Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Village Dirtbag
Joined
·
2,284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I'm looking for a handlebar light (or maybe helmet) that fits the following criteria...
I want to use it for commuting every day, but I also want to be able to swap it over to my mountain bike VERY quickly and easily so I can use it as a backup light on night rides (have a L&M Arc headlight for my primary). This means it has to be bright enough and wide-angle enough to ride trails at a passable speed. I also want it to be light and compact, of course- especially in its "backup light" role where it'll be dead weight most of the time.


I'd like to keep it below $150, but can go up or down depending on value. Initially I was looking at the L&M Vega, but I hear its light output and mounting system isn't the greatest. I also had my eye on the MiNewt, but I hear it is sort of cumbersome to swap over from one bike to another. If I get the MiNewt double (for $158 at airbomb.com), can I put one lamp on the road bike and one on the MTB and then just swap the battery back and forth, or do they HAVE to be paired together?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks
[email protected]
 

·
Double-metric mtb man
Joined
·
4,482 Posts
Myself, I didn't go quite so big for a commuter and backup.

I've got a 15W halogen on the bars of my MTB as my main light. For in town commuting when dark and as a back-up for on the trails, I threw a Princeton Tec Eos on my helmet. It is a 1W Luxeon LED light and throws a moderately narrow in angle (compared to my halogen) but is still adequate for reasonable speed in the woods (you won't be booking it, but you also won't be walking). Easy enough to work with and uses AA batteries.

It won't be for everyone, but it makes a good backup / 2nd light source for where I ride.
 

·
Mmm... Tasty
Joined
·
700 Posts
@dam said:
I also had my eye on the MiNewt, but I hear it is sort of cumbersome to swap over from one bike to another. If I get the MiNewt double (for $158 at airbomb.com), can I put one lamp on the road bike and one on the MTB and then just swap the battery back and forth, or do they HAVE to be paired together?
They have to be paired together. The two light heads are hardwired to each other via a cable. The vega is super easy to swap between bikes since there is no separate battery, but it really isn't the best off-road light (great commuter light, though!).

Like psycho mike alluded to, maybe a helmet mount light would be a good backup light. It switches bikes as easily as you do, and having a helmet light is great for commuting and off-roading. A lightweight helmet mount halogen system might give you the bang for the buck you are looking for here...

-Damon
 

·
Mmm... Tasty
Joined
·
700 Posts
The MiNewt is very easy to swap from bike to bike. One velcro strap (battery, on stem) and one rubber o-ring. Very quick.
The problem that i've had with the MiNewt is if you have a short or chunky stem. The battery doesn't sit well on those kind of stems. I haven't used it a whole bunch, though. Also, with the way the cables go on my 'cross bike, the velcro is not the easiest to weave through them. That said, it is still a decent light.

-Damon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
GMF said:
The problem that i've had with the MiNewt is if you have a short or chunky stem. The battery doesn't sit well on those kind of stems. I haven't used it a whole bunch, though. Also, with the way the cables go on my 'cross bike, the velcro is not the easiest to weave through them. That said, it is still a decent light.

-Damon
Good points. My stems are short and chunky, but I can still make it fit good enough that it stays put. I still content -- battery aside -- that the o-ring method of affixing the light head is as slick a method as exists.
 

·
Mmm... Tasty
Joined
·
700 Posts
Good points. My stems are short and chunky, but I can still make it fit good enough that it stays put. I still content -- battery aside -- that the o-ring method of affixing the light head is as slick a method as exists.
I agree that it has a simple elegance, but things that i dislike about the o-ring solution is that it is really hard to do with gloves, and if you lose it or break it (easier to do than with a more traditional mount like cateye's), you are SOL. Having said that, the ability to conform to any bar shape, the minimalism and low profile nature of the o-ring mount are all very cool things.

I still prefer a "hard" mount for anything but a little blinky tail light, not that there is anything really wrong with the o-ring mount...

-Damon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
GMF said:
... things that i dislike about the o-ring solution is that it is really hard to do with gloves, and if you lose it or break it (easier to do than with a more traditional mount like cateye's), you are SOL. Having said that, the ability to conform to any bar shape, the minimalism and low profile nature of the o-ring mount are all very cool things....
...not that there is anything really wrong with the o-ring mount...
First off, I'm a DiNotte user, and I have not had hands on with the MiNewt yet.

For o-ring mounts like the MiNewt (with narrow hooks under the light), mounting with gloves on is a chore. But for versions that use a big o-ring that goes over the entire unit (like DiNotte's), mounting with gloves on is very easy, even with Lobster claws. On the DiNotte, losing the o-ring is not likely, one end is fastened securely and requires significant stretching and manipulation to remove. I have pulled the unit from my backpack every evening for 2 winters for my commute, and the o-ring has never come off, never broken, and I have mounted and dismounted it every night. Other things about the DiNotte unit is that if you crash your light, you will not break the mount (unlike most hard mounts). Replacement o-rings are ~$0.15, full list. And the little unit does not bounce or move around after mounting - one of the more common remarks after lending it out is how well the unit stays put and doesn't bound on the bars - unlike thier NR, BLT, L&M etc... hard mounts. It is a very well thought out unit (now if they can just generate more light....)

Re: short chunky stems - can be a problem for batteries - I have mounted the battery on top of the stem, or on the frame behind the headset, or under the handle bar. But as with all things, there's always going to be someplace it dosen't work well.

OP: If you want a backup unit that can be used on trails as well, and is quick and easy to mount/dismount, I would recommend the DiNotte. The 5W versions have more beam spread, so they work well on singletrack, but are less ideal for road commutes (my commute is a mix of road and trail, so I use the 5W). The 3W versions (including the MiNewt) have a narrower longer throw, which works well for road commutes, but not as nice on trails (depending on your trails). I would recommend that the Vega only be used on trails as an emergency bail out light - it has a very narrow tunnel vision beam - but it is a fine road commuting light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top