Looking to extend your riding season, or simply a way to spice up that local trail, give night riding a try! Light systems have come a long way in recent years with the development of better LEDs and the progression of battery technology. Magicshine’s Monteer 6500s Zeus MTB Headlight was designed with the serious trail rider in mind. With a max output of 6500 lumens this light is designed to bring those steep switchbacks, berms, and chunky rock gardens to light even in the darkest of nights.
The light’s head unit features a Mil-spec machined alloy construction with a built in smart thermal control system, and heat dissipating fins all carefully engineered to increase heat transfer and aid cooling during use. This head unit mounts to a stout alloy bracket that uses a Garmin insert, and fits both 31.8 and 35mm bars. A single button on top of the head unit controls the output of the three 4000 lumens flood LED’s and the two 2600 lumens spotlights. Easy to press with gloves on, that same button doubles as an indicator for the battery level: Flashing red: 0 to 5% or “It’s about to get real dark out here” Red: 6 to 20% “You better pedal faster” Green: 21 to 100% “plenty of send time, go for it!” Running the light at full power should net you 1.5 to 2 hours of after dark ride time, and in lower power modes Magicshine claims a life of up to 40 hours. There are a variety of modes on offer to ensure you’ve always got the appropriate output level for the situation.
The battery pack is a 7.2V 10,000 mAh 21700 that’s compact and easily mounts on your top tube or downtube depending on your frame size, via two heavy duty Velcro straps. The battery features an easy-to-read charge indicator and recharges via a USB C cable. The USB-C PD system allows for the same port to offer power bank capabilities to charge your devices when the light isn’t in use. The head unit and battery connect with a quick-release cable, and the whole system is IPX5 rated to handle the typical low pressure water attack of a rainy day or puddle splash.
Mounting the head unit bracket requires a 3mm Allen key as opposed to a quick release type mount, adding a little time to the setup, but the trade off is a very steady light that does not bounce. I purposely hit bad lines trying to get the light to move and am pleased to report it stayed exactly where I set it the entire ride. I must admit I had my doubts if the velcro straps would be strong enough to keep the battery pack from moving around or bouncing, but the pack stayed perfectly in place too. I found the quick release cable system a bit tricky to connect the first few times, but it also stayed in place once I got it on right. I would recommend maybe getting a few electronic cable management ties (bread ties) to help keep the cable from flapping loose between the pack and head unit.
On the trail, the 280-meter light distance was a huge help in setting up for features and the wide flood area of the light really lit up switchbacks, almost to the point where I began to question if I would even need a second helmet light for cornering like I have used in the past. The light is evenly spread and does not have a notable “bright spot” like some other lights on the market. After a few hours of non-stop use, the housing did get hot, but not to the point where I was worried about it. Battery life is acceptable, with the brightest mode only being reserved for the most technical of descents, and the lower power modes allowing the life to be extended enough for an after-work mission.
With a tough head unit with a bright and clear light output; solid mounting methods and a robust battery with decent run time, the Magicshine Monteer 6500S Zeus “outshines” (yeah sorry, had to do it) many of its competitors offerings in the $350 US price bracket.
Price: $ 349.99