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Thread: Chinese lights

  1. #1
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    Upset Chinese lights

    They are cheep and almost any one can afford them...BUT, are they reliable ?

    As for now, I have 2 units of the 3-Mode 900-Lumen LED Bike Light Set and 3 packs which are dead !!!
    The 16W 3-Mode 1400-Lumen LED Bike Light Set is the third unit from MS and Im not sure how long it will survive...

    I'm coming to the conclusion that for the long run, it will be wise to get a real solid product light such as the Lupine or the Lumicycle...

    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    So are the lightheads dead or just the battery packs please clarify.
    Ive had 3 Ms packs go bad but zero issues with the light heads
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
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  3. #3
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    I've had a couple packs go belly up, but no probs with the light heads.

    I'm coming to the realization that I'd rather buy a quality product once than a marginal product 3 times. I'd rather ride than screw around with replacing failed items.
    baker

  4. #4
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    Yep, I'm sure...
    3 Packs and two heads.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eranpeled
    Yep, I'm sure...
    3 Packs and two heads.
    Ouch!
    Where did you get them? also were they newer units or some of the older ones that had a lot of quality control problems..
    See I don't have a problem getting the cheaper lights as long as I get them from someone that backs them up warranty wise , one reason I wont deal with DX. anything past warranty period that's just the risk we take on getting them on the cheap.
    Will you get bang for your buck buying Lupine or just upgrading cheap lights? that remains to be seen you buy that $600 lupine 1100L Wilma, or get a Ray IV 1500L for $150.
    A year down the road, bike ray or MS or Gemini come out with a new 2000L light for $150 your still your still out $600 and not likely to buy a new light, the way these lights are rapidly getting brighter in such a short period of time, you buy a light today and tomorrow someone comes out with a light that blows it out of the water.
    The future for night riding is getting brighter every day I can only imagine what will be out a year from now.
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
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  6. #6
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    Well said Rakuman. Also I don't think you have to buy a marginal light more than once. As long as the light head still works you can now buy a better battery with a better warranty pre-wired and set to go. Yes the marginal light systems did have less than marginal batteries ( and maybe some still do ) but if you buy from the right people you can get better batteries for your marginal light systems. Now with all that said all batteries regardless of what you buy will eventually wear out. If you pay $45 for a 5200mAh 7.4 volt Li-ion battery and it still gives your P-7 MagicShine over two hrs on high after 3 years ( or 500 cycles ), you got your money's worth.

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    I agree, but it dose not stand for me. Don't get mo wrong, I did like the beam of the MS...
    The heads are dead as well.
    The money spend by me till now is getting close to a real system....i'm not sure what is the right thing to do.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eranpeled
    I agree, but it dose not stand for me. Don't get mo wrong, I did like the beam of the MS...
    The heads are dead as well.
    The money spend by me till now is getting close to a real system....i'm not sure what is the right thing to do.
    I won't tell you what to do but I will make some suggestions. You are still using the 1400 lumen MS if I understand correctly. If that is the case you need a new helmet lamp. Option #1> Go with another MS P-7 light bought from Geoman using the new Geoman battery. All his stuff is warrantied. Option #2 > Get a Bikeray I (one) from BikerayUSA, same deal. option #3 Lupine Piko, a bit more money and a sweet lite-weight system for the helmet. Now it might be taking a chance with the battery but you could go with one of new MS XM-L lights. Not sure if there's a N. American vendor for these yet but if not there is always D/X.
    I figure the odds are in your favor. Sooner or later something you buy has to last a bit. And by the way the new MS XM-L light heads are far brighter than the original MS's ( so I'm told ). Not sure why Geoman is not selling them yet as he has tested them.

  9. #9
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    Why no XML from Georman?

    A cynical view would be that maybe that Geoman need to clear their stock of P7's before introducing a better product for the same money..

    I'm coming to the conclusion that for the long run, it will be wise to get a real solid product light such as the Lupine or the Lumicycle...
    Having spent far too much money on a Lupine HID when they first came out and experience the quality of the support from a "big player" (it was rubbish btw), I'll be sticking with the Magicshine (or clones) units. All Li-ion batteries have a limit life (ever owned a laptop & had the battery last?), and bulb/lamp are superseded within a year or two.
    So I'll be sticking with the cheap options & not crying when I replace it with another more powerful cheap unit.
    ... and the cost, well yes my battery (original) died after a year (out of warrenty) & my light head external wiring need looking at [easy to fix] but over two years that 75, far less than the Lupine which had a similar life but was dead by the end of the 2 years. Though my orignal P7 torches are still all working fine... even the batteries.

    Anyone know where I can buy a Magicshine XM-L light head on it own?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by z1ppy
    Why no XML from Georman?

    A cynical view would be that maybe that Geoman need to clear their stock of P7's before introducing a better product for the same money..



    Having spent far too much money on a Lupine HID when they first came out and experience the quality of the support from a "big player" (it was rubbish btw), I'll be sticking with the Magicshine (or clones) units. All Li-ion batteries have a limit life (ever owned a laptop & had the battery last?), and bulb/lamp are superseded within a year or two.
    So I'll be sticking with the cheap options & not crying when I replace it with another more powerful cheap unit.
    ... and the cost, well yes my battery (original) died after a year (out of warrenty) & my light head external wiring need looking at [easy to fix] but over two years that 75, far less than the Lupine which had a similar life but was dead by the end of the 2 years. Though my orignal P7 torches are still all working fine... even the batteries.

