Magicshine offers great value lights with a ton of features. The big deal with the Monteer 12000 is the amount of Lumens it produces – 12,000 on high beam, making it one of the brightest bike lights out there.
I think there is an unofficial arms race among light manufacturers to make the most powerful light on the market, and with the Monteer 12000, Magicshine is currently king of the hill. This is one of the brightest lights we’ve ever tested, but at just under £500, the cost per Lumen ratio is also one of the best out there. The question is, does all that power make it one of the best mountain bike lights on the market?
Design and Specification
Housed in the lamp unit are five LEDs, combining a large central spot and four smaller angled units. The lamp has a simple on/off switch and you can toggle between the flood and spot beams depending on your requirements, and obviously run both if you want to scare the wildlife. It also comes with a bar-mounted remote, which is already bound into the light. There’s a little bit of sequencing to access the different options, requiring you to double-press the remote to go from the flashing modes to the mtb modes, but you can then toggle up and down. Magicshine also has a dedicated light App, which allows you to further modify these settings. You do have to re-connect the light each time via Bluetooth, and it’s a little clunky but you can do a full custom set-up depending on your preferences.
Due to the weight of the lamp unit, it’s held in a machined aluminium twin clamp. This is not only stiffer than the single mount we saw on the Magicshine Monteer 8000, but it also reduces some of the vibration experienced with this previous model. It’s a hinged design, so you can attach it without moving the controls or grips, and the fixing bolts are on the top so you can access them easily. The lamp pivots in the clamp by loosening the small lever on one side – but unfortunately, this broke on our test sample. There is a small hex bolt on the opposite side that does a similar job, but how long this will last is unknown. The twin clamp fits 35mm bars out-of-the-box, but shims are provided for smaller bar diameters.
The cells that make up the 14.4V 10,000mAh battery are all housed inside a durable plastic case. This has a slight profile on the base, so it sits neatly against a frame tube. There’s some foam padding to stop scuffing and movement, and it’s secured via two Velcro-backed straps.
If you press the button on the side of the battery it illuminates a small fuel gauge. It has four bars, which roughly equates to 22% for each bar, with the last 10% shown as a flashing red bar. This isn’t as accurate as a percentage figure, but it’s a bit easier to see when riding.
On the end of the pack is an input for the power cable and another for the Type C USB charging cable. Magicshine doesn’t include a plug, but it’s partially understandable when this product is sold worldwide. The system comes with a 600mm cable, but there’s also a 900mm extension in the box, a plastic helmet mount and two extra straps, so yes you can run this up top.
There is a little bit of set-up with the App, but this light is pretty much plug-and-play. The amount of light on full beam is insane and reminds me of the Cateye Volt 6000 I tested several years ago. You can literally see as far and wide as you want. The beam pattern isn’t quite as smooth as some though, and there is a definite hard edge between the flooded areas and the spot beam. It’s not quite as white or as crisp as the Exposure lights, but with so much power on tap, picking out detail is not an issue. But is it too bright? In tight trees and dense undergrowth, there’s a lot of bounce back, so it is worth opting for the medium 3,000 Lumen setting, because you get less glare and seven hours run time, while it’s only 2.2 hours on full beam
It does take quite a long time to charge the massive battery, and with so much power going into the lamp it does get pretty hot (you can actually monitor the temperature). To keep it cool there is an air intake at the front of the light and an exhaust port at the rear, as well as a couple of cooling fins.
The alloy clamp feels solid and allows you to mount the lamp below the level of the stem to keep that weight low, but that tool-free adjustment probably just needs to be a bolt, that you can replace. I’d also like to see a wider Velcro strap for the battery and a more integrated system for the remote mounting.
With the Monteer 12000, you can literally ride as hard and as fast at night as you do during the day, but that’s something I’ve also said about lights with a third less power. If you toggle down, you will see a longer run-time, making this perfect for racing 24hr events, but for most night rides you can easily get away with a lot less in terms of brightness, weight and cost.