Magicshine is known for its great value MTB lights, but it's been ramping up the power and tech in its recent offerings. The Monteer 12000 is the brand's most powerful light to date, but how does it fare out on the trails?
Design and specifications
Magicshine stacks five LEDs in the Monteer 12000’s aluminum lamp unit, combining a large central spot with four smaller angled units. The lamp has a simple on/off switch and you can toggle between the flood and spot beams or power up both.
To save you from reaching over to adjust, the light 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 dedicated mountain bike modes, but once sorted you can then toggle up and down quickly. To allow some further customization, Magicshine also has a dedicated light app for both iOS and Android. You do have to re-connect the light each time via Bluetooth and the app is a little clunky to use, but you can do a full custom-tune.
The lamp unit is mounted in a machined aluminum twin clamp, which straddles the front of the stem. It 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, so it sits relatively neatly against a frame tube and is secured via two Velcro-backed straps.
If you press the button on the side of the battery it illuminates a small fuel gauge. This has four bars, which roughly equates to 22 percent for each bar, with the last 10 percent shown as a flashing red bar. This isn’t as accurate as a percentage figure, but it’s a bit easier to see when in the saddle.
On the end of the battery pack is an input for the power cable and another for the Type C USB charging cable. The system comes with a 600mm cable and a 900mm extension in the box, alongside a plastic helmet mount and two mounting straps. So if you have the neck strength, you can run this beast on your helmet.
With its twin clamp, the Monteer 12000 is way more solid compared to the Monteer 6000, which uses a single-sided mount. This eliminates a lot of vibration and it’s also a hinged design, so you can attach it without moving the controls or grip. The fixing bolts are also on the top for ease of access.
By loosening the small lever on one side, you can pivot the lamp in the clamp on the trail – but unfortunately, we snapped this on our 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 beam pattern produced by the Monteer 12000 isn’t quite as smooth as some 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 Exposure's lights, but picking out the detail was never an issue. The amount of light on full beam is insane and you can see as far as you want and as wide as you want.
In tight trees and dense undergrowth, there’s quite a bit of bounce back, so I’d often ride in the medium 6,000 lumen setting in the trees and on the climbs. That way you can also extend the 2.2hr run time on full beam to over seven hours. The battery is big enough to do the whole of the night portion of a 24hr race on a single charge, but one of the downsides is it will take most of the rest of the day to recharge.
With so much power going into the lamp, it also gets pretty hot. To keep it as cool as possible there's an air intake at the front of the light and an exhaust port at the rear, as well as a couple of cooling fins. But if you’re worried, you can also monitor the temperature via the app.
The clamp design allows you to mount the lamp below the level of the stem keeping the weight low, but that tool-free adjustment needs swapping to be a bolt, one that you can replace easily if damaged. I’d also like to see wider Velcro straps for the battery and a more integrated system for the remote mounting.
With this amount of output for this amount of money, the Monteer 12000 is impressive. If you’re hitting 30-40mph down a gravel road at night, it’s got your back. However, from a purely practical point of view, toggling down to 6,000 or even 3,000 lumen will mean you get a much longer run time and you won’t have to battle the glare, plus that’s still plenty bright enough for all off-road night rides.
Tech specs: Magicshine Monteer 12000
- Price: $499.99 / £489.99/ €495.99
- Weight: Lamp 300g, battery 897g
- Modes: High, medium, low, eco
- Lumen: 12,000, 6,000, 3,000, 1,000
- Battery: 10,000 mAh Li-ion
- Run time: 2.1, 7, 11.5, 37hrs
- Charger: USB cable
- Contact: magicshine.com