If you're after a high performance customisable light, the MagicShine Monteer 5000S might be just what you're after.
The last time I strapped a battery pack and light to my bike, 700 lumens was an industry leader. But the output of the Magicshine Monteer 5000S has a maximum power output of 5000 lumens that would hold fast for two hours.
Unboxing the Monteer 5000S, it was a bit of a case of less is more. There is a head unit, a battery pack and USB charger and USB/micro USB charging cable. The mounting hardware features a Garmin-compatible twist-lock device, with several different length mounting straps for differing bar widths.
On the scales, the weight of headlamp is 127g, battery pack 304g and mounting hardware 16g for a total unit weight of 447g; not ultra lightweight, but very reasonable for the 5000 lumen output and endurance of the unit (the comparable Exposure 5000 lumen light the SixPack MK11 has an integrated battery, weighing 386g, but retailing at over $700). The Monteer 5000S claims a 265m beam distance, something that was a bit difficult to measure in this review but is impressive nonetheless.
The Monteer 5000S features multiple settings and burn times, with fifteen different power settings between the flood light (top three lights) and spot lights (bottom two lights) and both together. This ensures the unit is very versatile as an urban commuter light, yet has oodles of lumens spare for technical night riding. The light also has a memory function for those who frequently ride the same terrain and don’t have varying needs: when powered on the light will return to the last used setting.
A battery-life indicator is green at 21-100%, red 6-20% and <5% flashing, this could be more accurate, but it was useful and reassuring.
The unit was easy to mount as a handlebar light, however, the battery took up some real estate along the top tube. This is pertinent especially if looking at ultra endurance racing and running frame bags or bento boxes for supplies, with 60cm of cable you could potentially stash the battery within a frame bag.
The length of the cable means that there is no problem running the battery either in a jersey pocket or hydration backpack. Helmet mounts are an optional extra, available on the Magicshine website, as are extra battery packs for those looking to maximise output for a long duration with charging intervals (ie: 24 hour racers and bikepackers).
My experience on an overnight ultra endurance event was a positive one: without a spare battery pack I selected the maximal output that would last the ten hours of darkness, according to the burn time in the manual. This meant using the flood lights without the spotters on low, with a guaranteed burn-time of 13 hours and 900 lumen output; enough for an all-nighter even in winter.
I could have risked it for the biscuit with with both floods and spotters on low (1250 lumens), but that would have cut us short at 9:30hrs. In the end, when it came to 9 hours in and the light was still showing green on the battery indicator I jumped up to the big setting on the flood lights at 3200 lumens, which lasted several hours and into the daylight; much longer than expected when reading the literature from Magicshine.
While the output I used at 900 lumens was fine for the terrain I was on (fireroad), riding with other riders using battery pack swap outs it was clear that by choosing the less battery-intensive setting, the Monteer 5000’s output was significantly lower; it will be interesting to test again over the duration to see if the brighter settings exceed their stated burn times.
For fireroads and technical trails that aren’t pushing the limits of battery endurance for 10 hours the higher powered outputs were the best and brightest clear light I have experienced; and Magicshine offer even higher powered outfits in the Monteer 6500S and 8000S models. Gone are the days of wildly flailing around singletrack half blind with the equivalent of a candlestick on your handlebars. The Magicshine Monteer 5000S brings the daylight 24/7, so there’s no excuses not to ride!
Inexpensive for a high powered light system
Multiple settings for any ride duration
Easy to use, versatile with extra battery options
Well made and durable
Battery takes up some real-estate