products do ). If you want to risk damaging the product you can test it yourself. Of course not all people are willing to do that which is totally understandable. Instead they are going to either judge by reviews or by some official standard(s) that no one really understands too much about. ( or a combo of both ). I'm not totally dissing the IP standards as some information is better than nothing, I'm just saying I have lots of unanswered questions about the procedures that bring about the ratings.

    About Azar's Ray IV:

    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    That is certainly a possibility, although I can report that the back cap does not appear to be loose on my light. But what's behind, I don't know. I mean, is there an o-ring seal there?

    There are 4 places water can get in and any one of them could have been the culprit.

    1. At the front of the light, around the lens.
    2. Trough the cutouts around the switch cover.
    3. Around the back cap.
    4. Around the cable hole.


    I think #2 is the most likely cause. If it's not what killed my light, I'm certain it will kill it sooner rather than later in a future rainstorm....
    I think Azar's assessment of his own light is correct. I don't think that most people will have the same problem with the light leaking water UNLESS they dislodge or wedge the button cover during a rain storm. Yes, it could happen, that has been established. Will it happen to most people? I believe that will depend on the individual and how hard they press on the mode switch during a rain storm. If they press at a 90 degree angle I think they'll be fine. If they come in with the thumb sliding in hard at a 45 degree angle you would stand a better chance of failure, of this I have no doubt. I will say this though: I have yet to see mine become dislodged or wedged during normal operation. Sometimes I can be all thumbs too.

    ( shill mode initiated ) In retrospect, many people are already using the light without having problems. Because of that I tend to believe that what happened with Azar's light is unique. He could also have another undisclosed water inlet that would make it even more unique. We really don't know for sure. Likely it is the button cover though. Can it happen with others? Sure. Will it happen with others?....The answer to that my friend is like uncovering the essence of "Beauty", which lies solely in the eye of the beholder. ( shill mode ended ) (edit; a little more poetic hopefully )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-19-2011 at 09:55 PM.

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    Here ya go Cat http://www.bikeray.com/a/en/product/...1/0415/24.html
    Water proof: IPVI
    either its a IP51 or 6 but I have to imagine its a 51 seeing there are 2 numbers associated to a IP#
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  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    Here ya go Cat http://www.bikeray.com/a/en/product/...1/0415/24.html
    Water proof: IPVI
    either its a IP51 or 6 but I have to imagine its a 51 seeing there are 2 numbers associated to a IP#
    Thanks Rakuman. Once again roman numerals Wouldn't 51 be > LI < in roman numerals? Either way, can you trust what they are telling you? Oh by the way, Aliexpress completely su**s. Two months and I'm still waiting on an order. I'll ask Mr. Bikeray about the IP rating. Maybe he can clarify.

  107. #107
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    Either bikerays official manufacturer website is saying it has a real crappy rating or a real good ??? who would guess I'm sure bikeray has been monitoring this thread and will correct this info if it is wrong please say its wrong as I have a bikeray and would love to here it does not have the crappy rating, you know me I want just the facts no bullshat.
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  108. #108
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    About 15 minutes ago I decided to do a high pressure jet test using my shower head this time. I managed to find a way to get the stuff set up less than a foot away from the shower head. Good thing I'm not a married man cause if I was my wife would think I was some kind of loon. Anyway the shower was aimed directly at the back but water was going all over the cotton-picker. I was a little worried because the light was angled so water could also possibly enter from underneath. My fingers were crossed. I think this was definitely a test in the IP_5 or _6 catagory.

    I also have pictures of the test. I let it go on for about 15 minutes. Good thing too because..... ( continued below )













    iT FAILED MISERABLY!! Not only that but I don't think the button cover was out of position for a moment ( yes I did do mode changes ). This does raise some new questions on how the water got in. ( about a tablespoon's worth ). At least my light did not stop working. Mr. Azra, you have been totally vindicated. It looks like my theory about the button being out of position is wrong. This means two things. A major fix is needed for this light. Yes, it did function well in the other tub test but in a deluge you don't want to be using this light without first doing some waterproofing modes...No If's, ands or but's about it. It also means I am not a shill or a liar and I'm big enough to admit when I'm wrong. ( pardon me why I swallow a piece of crow that just got caught in my throat ) *cough*

    Anyway, the reason I did the test was because I really wanted the people to know how the light would hold up under extreme water conditions. Now we know. That benefits you , me and anyone else who wants a Chinese made light system. This is what being an impartial reviewer is all about. You's have to take your knocks when they happen and keep smiling........

    Hopefully Bikeray will find a way to fix the light and make it better. Hopefully, my continued testing will help them determine how to best fix the problem. My personal search is now on for a way fix the problem. To people who don't know me well, I never throw anything out before trying to fix it myself. I will be trying a variation of the "Colleen O-ring" fix. Hopefully others will continue to include their input and make the Ray IV a MTB worthy light. Personal, I have no problem with continuing to use the light. It's too nice an output to just throw away. Hopefully all the DIY fixes will make it a decent working unit once more.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-tray2.jpg  


  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    can you trust what they are telling you?
    Gee Cat-man are you suggesting that people who quote wildly optimistic lumen figures might not be completely on the level when it comes to other ratings. I am shocked

  110. #110
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    iT FAILED MISERABLY!!
    Is that steam I see?

    I hope you weren't using warm water, thats not a fair replication of cycling conditions. Cold water please. Enjoy you shower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Is that steam I see?

    I hope you weren't using warm water, thats not a fair replication of cycling conditions. Cold water please. Enjoy you shower.
    Actually, it was warm. First time I changed modes I realized it and made it colder. Damn did I get wet doing this...in more ways than one.

    OMG! OMG! OMG! I just managed to take the back off! How wrong I was! The back came off so easy you wouldn't believe it. OMG x4 ! You won't believe the wiggle room on these threads! Man is this thing loose! The first thing I noticed was water still on the threads. Not sure what that means but I feel it's a very good chance the water came in through the rear threads. Not a spec of grease. I think the reasons there is no O-ring is because the back helps hold down the driver board. Using an O-ring on the upper lip might prevent that from happening, still I'll be looking into buying some large flat o-rings. Thanks Colleen for the needle nose pliers idea. The white stuff mentioned by Azra looks to be some kind of silicone that has been spread over some of the components. Damn, it's almost like they expected water to get in.