    Anyone know where I can buy a Magicshine XM-L light head on it own?
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=700402
    Ive been using a magicshine XM-L paired with a Bikeraylll for a couple of weeks now and love it
    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


  11. #11
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    I know what U mean, that's why no one makes HIDs any more.

  12. #12
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    Lupine offers upgrades to their lights, right? Doesn't that mitigate the perceived cost issue?

    J.

  13. #13
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    Have you seen the cost of those 'upgrades'?
    I did & laughed...

  14. #14
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    Between Lupine and Magicshine you are sort of talking about two different things. Higher quality everything on Lupine than on MS.

    J.

  15. #15
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    Between Lupine and Magicshine you are sort of talking about two different things
    Why? They are both lights for use whilst cycling, how are they different?

    Higher quality everything on Lupine than on MS
    and no wonder when it cost 5 to 8 times as much (depending on which model you think is comparable), are they 5-8 time much better???
    Not in my experience.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    I won't tell you what to do but I will make some suggestions. You are still using the 1400 lumen MS if I understand correctly. If that is the case you need a new helmet lamp. Option #1> Go with another MS P-7 light bought from Geoman using the new Geoman battery. All his stuff is warrantied. Option #2 > Get a Bikeray I (one) from BikerayUSA, same deal. option #3 Lupine Piko, a bit more money and a sweet lite-weight system for the helmet. Now it might be taking a chance with the battery but you could go with one of new MS XM-L lights. Not sure if there's a N. American vendor for these yet but if not there is always D/X.
    I figure the odds are in your favor. Sooner or later something you buy has to last a bit. And by the way the new MS XM-L light heads are far brighter than the original MS's ( so I'm told ). Not sure why Geoman is not selling them yet as he has tested them.
    Im not sure that I will invest more money on the MSs lights, if I add the total units I got in my grave yard I'll get close to the price of the Piko.

    Another nice kight I came to is the Lumicycle LED3 XPG.

    BTW, it looks like that the 550L Piko is stronger then the MS 900L.
    Here


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by z1ppy
    Why? They are both lights for use whilst cycling, how are they different?



    and no wonder when it cost 5 to 8 times as much (depending on which model you think is comparable), are they 5-8 time much better???
    Not in my experience.
    Hard to say and when you have to say it.

    For example - sitting here at my computer, maybe not. Off on some dark singletrack with a dead light on a moonless cloudy hazy night... different story.

    After the MS fiasco with batteries, I'm just not wanting to get involved with engineering that cuts corners in so many places. So, maybe it's not Lupine, but it's going to be something better than MS - and I'm willing to pay the difference.

    J.

  18. #18
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    Have to jump on board here.Having both the MS and Lupine, in my opinion the Lupine is 6/8 times the light set up in every way over the MS.Can't believe i'm defending lupine as there just is no comparison between the two.Performance, as the low setting (330lumens) is noticably brighter than my MS on it's highest setting.And i'm not refuring to the Betty either,but the Wilma.You get TEN hours of run time on a small four cell battery on this setting.It's just crazy.

    The improved versoins of the MS,like the Bike RayI,or Titan are very good products,and get riders out night riding with a more reliable product on a tight budget.In my opinion,these products are of very good value.In side by side comparisons my Gemini Titan is brighter and has a larger hot spot than my MS,with whiter coulor rendition.

    Each to their own i know,but MS has a way's to go to prove it can be a reliable enough product for many of us.

  19. #19
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    After the MS fiasco with batteries
    What fiasco? There are thousands of these units out there, yet 2 became faulty to the extent they may have caused a fire? No I won't/can't defend the failure to seal the batteries correctly, but there was no fiasco, just an over blown thread on here the rest of the world quietly got on and bought, sold and used the MS unit quite happily. Did you hear MS/DX doing any recall? Did you hear of any european dealers doing a recall? There is a bigger world out there other than "geoman", if there was a fiasco it was that companies no one elses.

    opinion the Lupine is 6/8 times the light set up in every way over the MS
    Yeah right, LOL, you guys keepwasting money with Lupine, I'll stick with MS.

  20. #20
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    Just for the record

    Quote Originally Posted by z1ppy
    What fiasco? There are thousands of these units out there, yet 2 became faulty to the extent they may have caused a fire? No I won't/can't defend the failure to seal the batteries correctly, but there was no fiasco, just an over blown thread on here the rest of the world quietly got on and bought, sold and used the MS unit quite happily. Did you hear MS/DX doing any recall? Did you hear of any european dealers doing a recall? There is a bigger world out there other than "geoman", if there was a fiasco it was that companies no one elses.

    Yeah right, LOL, you guys keepwasting money with Lupine, I'll stick with MS.
    In this part of the world (ISRAEL), we buy our MSs from DX as well. I can tell you that
    issues with the packs did occur here but the Chinese/DX don't really care...

    No recall posts from them even though they got e-mails regarding these issues.

  21. #21
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    Why are China's Led lights cheap?

    Quote Originally Posted by eranpeled
    They are cheep and almost any one can afford them...BUT, are they reliable ?

    As for now, I have 2 units of the 3-Mode 900-Lumen LED Bike Light Set and 3 packs which are dead !!!
    The 16W 3-Mode 1400-Lumen LED Bike Light Set is the third unit from MS and Im not sure how long it will survive...

