If you're like us, during your poorer university and post-grad days you would have to make do with whatever equipment you could afford. Long sleeve cotton tee shirts sufficed over summer jerseys well into December; flashlight attachments for hunting rifles latched precariously onto our handlebars. Now that you can afford Castelli or Assos winter gear, isn't it time to upgrade that bike light too? The NiteRider MiNewt.600 Cordless Light has an economy of space that makes it painless and easy to use, but it cranks out more than enough light to keep you visible on unlit roads. In fact, the 600 lumen output makes it a capable light for off-road use on singletrack trails.NiteRider builds their all-in-one headlamps as a way of giving the nighttime rider the best of both worlds. Since it's cordless, there won't be any irritating wires or battery cables to fuss with. It's entirely self contained, and the tool-less quick release mounting means that you can have it ready for use at a moment's notice. The output is impressive for such a small package, and it can run on the 600 lumens high setting for 1.5 hours. As with its little brother, the MiNewt.350, this stronger MiNewt.600 has three additional settings: 400 lumens medium level that lasts 3 hours, 250 lumens low level that lasts 4.5 hours, and what NiteRider calls walk level which can give you 10 hours at 100 lumens. With this version of the MiNewt, you have the option of mounting it on your handlebars or your helmet. The helmet option is great for those times when you need to be hands free, like changing a flat in the middle of the night.The MiNewt.600 comes with a low battery indicator so that you'll know when it's time to recharge the unit. Using the NiteRider smart charger will make the process simple, and the integrated Li-Ion Battery takes 5.5 hours to charge. The unit can fit on all handlebars up to 31.8mm in diameter. Weighing in at 190g the NiteRider MiNewt.600 Cordless Light is a perfect option for no-fuss, rapid mounting onto the handlebars. Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout - over 50 bike lights reviewed, photographed and measured here.
Weaknesses: Battery won't hold charge reliably. Unforetunately I bought the light during the summer, but when it came time to use in fall (after daylight savings), it didn't work and I lost the receipt. The batteries can be "overcharged", but if you leave them uncharged for a long time, like the "off season" if you are a commuter in the north, they can't be recharged. The technology is not reliable
Do't buy the niterider brand. I have two ibn my garage thay don't work, that's about $400 of useless lights.
Strengths: Nice beam - very evenly distributed with no artifacts. Lights the trail or street nicely. Compact design, each to unclip from the handlebar mount. I like that you can leave the mount on and just disconnect the light unlike some other lights that you need to take off the rubber band mount. Makes it very convenient for commuting. I also got the helmet mount which is great for night mountain biking. I put this on my helmet and my 1000 lumen light with the external battery on my handlebars.
Weaknesses: There are 2 things I think need to be improved. First, the handlebar mount is not very secure. I have 31.8mm handlebars and the clip only closes to the first click. I'm just waiting for it to crash to the ground one day when I hit a bump. I recently ordered the mount for the new light Niterider just released to replace the MiNewt Cordless which is supposed to be much better.
Second, needs a more precise battery meter. The power button turns red when you have about 15 minutes of light left. If you're not careful, you can end up with no headlight in the dark. I have another brand light that every 20% the power button changes colors so you know when you get to 80, 60, 40, 20.
Overall, I really like this light. Great for the price, built extremely well and NiteRider has amazing customer service.
Strengths: Killer spectrum and nicely focused beam.
Fast to charge.
Long run time relative to size, weight, and lumens.
Weaknesses: The pads on the bar mount are just a bit too thick for 31.8 mm bars, so it takes some modifications to get the mount on solid enough to keep the light in place.
I find a single, well-focused LED, with a good spectrum, beats multiple LED lights any day. Two 300 lumen lights just isn't the same as one good 600. And the particular LED they use in the 600 is just a cut above in terms of spectrum as well. On the lowest setting, 275 lumens, it blows right through my MiNewt 250. I just bought a second 600 to replace the 250 on my bars, and the first thing I did was to charge it up and see how it compared to the last year's model. It looks identical.
The one thing Niterider did poorly was the handlebar mount. The pad is too thick, so it's really hard to get the thing clicked on tight enough to stay in place. I used double stick tape with a thinner pad on the bottom half to get the mount to really work right. Once I did that it worked great all last winter. I tried the new one and it's better, but it still needs to be thinner to fully engage (3 clicks). At this point it's just kind of funny that in all these years they've never managed to put in the right size pad, or even come up with a better handlebar clamp.