    This might be an easier fix than I thought. Since I have the back off I can now very easily attach a flexible piece of latex to the inside back and seal it off. All I have to do then is still allow a little room for the button to seat ( or I can seal the button from the back! ) All kinds of options here. Not sure if I want to apply plumbers tape to the threads or just use grease but you can be damn sure I'll make it a LITTLE TIGHTER!

    Anyway, if you can find a latex glove all you have to do is cut a small circle to create a membrane for the button. Then you seal the membrane at the edges. The membrane will flex with each button push but just make sure you leave room for the button to seat. When it's done you can remove the button any time and check on the membrane to see how it's holding up. Heck most people will just likely seal the button from the rear, easy one, two, three. As for me I might do both. .. Man! This is gonna be fun and damn easy to do to boot.

    Sadly, back to work tomorrow but should have this wrapped up and water sealed by next weekend.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-20-2011 at 03:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Man! This is gonna be fun and damn easy to do to boot.
    Knock yourself out, Cat Man, knock yourself out. But is it reasonable to expect customers to have to perform such handiwork on their lights? After all, this is a finished product, not a DIY kit.

    I'm perfectly conscious that by buying BikeRay I am not gonna get top quality. Personally, if the light lasted 18 months and then died, I would have been happy with it. But halfway decent waterproofing is not negotiable. Not on a product designed for outdoor use.

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Knock yourself out, Cat Man, knock yourself out. But is it reasonable to expect customers to have to perform such handiwork on their lights? After all, this is a finished product, not a DIY kit.

    I'm perfectly conscious that by buying BikeRay I am not gonna get top quality. Personally, if the light lasted 18 months and then died, I would have been happy with it. But halfway decent waterproofing is not negotiable. Not on a product designed for outdoor use.
    Agree 100%! The thing is I'm not sure it's the design now at fault, more or less I think someone in the assembly process just dropped the ball on the final touches. All this stuff is simple...grease or plumbers tape on threads, not to mention just tightning the threads up tight. All nickle and dime stuff. Yeah, the button is still an issue but they could of fixed that real easy with just some sealant and some soft flexible plastic. It's like this stuff was put together by kids....except for the wiring, the wiring looks very good.

    Azra, Would you buy one again if it was completely IP56 rated? I mean if I can do this ( and I'm no DIY genius ) the Bikeray people selling the lights should be able to fix this in no time flat. Heck, if it wasn't for you nobody would know about this. I wouldn't be surprised if they gave you a water proof one for free just for helping identify the problem.

    Anyway when I get mine done I will retest. I won't sing Hallelujah till it's at least IP56 rated and bone dry inside.

  114. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Azra, Would you buy one again if it was completely IP56 rated?
    No, I would not. One defect I can stomach - i.e. the switch cover. But now we are talking multiple defects. What's next? This thing has obviously been put together without any meaningful quality control.

    I bought that light to actually use it (including in inclement weather), not to amuse myself with a DIY project. Nor do I care to be BikeRay's free tester.

  115. #115
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    Cat thanks for keeping it real.
    I use vulkem polyurethane caulk on all my threads or on any thing I want to waterproof. Its a PITA to work with but it gives a waterproof seal and acts as a threadlocker. you can get it in black works great to seal where the cord goes in a light also this stuff sticks to anything and will out last the light
    I didn't suggest poly in my above posts because I don't know if it comes in clear and its nasty to clean up compared to silicone
    Last edited by Rakuman; 06-20-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    No, I would not. One defect I can stomach - i.e. the switch cover. But now we are talking multiple defects. What's next? This thing has obviously been put together without any meaningful quality control.

    I bought that light to actually use it (including in inclement weather), not to amuse myself with a DIY project. Nor do I care to be BikeRay's free tester.
    My sentiments exactly. I'd rather ride my bike than fiddle at the work bench fixing defects that I paid to not have to deal with in the first place.

    The BR4 almost needs an entirely new housing to make it sufficiently water-resistant for bicycling in rain. They could probably fix the switch cover with a tighter-fitting part, but the rear access panel is another issue. The panel would work much better if it bolted on and compressed an o-ring, like in the attached pic of some Dinotte products. No endorsement is intended, I simply use this picture to illustrate an idea, and there are several other lights using a similar enclosure style. My guess is that this type of housing would be more costly.

    The housing design oversight leads me to wonder what the electrical circuitry looks like, and how reliable/robust it might be. I wonder if someone at CPF has deconstructed a BR4. I'm too busy to research this now.

    B
    ikeRay claims "Our products have undergone many hours of development from design inception, field testing, and finally production. Our products have been tested under real world conditions and off road racing, road racing, recreational and commercial uses with various users and weather conditions to insure they meet our dealer and customer expectations."

    http://www.bikerayusa.com/index.html


    It reads like the usual sales hype to me, in view of the revelations in this thread.


    I notice BikeRay hasn't changed their website yet to reflect their comments in post #93, regarding warranty for battery/charger. I think a 12 month warranty for the entire light kit (including battery and charger) is acceptable and consistent with similar products. This policy should be clearly stated under a "warranty" tab on the website, without contradiction or ambiguous language. No one should have to (or will) scour facebook or bike forums to determine a product's warranty.


    I hope BikeRay will fix the BR4 and make it a good value, reliable light.
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  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    I use vulkem polyurethane caulk on all my threads or on any thing I want to waterproof....
    Another inexpensive, readily available bonding/waterproofing agent which is probably suitable for this repair is automotive rtv silicon, used for gasketing on the engine. Not available in clear color AFAIK.

    http://www.permatex.com/products/aut...sket_maker.htm

    I've used this stuff on a few auto jobs - it's the stickest, toughest silicon I've ever used, and it stays flexible in hot environments for years. Paint the back of your BR4 with this, and it won't leak. Won't be too pretty, but it won't leak.

  118. #118
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    When I start getting this done the first thing I will do is seal off the rear ( both the button and the rear threads. Then I'll grease the front and rear threads ( maybe experiment with plumber's thread tape ). I'll also seal the screws on the mount and put some sealant around the wire.