    I'm coming to the conclusion that for the long run, it will be wise to get a real solid product light such as the Lupine or the Lumicycle...

    What do you think?
    Most of people believe that cheap products are not good products. Of coure it is reasonble. As a Chinese, I'd like to say some reason China's LED lights are so cheap. First, the workers' salaries are very low. The average workers' salaries are only 3% of American workers' salaries, and 33% of Mexico workers' salaries. Second, the exchange rate from USD to RMB is 6.49now.Third, Some dishonest suppliers make a very very price to get the markets. I give you a promise that You will make profits from China suppliers. But it's need time & efforts to find a reliable suppliers. What should you pay attention to when you looking for China reliable suppliers? If You are interested, contact me.
    Mail: [email protected]

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by z1ppy
    What fiasco? There are thousands of these units out there, yet 2 became faulty to the extent they may have caused a fire? No I won't/can't defend the failure to seal the batteries correctly, but there was no fiasco, just an over blown thread on here the rest of the world quietly got on and bought, sold and used the MS unit quite happily. Did you hear MS/DX doing any recall? Did you hear of any european dealers doing a recall? There is a bigger world out there other than "geoman", if there was a fiasco it was that companies no one elses.



    Yeah right, LOL, you guys keepwasting money with Lupine, I'll stick with MS.
    Ok, fires, one trashing a portion of a guy's house and a total recall of all batteries followed by an independent 3rd party redesign of the battery pack isn't a fiasco then. Silly me.

    J.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt
    ....The improved versoins of the MS,like the Bike RayI,or Titan are very good products,and get riders out night riding with a more reliable product on a tight budget.In my opinion,these products are of very good value.In side by side comparisons my Gemini Titan is brighter and has a larger hot spot than my MS,with whiter coulor rendition.

    Each to their own i know,but MS has a way's to go to prove it can be a reliable enough product for many of us.
    I agree. Matter of fact, if I had to start over and only had $200 to spend for lights and wanted a helmet/bar light combo, I would probably chose from the following light sets.

    For the bars: Gemini Titan or Bikeray II. Both are offering better batteries ( with warranty ) and are reputed to have better/brighter output than original MS P-7 light. I believe the Ray II is using the D-bin P-7 if I'm not mistaken. ( edit: actually both Gemini and Bikeray both use D-bin P-7's which explains their better output. )

    For the helmet: Once again, Bikeray sells the Ray I with a tighter reflector and might be a D-bin P-7 on that as well. Lastly I might choose the XML version of the MagicShine for the helmet which is likely better throwing than what is offered elsewhere at these prices.

    Now the reason I chose the above models is two-fold: One, good reviews. Namely for being bright. Secondly, the above models are sold by N. American vendors willing to stick their necks out for their products. Not just with words but with warranties. The exception is the XML version of the MS ( which Geoman is not selling yet... ). So far no other out spoken N. American vendor is selling these yet as far as I know. Regardless, in this case I would be willing to buy one from D/X and take my chances with the battery simply because it is brighter and should make an excellent helmet light. I figure the battery should last at least a year, what the hell. The next year I can always buy another ( better ) battery with warranty if needed ( and use the other battery for back-up ).

    Now for another $100 the equation begins to change. Then you start thinking 3-up or 4-up for the bars....etc, etc... Almost all this Chinese stuff can be bought now from reliable vendors willing to back their product ( including the batteries ). Ever since the reputed problems with the MS batteries the customers are now more demanding. As I see it, this is to the advantage of the customer with a limited budget. You can still buy a light ( with decent output ) on the cheap and get a guarantee to boot if you know who to buy from.

    edit correction: Gemini Titan is D-bin P-7 as well.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 05-20-2011 at 10:11 AM.

  24. #24
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    issues with the packs did occur here but the Chinese/DX don't really care
    Welll that has not been the case in the europe, if you contract DX through there site, they would deal with you and happily send out replacement kit.

    Ok, fires, one trashing a portion of a guy's house and a total recall of all batteries followed by an independent 3rd party redesign of the battery pack isn't a fiasco then. Silly me.
    yeah two cases, wow... & one distributer is a well known "sue me" culture does something about it, obviously it's the end of the world?

    So you also say that Apple/Dell/Sony/lumicycle are also rubbish manufacturers, as they also had incident's with batteries catching fire in there product...

    But no two ppl have issue so all products MS must be crap, yeah right

  25. #25
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    I'd give kudos to the dealer/distributor who stood up for the defective product. That is far and away not the normal case for this and demonstrates the problem - a manufacturer that does not stand behind it's product. So, yeah, that is a fiasco. The other examples you mention are cases of where the manufacturer did stand behind their product - completely different situation than this one where Magicshine did not.

    It's an individual decision. Do I want to accept the risk of a lower quality lower reliability product with a questionable manufacturer behind it? For me, absolutely not. I'm not willing to risk a fire and the safety of my family over the battery for my bike light. I don't want to be stranded when a light dies (I ride in a rural area). I don't want to either worry about it or hassle with it. And I'm not rich enough to buy less than quality stuff. I find that the incremental difference in money is less important to me than those aspects. You? You decide. Is this a great country or what when we have choices like this? Competition is a good thing.

    J.

  26. #26
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    trashing a portion of a guy's house
    The pictures I saw were of a blackened broom closet. You make it sound like a five-alarm fire.

