Magicshine MJ880U front light review£169.94

Easy-to-use twin-beamer

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Magicshine's MJ880U IS a tough, easy-to-use twin-beamer, and is still the light to beat for all-round practicality and performance at an affordable price.

The small, twin-LED head unit hooks neatly and securely onto the bars via a rubber Y-strap, and it helmet-mounts fine if you're willing cough up an extra £6.50. The battery is bulky but it’s not much heavier than smaller-capacity units.

The long lead means you can sit it right down by the bottom bracket, where the weight is insignificant and it’s got nowhere to slide or rattle. The permanently attached rubber straps and hooks mean it stays in place too.

The twin LED gets a 10 percent power boost to keep it just ahead on output compared with similarly priced lights. There’s less of the obvious gap between centre beam and outer halo though, which makes it easier on the eyes in already confusing conditions.

The backlit two-way switch toggles up and down the four-level sequence rather than round in a circle, which is really useful on the trail. There’s ample battery life even for epic rides.

The rubber straps, hardshell battery and neat head unit have proved as tough as hell in over a year of almost constant hardcore hammer in soaking wet, sub-zero and seriously rocky conditions.

The whole system is guaranteed for 12 months, but we’ve not had an issue with any production Magicshine lights over several years of testing.

Magicshine mj880u front light beamshot: magicshine mj880u front light beamshot
Magicshine mj880u front light beamshot: magicshine mj880u front light beamshot

Magicshine MJ880U beamshot

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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