    When the sealant is cured I want to test the light without doing anything to the button. I will have a membrane protecting it but I want to see if the button was as much of a problem as I ( and everyone else ) thought it was. If I take the button off later and see water on the membrane I will know the button should be sealed and caused a problem. IF NOT, then we were all wrong and it was likely the rear threads that posed the biggest problem. I would still recommend a better solution for the button but it might not be the problem we thought it was. We will test it and see.

    I don't think anyone can argue that the test I put the light through was not enough. Just put your face 6 inches away from a shower head on full blast and tell me the last time you looked up into a rain shower and felt that much water pouring over your face. If you want to see what that might feel like just be sure to hold your breath. You're about to be water boarded.

  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    Another inexpensive, readily available bonding/waterproofing agent which is probably suitable for this repair is automotive rtv silicon, used for gasketing on the engine. Not available in clear color AFAIK.

    http://www.permatex.com/products/aut...sket_maker.htm

    I've used this stuff on a few auto jobs - it's the stickest, toughest silicon I've ever used, and it stays flexible in hot environments for years. Paint the back of your BR4 with this, and it won't leak. Won't be too pretty, but it won't leak.
    The linked product is noted as being non-corrosive, that is good. Not all RTV silicones are. Many release acetic acid fumes as they cure. Those fumes are mildly corrosive to electronics.

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    Your test is good. A real-life rainstorm may not be quite that intense, but it could last longer - i.e. a little less water, but more time for it to find its way into the light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Your test is good. A real-life rainstorm may not be quite that intense, but it could last longer - i.e. a little less water, but more time for it to find its way into the light.
    I like Cat's test also. While it true we may not encounter a storm as intense as a shower head, the pressure from the force does help determine the water resistant of the unit. Other variables such as vibration alone can allow some residual water around the thread on the outside to seep pass the threads and eventually inside the housing. A bar mounted light will receive a lot of vibration. Although much harder to simulate in a test, the pressure from a stream of water will help evaluate the integrity of the seals.

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    Got a refund from BikeRay. I have to say that their customer service has been top notch so far. Thank you guys!

    While the BikeRay IV is not my cup of tea (I don't have/don't want a car and depend on my bike for transportation, therefore I need a light that is dead reliable in all kinds of weather), I will certainly consider purchasing a future BikeRay V based on their customer service.

    If they keep up the good work, I think they will eventually sort out their quality control issues. The light itself is kick ass, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bright as an exploding tactical nuke and with a gorgeous beam pattern.

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    "It's like this stuff was put together by kids..." CatManDo 2011

    Ya think! We'll probably never really know but this might not be far from the truth.

    MB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    The linked product is noted as being non-corrosive, that is good. Not all RTV silicones are. Many release acetic acid fumes as they cure. Those fumes are mildly corrosive to electronics.
    Thanks, I was unaware of this.

    If this worries you much, just open the front of the light, remove the lens and o-ring, move the reflector slightly to create an air gap, then coat the back with rtv silicon, and set the light in front of a running fan to cure.

  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Got a refund from BikeRay. I have to say that their customer service has been top notch so far
    Good to hear.

    Maybe if they get enough of them returned, they'll do something to really fix the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    Good to hear.

    Maybe if they get enough of them returned, they'll do something to really fix the problem.
    I think likely they will. I agree that some RTV silicon looks like it might go a long way towards fixing some problems.

    The back plate has a small flange that looks like it was designed to be used with a gasket or flat O-ring. Some RTV silicon gasket maker could really help here. I'll not jump the gun on whither this will fix all problems until I do my own and run the tests again.

    Until then the vendor ( BikerayUSA ) will have to deal with the issue . I'm sure he's not happy about this as well. He doesn't make the lights ( per say ) but he has to sell them and back the warranty. At least the vendor has great clout when it comes to feed back to the manufacture. I'm sure he will make the issue known. In the interim, BikerayUSA might want to make the changes themselves till the factory get's things fixed. Hopefully I can help them do this by isolating the problems and telling them how to best make the corrections. Hopefully the result will be a better product suitable for MTB'ing.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-21-2011 at 12:22 PM.

  127. #127
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    Honestly I think the early release of this light was to compete with Magicshines release of the MJ-872 http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-872-...pack-set-80953
    Neither light is ready for the public. Bikerays poor fit and waterproofing issues, Vs Magicshine POS lenses, The problem is both company's raced to get that initial first wave rush of I got to have the brightest bike light orders They both failed, and will have many unhappy customers from the first wave of orders until they get the bugs out. This is why I usually wait a couple of months after a release before I buy a new light too see what problems arise this thread is a perfect example of that. Except I couldn't help myself I just had to get a XM-L but at $50 I dont mind being a Guinea Pig
    Its to bad the first wave customers have to be the Guinea Pigs
    One thing that has not been addressed I think the new Bikeray lll has the same switch and rear of its light ???Please correct me if this is wrong. Does it have the same switch cap problem and no seal on the back of the light issues? maybe someone that has one can chime in...
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    Maybe the MJ-872 is specifically designed as a handlebar flood light and to be used in conjunction with a helmet-mounted spot light. If that's the case, it's probably pretty good for that particular task.

    Personally, for the kind of riding I do, one handlebar-mounted light is what I want. That's why I was so in love with the BR IV, whoever designed the lens just nailed it. It's perfect as a one-light setup.

  129. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    Honestly I think the early release of this light was to compete with Magicshines release of the MJ-872 http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-872-...pack-set-80953
    Neither light is ready for the public. Bikerays poor fit and waterproofing issues, Vs Magicshine POS lenses, The problem is both company's raced to get that initial first wave rush of I got to have the brightest bike light orders They both failed, and will have many unhappy customers from the first wave of orders until they get the bugs out. This is why I usually wait a couple of months after a release before I buy a new light too see what problems arise this thread is a perfect example of that. Except I couldn't help myself I just had to get a XM-L but at $50 I dont mind being a Guinea Pig
    Its to bad the first wave customers have to be the Guinea Pigs
    One thing that has not been addressed I think the new Bikeray lll has the same switch and rear of its light ???Please correct me if this is wrong. Does it have the same switch cap problem and no seal on the back of the light issues? maybe someone that has one can chime in...
    The negative repercussions of making bike lights that can possible leak water is going to echo through the Chinese bike light industry. Most people who take night riding seriously are going to take notice. I figure it this way, if they can fix the battery problem they can easily fix this as well. They better because the educated consumer is going to start looking for the IP56 or > rating, or for something claiming to be "Water-proof". I should also add that there will be people willing to test that rating at day one and they will know the truth real quick ( unlike batteries which you really don't know too much about until a good amount of time has gone by. ) The only people happy about this are the name brand bike light manufacturers. I figure they're probably dancing in the streets. "Any" Chinese made bike light will now be cast in a greater shadow of doubt.