    I'm not willing to risk a fire and the safety of my family
    Given the stats I've seen, odds are more likely that your family will die in a car crash than from a faulty MS battery. But hey, keep driving your car and keep using whatever brand of light you prefer and choose to believe whatever you like. Choice is good.

  27. #27
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    The other examples you mention are cases of where the manufacturer did stand behind their product
    Purely because they are high profile (in the case of Apple/Sony/Dell), media targets (except lumicycle but that was again a low number of issue which again they didn't issue a recall for..), that had a lot of problems, 2 extreme cases is not a fiasco, no matter how you try to word it. How many MS lights actually shipped 10 of thousands, hundreds of thousand? 2 units out of 10 thousand isn't even a worthwhile percentage. saying MS should have dones something is just daft using those figures.

    It's an individual decision....... Is this a great country or what when we have choices like this? Competition is a good thing.
    That I don't disagree with.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette
    The pictures I saw were of a blackened broom closet. You make it sound like a five-alarm fire.



    Given the stats I've seen, odds are more likely that your family will die in a car crash than from a faulty MS battery. But hey, keep driving your car and keep using whatever brand of light you prefer and choose to believe whatever you like. Choice is good.
    Having had some experience with fire in the house, they were darn lucky the whole place didn't go up. Open fire in a residential structure is usually pretty hard to contain. The difference between a fire in a closet and one that consumes the entire house is pretty much a couple of minutes and luck.

    We all make our choices. I choose differently and the priority is for safety and reliability over price for me every time.

    Just one anecdote about marginal cost differences -

    I did a lot of off shore sailboat racing. I had needed a set of new foul weather gear but didn't want to go full out (a little short of money at the time) - the difference was about $200. Long story made short, the weather in a 3 day race turned bad. I was sitting on the rail miserable as I was getting doused with 38F water about every 30 seconds for 8 hours straight. My new foul weather gear leaked here and there and I was wet. At that point, I would have paid double the price - double that $200 for the good stuff. As soon as I got back, I ordered the good stuff. The cost savings was false economy in a very big way and I actually wound up buying twice.

    I'd suggest the same would be true out by yourself in the middle of no where on a dark and moonless night and your light dies. Would that bargain seem so good then?

    Now, of course, many use these lights where it isn't so important. But, if your light dies, and you get hit by a car because they couldn't see you then that - to my way of thinking - is the false economy thing all over again and just not worth it. There are costs to riding at night. If you want to do it, then do it right.

    J.

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    I'd suggest the same would be true out by yourself in the middle of no where on a dark and moonless night and your light dies.
    Yet for the last 3 years I've had my (& thousands of others) night rides lit by an cheap chinese units. Initally by a P7 torch (2 in the end, both which still work fine) and then by a MS light for the last 2 years. All my fellow riders use MS units too 10 unit between us, none have experience these 'so called' failures in the middle of the woods.
    Where are the reports of these so call failure leaving ppl stranded?

    Surely if we have 10 good units, that have never failed, you must agree MS light must be industructable & a quality product.
    As this is the same logic your equating the 2 fire cases against the compete MS production being rubbish, yet I have 5 times that number of quality units.

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    z1ppy, why don't you just say "I'll be loyal to MS, and I won't buy any brand other than MS." Just saying and no intention of harming your feelings towards your love to MS.

    Was in a dilemma about which one to buy, reviewed...and decided to get brands that will cover you if anything bad happens. I ended getting a well designed built like a tank BD STRYKR Pro (from China) and Lupine Wilma (from Germany)...and I never looked back, awesome combination (IMHO) since the wheel was invented.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by eranpeled
    They are cheep and almost any one can afford them...BUT, are they reliable ?

    As for now, I have 2 units of the 3-Mode 900-Lumen LED Bike Light Set and 3 packs which are dead !!!
    The 16W 3-Mode 1400-Lumen LED Bike Light Set is the third unit from MS and Im not sure how long it will survive...

    I'm coming to the conclusion that for the long run, it will be wise to get a real solid product light such as the Lupine or the Lumicycle...

    What do you think?
    I say quit messing around and invest in a more reliable light and keep the MS light as a 2ndary or backup light. I did the MS thing and had both batteries fade on me with 5 months. The lights failed me 3x in the woods. 2 times I was able to follow fellow riders out but the 3rd one was during a 24 hour race at 3:00 a.m. That sucked! Out of 8 of my buds that have the MS lights 7 of them have had their batteries die on them. We're all in recall limbo. Fortunately, I bit the bullet last fall and picked up an Exposure Diablo. What a great light it has been.

  32. #32
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    z1ppy, why don't you just say "I'll be loyal to MS, and I won't buy any brand other than MS." Just saying and no intention of harming your feelings towards your love to MS.
    I can't, because I'm not loyal to Magicshine. My last light (after my MS unit) was a Trout my next a XML chinese unit of unknown manufacture (not MS), but what I am is a huge fan of bargain lights that put the big "well known" manufacturers to shame.
    Due to there performance and price.

    What get my goat/annoys me, is ppl shouting that there crap and will kill you if you buy them, so you must spend 5 times as much and get a lupine/etc.
    No the MS units are not perfect, I've posted this myself and am willing to accept that ppl have had dramatic failures that really shouldn't a have happened, but have also pointed out that huge business have had the same experiences.
    Though again as I've also posted previously, that my own experience of a big player product and warrenty (Lupine) was poor to the point of awful, though there UK distributer was mainly to blame (though Lupine sided with them when I tried to get a fair hearing on there home forum direct - they also delete that thread, how is that fair?)

