Magicshine Bike Lights Review

Once in a while you come across a product that changed the way you go about your sport. This time, it’s a literal very-shiny-shiny piece of kit bought for one activity, but comandeered for another…

These Magicshine lights, called numerous names, but specifically called the MJ-808, are designed for off road mountain biking, but mine came with a free head strap. So imagine my surprise when this £80 light turned out to be a star on a recent night bimble on the slopes of Snowdon. The model below is the one used, and the only drawback with it is the battery that has some issues with being waterproof… Simple solution. Buy the new waterproof battery and i’m sorted.

The light chucks out a claimed 900 lumens of light, but like tog ratings on duvets which the regular user will rank as toilet paper thin, warm, toasty, i’m nearly done; 900 lumens is probably ‘gerrroff that buger light from my eyes ‘fore i lamp ya’ sort of bright. Battery life, compared to a usual walking headtorch is a measly 3 hours on full beam, but that’s like comparing whiskey with water. Agreed, you’ll need a second battery for £40, which isn’t cheap but has to be regarded as essential if you’re going to go out after dark in serious terrain. I’m pretty certain as well that had this been available on my ML assessment night nav, they’d have laughed me off the mountain and told me i was taking the pi*s. It’s also too heavy for running, making my trusty old petzl appear rather wan. If you look at this link then try and spot the difference. It does look very similar, and some might cry “clone”, albeit a much cheaper alternative. If it is a copy, then i do feel sorry for Lupine, but then if it’s a case of £80 v £350 then in these tough times, i’m going to put that extra £270 towards some more shiny shiny (and probable imminent redundancy fund) even if I know which one is likely to last the longest.

Unfortunately, my camera isn’t waterproof, so photies are to follow. Just Google them and you’ll see what they’re like. For those who want to use them on the bike, they’re usually compared to lights costing four times the price i paid. If you’re willing to buy from China, then they’re even cheaper… I’ve had to go out and buy the daddy of cheap lights, the Magicshine MJ816 – ‘Mickey Mouse Light’. You’ll be glad to know that the nickname is down to appearance and not performance as it chucks out 1400 lumens (officially) – though reports online state that it’s less than that. TBH – it chucks out a sh*t load of light, and combining the two above should make winter evening rides a pleasure. Using the two lights will improve depth perception as well, so i can go even faster than my usual walking pace. No more sudden braking as you bump into dog walkers in black with no lights.. All I need now is a dog egg detector, you tend to need a strong stomach to clean off the mudguard after pootling on the cylcle trails near here. I can’t even think how it would be without the mud guard.

One thing’s for certain, if the smaller light isn’t much cop for running, whacking this monster on your head would make you look like:

Yes, I’m old enough to remember…

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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