    Anyway, back to Bikeray IV discussion: Tonight I tried to fix the back of the light. Eck! Silicon is messy. The membrane idea I had seemed to be coming together right nicely. Unfortunately while trying to put the rear of the light back on I accidentally pierced the membrane I had so painstakingly put together. Just one little slip of the needle-nose pliers. Not to mention that I also cut myself with a razor knife... Dang-it! No time to start over tonight. Oh well, me's and my big tums will continue tomorrow.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-22-2011 at 01:05 AM.

  130. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    ....Anyway, back to Bikeray IV discussion: Tonight I tried to fix the back of the light. Eck! Silicon is messy. The membrane idea I had seemed to be coming together right nicely. Unfortunately while trying to put the rear of the light back on I accidentally pierced the membrane I had so painstakingly put together. Just one little slip of the needle-nose pliers. Not to mention that I also cut myself with a razor knife... Dang-it! No time to start over tonight. Oh well, me's and my big tums will continue tomorrow.
    The RE-TEST is ON!

    Basically I looked over the light when I came home and found that it was going to be very hard to remove the back plate ( or so I thought ) because of the sealant I used. Damn! knew I should of used grease for the first test. This means I couldn't repair the membrane for the first test so if it leaks I have to seal the button from the outside. I did put some grease on the button to see if it helps. I also greased the front ring and I put some Teflon tape on the screw that secures the mount ( then added a small amount of grease to the mount base ). Crossing my fingers. I'm very worried because my sealing of the back plate was very half-assed and I was not using much sealant. I probably should of used grease for the back plate but too late for that now. Not to mention what sealant I used will not be cured ....Oh well, the test is underway as I write. See results below.

    After 20 minutes...partial success/failure depending on your point of view. About 10 drops of water got through. At least I got an improvement and I think I learned some lessons. With the previous test I could shake the light and hear the water inside. Not so this time. I had to take the bottom screw out and shake the light to get water out. Afterward I was able to remove the back and front and gave everything a good look. The front looks good. If any water is getting through the button area it is not much. Because of that I'm still not sure if any water got through the back plate but I absolutely need a good seal on that plate to erase any doubts. I believe at this point I want to see if I can find an O-ring for the back plate. That will have to wait till the week end unfortunately.

    I'm going to have to pay more attention to the button area and I have a idea that I think might work. I have some translucent very thin plastic that I should be able to seal to the back of the back plate with some good quality sealant.. It should be flexible enough to allow the button to still operate but we'll see. Me pee brains a tink'in....

  131. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The negative repercussions of making bike lights that can possible leak water is going to echo through the Chinese bike light industry.
    I personally doubt it. People want something for nothing, so they'll keep buying cheap Chinese lights even if they're aware of their many flaws. I mean, people are still buying MS lights from DX even though they know that the batteries suck and the driver is built with underspecced failure prone parts.

    As for all the efforts in sealing up the light head, bravo for doing it, but it sounds like far more work than it should be. A light smear of non-acetic cure silicone on the front, back and bracket threads, screw in, wipe off excess. 5min epoxy under, then around the switch. Done.

    Whatever you do, don't use automotive gasket maker, that stuff stinks and is a complete b!tch to clean up.

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    You may be comparing apples and oranges. The MS is $80 on DX. The BR IV is $180. They are not in the same class.

    The market for the BR IV is not casual cyclists that ride their bikes over the weekend if the weather is nice. Those people don't need and don't buy $200 lights. The market for the BR IV is more serious and dedicated riders, i.e. people that may well be caught in the rain once in a while.

    As for sealing the BR IV, I agree with you, it should not be much work - at least not for the factory. The only thing that needs redesign is the switch cover. The rest is just using a little grease/silicone/whatever in the final assembly stage.
    Last edited by Azra; 06-23-2011 at 08:28 AM.

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    I think, fundamentally, they're the same. BR IV, going by the specs, assembly, QC issues etc looks exactly like a MS with US overheads and a warranty accounting for the extra cost. I also know and have heard of plenty of "non-casual" riders (who ever they're supposed to be) buying MS, as they're dirt cheap lights. In addition, there seems to be no shortage of "serious" riders who want to buy cheap, even if cheap for them means a $200 light instead of a $300 one.

    In my view, other than the warranty, there's no compelling reason to step up from a MS to a Bikeray light. If I were in the market I'd rather go for a Baja Stryker or a Lupine Piko, even if I had to spend more to get less light.

  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    You may be comparing apples and oranges. The MS is $80 on DX. The BR IV is $180. They are not in the same class.

    The market for the BR IV is not casual cyclists that ride their bikes over the weekend if the weather is nice. Those people don't need and don't buy $200 lights. The market for the BR IV is more serious and dedicated riders, i.e. people that may well be caught in the rain once in a while.

    As for sealing the BR IV, I agree with you, it should not be much work - at least not for the factory. The only thing that needs redesign is the switch cover. The rest is just using a little grease/silicone/whatever in the final assembly stage.
    Azra Check again they are basically the same light except for the lens and its $145 not $80
    When Magicshine comes up with a clear 15degree lens they will be direct competition http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-872-...pack-set-80953
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    Azra Check again they are basically the same light except for the lens and its $145 not $80
    When Magicshine comes up with a clear 15degree lens they will be direct competition http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-872-...pack-set-80953
    I believe there are some diffrence beside the lens. Correct me if I'm wrong. The major difference is the LED. The MS uses 4 x Cree XPG while the BR IV is Philips (?). Cannot confirm that but Bike Ray first initial website did listed as Philip. That diffrence might show up in the beam pattern. So far I am very favorable to the beam pattern produced by the BR IV optics. The water issue is for sure a "no no". I am using this light mostly as a commuter which means rain or shine, the unit will be subject to any weather condition.