    MS and other clones are a brilliant way for a huge amount of ppl to experience night riding on the cheap, but with the same performance of the 'big' players.
    I accept that some ppl will see it as a buy cheap buy twice, and dismiss them out ofo hand, fair enough, but the majority of us will just get on and use them and throughly enjoy ourselves whilst doing it.
    This is what I have to shout about loving, not a specific manufacturer.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by z1ppy
    Yet for the last 3 years I've had my (& thousands of others) night rides lit by an cheap chinese units. Initally by a P7 torch (2 in the end, both which still work fine) and then by a MS light for the last 2 years. All my fellow riders use MS units too 10 unit between us, none have experience these 'so called' failures in the middle of the woods.
    Where are the reports of these so call failure leaving ppl stranded?

    Surely if we have 10 good units, that have never failed, you must agree MS light must be industructable & a quality product.
    As this is the same logic your equating the 2 fire cases against the compete MS production being rubbish, yet I have 5 times that number of quality units.
    That's not how reliability assessment works. A sample size of 10 is meaningless and you don't get to cherry pick good and bad units. From a product liability perspective (especially in something niche like this), all it takes is one major liability issue like this and the company can be toast. So, 1 event like this IS meaningful.

    On top of that, we'll never know because failure data is not something any company will willingly publish. All we get to see is the user reports. Qualitatively, there have been more problems reported on MS stuff than on pretty much anything else. To my knowledge, no one else has had a battery fiasco like they have had and failed to stand behind it. And (a) yes, it was a fiasco and (b) no, they didn't stand behind their batteries but left it up to their dealer/distributor to take it in the teeth instead. Great company? You decide.

    Look - it's a choice. I'm not changing my decision for the reason I've stated. Do what you want. If you think you got a bargain and you love your light all to pieces, then good for you.

    J.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak
    I say quit messing around and invest in a more reliable light and keep the MS light as a 2ndary or backup light. I did the MS thing and had both batteries fade on me with 5 months. The lights failed me 3x in the woods. 2 times I was able to follow fellow riders out but the 3rd one was during a 24 hour race at 3:00 a.m. That sucked! Out of 8 of my buds that have the MS lights 7 of them have had their batteries die on them. We're all in recall limbo. Fortunately, I bit the bullet last fall and picked up an Exposure Diablo. What a great light it has been.
    So when the MS battery gave out you had to use your other light to get out right?
    You did have another light right? I mean who would go out in the woods at night with only one light source?? Woody, I'm just yak'in your chain... so be cool. Well at least you and your buds have it made now. All you have to do now is buy one of those new Geoman batteries ( use the other for back-up ) and you'll be out of the woods for sure.

    On a more serious note: If I was doing a 24hr event I would surely have two main lights and carry at least one of my torches for back-up/repair duties. That's the nice thing about torches. They are lite-weight and the batteries are cheap. Not to mention you can bring as many as you feel necessary...AND with fast charger, the single cells can be ready in a couple hrs. ( * now get this, a P-7 torch on medium mode runs 3hrs on a single cell.) Now that would get you out of the woods Woods. Believe me, if it wasn't true I wouldn't be Yak'in about it. ( I know, sometimes I'm just full of it. )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 05-20-2011 at 11:06 AM.

  35. #35
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    Reliability is almost a non-issue if you have a cheap torch or backup light source. You should be carrying this in backcountry situations at all times anyway if you're smart. With that said, both of the batteries on my Magicshine failed but I heavily night ride AND store my batteries during the Florida summer in my car. Now I'm just using torches and carrying extra cells and it's working great for me. If my battery craps out, I've got several more, and they cost like 3 dollars each so it's no big deal at all. I still think that for 70 dollars the Magicshine is a fawkin' deal. If you want to balk about reliability then buy three of them and you'll still be way under what you'd pay for one of the higher end models.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak
    I say quit messing around and invest in a more reliable light and keep the MS light as a 2ndary or backup light. I did the MS thing and had both batteries fade on me with 5 months. The lights failed me 3x in the woods. 2 times I was able to follow fellow riders out but the 3rd one was during a 24 hour race at 3:00 a.m. That sucked! Out of 8 of my buds that have the MS lights 7 of them have had their batteries die on them. We're all in recall limbo. Fortunately, I bit the bullet last fall and picked up an Exposure Diablo. What a great light it has been.
    Tell me more about this light. I'm pretty interested in the idea of a self contained light.

    J.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by z1ppy
    I can't, because I'm not loyal to Magicshine. My last light (after my MS unit) was a Trout my next a XML chinese unit of unknown manufacture (not MS), but what I am is a huge fan of bargain lights that put the big "well known" manufacturers to shame.
    Due to there performance and price.

    What get my goat/annoys me, is ppl shouting that there crap and will kill you if you buy them, so you must spend 5 times as much and get a lupine/etc.
    No the MS units are not perfect, I've posted this myself and am willing to accept that ppl have had dramatic failures that really shouldn't a have happened, but have also pointed out that huge business have had the same experiences.
    Though again as I've also posted previously, that my own experience of a big player product and warrenty (Lupine) was poor to the point of awful, though there UK distributer was mainly to blame (though Lupine sided with them when I tried to get a fair hearing on there home forum direct - they also delete that thread, how is that fair?)

