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Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO front light review

StVZO light designed for daily commuting

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0
GBP £45.00 RRP
Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO front light

Our review

The Magic Shine ZX Pro StVZO is a cheap StVZO-compliant front light, but it’s best used as a light to attract attention, with a restrictive beam and low power output combining to limit its real-world utility
Pros: Good build quality; StVZO compliance; low price
Cons: Restrictive beam and low lumen count combines to limit utility; lack of peripheral visibility; short beam reach
Skip to view product specifications

The Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO is a compact light which conforms to StVZO standards in all three of its modes.

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It’s designed for road riding and daily commuting, and is best used as a light to attract attention rather than be employed to light the way ahead.

On that front, if the budget is tight and you need StVZO compliance, the ZX Pro StVZO may be worth considering.

However, it’s not without notable flaws and you may be better off spending a little more money for more power or a better beam.

Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO specifications and details

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The Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO features StVZO compliance across all three of its modes.

The high mode delivers a claimed 350 lumens, which Magicshine says puts up to 100 lux down onto the road (‘lux’ being the unit of measurement of light falling on a surface), while medium and low modes produce 220 and 130 lumen outputs respectively.

The slim body attaches to a Garmin-style twist-to-engage mount, with an Allen key-fastenable strap mechanism not unlike that seen on the Magicshine RN3000 light.

One central rubberised button on the top of the body controls power and cycles through the three modes.

The same button also acts as a battery indicator, with a full beam run time of claimed to be 1 hour 10 minutes.

The light housing is cut away slightly at the sides to provide some additional side-on visibility at junctions.

As is the case with almost all lights of this size, the battery is integrated. It comes complete with a USB to USB-C charging cable.

Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO performance

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The ZX Pro StVZO has a fix-and-forget handlebar mount. It comes with straps of different lengths to work with a variety of different bar shapes and sizes.

Unlike the similar RN3000 version, the end of the strap is moulded with no metal bolt-through nodule to lose.

This allows you to position the bracket loosely on the bars, freeing up both hands to position and tighten it via the Allen bolt.

A Garmin mount attaches the light into position. This has the additional upside that you could use the light with your existing Garmin mount if space allows.

It doesn’t allow any rotational adjustment, so once fitted all you get is up-and-down movement. This stops the light being shone directly in front as you have to mount the light to the side of the stem.

Theoretically, you could use one of Garmin’s stem strap-on mounts for a central mounting, but in that situation you’d have to live with the orientation of the stem itself (which is, more often than not, upward).

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The lack of adjustability would be less of a problem if the beam was broad. However, it’s so narrow, it’s difficult to get the light immediately ahead of you in order to illuminate your path.

The low power is partly the cause here, alongside the shaped tunnel-style StVZO beam.

One of the points of this light is its sleek proportions and simplicity. For that, there’s no issue – it’s very easy to use and doesn’t take up much space on the bars.

However, I needed to use the light exclusively on the 350 lumen mode to see by, the others proving too dim.

I also had little reason to change modes when my goal was to be seen. The lower modes are capable of attracting attention at night, but as none flash in a disruptive manner thanks to the StVZO regulations the light conforms to, I stuck to the 350-lumen mode for peace of mind.

To be clear, Magicshine markets the ZX Pro StVZO as being able to “[light] the road ahead with proper road etiquette”, as opposed to simply attract attention.

On the highest setting the reach of the beam is short and is less than an average lane wide. At the furthest point it has a bright stripe across the top of the pattern and from there it narrows in width and fades in brightness back to the bars.

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I also found the narrowing crop makes turning into dimly-lit junctions a nervous affair as it doesn’t light the apex of the corner enough.

Curiously for those who don’t have to live with StVZO regulations, the lack of lumen output in combination here means that even if it weren’t StVZO compliant, there’s arguably not enough power to dazzle another road user anyway.

In short, the ZX Pro StVZO is better positioned as a light to be seen with, rather than a light to see by. In that regard, its best utility is as a light for riders who ride lit streets (and require StVZO compliance).

All this said, the lack of brightness is balanced somewhat by the low £50.99 asking price. There’s no doubt that this is an affordable light – one you might buy as an StVZO-compliant emergency backup for a more powerful front light.

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The USB-C charging cable that comes with the ZX Pro is sturdier and easier to engage than micro-USB, and is future-proofed seeing as the USB-C protocol is set to dominate in the EU by the end of 2024.

The rubber cover that protects the charging point on the back of the light seals easily and doesn’t catch or accidentally come out.

Plus, kudos should go to the slim, lightweight proportions, while the overall build quality and finish of the alloy body and plastic bracket is good.

Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO vs Sigma Aura 80

Russell Burton / Immediate Media

I’ve also tested the similarly-specced Sigma Aura 80 in the past, and this could be a better option If you need StVZO compliance and are looking in the low-cost, small-size arena.

For a few extra pounds, that light delivers a brighter lozenge-shaped beam (although Sigma doesn’t quote lumen ratings), which fills closer to the bike.

It’s still very much an urban light, but for the reassurance of a fuller beam I recommend paying the extra.

Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO bottom line

Russell Burton / Our Media

The Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO seems like a good deal for its £50.99 price tag, and it packs in some good build quality and simple functionality.

Primarily, it can be used as a compact light to attract attention, although the lack of flash mode may limit its appeal to only those subject to StVZO regulations.

The restrictive beam and low power output combined means that if you want a compact StVZO-compliant light to see by, there are arguably better options even at a similar price.

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More power for a higher asking price would be a desirable compromise to increase the ZX Pro StVZO’s practicality.

How we tested

Front bike lights are essential accessories for your bike if you intend to ride at night, in dark and gloomy conditions or simply want to be seen more easily on your regular rides.

Here, we’ve focused on a range of the latest lights that either conform to StVZO regulations, or incorporate some kind of technology or feature designed to reduce glare. 

Lights on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £45.00
Weight 130g
Brand Magicshine

Features

Features Run time (full beam): 90 minutes
IP rating: 6
Battery capacity: 1600mAh
Modes: High, medium, low
Integrated battery Yes
Light type Front
Output (lumens) 350