One the flip side, the helmet mount is fantastic. Best I've ever used. I like the clips in lieu of the more typical Velcro attach. The slide attach works so well that I find I can typical put the light on easily without take the helmet off. And the mount itself is so innocuous that I can just leave it on the helmet all winter.
Strengths: Bright, well made light unit. easy recharging.
Weaknesses: The POS handle bar mount
I have finally had it with this mount, it wont even stay in place on my commute to work, let alone on a trail. Road bike or mountain bike. This was my second niterider light, the first was a trail rat 2.0, it was a good light but had some issues also, but after this light I will not be buying another niterider product.
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2012
Strengths: Excellent company and product. The warranty is also excellent. The clasp on the mount broke off after about 2 years of use and I called NiteRider and since the mount falls under the LIFETIME warranty they quickly sent me a new one. The customer service was great and the product is tough, durable, and effective. I've dropped it several times and it still keeps going. When I'm not biking I use it in lieu of a flashlight because the light is so powerful and clear.
Excellent company and product. The warranty is also excellent. The clasp on the mount broke off after about 2 years of use and I called NiteRider and since the mount falls under the LIFETIME warranty they quickly sent me a new one. The customer service was great and the product is tough, durable, and effective. I've dropped it several times and it still keeps going. When I'm not biking I use it in lieu of a flashlight because the light is so powerful and clear.
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2012
Strengths: Light, easy to use, good mounts included, fast charger, good battery life.
I use this on my helmet for night trail riding. It really is the only light I need but I also have a MiNewt 150 on the bars for a back up. It casts a bright, white and wide pattern. Excellent quality and cost ratio.
Strengths: Pricepoint - bang for the buck, bright, excellent beam pattern, lightweight, USB charging - could be recharged in the field with a solar USB charger.
Weaknesses: Bar mount - poorly designed - epic fail
This light is an excellent value, with solid construction, great beam pattern, and true to advertised light output. It is lightweight, and because of it's USB charging capability, it could be charged in the field on longer over-night, multi-day trips. Charging, and helmet mount are both functional and seem well thought out, as does just about everything else about this light.
The Bar mount, however - is not... it is not a good design. It is next to impossible to close the clamp tight enough around the bars (and keep it closed) to keep the light from shifting position.
I have over-sized CF bars and with the rubber "shim" installed I can close the clasp, but not tight enough to keep the light from "sagging" during a descent due to normal chop on a relatively smooth trail. If I remove the shim from the mount, while it can be closed with more contact around the bar, it slips easier on the bar being plastic (instead of the grippy rubber shim in contact with the bar). Without the shim, the light nearly spins freely on the bar for me - even riding pavement. I've seen a couple places online that suggest a zip-tie to apply constant pressure to the clamping mechanism, but that is just hokey IMO.
The "light" portion vs. the trail weight of the MiNewt 600 is awesome, spectacular even given the price. If Niterider redesigns the bar clamp, then it will be a 5/5 flaming chilies product.
Strengths: The light itself is great. Well thought out and well executed. A few highlights: I like that it has a "lock" mode (I use this as a backup light and as such often throw it in my pack, where it would likely get switched on by accident), good light modes (blink, walk, lo med hi) and good light output especially for the size and weight. The helmet mount is find.
BUT - the bar mount is a profound weakness and is downright dangerous.
Weaknesses: The bar mount is inexcusably crappy. I'm not a weakling, but I can't get this light to stay put on ANY of my bikes handlebars. NiteRider scarified security for convenience when designing this light. I run this light on my cyclocross bike - when I head out for evening rides I'll clip it to my handlebars in case I get caught out in the dark. Inevitably, I'll look down at some point and see that the light is pointing at the ground. Same result on my mtb handlebars. Sooner or later, you'll hit a bump and the light will spin, and due to the weighting most likely point straight down. Think about it - that means, if you're relying on this light as your primary light source, you stand a good chance of being left in the dark at exactly the right moment - when you hit a big bump, hit a pothole, etc. I've actually seen this happen to a guy who was using this light only - he hit a rock garden at speed and suddenly found himself in the dark. Someone is going to lose their teeth as a result of this poorly designed bar mount. Again though, the light itself and the helmet mount are great.
Good light. Good helmet mount. TERRIBLE (read, dangerously bad) bar mount
Similar Products Used: many different light setups. Avid night rider.
Bike Setup: SS, 5.Spot, CX bike.
a Cross Country Rider
from South Saint Paul, MN, USA
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2012
Strengths: Light, reasonable battery life (enough for what I need anyhow), plenty bright.