    MS and other clones are a brilliant way for a huge amount of ppl to experience night riding on the cheap, but with the same performance of the 'big' players.
    I accept that some ppl will see it as a buy cheap buy twice, and dismiss them out ofo hand, fair enough, but the majority of us will just get on and use them and throughly enjoy ourselves whilst doing it.
    This is what I have to shout about loving, not a specific manufacturer.
    I now can understand your negative bias towards Lupine as most would be your allie having experienced the same thing,myself included.Don't write off the high end company's just because your one bad experiece.I would though recomend just a slight step up for your safety and future aggravation from the MS,and get a Gemini Titan or Bike RayI for the extra $20, a much better, brighter and more reliable product.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    So when the MS battery gave out you had to use your other light to get out right?
    You did have another light right? I mean who would go out in the woods at night with only one light source?? Woody, I'm just yak'in your chain... so be cool. Well at least you and your buds have it made now. All you have to do now is buy one of those new Geoman batteries ( use the other for back-up ) and you'll be out of the woods for sure.

    On a more serious note: If I was doing a 24hr event I would surely have two main lights and carry at least one of my torches for back-up/repair duties. That's the nice thing about torches. They are lite-weight and the batteries are cheap. Not to mention you can bring as many as you feel necessary...AND with fast charger, the single cells can be ready in a couple hrs. ( * now get this, a P-7 torch on medium mode runs 3hrs on a single cell.) Now that would get you out of the woods Woods. Believe me, if it wasn't true I wouldn't be Yak'in about it. ( I know, sometimes I'm just full of it. )
    No worries hear. I have a think Internet skin!

    For our normal night rides having a light die on you sucks but it ain't so bad when you have 7 others with you. None of us carry backup lights and sometimes we pay the price. We all use to have dual light setups or backup lights but it was such a pain in the arse making sure both lights were properly charged and working and then you have to have the right mounts and connectors and such. That got old quick so we pretty much all ride with one reliable head light and it seems to work for the most part.

    Yeah, that 24 hour thing was a failure on my part. I actually had 2 backup lights but they were back at my station. Keeping up with 2 sets of batteries on a 24 hour race is a PITA especially if you don't have a support crew. I normally run a cheap LED bar light for backup but I spaced it on that one.

    I like the idea of a cheap P7 torch that I could throw on my bars in case of emergency. I may have to get in on that.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    Tell me more about this light. I'm pretty interested in the idea of a self contained light.

    J.
    I've been completely stoked with it so far. Very reliable and consistent. The mount is rock solid and the whole system is very light. The light output is incredibly bright on high mode. The one downside is only 1 hour on high so to work around it you can do 2 things. Run it on medium (3 hours of light) for most of your ride, only bumping it on high when you need the extra light. Or you can buy the 1 cell piggy back battery and mount it to your helmet for 2:45 hours on high.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak
    I say quit messing around and invest in a more reliable light and keep the MS light as a 2ndary or backup light. I did the MS thing and had both batteries fade on me with 5 months. The lights failed me 3x in the woods. 2 times I was able to follow fellow riders out but the 3rd one was during a 24 hour race at 3:00 a.m. That sucked! Out of 8 of my buds that have the MS lights 7 of them have had their batteries die on them. We're all in recall limbo. Fortunately, I bit the bullet last fall and picked up an Exposure Diablo. What a great light it has been.
    When the "lights failed" you, was it the battery, or the light?

    Recall limbo? You (and you 7 buds) can buy a replacement hand-made battery from Balistic Batteries for ~$40......

  41. #41
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    I would say the MS's are a real good deal for output or lumen per dollar. However........

    I have a Dinotte 800L/400L combo that I bought about 3 years ago when the combo deal came out, 459.00 Those lights still work and I'm using the same batteries which get almost the same run time when new except when it's very cold. Still, they work well but the run time suffers in the cold. More than 1/2 as advertised though. I'm assuming I'll get just 1 more year out of them but that's to be expected w/ a lithium battery I guess.

    I also bought 2 MS lights for my road bike. One battery lasted about 5 months. Another lasted over a year which was not too bad for a cheap battery. One light head fell apart inside however, Reade replaced it even though it was 7 months old and out of warranty. To be fair, it stayed on my bike for every ride including day rides. However, so does the Dinotte 800L and has been on my bike 3 years, day and night w/ no problems.

    At this point, the MS's have not worked since last Nov. 185 total price for nothing. The batteries will be replaced by Geo so I will have 1 working MS as the older light head also does not work. It's actually due to frayed wires at the connector. Don;t know how but maybe from plugging in and unplugging. Either way, lasted about a year.

    Within my group, we have 2 other MS's. One light head just quit working. Only used it a dozen times. Again, GEO took care of him. Light head working now but batteries recycled and awaiting new ones. The other light head works but the battery went deal after about a month. GEO again to the rescue. Second battery was never very good but didn't matter as shortly after he received the new battery, the recall was announced.

    Now, I like good deals so I was totally willing to do the MS thing. Still not opposed to it but it's not as good a deal as it seems though initially, it is inexpensive.

    Bottom line is I would never ride w/o 2 lights no matter who makes them.

    Just my experiences w/ the MS.

