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.
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.