Niterider MiNewt 600 Cordless headlight

MiNewt 600 Cordless is NiteRider’s brightest “cordless” USB rechargeable bicycle headlight. But first, let me explain why I don’t have photos of this light.

Early in 2010, I paid about $200 for a MiNewt X2 Dual. Because expensive lights sometimes get stolen on Caltrain, I habitually remove my lights when on the train. Within a couple of months of purchase, I accidentally left the MiNewt battery pack on the train. They were excellent lights, but I didn’t have the $150 for a replacement battery pack from MiNewt. Goodbye expensive lights.

Two weeks ago, I purchased the MiNewt 600 Cordless (retail price $150) in anticipation dark evening commutes after daylight savings went away. I normally remove quick release accessories from my bike when I board the bus, because sometimes things bounce off of the bike during the long, bumpy bus ride over the Santa Cruz Mountains. Last Friday night, I was running a little late and arrived at the bus stop in San Jose just as the bus got there. Instead of holding the bus up after loading my bike on the front rack, I took a chance and left everything on the bike.

Right around Laurel Curve on Highway 17, everybody on board the bus heard a loud clattering noise as something hard bounced around underneath the coach. I knew immediately it was my Brand New MiNewt 600 Cordless. When I got to my destination, the light was indeed missing. Goodbye expensive light.

So, no photos of the light besides the catalog pictures available from NiteRider.

NiteRider MiNewt 600 Cordless

The 600 in the product name means NiteRider claims 600 lumens of illuminating white light power from this bicycle headlight. Car drivers dim their lights when I have this bad boy at full power. It effectively spotlights the critters I encounter in the pre-dawn darkness while riding through the redwood forests near my home — last week, this included deer, raccoons, skunks, and even a bobcat.

At full power, NiteRider claims an hour and a half of run time. For longer run times, the MiNewt 600 Cordless offers lower power modes: three hours of run time on “Medium” (400 lumens) and 4.5 hours on “Low” (275 lumens). At “High” mode I saw DOT BOT reflections at least a half mile down the road. Even at the Low setting I confidently bombed down the steep Felton-Empire Road in pitch blackness at 30 MPH.

The MiNewt 600 Cordless also has a seizure inducing flash mode that stretches battery life out to 10 hours. I write “seizure inducing” because the stroboscopic high power flash is truly bewildering. When riding through heavy Santa Cruz Mountain fog at night, I became nauseous from the flash. NiteRider calls this “Daylight” mode and, indeed, the flash is best suited for daylight riding.

The 600 comes with a quick release handlebar mount that mostly works, as long as your bike isn’t bouncing on a long bus ride. A helmet mount also comes with the light, which is the usual collection of hook-and-loop straps. I did not test the helmet mount, because I think bright helmet mounted lights are rude.

“Cordless” because the battery is enclosed in the same housing as the lamp, hence no wires running from a battery unit. Charging via the USB port (USB wall wart included) takes a solid five hours.

I was unable to test this light in extreme conditions (below freezing, in driving rain, etc), but for the short time I had it this was an absolutely fantastic bicycle headlight. I recommend this light, and the $150 retail price is pretty amazing for a light this bright. This was my fourth NiteRider headlight I’ve owned, and every single one of them have been absolutely reliable and durable for the time I’ve used them.

I’ll be at SF Bike Expo this weekend and will look around for a replacement while there. In the meantime, I’m the dork with a Princeton Tec PUSH headlight taped to the top of my helmet.

Buy from your LBS, or online from Jenson USA or Amazon.com. I might get a dollar or two if you buy through those links. Jenson USA pays me more, but they also charge you more. Thank you either way.

10 Comments

  • November 10, 2011 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Bummer that it fell off. Hope you get a replacement soon.

  • November 10, 2011 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    I like the NiteRider MiNewt lights, but most of their mounts leave a lot to be desired, as you experienced. The MiNewt USB lights swivel too easily, and even when I tighten up that screw underneath with LocTite, it still loosens up. The Pro lights, similar to the mount on their earlier halogen models, have a beefy mount; I am pretty sure those were explicitly designed to withstand mountain biking. 

    If the mount can’t survive a bus trip, I am of the opinion that the mount is a seriously bad design. I’m not expecting apocalyptic conditions, but some rattling should be survivable.

  • David
    November 10, 2011 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Yup, my MyNewt 600 hit the deck a couple times while riding, the mount is certainly not up to the task of carrying the light. The battery came loose in the compartment, and it no longer charges reliably. I’ve moved on to a generator hub and a light weight light bolted onto a rack. Wish I’d done it earlier.

  • November 10, 2011 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I can vouch for good service from NiteRider; MyNewt 150 wouldn’t keep a charge after 6 months of very light, get it?, use — I’m a daytime rider mostly, but when I had this problem they quickly gave me a return authorization. They repaired it in about a week.

  • November 10, 2011 - 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Agreed about mount strength, though in my case the bus ride is 20 miles long at highway speeds, so a little bouncier than your typical crosstown bike trip.

  • November 10, 2011 - 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, I didn’t know the mount won’t even hold up to a simple bike ride.  That’s unfortunate. The light+battery combo does make the light heavier, and the mount is probably designed more for something  a little less weighty.

  • November 10, 2011 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I have had this light for several months and the only time I had a mounting issue was when I did not clamp it tight enough.  The light would slowly droop and I would have to constantly bring it back up.  Other than that, like Richard, I would highly recommend this light.

  • Ray
    November 10, 2011 - 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got the competitor model, a “Cygolite Expilion” 250 lumen wireless light and have had it for about 9 months.  So far, the light hasn’t departed the mount after being subjected to 60 miles on front of a bus and 15 miles on the road each work day for my commute.  While not up to the 600 lumen of your tested model, I have found the 250 lumen Cygolite to provide adequate lighting for me to see my way at night.  Cygolite now has a 600 lumen wireless model too.  It would be nice if you could test the two, lights and mounts, side by side.

    Ray

  • Fishtank0
    November 11, 2011 - 6:48 am | Permalink

    I have this light and I like it, except that I can’t clamp it tight enough to stay in place. I’m constantly rotating it back in place. I’m looking at wrapping some type of tape around the bar to keep it from slipping.

  • Anonymous
    January 5, 2012 - 7:42 am | Permalink

    Just go to your local home improvement store and get some rubber gasket material.  Cut to fit, and you won’t have issues anymore!

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