  42. #42
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    Honestly,
    China has become one of largest country who supplies and manufactures in many product lines, including Bicycle light industries. I was in China many times over the years, and saw with my own eyes, big brand names with high $$$ are coming from there as well.
    The difference was those are with better finished on the design and case itself.
    Inside components were basically from same or closeby suppliers.

    Why those high named lights cost so high and others are much cheaper~?
    First, we don't have overhead expenses on advertisements, high number of employees, and don't have to go through with wholesalers.
    It is somewhat true, that we don't have fancy finish job on packaging, light head finish, etc. Yet we are all using same or similar parts inside as those big names.
    Just less expenses compared to others.
    That is how we can keep our price low.
    It is not just another China made aluminum tubes anymore.
    And china knows well, the quantity time has gone. It is all about quality and customer service from now on.
    And Yes, they are coming stronger than ever.....with lower pricing as usual.
    Team BikeRay USA
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323
    I would say the MS's are a real good deal for output or lumen per dollar. However........

    I have a Dinotte 800L/400L combo that I bought about 3 years ago when the combo deal came out, 459.00 Those lights still work and I'm using the same batteries which get almost the same run time when new except when it's very cold. Still, they work well but the run time suffers in the cold. More than 1/2 as advertised though. I'm assuming I'll get just 1 more year out of them but that's to be expected w/ a lithium battery I guess.

    I also bought 2 MS lights for my road bike. One battery lasted about 5 months. Another lasted over a year which was not too bad for a cheap battery. One light head fell apart inside however, Reade replaced it even though it was 7 months old and out of warranty. To be fair, it stayed on my bike for every ride including day rides. However, so does the Dinotte 800L and has been on my bike 3 years, day and night w/ no problems.

    At this point, the MS's have not worked since last Nov. 185 total price for nothing. The batteries will be replaced by Geo so I will have 1 working MS as the older light head also does not work. It's actually due to frayed wires at the connector. Don;t know how but maybe from plugging in and unplugging. Either way, lasted about a year.

    Within my group, we have 2 other MS's. One light head just quit working. Only used it a dozen times. Again, GEO took care of him. Light head working now but batteries recycled and awaiting new ones. The other light head works but the battery went deal after about a month. GEO again to the rescue. Second battery was never very good but didn't matter as shortly after he received the new battery, the recall was announced.

    Now, I like good deals so I was totally willing to do the MS thing. Still not opposed to it but it's not as good a deal as it seems though initially, it is inexpensive.

    Bottom line is I would never ride w/o 2 lights no matter who makes them.

    Just my experiences w/ the MS.
    MS also seems to be popular with tinkerers. For example, "frayed wires" at the connector. That couple be easily fixed, if one were inclined to take the time. But I understand if you want a bulletproof system that you don't have to think too much about......you might have to pay the big $$$$$.

    For some people however, like myself, $400 for a light is just not a option. MS was a way for me to get into night riding during the summer when the daytime temps are in the 100's (and yes, I do take along another, much less powerful light and a flash light with zip-ties just in case).

    So far, my MS w/ the new Geomangear battery has held up. However, I don't think I've even had it a month... So really...I can't add much about the longevity of the system.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323
    ....At this point, the MS's have not worked since last Nov. 185 total price for nothing. The batteries will be replaced by Geo so I will have 1 working MS as the older light head also does not work. It's actually due to frayed wires at the connector. Don;t know how but maybe from plugging in and unplugging. Either way, lasted about a year.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the "dead head"/ dead battery issues are due to this very problem. Some years ago I bought a very nice high end light called the Lumen8R. It is a quad XR-E helmet light that I still use when I want to use my highest output helmet lamp. Not long after it was bought it developed this same problem in the connector. I was lucky enough to figure out where and what the problem was.

    When I contacted the builder/seller he was quick to send a replacement along with a replacement plug wire for the battery. I ended up with two perfectly good batteries. According to the builder the problem was with the wire used to make the plugs. Cheap Chinese stuff he told me. He also said he had to recall almost all the light sets he had sold because of this problem ( which I should add, no one else publicly complained of ). Just recently I found out the builder stopped selling lights. Not sure if this was the reason but I'm sure it must of had something to do with it.

    The problem comes about from pulling the connectors apart by holding on to the wires. Sometimes these connectors are quite tight so people naturally pull on the wire to get a better grip. Doing this can can pull the wires apart inside where they are connected to the connectors ( or else where for that matter ). The best way to prevent this is to use a better quality of silicon wire ( per Daniel ). I figure if you put a little silicon lube on the plugs and only pull apart by holding on to the connector heads themselves you could help prevent this from happening.

    If it does happen and the internal wire frays ( opens ) on the battery side you will think your battery died. If it happens on the light head side you will think something is wrong with the light head. Once again though, this is not something limited to MagicShine. Your only beginning to hear about it now because a lot people can afford the cheaper lights and thus more reports of failures.

    As for that report of leaving the battery in the car in the hot Fla. summer...A very big no-no as this will quickly destroy the battery. Believe me I know. I found out the hard way.

  45. #45
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    Wow! This thread read like a novel, very interesting, a bunch of very good points being made. From a consumer's point of view I can see the value in certain things and then from my position as a bicycle industry hack I can see other valid points. I am not even going to begin to argue one side or the other, I did however, like the good safety points some of you guys were making regarding carrying back up systems or torches - always a good idea, if not for you then at least for your buddy who forgot to charge his battery all the way up.

