More light, less cash.

The hedgehog isn’t known for dispassionate reviews backed up by serious real world testing by proper riders*. Which may explain why this one fails at the first hurdle of actually providing an in-use image of the product in question. There is, as ever, a great excuse for this small oversight – a) I forgot and b) it was dark.

The darkness was kind of key to the review. What with it being a nifty little light shipped to me by MagicShine to illuminate the seven months of the year which have a chunk of night riding involved. The control was my much campaigned Lumicycle XPG-3, which was mothballed while riding deep into the cloaking night of the Malvern Hills with the MJ-872.

First things first; the light unit itself. An impressively small unit, much finned but taking very little bar space. Secured with a simple O-Ring which proved stable under the most extreme pounding of rocky trails. Four settings step illumination up from ‘that’s adequately bright for riding’ to ‘wowser, I appear to be the owner of a night sun’. Simple up and down arrowed buttons on the back of the light unit switch between modes.

The back of the light unit also gives a visual indication of the battery status from a fully charged blue through green, amber and red. The manual isn’t very helpful on what this actually means in terms of potential endarkment, but stick in on any level other than the 1600 lumen max and it’s going to last well past two hours. The max setting is definitely a battery killer ,and aside from a quick blast in the spirit of enquiry, I left it well alone.

The four LEDs provide a very strong white light with a distinguishable spot punching out of a wide flood. Compared directly with the Lumi, the beam pattern seems a little narrower but in real world use, it wasn’t noticeable. Definitely bright enough, good spread of white light and solid on the bars. Hard to find anything to criticise other than my preference is to stick it on one setting and leave it there. Two modes would be fine, low and high.

The battery pack however is not quite such a triumph. For the start it’s a bloody monster festooned with a pointless tiny LED screen showing voltage. Since it’s strapped under the top tube and a visual indication of battery status is already provided on the light unit, it’s somewhere beyond pointless.

Secondly it’s enormous. Three times bigger than my lumi battery and an awkward shape with sharp edges aplenty. It’s secured with a strong velcro strap but I really struggled to find a space on my ST4 so it didn’t could the shock mount. I couldn’t shake the concern that if I stacked, I’d be in really danger of eviscerating a key organ while exiting the bike.

Charging with the supplied cable and plug is an overnight process. It’s nicely packaged, everything worked flawlessly under some nasty wet conditions. The light spread and output was nothing short of excellent, but the battery pack needs some work. Lose the voltage meter, package it in something more nut friendly and reduce the size by 50{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} and it’s a winner.

For the money tho – about a£100 – it’s an excellent buy. I know you can import these directly for less cash, but Magicshine were great to deal with and would look after you if you had any problems.

If I was in the market for a new light and they fixed the battery pack, it’d be hard to justify the uplift of the Lumi. In fact if they do sort out the niggles, I’d probably have one as a spare.

Full details can be found here.

* it’s not known for much really.

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