Are expensive bike lights a rip off?

Doomanic

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I use cheap Chinese crap from eBay; Solarstorm X2 and another that I can't remember the name of. When I first got them I thought they were awesome and then I went for a ride with a group who all had Exposure Maxx-D lights. It was like mine weren't even turned on! :ROFLMAO:
The batteries were pretty rubbish; ok for helmet use, but not enough run time for use as main lights so I bought a better battery (also from eBay) and it was a huge improvement.
 

Zimmerframe

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Jun 12, 2019
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I run some cheapo's too. They're absolutely amazing - especially compared to nothing :)

I actually hate riding with them to be honest as it doesn't even feel like the same trails, interesting seeing the comparison, light spread, colouring and so on makes you realise how they actually limit what you're seeing so much. Might retire them and turn them into a work/bbq lights ..

Can we have a follow up video on Helmet light to go with it ? or looking at the cable length, some of those would work on a helmet too ?
 

jbrown15

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
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I bought a Magicshine 8000 and that thing turns night into day. It makes night riding so enjoyable. two of my buddies have bought them since.
 

RickBullotta

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Jun 5, 2019
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USA
I have both some premium lights (Lupine Wilma and Piko) and some handmade lights (TrailLED). Both are good in different ways. The TrailLED ones have been bombproof and throw an absurd amount of light and long runtime.

Check out the Darkstar that I use quite often:



Darkstar.jpg
 
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Pdoz

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Feb 16, 2019
1,112
1,204
Maffra Victoria Australia
It's nice to see a light comparison with the camera settings standardized - but surely your viewers deserve the down hill time comparisons for each .

How about a forum poll for who the rider should be ?

Gary ( no helmet lights, but it'd be entertaining and honest)
Zimm - the crash test series
Steve - my bet is he brings along a normal torch and shows just how much the bike tax sucks
 

mehukatti

Active member
Apr 25, 2020
104
111
Finland
Can those cheap bike lights be upgraded when new leds become available and can you get spare parts 10 years from now? I have a Lupine Betty from 2013 that had 3600 lumens. Just upgraded that witha brand new Cree XM-L3 led board and got it bumped to 4800 lumens. Also bought a fresh battery from Lupine.
 

RustyIron

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Jun 5, 2021
1,425
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La Habra, California
Can't say I'm a fan of the expensive lights. But there's no doubt the quality of workmanship is superior to the Chinese knockoffs. The batteries are generally nicer, too. The Chinese like to use batteries in a nylon sack that's held by velcro. They still haven't mastered Western Style Craftsmanship.

In the video, I don't care how nice the expensive light was, I don't want a big beer can hanging off my bars. I like smaller lights, no bigger than the original MagicShine. Also, one light is bollocks. I require one light on the bars, and one light on the helmet. Perhaps I'm just not a good enough rider to ride tech in the dark at speed with only one light. Whatever. One is none, two is perfect. Another benefit is if you crash, smash, soak, or otherwise destroy a light, you're not left riding in the dark.

Attached is a pic of my favorite light. It's bright, the beam is neither too spotty nor too floody, and it's super small. It's GREAT on my helmet. I can't get it anymore because of restrictions on sending lithium batteries from China. The strange thing about Chinese lights is that you can buy one today, and six months from now, it's unavailable. Their companies come and go and there's no consistency.

Rob, you mentioned something about putting a lot of lights on your bike. Last year I did that because I thought it would be cool to look like Jimmy in Quadrophenia. I only have four batteries, but that was enough to peg the silly meter.



sku_285659_1.jpg
 

Doomanic

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One is none, two is perfect.
I used to do deep scuba and rebreather diving where one is none, two is also none and three is better than none. I feel the same about bike lights so run two handlebar lights and one helmet light. All have the same mounts and battery so are fully interchangeable if one fails.
 

Doomanic

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Two of these on the bars;
One of these on the helmet;
 

Gary

Old Tartan Bollocks
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Been mtb night riding for 30years and along the way have used everything from homemade diaphoric bulbs mounted in plastic plumbers pipe housings and nicad frame mounted batteries to super expensive (at the time) branded LED and HID lights.
Currently I own a 3200lm magic shine Eagle system, a couple of solarstorms with custom liion packs (one is permanently mounted to a helmet only used for night rides). A Chinese cree with similar custom liion battery. A bike hut 1600 which is my most used light- lots of commuting on and off road, sub 3hr road night rides and occasional helmet mounted use off road. And a few rechargeable cheapie bar mounted 250-500lm band on bar lights for pub/commute/kids/loaner use.
I have a ridiculous amount of rear LED lights, and LED arm/leg/foot bands too.
Despite looking like a human Christmas tree on my way home since the clocks changed. so far this week I've had 11 near misses by blind cunts in cars pulling out or cutting me up with no indication or pedestrians stepping out to cross in my path without looking and no warning. Fun fun fun *sigh*

@Pdoz the one situation I do usually wear a helmet a whole ride is night mtb riding.
A bar mounted light alone (no matter how powerful is pretty awful off road compared with helmet mounted.
 
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Doomanic

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I've still got my original MTB light set somewhere in the garage. It was a pair of bar mounted lights with a 6v lead acid battery in a frame bag and it was freaking awesome! For the time. I can't for the life of me remember what it was called though.
 

Gary

Old Tartan Bollocks
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I've still got my original MTB light set somewhere in the garage. It was a pair of bar mounted lights with a 6v lead acid battery in a frame bag and it was freaking awesome! For the time. I can't for the life of me remember what it was called though.
Lumicycle?
 

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