Best sub $100ish bike light

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Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby Scammer » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:33 pm

Hi guys, there seem so many to choose of these 1 billion lumen bike light out there it's hard to choose! Any reccomendations in the $100 or less category? Like the idea of the separate and rechargeable battery packs mated to a 1000+ lumen (often seem to be Cree) bulb/reflector unit as I'm planning for it to be used more for seeing than being seen on some longish night (Road) rides and to be able to mount it on my bars or helmet would be a plus. Any products or brand reccomendations would be great,
Cheers!
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by BNA » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:19 am

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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:19 am

BNA Review of a Xeccon S14 1000 lumen light coming shortly. A compact commuter / road cyclist light that lights up well, put this onto your list as a serious consideration in your price range..... More shortly on BNA.
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby vance.heredia » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:27 am

How do the cateye rechargeables compare to the 900 lumen magicshine from lighting up a path
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby r2160 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:01 am

I just picked up one of these:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/p7-waterpr ... -set-82509

Seems like brilliant value for money. I have been using it for three weeks now and it has been performing flawlessly.

cheers
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby Scammer » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:25 am

Thanks for the help so far guys, has anyone tried these?
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/170767370718 ... 1423.l2649
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby familyguy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:23 am

http://dx.com/p/trustfire-tr-801-cree-q ... 8650-13095

They have a 5-mode model and a 1-mode version. I have one of each. Two torches, 4 protected batteries, a charger, adapter plug, and a couple of velcro mounts, pretty sure it all came out sub-$60.

Jim
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby konazz » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:49 am

What's the difference between the one posted above:
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/p7-waterpr ... -set-82509

And all of these which cost more (and also, which one of these should I choose?)
MagicShine HA-III SSC P7-C (SXO) 3-Mode 900-Lumen LED Bike Light Set - $75.48
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ha-iii-ssc ... -set-25149

HA-III Cree SSC P7-C (SXO) 5-Mode 900-Lumen LED Bike Light Set (4*18650 included) - $75.80
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ha-iii-cre ... uded-30864

MagicShine MJ-808 HA-III SSC P7-C (SXO)3-Mode 900-Lumen LED Bike Light Set - $77.77
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-808-ha- ... -set-44459

MagicShine MJ-808E HA-III CREE XM-LT60 3-Mode 1000-Lumen LED Bike Light Set (4x18650) - $72.83
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-808e-ha ... 8650-57100

They all essentially look the same???

Also - if i got the torch + sku 12000 strap, can I use Enloop rechargables, or does it have to be the Trust Fire Protected.
Can you charge protected batteries in a Maha MH-C9000 charger?
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby familyguy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:58 pm

konazz wrote:Also - if i got the torch + sku 12000 strap, can I use Enloop rechargables, or does it have to be the Trust Fire Protected.
Can you charge protected batteries in a Maha MH-C9000 charger?


Are you referring to the ones I posted? If so, think of 18650 batteries as a AA battery on steroids. They're longer and thicker. Unless Eneloop make an 18650, then no, you cant use them in the torch I linked to. Protected ones have cutoff circuitry in them (I believe) that lets them not get over or under charged. If they do, you may as well bin them so I'm told. They also need a dedicated charger to take the 18650 size batteries.

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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby MattyK » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:05 pm

@konazz:

The basic difference is that Magicshine has become something of an established brand, not just a lowest-price knockoff.

To a point they will all be similar, but there may be manufacturing quality differences. For example, early Magicshines were notorious for things like poorly applied heatsink compound - which means they will run hotter than ideal, and consequently not as bright. The quality of the cells used is also debateable, what protection they have (to overcharging and full discharge), their lifespan, waterproofness, and so on.

I've found the cables to be the weak link, as you have to unplug them both to charge the battery and to stop the indicator LED draining them. The plugs are very tight (well sealed) and pulling them hard too often cracks the wires. Use two extension cables in between (or an extension and a Y) so you break the $3 parts first.

