Niterider's MiNewt 600 cordless is a compact and elegant light that packs plenty of punch, and is small enough - just - to go on your helmet as well as your bars. With good build quality and a super-simple clamp, it's a very good option for all your riding, so long as you don't want to pull an all-nighter.
In the box you get the light itself, along with bar and helmet mounts and a charger. A word about the bar clamp first off. On the one hand the ratchet design means it's a piece of cake to fit to almost any bar, so that's good. On the other, without the mechanical advantage of a screw thread you're relying on your iron grip to get the thing tight. You might need to ask a grown-up.
Once mounted and charged and let loose in the dark, it's immediately obvious that full power is more than enough light than you need for most road riding, save flinging yourself down a steep descent. I had the light on low power for most of its hours on the tarmac, only switching up for MTB fun in the woods. The beam pattern is just about right, centre weighted with enough peripheral illumination to spot hazards or turns at the side of the road. There's no side visibility on the light unit, so best to use it in conjunction with a flasher around town.
Off road the light makes a great helmet unit, and the mount is simple to fit. At over 200g it's a little on the big side for longer stints on top of your head; you start to feel the extra weight after an hour or so and you might need to ratchet your helmet retention system in a notch or two to stop it moving your lid around on the bumpy stuff. On road you can use it on your helmet too, but there's less need to point the light where you're not directly going.
Build quality is excellent: the light feels well put together and solid. It's not rated as fully waterproof by Niterider but we've taken this light and its predecessors out in all conditions with no trouble. Make sure you keep the USB charge port cover closed in the wet though; it's easy to forget when you unplug it. We haven't had the cover open on its own. Being USB compatible also means the Niterider can be charged from your computer, which is a bonus if you're using it for a commute.
The three power modes throw out a claimed 275, 400 and 600 lumens respectively and our run time tests confirmed the battery life as an hour and a half on full beam, and close to five on low. There's a 'walk' mode (40 lumens) which is useful if you run out of juice as it'll give you a few more hours of at least being seen, if not seeing. There's also a 'daylight flash' mode which is full-power flashing; best to save that for the daylight and it will get you seen. Those two modes are accessible by pressing and holding the power button, otherwise you just toggle through the other three. The internal battery is a 2900mAh 18650 cell which are fairly easy to find (about £20 online) and replacing it when it does eventually die is simply a case of undoing the three case screws and slotting a new one in.
In terms of comparable lights, it's a very similar output and beam pattern to the Moon X-Power 500 which is a touch cheaper. It's a bit more powerful than the Light and Motion Urban 300, at £120 the same price as the Moon, but that light scores the best side illumination of any we've tested. The build quality of the Niterider is worth paying a premium for, in my opinion. Given its performance and versatility, it's one to recommend.
The MiNewt is warrantied for life on all the mechanical bits with two years on the electrics. The battery is warrantied for 180 days.
Very good all round light that can be bar or helmet mounted and puts out enough illumination for the tarmac and the trails
road.cc test report
Make and model: Niterider MiNewt 600 Cordless Rechargeable Front Light
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The new MiNewt.600 Cordless is everything a one piece, modular bike light should be. This compact light features best in class lumens per dollar ratio, tool-less quick release mounting and a retina searing 600 lumens of light output. With this much power on tap, the Cordless not only blasts your way through the city street, but the trail as well. The reflector and lens are custom tuned for bike riding application delivering a superior beam pattern when compared to off the shelf optics.
Very nicely made
Simple to mount, simple to use
Super simple clamp but getting it tight requires an iron grip
Not submersible but well proofed against the elements
up to four and a half hours on low, which is enough light for most road riding
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Mounting options, solid construction
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Bracket is difficult to get tight
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.