flashlight/torch vs. Magicshine- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    flashlight/torch vs. Magicshine

    i would like to start trailriding at night, but i need some decent lights. i can't spend hundreds of bucks on a Niterider setup or anything like that, so i am looking at the magicshine stuff as an alternative.

    however, i like the idea of using two flashlights instead. i have been pursusing Deal Extreme for flashlights but they have so many lights that i don't know where to start. if i were to go the dual flashlight route (one on my helmet, one on my bike) what might be the best value on DX? i need something fairly bright that will last me for an hour or two.

    what are the differences between all those different kinds of LEDs? Cree XR-E, MC-E, SCC P-4, etc. what does all that mean?

  2. #2
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    I understand that you might like the idea of the flashlights and that some of the uber-flashlights are super bright, but you'll be so much happier on-trail with a light like the Magicshine...and definitely the MS if you're trying to be frugal. 3 hours, plus, in runtime, broad beam, simple attachment, etc... A bar light will do you fine, btw, don't be freaked out by the 4 million candlepower crowd.

  3. #3
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    XR-E and MC-E are both made by Cree.

    SSC is made by Soul.

    The Magicshine and the MTE P7 are basically the same thing, one being a bar mound light and the other being a flashlight.
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  4. #4
    Its got what plants crave
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    Flashlights are too bulk unless you get the smaller ones that don't put out enough lumens. I looked into them as well and the runs times and bulk were not good.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  5. #5
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    Get the magicshine.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Flashlights are too bulk unless you get the smaller ones that don't put out enough lumens. I looked into them as well and the runs times and bulk were not good.
    Too bulky? You got to be kidding! Do you own a P-7 torch? I could easily provide a photo to shoot this idea down ( if I had to ) but take my word for it, comparing size and weight to my Dinotte 600L ( light head plus battery )....The P-7 torch ( with extra batteries ) is the lighter ( less bulkier ) set-up. On high it puts out as much light as the 600L. A P-7 torch runs about an hour on high and three hours on mid-mode if you own a 5-mode. I'm not saying these are better than a good bike light just cheaper. ( $30 for the torch, $10 for two 18650 rechargeable Li-ion cells, $15 for the charger, $3 for a decent bar mount or make your own DIY mount. Two cells should be able to last you anywhere from 2-6hrs depending on how frugal you are with using the high mode. With mine, I use the mid-mode until I hit a faster section or downhill. On an average 2hr ride I have rarely needed to use more than one 18650 cell ( however I am frugal with the high mode ).

    Helmet mounting is another subject. Unless you have a good helmet for mounting a torch this might not be a good option. If that is the case I would suggest the MS 900 for the helmet. In my case I have a good helmet for torches. Right now the torch I chose to use for helmet duties in a WF-501B Ultrafire host with 3-mode SST-50 drop-in module. This is a nice compact torch ( 25mm diameter reflector ) and puts out about 550-600lm on high. Runs about a hour on high, 3hrs on medium ( ~ 200lm ). Works great. Another option some are using is the Uniquefire XP-G R-5 (R-4) torch series. I have a XP-G torch drop-in as well. The more I use it, the more I like it. Beam pattern depends on the model you chose but a XP-G torch runs for about 1.5-2hrs on high.

  7. #7
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    I took a Niterider mount, a piece of 1" Alum box tubing, cut one side out, mounted the aluminum to the Niterider mount. Perfect setup, used 2 orings to secure the torch to the mount. Plus you can remove it for trail side repairs. Toss a few batteries in your pack. I got about 1 hour on the hi setting you can easily run on med and still see.
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  8. #8
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    The bulky problem is not one of weight. Mounting a torch to the bars will break the mount on the first get-off and is only minimal cost savings over a MagicShine. Not to mention the cables will get in the way / push against the light when turning the bars. MagicShine is his best option.

  9. #9
    Its got what plants crave
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    An hour of run time on high sucks compared to the Magicshine. If I did my math, it came out to 58 bucks for the torch setup when you include batteries and chargers. You can buy a Magicshine and have the option to handle or helmet mount for maybe 20 bucks more, and you get 3 times as much run time on high. The light head is much smaller and the battery pack is minimal. What is a P7 torch.. like 6 inches long? To me that is just too cumbersome.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    An hour of run time on high sucks compared to the Magicshine. If I did my math, it came out to 58 bucks for the torch setup when you include batteries and chargers. You can buy a Magicshine and have the option to handle or helmet mount for maybe 20 bucks more, and you get 3 times as much run time on high. The light head is much smaller and the battery pack is minimal. What is a P7 torch.. like 6 inches long? To me that is just too cumbersome.
    600L + battery pack....6" long as well. Some people like the idea of a self-contained light source. A torch provides this. Yes, only 1hr on high but only takes about 30sec to switch out a battery if on the bars ( maybe a minute or two if on the helmet ) What you chose to ride with can depend on the need. In my case I own both types so I guess I'm lucky. I use torches for rides where I start in the day and end at night ( usually only need about an hour of run time when doing this ). I just make sure I have an extra battery and I'm good.

    If you routinely do epics than yes, a bike light system would be the better way to go. Even when I ride with my good lights I still usually only run them on mid-level unless I hit some faster sections. Like others have noted, I've gotten used to the idea of not having to deal with wires hanging off my helmet ( even though I have a really nice wired helmet lamp ). Unless I'm on a ride where I know I'll be needing the mega-helmet lamp (900lm) I leave it home and op for the SST-50 torch. Being able to remove your helmet without the hassle of wires is just so nice.