The MJ808E with the Cree XML is the latest version, this emitter is slightly brighter than the Seoul P7 (probably not notable in the real world). Minor differences between the others are the battery pack (sealing) and the inclusion of a helmet/head mount.

By the way all of these (I have two MJ-808s) are really dazzling and blinding to oncoming traffic. You won't make friends on the road or the bike path.
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby MattyK » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:47 pm

AUbicycles wrote:BNA Review of a Xeccon S14 1000 lumen light coming shortly. A compact commuter / road cyclist light that lights up well, put this onto your list as a serious consideration in your price range..... More shortly on BNA.

Been done?
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby wombatK » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:53 pm

MattyK wrote:@konazz:
By the way all of these (I have two MJ-808s) are really dazzling and blinding to oncoming traffic. You won't make friends on the road or the bike path.

And their high power drain means you'll be lucky to see out the 3 hours run-time they claim. Earlier P7 Magicshines get nowhere near the claimed running hours. And they just die completely - no limp home mode. First one I ordered was DOA, and googling will show there's been lots of quality issues. It's very hard to recommend them.

I'll second the TR-801 recommendation. They're cheap, have a limp-home mode, and it's easy to carry a spare battery (or two) to extend the running time. Buy 2 or 3, because you'll find they're handy to have around the home or car etc.,.
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby Scammer » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:10 pm

Soooo, not worth going magicshine just because it has a bit more known branding?
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby r2160 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:19 pm

I have been really happy with my magicshine lights. I did have an issue with a cable on my headlight, after two years of use.

It still works, but I have been too lazy to replace the cable. I bought another one, including a new battery and charger for $43.

cheers
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby find_bruce » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:24 pm

I am betting the features you want are "cheap" "bright" and "reliable". The sad news is that you only get to pick 2 out of 3.

The only thing to remember with the cheap chinese lights (magicshine, other clones & flashlights) is that the poor quality control means that you are playing the chinese lottery.
The problem is that no-one can tell you just how reliable a particular light is - you will hear lots of positive reviews because for most users, me included, the light will perform flawlessly. A minority will have a dud, either the battery or lighthead dies early. A lucky few will get a front row seat to a spectacular demonstration of the sudden release of potential energy.

The advantage of the torches is that any flaws can be fixed fairly easily.

Best advice I can give you is to think about the other features you want - brightness, number & type of modes (ie do you want a flashing & if so, which one) The flashing modes for torches tend to be either SOS or rapid, seizure inducing flashes, whereas on bike specific lights the flashing tends to be slower.

For me the other important feature was a waterproof battery - it would seem that a lot of the flaws are the result of water ingress, so I would be looking for a battery like one of these
Image or Image

An most importantly not one like this
Image

Which reveals yet another joy of the chinese lottery - the picture on the website does not always match the product & most, but not all, now come with the rubberised battery

The other issue with the lights is that the chargers appear to be a bit ordinary, so I replaced the standard charger with a hobby charger - I paid about $20 & it charges both the magicshine battery and my 18650 torch batteries.

I almost always ride with two independant lights, so that, like WombatK says I can get home if one fails. My choice is a magicshine on the bars & a torch with an xml led on my helmet.

The best $10 I spent was on a wide angle lens which changes the beam pattern
from Image to Image
You will be more visible to traffic coming across you from an angle & any oncoming traffic will thank you for it
Image
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:45 pm

MattyK wrote:Been done?


Thanks for the link... actually wont read this until after I publish my review so I am not influenced :)
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:07 pm

Review Now Up:Xeccon S14 1200 Lumen Bicycle Light

Thanks find_bruce, great info.
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby MattyK » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:27 pm

"1200 lumen" - pure fantasy :roll: (515 as measured in the test I linked. Chinese lumens are notoriously smaller than real ones)

If it's anything like the magicshines (and it clearly is), those "fiddly" plugs will soon turn into broken wires after a season or so of regular plugging and unplugging.

