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Magicshine vs Stupidbright

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I purchased the Stupidbright SB2600 bike light set with the sealed 8800mAH battery about a month and a half ago for my Trek hardtail. I already have a Magicshine 1000, 1100 and a 1600 light on the bike and was looking for something to add to the mix for the long distance night riding that I do.

I had several questions about the light prior to purchase and was pleased with their customer service in answering my technical questions. When I purchased the light I told them that if it was up to snuff for the abuse that I heap on my gear that I would write a review of the product. When I told them that I already have several Magicshine lights they asked if I could compare their light to the Magicshine lights.

Design:

So for comparison’s sake it’s important to understand the differences in how these lights project. The MS 1000 and 1100 are of similar design of the SB900, that is that they are a single bulb with a large reflector. This projects the light downrange in a spot with a generally minimal spread from side to side. The MS 1600 is of similar design to the SB1600 which has several bulbs each with its own smaller reflector. This is a flood type of light that projects a lot of light all around and side to side but does not really throw a lot of light downrange. The SB2600 however is what I would call a hybrid between the spot and the flood. While it does not quite blast everything right in front of you like the MS1600 does, it actually lights up more downrange than the 1600 and throws well similar to the 1000 spot. My impression was that the way the reflectors spread the light around makes it a more balanced light for both road and trail use. It doesn’t have quite the ‘hot spots’ that the 1600 or the 1000 does which I have noticed with oncoming cyclists or pedestrians does not appear to be quite as annoying. So while yes the light is certainly quite bright on its high setting it spreads it around quite nicely. For my particular needs it’s important on the roads or paved trails that I can see the reflective clothing of pedestrians as well as various critters including deer and skunk. On single track downhill it’s important that the light both projects downrange but also lights up side to side when going around corners. The SB2600 is able to do both of these things rather than having the 1000 and the 1600 both running.

Fit and finish:

The SB2600 is a physically larger light than both the MS1000 and the MS1600 due to its five bulbs/reflectors. However it really isn’t much heavier. Its construction is stout with a tight-fitting grommet where the wires go into the light head. The battery is totally sealed and the plugs fit together well. I will ride in the rain I would expect not to have a problem with water intrusion with this light. The mount for the light head has a single screw that holds the bar saddle in place, the rubber in the saddle is installed correctly as well. It has been my experience with this kind of mount that sometimes the screw will slowly work itself loose over time. I carry plenty of tools with me always but I am thinking about dabbing a teeny bit of Loctite on the screw which should prevent this. Considering the abuse that I dish out it still works quite well. Now I never use a helmet mount so I can’t comment of those but as with the bar mounts I can tell you that the rubber bands that these come with are stout and I have yet to see one pop off on the trail nor have I seen one break. The cool part about having the rubber band is that you can quickly swivel the light head down for oncoming folks. When you mount the light use the smallest band that you can get to fit and the light will ‘wiggle’ less. Although I stow my batteries in a rear bag on the bike I have used that battery mount in the past and have not had a problem with it.

Runtime and battery life:

So a typical ride for me is anywhere from 50 to 60 miles that starts in daylight and ends well into the night and I would run all the lights on low from dusk for around an hour and then switch them to high for around 2 to 2 ½ hours to finish the ride. The SB2600 has the same lighted button system as the MS lights to give you an approximate idea how much power you have left in the can depending on what color is showing in the button. For the MS lights I am currently running the MS LCD 4400mAh batteries and the SB2600 has the 8800mAh battery. Both batteries have the exact same 18650 cells and are just wired differently for the different mAh outputs. I ran both types of batteries on the SB2600 for extended runtimes to compare them as well as compare the overall efficiency of the SB2600 compared to the MS lights. The first difference that I noticed is that the SB2600 button went to red sooner than I expected it to. With the MS lights, red means you have approximately 10% left in the can. After a couple of emails to SB they told me that once it goes to red you actually have anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes of runtime left on the head at full power. So I switched the SB battery with the MS battery and did the same runtime test on the SB2600 light. What I found was that the SB2600 actually can run about an hour or maybe more on high once the light goes red (on either battery), and actually the light is quite efficient for its output, in fact it almost as efficient as the MS1000 and way more efficient than the MS1600. I had no problem running this light on the lower mAh batteries.

Now all of these lights put out heat which can be an issue, here the SB2600 does quite well. On hot nights I would typically turn down the lights if I was going to be stopped for any length of time so that the lights do not overheat. In comparing the SB2600 to the MS lights I found that the SB2600 stayed considerably cooler than the MS1600 and as cool as the MS 1000. I would assume that this has something to do with the larger head case which equates to more surface area for the heat sink to dissipate heat from. This also probably helps for the lights’ efficiency as well as excess heat makes it harder on the batteries.

Durability:

As mentioned I am very tough on my gear and expect it to last. I am on an older Trek hardtail with front shocks that need replacing. The lights are mounted on areo bars which hang forwards of the handlebars. I have run this light down Edwards Loop single track in the Crockett Hills in the Bay Area, high speed rough single track at China Camp State Park in San Rafael California and three half-century rides from Concord CA to Livermore CA and back. Everything on the bike takes a pretty tough beating in these conditions and all the gear needs to stay on the bike and continue working. I will also ride in the rain and below freezing and will occasionally do 45MPH rides down Mt Diablo at night. So far this light is holding up fine with all the beating as there are no issues at all.

Overall:

I am pleased with SB’s customer service; the delivery was on time, the product works as advertised. It’s a well-balanced all around light for both road and trails. Its battery and runtime are as advertised. Even though I am a lumen addict I found this light to be pleasant on its low setting and quite adequate on its own using its high setting. For its price point and customer service it beats MS for sure. I am looking to replace the MS 1600 with the SB1600 soon and when the MS1000 and 1100 finally bite the dust I will probably replace them with the SB900s. Unless you have a light meter, no one is going to be able to tell the difference between 900 lumens and 1000 lumens. Having used MS for a number of years as well as cheaper knock offs, you can’t go wrong with this light.

Chris D

Concord CA



Discussion on Stupidbright 1 comments

*****Magicshine vs Stupidbright

CDoomed

CDoomed a month ago

12/2/15 UPDATE SB 2600 light.
I would like to report in the 2k+ miles I have ridden since I installed the SB2600 I have had zero issues with this light. The bike has gone down a couple of times and fallen over a couple of times with no ill effect. The light just keeps on truckin. I have told a bunch of people about this light and it's good value for the money. I find myself hitting the 2600 pretty often and running with just it on in big rides like East Bay Bike Party. It spreads nicely and people will think that there is a car behind them when it's only me!
Thanks guys, good deal.
Mr Doom

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