    Even though I have some nice bike lights more and more I find my self using only the torches. If they didn't work that good I wouldn't be using them. I LIKE being able to see what's in front of me at night. If I can't see 175ft in front of me on a moderate descent I'm not happy. On the other hand, coming down a mountain at 30+mph, I want the mega lights.

  11. #11
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    ... and if we just ...

    De colores, baby. Lots of choices. Of course, only my advice was correct.

    Anyway, ye of the flashlight ilk have some impressive specs on that P7 torch and I want to know which CHARGER you're using. I'd never stoop so low as to bolt a mere flashlight on my head, but I'd sure like to put together a badass unit like that for camping and whatnot. Besides, I might slap a light like that on my son's helmet... So spec it out, oh misguided lovers of flashlights!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    De colores, baby. Lots of choices. Of course, only my advice was correct.

    Anyway, ye of the flashlight ilk have some impressive specs on that P7 torch and I want to know which CHARGER you're using. I'd never stoop so low as to bolt a mere flashlight on my head, but I'd sure like to put together a badass unit like that for camping and whatnot. Besides, I might slap a light like that on my son's helmet... So spec it out, oh misguided lovers of flashlights!
    This seems to be one of the more popular chargers for 18650 cells > http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1251
    It uses a separate charging circuit loop for each of the bays. Not all the chargers offer this feature. The advantage is that this design makes sure each cell get the full charge. The DSD charger I use have two bays but only one parallel charging circuit. I never had a problem but I will get a new one with my next order. ( Link to D/X charger page ) > http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.401

    Now as to the statement:
    I'd never stoop so low as to bolt a mere flashlight on my head,
    Well no, I don't think I'd do that either as it would hurt like hell, BUT I would indeed strap one to my helmet if it were bright enough. Fortunately....they are...So, unless your last name is Frankenstein or you already have metal accessories bolted to your head, I'd op for the strapping to helmet idea.

  13. #13
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    Only problem I have with strapping a flashlight to my lid is the lack of a vertical pivot. (and I'm a snob and like to build crap for bikes)

  14. #14
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    I agree with Cat-man-do regarding the torches. I like self contained units and the ability to carry a few spare batteries with me. Even if the runtime is shorter for torches as opposed to bike lights like the magicshine.

  15. #15
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    don't forget to get a back-up light just in case

  16. #16
    what a joke
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    I use an Olight T25 as a trail side light and backup helmet light. I use one of the cheap rubber block/straps combo's to mount it to the helmet. Works well, has plenty of throw. Brighter would be better!!!

    http://www.olightworld.com/product_show.asp?id=162
    blah blah blah

  17. #17
    what a joke
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    Or maybe strap one of these to the bars as its to heavy for a helmet mount.

    Scroll to bottom of post for beam shots

    http://www.britishblades.com/forums/...midator-Review
    blah blah blah

  18. #18
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    I have been using an LED torch on the helmet for the last couple years now and they work great. Yes, I always carry a spare torch and battery, but they are so small and weigh so little that I forget I have them. I have used this set up for many, many night rides, including races...most recently the 24 hour burn (4 man team). In fact, for the Burn, I did my night laps with only ~230 lumen on my helmet and no bar light...no problem (two lap intervals). Maybe one day, when my lights begin to fail me, I will keep one as a backup and contact GeoMan for a Magic Shine, but for now, life is good with my very inexpensive setup.
    I no longer deserve a signature. :skep:

  19. #19
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    I think torches/flashlights vs prepackaged units are a personal choice. Personally, I'm in agreement with Cat-Man-Do: I like the cheap torches. If you take the time to read the reviews at DX, you can avoid the worst ones. Also, if you go for P60 hosts, you can mix and match and upgrade the dropins. A floody light on the handlebars and a small thrower on the helmet make an excellent commuting lights. And the price is about $100. I bought DX stuff almost a year ago and everything is still working.

    Agree about the chargers. I like the sku.6105 digital charger for 18650s. While many people want fast chargers, they don't realize that LiIon batteries should not be charged quickly. The batteries are cheap enough, just purchase spares.

    I love all my cheap DX lights so far.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    Or maybe strap one of these to the bars as its to heavy for a helmet mount.

    Scroll to bottom of post for beam shots

    http://www.britishblades.com/forums/...midator-Review
    Wow! That thing has to have more throw than almost any other light I can think of.
    Unfortunately the bezel diameter is about the size of a baseball ( 100mm ). Would feel like a brick if on the helmet and too narrow a beam pattern for the bars. Still, that torch shows the potential for any light build that can harness the lumen output of the SST-90 or 50 LED series.

    With a focused lumen output like the SR90 has, I'd be willing to go back to a wired (separate battery ) helmet setup if they could get the light head/optics/reflector in the 35-40mm diameter range. Judging from the runtimes of the SR90, running a mid-level in the 1200-1500 lumen range should get you about 3.5 to 4hrs using 6 x 18650's. I could live with that.

  21. #21
    GeoMan
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    That's an insanely cool flashlight, gotta love improvements in technology

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Wow! That thing has to have more throw than almost any other light I can think of.
    Unfortunately the bezel diameter is about the size of a baseball ( 100mm ). Would feel like a brick if on the helmet and too narrow a beam pattern for the bars. Still, that torch shows the potential for any light build that can harness the lumen output of the SST-90 or 50 LED series.

    With a focused lumen output like the SR90 has, I'd be willing to go back to a wired (separate battery ) helmet setup if they could get the light head/optics/reflector in the 35-40mm diameter range. Judging from the runtimes of the SR90, running a mid-level in the 1200-1500 lumen range should get you about 3.5 to 4hrs using 6 x 18650's. I could live with that.
    GeoMan
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