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Magicshine RN 3000 Front Light

4
£139.99

VERDICT:

4
10
Powerful light/powerbank at an appealing price, but let down by multiple design choices that detract from the user experience
USB-C charging and output
Garmin-compatible mount
Lock function
Two-year warranty, extendable by six months
Dazzling, unshaped beam
Nonsensical mode selection defaults
No high/low beam option
Mount only works on perfectly straight bars
Misleading power bank capacity
Weight: 
296g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Magicshine RN 3000 is a bright light that can double as a USB-C powerbank. But it's badly let down by the choice of modes, misleading battery capacity, a poor mount design (though Magicshine says this has since been updated and improved) and a wasteful, dazzling beam.

It should, on the face of it, be a great light. Packing 3,000 'verified' lumens (using the ANSI FL1 standard), with a Garmin-style 90-degree-turn mount and the ability to charge and be charged via USB-C at the 18W rate, it should be a winner. Unfortunately the real-world performance is a letdown.

> Buy this online here

Weighing nearly 300g, it's a hefty, compact and well-made light. The look and feel of the alloy case is premium, and the single rubber-covered button and USB-C port cover on the back are similarly nice.

It has a two-year warranty, extendable by six months by registering with Magicshine. It's IPX6 rated, so it's proof against 'powerful water jets' but isn't actually immersion-proof, so no you can't go bike snorkelling with it.

The power button is raised and is pretty tactile, with an audible/feelable click when pressed. There's a lock function, where a press of five seconds when turned off prevents a single-press turn on – handy for keeping the light in a bag without too much worry of accidental activation. A long press of five seconds allows you to turn it back on. Turning on is by a one-second press, and the light activates in the last mode used – handy.

There are four modes splitting up the two LEDs. Looking down at the light from the back, the left LED is a focused spot, while the right LED is a flood. Both LEDs have the upper quarter of the lens contoured with a serrated 'blinds' finish, which directs light downwards below the centreline of the light.

Magicshine states that there's an 'anti-glare lens design for road cyclists where the beam softens to avoid blinding oncoming motorists'. In practice this is not evident – at night I had to use my hand to shield the beam from oncoming road users to avoid flashes of frustration. This fact alone would mark the RN 3000 as completely unsuitable for on-road use.

When used off-road, the combined flood and spot beams make for a usable amount of light for riding fast on twisty trails, and on fast gravel roads. The balance of light down the road versus up close is good, but you really need the beam pointing almost horizontal – meaning there are a lot of wasted photons shooting up into the trees. Compared with the 2,000-lumen Light & Motion Seca Comp I was testing at the same time, there was actually less usable light.

Mounting woes

Adding to the lack of usable light is the fact that – on this test unit anyway (Magicshine tell us the mount has since been redesigned) – the mount holds the light perpendicular to the mounting point on your bar. The mount looks good on paper, being a copy of the ubiquitous Garmin quarter-turn. It comes with four rubberised fixing straps of varying lengths, allowing the mount to fit bars up to 135mm circumference – including pretty deep aero bars.

2021 Magicshine RN 3000 Best Bike Venture Light - handlebar mount.jpg

Swapping the straps is pretty easy using the provided 3mm hex key. There's a little metal barrel-nut you'll need to be careful not to lose.

The design of the mount means that it clamps the bar tightly, but it's set at 90 degrees to the clamp spot with no hint of left-right adjustment that most lights have, so even a few degrees of bar sweep will point your light out to one side or the other.

Also, the quarter-turn design means that for the light to be installed the mount needs to be at least 40mm clear of any other bar furniture – computer, GPS, e-bike display, phone, and so on. On my e-mountain bike with a Bosch Nyon display centred over the stem, this meant the only place the mount could go was about 8cm out from the centre of the stem, where the bar was already tapering and sweeping. Therefore it was impossible to get a centred beam.

Adding to the mount woe is the fact that the Garmin-style click fit is great for computers weighing 90g. But not for lights weighing over three times that, which are also trying to shine a narrow, accurate beam a hundred yards or so out. There's just enough play in the mount-light interface that at speed over anything other than glass-smooth tarmac the beam jumps up and down, vibrating in a most distracting manner. I'm not seeing how the light having a male Garmin connector is a bonus here. If you have a Garmin mount on your bike – on the bar or an out-front mount – chances are you have a Garmin you want to put there. And again, it was designed to carry a sub-100g load, not three times that.

As I said, Magicshine tells us the mount has since been improved – it's been upgraded to alloy, and is 'more stable and fixed', though I obviously haven't been able to test it.

Mode selecting

For cycling at night, one of the most useful functions a light can have is the ability to switch between high and low – which many lights these days support. A single press of the button switches between full power and low power – particularly important if you're passing another road or trail user and the light isn't StVZO-certified not to dazzle them. High/low is also useful for conserving battery when switching from descending to climbing.

Unfortunately with the RN 3000 you have to click through all four brightness steps to do this – so if you're in full-brightness high mode, you can press once to drop to low, but you then need to press three more times to get back to high. This is time without a light at the brightness you need and, critically, hands off the bar, faffing with a button. And if you miss the setting you're aiming for, you need to go round again.

Similarly, swapping between the single spot/single flood/spot + flood/both flashing settings is by a double-press on the button, but if you are in high in any of these, a change of setting drops the power to the lowest step. This is most annoying when swapping from flood to spot when trying to conserve battery near the end of a ride, yet wanting to use the correct amount of brightness.