  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    I believe there are some diffrence beside the lens. Correct me if I'm wrong. The major difference is the LED. The MS uses 4 x Cree XPG while the BR IV is Philips (?). Cannot confirm that but Bike Ray first initial website did listed as Philip. That diffrence might show up in the beam pattern. So far I am very favorable to the beam pattern produced by the BR IV optics. The water issue is for sure a "no no". I am using this light mostly as a commuter which means rain or shine, the unit will be subject to any weather condition.
    I was under the impression they both use Quad XPGs my bad So are the leds in the Ray Luxeon rebels?
    Last edited by Rakuman; 06-23-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    I was under the impression they both use Quad XPGs my bad So are the leds in the Ray Luxeon rebels?
    No, the Bikeray IV is using the newest bin Rebel ES LED's. Supposedly they are special order but the output is not as bright as officially listed. They are not giving an out put of 1500 lumen. More like 1200 to 1300. One of the major differences of this configuration is that maximum current draw only needs to be about 700ma for full output. Helps explain the longer run time.

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    The BR IV has Luxeon Rebels as shown in a pic earlier in this thread.

    Interestingly the highest binned Rebel I found on the datasheet is 320 lumen at 1000mA (max per datasheet). Bikeray ads say 1500 lumen. Any ideas on where the extra output is coming from? Are they overdriving or overstating?

    EDIT: Ha, we're all answering and asking the same thing at the same time

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    mattthemuppet said "people are still buying MS lights from DX even though they know that the batteries suck and the driver is built with underspecced failure prone parts." I assumed he was referring to MJ-808, which does sell for $80.

    The MJ-872 is a different beast. Has anybody got one? I'm not sure we know how it compares to the BikeRay IV.

  141. #141
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    you're right Azra, I was. Didn't realise (or had forgotten) about the 4up XP-G MS..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Interestingly the highest binned Rebel I found on the datasheet is 320 lumen at 1000mA (max per datasheet). Bikeray ads say 1500 lumen. Any ideas on where the extra output is coming from
    Take a look at the datasheet again.

    Luxeon ES X bin emitters are rated to 300 lumen @ 700ma (page 25).

    Driven to 1000ma, this emitter develops a maximum luminous flux of 300x1.3=390 lumens (page 17).

    http://www.philipslumileds.com/pdfs/DS61.pdf

    So, 390x4 = 1560 lumens. Actual lumens you get out the front are less due to thermal loss, reflector effect, lens effect. Maybe you actually get 1000 lumens. Like the MS "900" actually yields about 450 lumen.

    I doubt BikeRay ever had their BR4 tested to determine output. They're probably just estimating from the data.

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    Take a look at the datasheet again.

    Luxeon ES X bin emitters are rated to 300 lumen @ 700ma (page 25).

    Driven to 1000ma, this emitter develops a maximum luminous flux of 300x1.3=390 lumens (page 17).

    http://www.philipslumileds.com/pdfs/DS61.pdf

    So, 390x4 = 1560 lumens. Actual lumens you get out the front are less due to thermal loss, reflector effect, lens effect. Maybe you actually get 1000 lumens. Like the MS "900" actually yields about 450 lumen.

    I doubt BikeRay ever had their BR4 tested to determine output. They're probably just estimating from the data.
    Page 4 of the data sheet lists typical Luminous flux @1000ma to be about 320 lumen. Strange how the two listings don't jive. Mr. Bikeray did actual test the proto-type before production ( so he said ). The early model was much brighter I was told. When the production models came out he said they did notice that they were not as bright as the test model. Still, the output looks pretty decent. I'd be interested to know how hard they are driving the led's....( but not interested enough to unsolder an LED lead... ).

    Today I got lucky ( ...no not that kind of lucky...) I found an O-ring I think might work on the back plate. The thing is it's about 5 sizes too small but by stretching it I was able to get it to fit. It looks about perfect. As long as it doesn't break I should be good to go.

    Now all I have to do is try to seal off the rear button area with another piece of latex. I have to use latex because I need something that will stretch to allow the button to still function. Since the latex is translucent and will flex, it will still allow a bit of the status indicator led light to get through. In theory it should work as long as the sealant makes a complete water-tight seal and I don't accidentally puncture it with the needle nose pliers like I did before. It should be all set to go for my ride on Saturday if there are no set-backs. However, this time I have to wait for all the sealant to dry/cure before I give it the "Waterfall treatment again". That means no waterfall re-test until at least Monday or Tuesday.

  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Page 4 of the data sheet lists typical Luminous flux @1000ma to be about 320 lumen. Strange how the two listings don't jive.
    Page 25 shows the binning schedule. Doesn't say they exist in those bins.

    Note: "Although several bins are outlined, product availability in a particular bin varies by production run and by product performance. Not all bins are available in all colors."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Mr. Bikeray did actual test the proto-type before production ( so he said ). The early model was much brighter
    Probably had some grease on the threads as well as better binned LEDs.

  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Page 25 shows the binning schedule. Doesn't say they exist in those bins.

    Note: "Although several bins are outlined, product availability in a particular bin varies by production run and by product performance. Not all bins are available in all colors."



    Probably had some grease on the threads as well as better binned LEDs.
    Yeah, he did say they were supposed to be special ordered.

    On a side note: I was thinking a moment ago and suddenly realized that if Bikeray wanted to fix the problem with the BR IV, all they really have to do is engineer a replacement rear back plate with a better designed ( water-proof ) button switch. Not to mention include a nice O-ring for the back plate.

    Second side note: Just ordered one of the Geoman XM-L MS light heads. Can't wait to get it but....will I water-board it? ...not sure about that yet. I will give it a good look-over though.

  146. #146
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    Below is a picture of the inside of the back plate after I have applied a single layer of flexible latex ( used in the semi-translucent surgical gloves ) . The seal looks solid and the button still fits ( Thank God ). If water gets by the button there really is no where for it to go unless the latex membrane develops a hole.

    I also sealed up the entire back of the light. The Plumber's Goop I am using dries very fast and turns rubber-ish real fast. It was real hard to put the rear of the light back on without puncturing the membrane but I did manage it. The rear plate now has an O-ring on the top with some P-Goop on the threads. If water now finds a way to get in from the rear I'll be a monkey's uncle.

