As I have alluded to previously, I got a new light for riding. Actually, my wife ordered it for me after realizing that I’ve been gimping along with subpar lights. I’m a lucky guy, having a great wife AND a very bright light!
This new light blows everything I’ve ever tried out of the water. The new light is a Magicshine 900, rated at an incredible 900 lumens!
Now, something weird is going on. Last night, I went to the site where Sarah ordered the light, and I saw this:
GeoManGear has temporarily discontinued sales of Magicshine lightsets due to our concerns regarding the quality of Magicshine’s lithium-ion battery packs. We are working with the manufacturer to quickly resolve these issues and will begin selling Magicshine products again after we have obtained a high-quality battery pack for our customers. If you wish to be notified when we have new Magicshine or comparable lightsets available, please click here to place your name on our waiting list.
I have sent them an e-mail asking for more information. And I really hope that my batteries are not affected, or that there is a solution, because this light is amazing, and promises to expand my night riding capabilities. Interestingly enough, I have read quite a few reviews of this light, and most of them have been very positive, not mentioning any battery problem. So I wonder what’s going on.
In my living room, I did a couple of unscientific tests comparing this light to the two other brightest lights I have, a Planet Bike Blaze 2W, and a Cygolite Hi-Flux 100. On low, the Magicshine is about equal in brightness to the other two lights. On medium, it ‘s about twice as bright. On high, it’s so bright that I had to check to see if the other lights were even on.
The beam pattern is also quite useful on this light. It has a bright spot in the center, but it’s not as tight as the Blaze (a good thing — I think the beam on the Blaze is too tight). The Magicshine also projects light out to the sides, and above and below the main beam. In practice, I have found that I can focus the brightest part of the beam about a block away, and have the road directly in front of me illuminated quite well also. It’s incredible. The beam pattern will be immensely useful for mountain biking, though I haven’t tried that yet.
So, you can see why I hope there will be a good solution to whatever battery problem there may be.
The day the light came, I did a brief test ride through a couple of neighborhoods and parks. I was amazed at how well I could see. I was able to ride a lot faster than I could with my old lights. Plus, it was a beautiful, clear, starry night and I loved riding along under the stars.
Last night, I did a longer test of about 16 miles, west of town. It was dark before I even left the house. I found traffic getting out of town a bit sketchy, but once out in the country the roads were incredibly quiet and beautiful. I saw a cat, a skunk, and some cows … and I think an owl overhead, though it was out of the corner of my eye. It was a hilly route, and I even hit about 34 mph — in the dark — without ever feeling out of control. Wow. There were some choice moments rolling under the stars, with a crescent moon and Jupiter also visible.
I was a little nervous about this ride with the hills in the dark in a sort of wild area, thinking maybe I should have done something shorter, but I loved being out there; it was over too soon. Traffic was much less of a problem on the way back, so maybe it would help to start my night rides a little later, after traffic has died down more.
Right now, I cognitive dissonance is getting to me. My experiences with this light have been amazing so far, but obviously I am concerned about the battery packs. I’ll post updates as I figure out what’s going on.