    A couple of points that were made brought up some things that I (we as a company at Baja Designs) are dealing with; one is the speed at which technology is moving forward in the lighting world, and second is quality of products/warranty coverage/customer service/race support and so on.

    As far as the first one goes, after much internal discussion, all Baja Designs systems (past and present) come with a Trade-Up Program to where if a person buys a current Strykr or Strykr Pro then somewhere down the line we come out with something ultra-awesome that he or she wants they can trade in their old system for 30%-40% of the value of their original Baja Designs light system towards the new light. That seems like a pretty reasonable way to deal with the speed of technological advancement. (I wish Specialized would do that with my bike or Fox with my fork - that would be sweet!)

    The second issue has to do with QC and the backing of product and the balance between low cost, performance, longevity, customer service, race support, and warranty back-up. This is where I get the Magicshine phenomenon, being the father of a small platoon of children myself I understand that generally the value/performance ratio is pretty high with those systems, and saving money where you can is a good thing, particularly when you consider how great a retailer Geoman seems to be.

    Baja Designs is an American company that supports independent bicycle retailers, attends races, advertises, takes care of its employees, etc., in this day and age we really have to excel at what we do. We have to design and produce a unique and a very solid product - at a moderate price, (not cheap but not expensive). Along with that we have to put our money where our mouth is, and to my knowledge Baja Designs is the only light company with a full life-time warranty on light heads, electronics, cords, mounts, and a two year warranty on the battery.

    I suppose my point is that there are numerous alternatives in bicycle lighting, ranging from low to high-end systems, not to mention the cool super small guys out there doing their own thing. Your lights don't have to be super cheap and they don't have to be super expensive. I do believe that they should perform well, last a long time, and have the backing of the manufacturer long after the sale. There are quite a few good light manufacturers out there, set a budget, do some research, understand your needs/aspirations, buy your lights, then go have fun! That's my two cents.

    Shannon

  46. #46
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    $78.70 for 3 years is not a bad deal.
    why you not try amazon for better quality one?

  47. #47
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    3 years will just fine

    Quote Originally Posted by randomcar View Post
    $78.70 for 3 years is not a bad deal.
    why you not try amazon for better quality one?
    But it did not last for a year...

  48. #48
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    oh...damit...
    do they have any fix warranty?

  49. #49
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    only for the first three month

    Quote Originally Posted by randomcar View Post
    oh...damit...
    do they have any fix warranty?

  50. #50
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    We do have replacement or fix warranty for FREE~!
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  51. #51
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    Having experienced the joys of well-designed Western lights and the pitfalls of a cheap Chinese light (the not so waterproof BikeRay IV), this is my take on things:

    Maybe the Chinese mentality is not like ours. Maybe the average Chinese guy considers himself lucky to have a bike light at all and will not be too nitpicky about its quality - after all, just yesterday, he didn't have enough to eat. And if you blow your entire monthly salary on a bike light, will you take it out in a downpour so carelessly?

    Here in the US, we, of course, are different. We are a bunch of terminally spoiled mofos. Our consumer economy has long passed the stage at which it was fulfilling our basic needs. Now it's catering to our whims. And one of my whims is that not only I want a light that puts out a gazillion lumes in a beautiful beam pattern, I also want it waterproof. And when it's not, I have a hissy fit.

    But the Chinese are becoming more and more like us. Their economy is growing increasingly more sophisticated. Pretty soon they'll catch up on design and quality. And when they do, I'd hate to be the one that owns Lupine/Light and Motion/Nite Rider stocks.

  52. #52
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    there's no reason why Chinese products can't be as high quality as anything built in the US or Europe, they're just the same as us. However, when you mix the desire to get something for very little AND the flaky corporate governance of firms in China, you get lower quality goods. For some, the lower quality is more than offset by the lower cost (and sometimes never even manifests itself, eg. the MS zealots/ deniers on here), for others, cost is secondary to reliability. There are a bunch in the middle though, that Bikeray, Gemini, Baja Designs etc are trying to serve.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    there's no reason why Chinese products can't be as high quality as anything built in the US or Europe, they're just the same as us. However, when you mix the desire to get something for very little AND the flaky corporate governance of firms in China, you get lower quality goods. For some, the lower quality is more than offset by the lower cost (and sometimes never even manifests itself, eg. the MS zealots/ deniers on here), for others, cost is secondary to reliability. There are a bunch in the middle though, that Bikeray, Gemini, Baja Designs etc are trying to serve.
    What's the saying? You can have good quality, performance or cheap. You can have any 2 but you can't have all three.

    J.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    What's the saying? You can have good quality, performance or cheap. You can have any 2 but you can't have all three.

    J.
    something like that An added caveat with Chinese manufacturers seems to be that they might agree a certain level of quality, make a 100 or so at that level, then cut back on quality (cheaper components, less QC) afterwards when they think the contractor might not notice.

  55. #55
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    I spend a lot of time in Asian factories. There is a big variance (more so than in other geographies) in quality and the presumption of it's importance. Some facilities are highly conscientious in their workmanship and quality. Others are all over the map. Others yet try and cut corners as you mention - some of the lead paint horror stories and pet food laced with melamine issues are examples.

    What I've learned from my career in manufacturing and all these plant trips is that the old saw about "you get what you pay for" has been proved time and time again.

    J.

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