    Right now I have the light head sitting in front of a small fan without the front plate on. I have to make sure no fumes do anything to the led domes. Looks like I won't be able to ride with it again till at least next Tuesday. Tuesday though is the scheduled "Waterfall" test of the light head. This time it will be a two part test. The first test will only include the rear of the light head. If that shows no sign of leakage than the complete light head will be tested next. This way I can tell where water is coming in ( front, rear or both ) and then figure a way to fix it.

    Looks like I'll have to settle for the three-up XP-G on the bars till the Ray IV is finish. ( Shamelessly ) ...sometimes I feel so spoiled. ( But not as shameless as Scar...ie..his last thread... )
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikeray IV: Cat's Review-dsc02568.jpg  


  147. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    [B]....Looks like I won't be able to ride with it again till at least next Tuesday. Tuesday though is the scheduled "Waterfall" test of the light head. This time it will be a two part test. The first test will only include the rear of the light head. If that shows no sign of leakage than the complete light head will be tested next. This way I can tell where water is coming in ( front, rear or both ) and then figure a way to fix it. ....)
    Continued from my last post above:

    While looking over my recent work on Ray IV I've come to the conclusion that I didn't get the driver board to sit flush. I'm not sure but if that is the case the back is not going to screw down all the way. This is no surprise to me though. I had the same problem before. When you take the back off the driver board sort of pops-up because of the wires connected to it. I can re-seat it but you have to work fast to get the back to go down all the way. So that's my problem. Looks like I'll have to try to undo my last work and get the back off and try again. No biggie except once again I have to try not to puncture the membrane...that is not so easy. This time I might just have to use a couple drops of super glue on the driver board to keep it in place long enough for me to screw the rear back on. PLEASE DISREGARD THE PARAGRAPH BELOW AS i WAS IN ERROR, SEE THE NEXT POST FOR EXPLAINATION

    Anyway, while messing with this stuff tonight I made another fundamental discover concerning the optics!!! While removing the optics the front O-ring came out. I don't know why but for some reason I decided to see what would happen if I put the O-ring on top of the optic lens rather than underneath as it came. Oh..My..God....It changes the whole beam pattern! In a nut shell it creates one giant big forward throwing hot spot! That could only mean MORE THROW!....So at 2:00am in the morning I just had to see what this "newest" beam pattern was going to look like outside. So I went out and found the darkest parking lot I could find and turned it on. Very, very interesting. You get much more throw, way beyond the 100ft. mark. The problem is you lose a lot of the nice spill you had closer to the bike. At this point I'm not sure which I prefer more but I love the idea of "options". Since I didn't ride tonight, I really want to see how the new beam pattern will work on the trails. Tomorrow I am definitely taking this out for a night ride. That will mean I will have to wait to fix the rear plate again. That will mean the "waterfall" test will be set back to maybe Thursday.

    Now the question is: Is the O-ring suppose to go under the optic ( as shipped ) or over the optic??
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-27-2011 at 04:50 AM.

  148. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    [B]
    .....Anyway, while messing with this stuff tonight I made another fundamental discover concerning the optics!!! While removing the optics the front O-ring came out. I don't know why but for some reason I decided to see what would happen if I put the O-ring on top of the optic lens rather than underneath as it came. Oh..My..God....It changes the whole beam pattern! In a nut shell it creates one giant big forward throwing hot spot! That could only mean MORE THROW!...
    Oh how could I have been so WRONG! After running all my errands today I ran out of time to get my stuff together to take a ride. Regardless I really wanted to see how the new optic set-up was going to work. I went out to the place where I took the first photo and fired the Ray IV up. AHHHH! Yes, one big bright ball of light it is but it completely sucked as far as throw went! I really thought the throw was going to increase but such was not the case. I did take a picture just so I could compare it to the the other set-up and once again the proof was in the pudding. Oh well.......that's how things go sometimes. My bad....When I got home I just switched it back and now all is well. I guess it just goes to show how wrong initial observations can be. For the record, the front O-ring is best left where it was when it was shipped.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-26-2011 at 09:29 PM.

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    Once again I have jumped the gun...( there I go again.. ), but this time with good results.

    Not able to take my ride tonight I got bored. When I get bored I start thinking...( I can be dangerous when I think.. ) anyway, I figured since I was going to take the back off the light again to re-seat the driver....Why not throw it under the shower again for hoots. I mean, if it leaks no biggie cause I don't think it's as good as it could be anyway.. RIGHT?

    No attempt was made to isolate the front. I just threw it in cold turkey and let her rip. Twenty minutes later I pull it out, dry it off and take a look-see. I shake it ...no water heard. I take the front off and hold it upside down....NOTHING....not a drop. Lastly I pulled the mount off to see if any water would drip out.....NOTHING. NOT A DROP. I thought I might have seen one drop up inside but that might have been because the screw area is hard to waterproof unless you use sealer which I wasn't. Regardless, nothing came out of the light head even when I blew into the front.

    Interestingly, I pulled the button cap off so I could check out the membrane I installed. Wow! Bone dry it was. That surprised me! I would of thought maybe a couple drops sitting on the membrane but nope, bone dry.

    This makes me tend to think that the problem with most of the leakage was because the back plate was not properly sealed to the main housing. I think the newly installed O-ring and plumbers Goop is working very well. I almost hate to take the whole thing apart now but I still want the driver seated right, even though it functions well and makes no noise. Just to be on the safe side I'll wait till I get some more ( better ) O-rings. For the record the O-ring used was a small one, the same size Colleen used to sit over the button. Hopefully I will find some about the same thickness but a little bigger so I don't have to stretch it out so much. (Note: This is my second post on this thread tonight so read the previous one too if you haven't already )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-26-2011 at 10:55 PM.

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    Well, if the presence of absence of the 1-millimeter thick seal can focus the beam so dramatically, then here's an idea for the future BR V:

    It would be a BR IV that is waterproof and with a little rotating ring to move the lens one or two millimeters back and forth - to adjust the beam from narrow to wide.

    Kind of like the zoom on a photo lens.

    I'm not aware that anybody makes such a bike light and it would definitely be cool to be able to adjust it quickly as circumstances demand and to one's liking.

    I've seen ordinary flashlights that can do that and the mechanism was anything but complicated.

  151. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Now the question is: Is the O-ring suppose to go under the optic ( as shipped ) or over the optic??
    It was definitely under the optics on my light.

