- 4 / 5 Bee's Knees -
Lately I've been spoiled. Garmin sent me out their latest and greatest, so did Bryton, then MagicShine sends out nearly 15,000 lumens worth of lights. Just for fun I mounted every product to my MTB simultaneously and blazed down the trails at Amity Creek at full intensity. It was ridiculous, it was a blast, I'd do it again. One of those lights that powered my way was the 2,000lm MJ-902. Both massive in output and tiny in footprint, this light was worth testing where it's most at home (on the road), but also in a more punishing arena (single track trails).
Because the 902 is so compact and offers a wired taillight, its road worthiness is mostly a given. Although the system weight isn't entirely low, the light housing is small enough to be a fun-sized Snickers bar. This provides at least two advantages. For one, the compact size doesn't prevent you from mounting other accessories to your handlebar such as a GPS bar fly. Second, the size makes the light inherently light weight which prevents it from shaking or jittering. The mount style for this light uses a simple strap with two positions for added fitment and tension. A thumb tab is missing which would make removal and installation much easier. Beyond that, the base of the light is well padded and the system stays put. Again, there is nearly no light movement.
MagicShine has given riders the option to run the headlight by itself or with the rear light connected via a "Y" cable/splitter. These connects are firm, maybe even a little too firm but I suspect the cable ends will break-in with some use. Operation of the lights can be achieved in two ways, both of which are very intuitive. You can either cycle through each of the front or rear light settings via the button located atop each respective light or you can utilize the simple remote switch which can be strapped to any tube-like surface. When running the headlight by itself, the remote seems pointless. If you are also running the taillight however, or if you have placed the light in a location where it is harder to reach _ say on top of your helmet _ the remote is ultra convenient. A somewhat compact battery pack consisting of 4 18650 batteries seems like a good balance of runtime and conservative size. Charging is accomplished with a traditional AC charger included in your soft clam-shell case.
Now that I've put a fair amount of time behind the light I can safely say that the 902 is more at home on the road than on the trail. A relatively tight beam pattern keeps light in a focused wedge that projects far down the street. For road riding, there is proper width and surprising intensity. For mountain riding, this light is not ideal but certainly works none-the-less. Trails become a little narrow and quick turns can be a bit dangerous as you are prone to overrun this light. The rear light isn't overly bright, it must consume very little power because I'd guess its output is no more than 20lm.
My loyal readers know my aversion towards road lights that require cables, battery packs etc. I've commuted long enough to know that there are simpler solutions with adequate output. That being said, for riders who feel that they need greater output, there aren't many options for all-in-one units over 900lm. This is where the MJ-902 does succeed quite well. By keeping all the components as small as possible, it embraces a minimalist design as much as it can while offering an output that all-in-one units can't touch. I can't find much to criticize with this light. The only thing I can definitely come up with is the lack-luster flex straps used for mounting each of the lights. With a little more engineering these could be better. Otherwise, the MJ-902 is a powerful bike light system that feels mostly geared towards road riding or the weekend hobbyist MTBer.