Charging and run-times

Charging the RN 3000 is advertised at 2.5hrs for 5V/2A input, but I found a full charge took more like 4.5 hours. Input power at USB 5V was 7,300mAh giving 36.5 watt-hours – which is why the claim the battery is 10,000 mAh needs to be understood clearly. The claimed 10,000mAh is at the battery cell's 3.6 volts – or 36 watt-hours (Wh) as verified above. Once the energy is stored, it allows a run-time on full of 1hr 40mins before the green button turns red – signifying 20% or less. The red starts flashing just 7 minutes later, signifying 10%, and the beam dimmed, shutting off 10 minutes later.

The claimed full-power run-time of 2hrs 10mins is therefore rather optimistic, and the fact that you can be green but that's anywhere between full and only maybe a quarter-hour of usable light left is another major issue I have with this light.

Handily, it's possible to charge the RN 3000 while riding with the light on – for example, from a dynamo hub via a USB converter – so you can use it as a light and still arrive at your destination with a charged powerbank. Although, as with discharge, you have no idea how full it's getting until it stops charging and switches from red to green.

2021 Magicshine RN 3000 Best Bike Venture Light - charging port.jpg

Those 7,300mAh hidden inside can be used to charge devices via the USB-C port, but the actual usable output is only 5,700mAh at 5V, because of the inefficiency of upconverting the 3.6V battery cell voltage to USB's 5V. That should give you about one-and-a-half to two full charges of a modern phone, if you don't use any power for lighting, obviously.

The RN 3000 is stamped as capable of a 15W/3A output at standard USB 5V, which I verified with a digital load. If your device supports fast charging, the RN 3000 claims to support USB Power Delivery specs of 9V at 2A or 12V at 1.5A.

Value

The combination of wasted light, multiple button pressing, a vibrating beam, off-centre mount and annoyance of other road users all adds up to a poor user experience in what should be a premium light. Magicshine UK lists the RN 3000 at £139.99, though if you buy it direct from the global site it's £120, including shipping and taxes. Even factoring in that low price for 3,000 lumens with powerbank capability, it's still not a good purchase in my view. Unless you didn't care about blinding others, riding by a vibrating beam, only used it on a dead-straight bar, didn't have other handlebar stuff nearby, and were happy with multiple button presses every time you changed modes.

If you need powerbank capability and a fair whack of off-road trail-friendly brightness, Stu really liked the £199 Ravemen PR2400. While it retains a few niggles and costs £60/£80 more, the pivotable quick-release mount and remote switch as well as more road-user-friendly beam shaping goes a long way to answering my concerns with the RN 3000.

> Buyer’s Guide: The best 2021/22 front lights for cycling

Likewise, Liam really liked the Knog PWR Mountain Kit, which brings a ton of features to the 2,000 lumens-plus-powerbank game, albeit for £219.99.

Magicshine has missed a big win here – getting 3,000 lumens into a powerbank product for under £140 (or £120!) is a real achievement. Unfortunately the execution of delivery has really let the promise down. If it sorted the mount (folks – a rubber strap is fine), shaped the beam lower so as not to waste power and annoy others, and sorted out the button's display of charge levels and mode selection, I'd be singing its praises as a five-star product.

Verdict

Powerful light/powerbank at an appealing price, but let down by multiple design choices that detract from the user experience

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Magicshine RN 3000 Best Bike Venture Light

Size tested: 3000 lumens max

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It's for people needing a lot of light and the ability to charge other things.

Magicshine says:

Application: Urban, Road, Off-Road

RN 3000 is a powerful bicycle light that utilises two 21700 integrated batteries with 10,000mAh super high capacity. It is equipped with two super bright and power efficient LEDs, with a maximum verified output of 3,000 lumens. Maximum run time up to 62 hours, best choice for long-distance cycling and extreme challenges. Anti-glare lens design for road cyclists where the beam softens to avoid blinding oncoming motorists. Side lighting for better side visibility.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Magicshine lists:

Lumen : 3000

Beam Distance : 263 M

Battery: 3.6V 10000mAh

Charging :3.5 h full charging time. USB-C charging and discharging

Waterproof: IPX 6

Runtime: 2.17-62 H

Weight:279 g

Locked /Memory Function

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Feels premium with solid build quality.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
5/10

The multiple button presses and nonsensical default modes really detract from the user experience.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
2/10

Awful – unless you have a dead-straight bar, in which case it's marginally less awful with the vibration and quarter-turn distance restrictions.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

Can't complain – it stayed functional despite exposure to rain.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

Not as accurate as described.

Rate the light for performance:
 
5/10

The waste of light means it's not as bright as it should be, matching 2,000-lumen competitors.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Feels very solidly built.

Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10

Sub-300g is about right for this capacity.

Rate the light for value:
 
4/10

It should be amazing value – especially as you can actually get it for £120 – but the overall experience degrades markedly.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Poorly. The beam shape, modes and mount add up to a constantly annoying experience.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The powerbank functionality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Mode switching, beam shape, mount.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Very sharp pricing – it's easily £80-100 cheaper for the lumens delivered, but...

Did you enjoy using the light? Nope

Would you consider buying the light? Nope

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Nope

Use this box to explain your overall score

The price is great, but it's let down by the mount, mode selecting, and beam shape.

Overall rating: 4/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 183cm  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe  My best bike is: Nah bro that's it

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L

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