  152. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Well, if the presence of absence of the 1-millimeter thick seal can focus the beam so dramatically, then here's an idea for the future BR V:

    It would be a BR IV that is waterproof and with a little rotating ring to move the lens one or two millimeters back and forth - to adjust the beam from narrow to wide.....
    Yep, amazing how such a small change can make such a big difference in beam pattern.
    When I have completed all the changes needed I will send an e-mail off to Bikeray and explain all the changes needed to make the IV more water resistant ( if not water-proof ).
    It was very obvious to me that the back of the light was designed to be used with an O-ring. Maybe they just couldn't find the right size. The way I see it if they used an O-ring on the back ( with a little sealant on the threads ) and provided a more stable button they would be good. All nickle and dime stuff.

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    I'm afraid I have some bad news. As I was preparing to take a ride tonight to test ride the Ray IV. While testing the connections I was turning the light on and off and changing modes. After turning the light off I tried to turn it back on and nothing happened but a short flash. . I unplugged the light and turn it back on again. This time it came back on and all modes worked...till I turn it off and try to turn it back on, once again the short flash.

    Unfortunately I think I damaged the switch on the driver by not having it seated properly. Quicker than you can say JUMPING JACK FLASH, desperately I tried to get the back of the light off. I even torn off the membrane I so carefully made in an effort to see inside the light. Clearly the driver was sitting at a very odd angle. If this was going to be fixed I needed to get the back off. Unfortunately for me, the Plumbers Goop creates quite a seal. This was something I was afraid might happen. Basically I can't get the back off now.. To make matters worse my effort to remove the back ended up breaking the switch button clear off....

    So ends my review of the Bikeray IV. Sadly, I know how and what to do to make the light water proof now. Unfortunately most of the knowledge came through trial and error.
    If I had to do it again I would just use grease on all the threads, front and back and use an O-ring on back which should stop most if not all water ( just like the front one which worked very well. ). The knowledge of needing to seat the driver came too late. For anyone else who wants to do this it would probably be best to use a couple small drops of super glue to help hold the driver board down while re-tightening the back plate ( or maybe not ). ( Most of the time I was able to get the board flush, I just had to work fast. ) Anyway, when the back of the light is screwed back down it will hold the driver board flush and centered as it should be.

    At this time I'd like to thank Mr. Pat at BikerayUSA for giving me the light to test. To those who wondered, No...I did not pay for the light. The light worked very well for me without any modding. The thing with the optics I think was a fluke but took one minute to fix. I don't think I would of been willing to take a light I spent $180 of my own money on and subject it to the extreme water conditions that I did. Since I didn't pay for it and because there was a possible problem with the light leaking water, I felt it expedient that if I was reviewing the light I should give it a proper water resistance test.
    I had no idea of course that it would leak so bad. I've never modded a light before. I guess it goes to show what can happen when one little thing goes wrong. Live and learn.

    I am out one very nice light. Don't feel too sad for me. I have my 3-up waiting in the wings. Thanks to all who commented, both the pro and naysayers. Yep, you don't get good reviews without some controversy. It was the prodding of the peanut gallery that help keep me honest and sincere and motivated me to put the Ray IV to the acid test.
    For what it's worth I still think the Ray IV is a decent light. I think it will be even better when it can shed a bit more water straight from the box. Hopefully, the Bikeray people will fix these minor problems and make the Ray IV the value that it was intended to be.

  154. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    At this time I'd like to thank Mr. Pat at BikerayUSA for giving me the light to test. To those who wondered, No...I did not pay for the light.
    Ha!

    You're pretty crap at being a shill, but good review.

  155. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I did not pay for the light.
    That's the difference between you and me. I did pay $180 (plus shipping!) and when I pay $180 for a light, I expect it work and be reasonably waterproof right of the box - without any DIY modifications. I think most people in the market for a $180 light have the same expectation. You never know when you will get caught in a bit of rain.

    Anyway, the BikeRay folks have immediately refunded my purchase and I have confidence that they will eventually sort out their final assembly issues. They may have rushed to the market a little bit.

    BTW, I don't think you light is dead. The exact same thing happened to me (the flash) when I disassembled the light to study how it was built. Just like you I didn't put the board in place correctly and had a non-functional light. Putting it back correctly solved the problem.

    If you can remove the goo you have filled your light with, I think you might be able to bring it back to life.

    Edit - sorry, missed the part where you broke the switch. Well, I guess your light is dead for good.
    Last edited by Azra; 06-28-2011 at 01:43 AM.

  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Ha!

    You're pretty crap at being a shill, but good review.
    ...as usual, you are OH so kind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    ...BTW, I don't think you light is dead. The exact same thing happened to me (the flash) when I disassembled the light to study how it was built. Just like you I didn't put the board in place correctly and had a non-functional light. Putting it back correctly solved the problem.

    If you can remove the goo you have filled your light with, I think you might be able to bring it back to life.

    Edit - sorry, missed the part where you broke the switch. Well, I guess your light is dead for good.
    OH CAT CRAP!...Do you believe I just did manage to get the back Off!
    Don't it figure. Now if I had owned a bench vise it wouldn't have been a problem. Oh well, water under the bridge.

  158. #158
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    Thanks for the great entertainment Cat......

    but this whole thread was too predictble


    ****

  159. #159
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    Cat-man-do = BikeRay shill

    Well, that explains why you were so enthusiastically trying to jury-rig a fundamentally flawed light, when anyone else would have simply returned it for a refund. Thanks for validating my thoughts from post #71.

    I appreciate the beam shots, and even more, I appreciate Azra's revelation about the lack of rain-proofing. I was on the verge of buying a BR4, and Azra saved me a lot of frustration. Thank you Azra.

  160. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    At this time I'd like to thank Mr. Pat at BikerayUSA for giving me the light to test.
    now that's quite the revelation. I'm curious about a couple of things. How do you go about getting a free light in exchange for a review and, if Mr Bikeray wanted his light reviewed, why didn't he send one to Dominik and Baker here at mtbr.com to test?

    Might also be worth declaring at the start of a review that the product being reviewed is a gift.

    As for all your issues, sounds like a cheap O-ring would have fixed all these problems. Given how MS lights have been shipping with underspecced driver board parts since they appeared, I'm not terribly surprised corners have been cut to save money.

