- 4 / 5 Bee's Knees -
It's an absolute monster! One online source tells us that a typical single low beam from a car headlight produces 700 lumens while a high beam may produce 1,200. So, when your Grandma is behind the wheel of her Buick Regal circa 2003, she's casting maybe 1,400lm onto the parking lot pavement near that Old Country Buffet. Actually, she's probably pushing closer the 2,400lm because let's face it, she never seems to know when her brights are on. This will all come together I promise. MagicShine may have to join Grams at the loony bin because they are crazy for stuffing 8,000 lumens into what is the brightest bike light I've ever tested and most people will ever see. ...see what I did there? There's more fun at other peoples expense, read on.
Whether this light kit, which includes the massive front light and proportionally dwarf taillight, was designed more towards road or MTBing I don't know. But I can and will tell you where I think it excels in just a moment. Like its much smaller brother, the MJ-902, and all its siblings of similar design with different outputs and beam patterns, the 908 also contains the same basic accessories and hardware. Although the battery is slightly larger than others and the cable ends have different ports to prevent mixing and matching, the concept remains the same. The battery can be Velcro attached to any bike tube. A "Y" cable is optional for a dedicated front light setup but required when using the rear flashing light. There is no USB recharging here, only a brute-force AC charger for this hungry beast.
Besides the obvious, this model has a slightly different strap for the light housing which is both more sturdy and provides additional stopping points for custom tension compared to the 902 for example. This setup is both better and worst than other mounts in various respects. For one, this light did not seem to be affected by light jittering or bouncing like the Eagle F3 I reviewed which has a much more beefy mount. In the same manner, the smaller strap system saves a lot of space over other setups. Where it wasn't perfect was over long term use. After descending some rough trails, the light would slowly pitch itself lower and lower over the course of maybe 5 min. This meant that you'd have to somewhat frequently adjust the angle of the light to achieve an ideal beam pattern. This minor issue isn't exclusive to the 908 and isn't a deal-breaker, but a more solid mount should be used for a light of this size and caliber.
Operation is a breeze. Just like the 2,000, this model is controlled independently at each light or from the simple-to-use remote. An added feature is the LCD readout display atop the light housing. Showing the batteries remaining charge in terms of time and a wheel indicating which mode/intensity you have selected, a cyclist can ride with confidence knowing how long they can stay on the trail before loosing light. There is one complaint about the display and that is its angle. Once you pitch your light to an angle that is appropriate for your beam placement, the angle of the display is so shallow that you can't read it without leaning over it. It's unlikely that you'd need to glance at it more than a couple times a ride, so I don't loose too much sleep over this shortcoming.
Output, I'll say it again, it's an absolute monster! All of the settings are completely usable for any style of riding. Burning the light on full blast is too enticing, you won't want to do anything else. Runtimes are also decent afforded from the 6 pack battery. While the Eagle F3 remains my favorite beam pattern among MTB lights, the 908 has so much intensity that light reflects around the objects you cast it on and fills up a wider area than what comes out the front. In a perfect world, this light would still be a bit wider and maybe just a touch taller as well. This light is definitely overkill for road riding and therefore I feel it should focus all of its attention on catering to MTBing. As I mentioned in my unboxing video, the flash setting is a huge mistake. First, the flash setting has no business being organized directly after the high setting. While riding on high, you'll have to pass the flash setting to get back down to low. Don't you dare try this while descending a trail, it is very disorienting and dangerous. The flash is equally pointless for road riders. At 100% intensity, the flash setting will blind drivers and will most certainly disorient you as well. For any riding style the flash must go. If it needs to stay it should be isolated, accessed by holding the button down for 3 seconds or something of that nature and the intensity should be under 1,000lm.
Few criticisms right? Between the Eagle F3 and this 908, I've had more fun reviewing bike lights than I've ever had. So, go on down to the loony bin, say hi to the MagicShine crew and thank them for the brightest light you'll ever need. While you're there, visit with Grandma, show her your new toy. Maybe if she's nice to you, you can help her weld her wheelchair back together with this absolutely searingly bright monster. You'll never be able to go back to your old setup.