Weaknesses: Wish I could have a spare battery instead of a whole spare unit
I first got to demo this light at one of the endurance events I did over the summer and immediately fell in love. It's just the right weight, doesn't wiggle around, plenty bright and the right price. I ended up buying one to go along with my MiNewt 700 Dual and it is the perfect combination of brightness and weight. The only downfall is if it goes out I have to swap the whole unit out, you can't just carry spare batteries which would be lighter in the long run. I'll be picking up another one before the endurance season starts up for 2012, that much you can bet on.
a Cross Country Rider
from Raymond, ME, US
Date Reviewed: January 5, 2012
Strengths: - Price
- USB charging
Weaknesses: - Run Time (No points off since it is a weight/brightness tradeoff.)
- Charge port cap looks like it may not last. SFSG
I've got nothing bad to say about this light. I bought one for my commute and loved it so much that I bought a second one to get the extra mount / have a backup. I run one on the bars and one on my helmet. The writeup is incorrect about the helmet mount. It has a ratchet that allow it to be adjusted from full ahead to down (to read the spedo / check the gears). I'll be one of the few to claim that I have had NO problems with the mount but I haven't used it off-road, bumpy, over curbs, yes. I've swapped it between my road bike and my mountain bike several times. If you are having trouble getting that last click try a set of channel locks. I run it in 400 lumen mode for most of my on-road riding unless visibility is reduced.
I love the USB charging feature. I typically run the light about 1 hour on med for the night commute and 1 hour on low for the AM commute for visibility. I charge it at work during the day and it takes about 4 hours to charge back up to full. I checked the runtime on high and it was about as advertised. I also run the light in the single digits with no problems except the red low battery light comes on early.
a Cross Country Rider
from Albuquerque, NM, USA
Date Reviewed: December 21, 2011
Strengths: very bright, nice spread on the light, and the battery last a very long time. Smart charging.
Weaknesses: Light's a little off balance on the bar mount. Tends to slowly fall forward and point to the ground. Not a big deal commuting but mtb and dirt roads it's better to just mount it on the helmet.
I commute alot and wanted a happy medium for both mtb and commuting. A nice feature on this light that I didn't see on others (besides the awesome dollar to lumes price) is the walking setting. By holding the button down while it's in flash mode it will change to the walking setting which is a lower setting then the "low". In this setting the light is plenty bright enough for the city commute I do and at two hours a day (winter time, dark when I leave and when I return) the battery will last two weeks easy.
Strengths: Bright, high quality, well-designed, lightweight, minimalist design
Weaknesses: Turns on to the middle setting, power button is hard to find and activate while riding, only 1.5 hr runtime on high, very slow charging
I believe this light is simply the best and brightest light out there for the price and size/cordless right now. I only use the helmet mount with this light and have more than enough light in any situation.
This light provides 600 cordless lumens which is almost 50% brighter than Niterider HID lights from 5 or 6 years ago (~420 lumens). In fact, after getting this light, I sold my higher-power corded Niterider lights and haven't looked back. I can ride the road or trail with this light for training or commuting. I can drop it in my jersey pocket and forget it's there. The beam pattern is a good general pattern, a mix between spot and flood with even coverage. This is an awesome light.
I paired it with the Light & Motion Vis 180 rear light for an impressive and cost-effective complete light package. I actually look forward to night riding now!
Similar Products Used: Various Nightsun and Niterider lights over the past 20 years
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 29, 2011
Strengths: Value, size and packaging.
Weaknesses: Minor issue activating switch with heavy gloves on.
For commuting, the light is perfect for me. I use the flash mode when it is light out and the low or high setting in the dark. I have mine mounted on the handlebars. I think it floods better than the L&M ARC light I wear on my helmet. The L&M ARC seems to reach out a bit further and is brighter, but more of a spot. I like the way the MiNewt.600 Cordless floods the area 2 to 30 feet or so in front of the bike. Haven't used it for technical trails yet, but so far I'm very happy with the light. I'm thinking of buying a 2nd one to run on my helmet as the L&M ARC light is a bit of a hassle with the heavy battery. I don't think I'd even notice the weight of the MiNewt.600 Cordless on my helmet.
Bike Setup: The bike is an old Specialized Rock Hopper hard tail currently running armadillo street tires for commuting and easy single track trail rides.
a Cross Country Rider
from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2011
This fall I started doing night rides on the trails for the first time....I use the 400 lumens setting to make sure there is enough battery life for the complete ride...have used it only as a helmet mount (with my visor removed for better vision).....Am very happy with the light it throws and I don't seem to notice the extra weight on the helmet.