    Now, for $180 I could buy the parts AND the tools to make a kickass light, and this is from someone who barely knows one end of a knife from another

  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    Well, that explains why you were so enthusiastically trying to jury-rig a fundamentally flawed light
    I too found the whole thread a bit strange. I mean, here's a man that supposedly has just spent $180 on a bike light, and after discovering that it is as waterproof as a strainer goes, "Oh that's sooooo cool. I love it! Now I have me a fun little DIY project." That sure was not my reaction. Mine was more like "Oh f**k!!!"

    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    Thank you Azra.
    You are welcome!

  162. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker View Post
    Cat-man-do = BikeRay shill

    Well, that explains why you were so enthusiastically trying to jury-rig a fundamentally flawed light, when anyone else would have simply returned it for a refund. Thanks for validating my thoughts from post #71.

    I appreciate the beam shots, and even more, I appreciate Azra's revelation about the lack of rain-proofing. I was on the verge of buying a BR4, and Azra saved me a lot of frustration. Thank you Azra.
    Actually I try to jury rig ( or mode ) a lot of stuff I own. That's just what I do. And yes I am always happy with a new light if it has a nice beam pattern. I was approached by bikeray and asked if I would review the light. At first I said no because they wanted the light back in two weeks and I knew there was no way to do a decent review in two weeks. Then they told me I could keep the light. I did not consider it to be a gift as I did not ask for the light. Heck, this is my hobby. If someone is willing to give away a light to get a review, I figured what the Hey.

    Just like with the Magic shines there can be problems with the Chinese stuff. People still buy and use the magicshines even though they had problems and yes some of those leaked water too. The thing was I liked the light. I still do. I liked it so much I am trying to buy a replacement driver or just get a new light head. Now if Bikeray want's to give me a replacement, That would be a gift. That is why I offered to pay because I now want the light. Please excuse me if I don't systematically shoot a product down because of flaws. I don't sugar coat though. The product had flaws and they were pointed out. As a reviewer I pointed out the flaws. I'm sure Bikeray was not happy about that. Next time they will probably choose someone who will see no problems and be a complete shill. AS for me, I suck at being a shill. If something doesn't work right I want to know if there is an easy fix and if there is I want others to know about it. If you've read any of my other posts ( especially on torches ) you would know It's just my way. Anyway, I'm sure there are other people who are given stuff to review who never paid a dime either but I never worry about that as long as I feel they are honest. Bikeray knew going in that I would be critical and yet they STILL gave me the light. Honestly, I don't know what they were thinking but hey, that's on them.

  163. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerayusa View Post
    Sorry guys~!
    And special thanks to SEEKER for letting us know about this isse.
    And I must thank you all for pointing this issue that we were not really aware of.
    We will make neccessary correction(s) as soon as possible.
    Our warranty will cover all & any part(s) for one full year from purchase date on top of what are listed already.

    And about switch cover issue, we will replace all switch covers with better, thighter designed ones. Just need little time to make them to get here.

    If you have any issues with BikeRay lights or other concerns, please let us know freely. Your inputs will help us to make better, finer products in the future.

    Again, thank you for your kind understanding on this issue.

    Sincerely,
    Patrick C
    I take issue with BikeRay's deceitful method of promoting their products on MTBR.

    If you want your light reviewed, great, MTBR readers want good information. Please do so in a fairly objective manner. Please have your reviewer state from the very beginning that it is a review of a light provider by the seller. This entire thread read like it was just some guy reviewing his new light for 5+ weeks, but instead it was a complete shill, and a rather ineffective one at that.

    This thread has actually worked against you, BikeRay, because it's now clear you are complicit in a lame product shill. Fortunately someone found out your lights leak rainwater and shared this info with the forum, saving us all trouble. Now we all know BikeRay employs underhanded tactics to promote defective products. So, Thanks! Glad I found out the less expensive, easy way. The forum has served it's intended purpose.

    BTW, you should change your idiotic slogan. "Customer satisfaction, transparent and committed to make a faithful relationship" Typical sales pitch, a load of crap, with some Chinese flavor.

  164. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    I too found the whole thread a bit strange. I mean, here's a man that supposedly has just spent $180 on a bike light, and after discovering that it is as waterproof as a strainer goes, "Oh that's sooooo cool. I love it! Now I have me a fun little DIY project." That sure was not my reaction. Mine was more like "Oh f**k!!!"

    You are welcome!
    My thoughts exactly. This is the reaction anyone who paid for the BikeRay4 would have at that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Actually...

    ...Next time they will probably choose someone who will see no problems and be a complete shill. AS for me, I suck at being a shill....
    YOU ARE A COMPLETE SHILL, AND AS ALREADY POINTED OUT, A BAD ONE AT THAT.

    It took you 5+ weeks to admit it, so good for you for being honest in the end.

    I suggest you refrain from product reviews in the future, since your reputation is probably inadequate for any reader to take your comments seriously.

    I don't know if MTBR.com has a policy against product shilling, but if they do, it might be a good idea to enforce the policy in this case.

  165. #165
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    Manufacturer/Retailer Posting Guidelines:

    All Manufacturers / Vendors / Shop Owners / Sponsored Riders should declare their status as a Retailer / Manufacturer in their signature
    Online selling of parts, components or bikes is not allowed. "Bikeray"
    Any one reviewing or testing products and / or components online must state whether they have a vested interest in the product up front. They should state whether they bought the product or they got the product free or with an industry deal or are prohibited from saying negative things about a product. "Cat"
    All links in a signature for articles for sale should be removed before posting. No "under the signature" shilling or free advertising allowed.
    However, if you own or work for a bike shop, you MAY put a link to your shops website main page to show your affiliation.
    Manufacturers and Industry folks are encouraged to respond to any questions directed about their product. This is the perfect opportunity to inform and 'set the record straight.'
    Bottom line: Participate and post content in mtbr. Don't use mtbr to get free money for your business. Sponsoring mtbr assures our survival and is very affordable. Contact [email protected] and [email protected] for more info.

    Sincerely,

    Francis Cebedo, Founder
    Gregg Kato, Site Manager

    Not going to call Cat a shill maybe he didn't know the rules
    For future reference I copied this from the website rules
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


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