Also, whilst I have no doubt you'll be seen with this (people avoid pulling out on me at least 10 seconds ahead), it would be good to have some review of the perception of the beam/glare to an oncoming observer.

Anyway, nice review, though it's difficult to review reliability, which I would rate as more important than just about anything.
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby wombatK » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:44 pm

MattyK wrote:If it's anything like the magicshines (and it clearly is), those "fiddly" plugs will soon turn into broken wires after a season or so of regular plugging and unplugging.

I think that's a bit premature. The magicshines looked great value when they first hit the market, and it was months
down the track before the durability issues turned up in various forums. Xeccon are giving budget minded buyers
another option.

A shortfall with the magicshines has been water ingress. While Xeccon claim "excellent waterproof design", that's not as
convincing as certifying compliance with international standards - like the IP 68 rating that Ayup's have. So you've
got to assess whether that's important enough - you could buy 3 of the Xeccon lights for one Ayup twinset.

Cheers,
WombatK

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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby jasonc » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:20 pm

agree with find bruce's comments

I have the magicshine with this battery:

Image

2nd year using it and it's still going well. would love a 2nd head with a y-splitter (current emitter has an orange peel flector, so would love the second to have a smooth reflector to give me the best of both worlds (have book-marked the wide-angle lens anyway). the battery pack has a display and now states 8.4 max rather than 8.6/8.7. but all that's doing is affecting the life - which I'm still comfortably getting 5 mornings out of. so after 2013 winter will contemplate replacing cells.

worth also noting that the battery above weighs 350 grams. the headlight weight is 150 grams. so it is heavier.
Image
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby MattyK » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:06 pm

wombatK wrote:
MattyK wrote:If it's anything like the magicshines (and it clearly is), those "fiddly" plugs will soon turn into broken wires after a season or so of regular plugging and unplugging.

I think that's a bit premature. The magicshines looked great value when they first hit the market, and it was months
down the track before the durability issues turned up in various forums. Xeccon are giving budget minded buyers
another option.


Hence the "if"

A shortfall with the magicshines has been water ingress. While Xeccon claim "excellent waterproof design", that's not as
convincing as certifying compliance with international standards - like the IP 68 rating that Ayup's have. So you've
got to assess whether that's important enough - you could buy 3 of the Xeccon lights for one Ayup twinset.

Cheers,

I've had zero water ingress on a three year old set that is commuted every day.
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby vance.heredia » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:48 pm

Just ordered a S14 from Flashlightbox

terrible online shopping cart

will update and let everyone know how it goes
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby vance.heredia » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:22 pm

update to my experience -

Hellen from Flashlightbox has been amazing to deal with.

Offered me an upgrade to the next gen version "SPIKER 1206" to try out for an extra USD10

will update as things progress
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby konazz » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:27 pm

I couldn't find the S14 on flashlightbox

(edit never mind found it)
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:30 am

I was chatting Andy from FYXO who has the Xeccon S12 on stock and he is offering BNA forum members a deal.

$70 + postage, on checkout enter: BNA
This is a $9 saving and here is the link: FYXO 1000 lights

As simple as that (Thanks Andy) and best if I suggest an expire of August 11, 2012 and subject to availability.

--

I discussed the light on these and whether they are really 1200 Lumens (S14) or 1000 Lumens (S12) and he said I could post his comments.

Andy FYXO wrote:I dont have a device to measure brightness but they are stupidly bright. A friend said he had to check his Ayups were on when he combined them with my light. Whatever the actual brightness it's brighter than anything I've used, maglite torches included.

The lights are the same brightness on MEDIUM setting as the Knog Gator 600s on full and I get a consistent 3+ hours use on full, 12+ on medium.


Cheers
Christopher
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Re: Best sub $100ish bike light

Postby konazz » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:28 pm

Chris,

any idea how the S12 would compare to the S14?

I know there's less 'lumens' - I'm more interested in build quality.

Shame the website isn't working. Are the in Australia (i.e. Australian warranty?)
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