Bright bike lights on a trail or around town like high beams on a car and blinding oncoming traffic or cyclists. That’s one of the big motivations for the StVZO light requirements which enforce sharp beam cutoffs to focus headlights output on the road. Magicshine’s new ZX series of lights combine their familiar Allty and RN light series with a project lens that meets the StVZO requirements. The lights are currently offered in two variations: the $49.99 ZX StVZO and the $59.99 ZX Pro StVZO with 220 and 350 lumen output respectively. To achieve the beam cutoff required by StVZO requirements, the ZX StVZO lights use a projector lens that generates a sharp trapezoidal beam that focuses the light on the ground. Both lights also feature Garmin style mounting for quick installation an removal as well as USB-C charging ports.
The Magicshine ZX Pro and ZX headlights combine modern features such as Garmin mounts and USB-C with an StVZO certified output.
|Retail Price||$49.99 (ZX StVZO) / $59.99 (ZX Pro StVZO)|
|Rating||8.4 / 10|
|Measured Weight (g)||112 (headlight), 16g (handlebar mount)|
|Likes||+ Sharp beam cutoff thanks to projector lens|
+ Uses highly-compatible Garmin mount and USB-C charging port
+ Excellent side visibility with side cutouts on the lens
|Dislikes||– Limited runtime in the max-output modes|
– Beam is narrow particularly close to the front of the bike
|Where to Buy (US)||Magicshine |
15% OFF coupon code: “TheSweetCyclists”
The Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO and ZX StVZO both come in slick black and orange cardboard box with Magicshine’s bright graphics printed on it. Inside the box you’ll find:
- ZX Pro StVZO / ZX StVZO headlight
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Handlebar mount w/ different length straps
- Allen key for mount
- Instruction manual
The packaging uses simple folded cardboard dividers to keep everything separate and secure during shipping.
As with most of Magicshine’s recent front lights, the ZX StVZO lights utilizes a universal Garmin quarter turn style mount. The simple design utilizes a circular base with two tabs to securely mount on a variety of available accessories on the market. It’s a secure mount style that works on or off-road and is a big improvement over proprietary mounts other companies use. Magicshine also includes a simple handlebar mount (the same one that comes with the Allty and MJ-90X series of lights) with multiple strap lengths to accommodate aero bars and different diameter round bars. It’s our least favorite design as it requires an Allen wrench to install and carefully aligning the strap to first install the light. We’d highly recommend using a out-front-mount like the Topeak UTF mount which places the headlight directly in front of your stem. Note, due to the directional beam of the light you cannot mount the light upside down as that would create even more glare.
FIT & FINISH
Visually, the ZX headlight series shares the same design as Magicshine’s popular Allty and RN series of headlights. It’s a compact all-in-one style headlight with an integrated 18500 battery and one-piece aluminum. The standard ZX StVZO has 1400 mAh capacity while the higher output ZX Pro StVZO has 1600 mAh capacity. With the one piece aluminum body, the lights feels and looks premium with tasteful graphics printed on the side and a Magicshine logo on top. Note, the ZX Pro and ZX lights both have the same outer dimensions and design except for the “ZX” and “ZX Pro” side graphics. On the rear of the light is a wide rubber cover that conceals a USB-C port which is a nice modern feature and allows you to re-use your cables. Unfortunately, the ZX lights don’t appear to support USB C2C charging so you’ll still need a USB-A port to plug the light into.
One of the most striking features of the light is the projector lens on the front of the ZX lights. This is a curved lens that focuses the light onto the ground and creates a crisp and sharp beam cutoff. If you look directly at the lens you can see the single OSRAM LED behind the lens. This projector lens design is more commonly found on higher-end lights like the Lupine SL AF and LightSKIN NACA as it’s larger and more costly to integrate which is why we are impressed to see it on the Magicshine lights. In fact, if you put the 400 lumen Magicshine Ally 400 and 350 lumen ZX Pro side by side it’s clear that the projector lens adds quite a bit of length to the light despite similar outputs. To improve side visibility there are side cutouts on the lens that are illuminated when the light is on and ensure the light is visible even at four-way intersections.
There is a single button on top of the ZX lights which controls the single button user interface. If you’ve used any Magicshine lights in the past then the interface design will be very familiar. A single press with the light off illuminates the backlight on the button to indicate the current battery status. Unfortunately, there are only two indicated levels: constant green (21-100%) and constant red (0-20%). A long press turns the light on and off while a short press cycles through the different constant modes. Due to StVZO regulations, there are no flash modes on the headlights which eliminates the need for a second menu level. The lights also have mode memory which ensures they always turn back on in the mode the light was turned off in.
The Magicshine ZX Pro StVZO offers three constant modes: low (130 lumen / 4.5 hr), medium (220 lumen / 2.5 hr) and high (350 lumen / 1.16 hr). With the lower output ZX StVZO you only have access to the low and medium modes which restricts the maximum output to 220 lumen. If you’re wondering why there aren’t any flash modes, that’s because StVZO requirements do not allow for them on a front facing light. This is good and bad, as Magicshine is known for including extremely bright flash modes like the 8000 lumen flash on the Magicshine Monteer 8000S which can be quite annoying when switching between modes. On the other hand, the lack of a flash mode means you arer limited to using the less effective constant low mode for daytime riding.
What sets the ZX headlights apart from Magicshine’s Allty and RN series of headlights is the projector lens which creates a sharp trapezoidal shaped beam. As you can see in the beam photo, it’s a distinctive shape that focuses all the lights output on the ground. While we are impressed with the beam shape, even the ZX Pro StvZO’s 350 lumen mode is still not that bright. We wouldn’t recommend the ZX StVZO lights for riding at higher speeds as it’s just not bright enough and too narrow near the bike. The lower output is particularly noticeable when doing sharp turns as you’re often turning into dark sections of road. Instead, the lights are best suited for urban riding or commuting at slower speeds on bike trails or in high traffic areas. The sharp beam cutoff eliminates glare for oncoming traffic and you get about a car lane wide beam in the bright section at the end of the beam illuminating the road.
Overall, we found the Magicshine ZX StvZO and ZX Pro StVZO lights offer premium build quality and lens designs. Although the ZX headlights share the same one-piece aluminum housing with other Magicshine headlights, the addition of a projector lens creates a sharp beam cutoff that eliminates glare for oncoming traffic. The ZX Pro’s 350 lumen output is well suited for urban or commuters who travel on busy bike paths and has a crisp triangular beam shape. We’re happy to see Magicshine continue to use Garmin style mounts and USB-C charging ports rather than proprietary interfaces for the lights. The main negatives with the ZX StVZO lights is that the beam is quite narrow near the bike, which means you often turn into dark patches, and that runtime is limited in the higher output modes. That said, if you’re a commuter who wants a bike trail friendly headlight and usually travel at lower speeds and distances then the ZX StVZO headlights are a great option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Magicshine. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.