Catch Our Draft

Support PBBT

NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB LED Bike Light Review

NiteRider MiNewt LED Headlight Summary: It works and it works well. I bought one. Eight of the 17 people I rode with last night own one. It’s bright, small, has a three-hour run time and costs under $100.

NiteRider MiNewt Versus NiteRider Trail Rat

For years I used the NiteRider Trail Rat. It was bright (thanks to its halogen bulb) but had a lousy run time (thanks to its halogen bulb). It cost about $100 new. The Trail Rat was the perfect size unlike the NiteRider Digital Pro 12E which was always too big.

NiteRider Trail Rat versus NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB

1999 Technology Versus 2009 Technology

In every way, the MiNewt Mini-USB is superior to the Trail Rat.

NiteRider Trail Rat

  • Battery Life: One Hour
  • Weight: 1,055 grams
  • Size: Bigger
  • Charger: Chunky Wall Wart
  • Temperature: Hot
  • Light Color: Yellow/Orange

NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB

  • Battery Life: Three Hours
  • Weight: 172 grams
  • Size: Smaller
  • Charger: USB
  • Temperature: Cool
  • Light Color: White/Blue

MiNewt Weighs 883 Grams *LESS* and Runs Three Hours

I’m no weight weenie but the difference between the Trail Rat and MiNewt is amazing. As you can see from the above photo, the Trail Rat is a beast compared to the MiNewt. The weight difference is so startling, I had to break out the scale.

The NiteRider MiNewt weighs just 172 grams compared to the 1,055 grams of the NiteRider Trail Rat.

Did you see that? Look again. The MiNewt Mini-USB bike light weighs just 16% of what the Trail Rat weighs: 172 grams versus 1,055 grams.

USB Charger for NiteRider MiNewt Headlight

Use any standard mini-USB cable to charge your NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB LED headlight.This is more exciting than it sounds.

The MiNewt Mini-USB headlight charges from a standard miniature USB cable. Chances are, you already have such a cable for your digital camera or cell phone. Chances are, you already bring one when you travel. I can’t tell you how nice it is not to have to bring yet another charger when traveling. Best of all, if you do forget your cable, the hotel will probably have a spare. It is that universal.

Make Sure to Get the 2010 Model of the MiNewt Mini-USB

The earlier models had no charge indicator. You couldn’t tell if it was charged or not. The 2010 model has a light in the power switch. Red means charging. Green means full and ready to use. The recharge time is only four and a half hours so you know it will charge overnight but the indicator light is a good way to double-check.

Lots of stores are trying to pass off the older models as current. The earlier years are fine as lights but I would certainly expect to pay less for the model without the charge indicator light.

Support Your Local Bike Shop and Save Money

If you buy the NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB from Amazon, we make $5.64 at its current listed price of $94. The light is worth every bit of $94 and Palm Beach Bike Tours certainly appreciates it when you support us by ordering through our links.

On Your Mark Performance Center NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB RecieptStill, if you’re looking for a great deal, check your local bike shop.

My local bike shop, offers a 20% discount for club members. I paid $85.19 for the Niterider MiNewt ($9 off the Amazon price) and got to walk out of the store and use it that very night.

For the $35 membership fee, you get the 20% discount (if you spend more than $175 on your bike in a year, you’ll make your membership fee back), supported rides and nice folks who organize local events such as the Criterium Training Camps at the Camp Murphy Circuit Course and the Dyer Consequences Cyclocross in January.

—Matt

10 comments to NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB LED Bike Light Review

  • mark S

    Egads!

    Unless you are out riding where there are NO street lights I can’t imagine that light is necessary. I used to own a NiteRider system (back when they were really expensive) and that was overkill for sure. Even at the discounted price you talk about here, ouch….that’s some cash for more light than I would ever need and I live in the MidWest where the sun don’t shine so much and street lights are spaced far apart.

    That being said, light up the night if you need to but I have found this Planet Bike Beamer 5 – 5 White LED Bicycle Headlight to be great and it has enough power to light up the road at night. Plus it’s only $29.99.

    Planet Bike Beamer 5 – 5 White LED Bicycle Headlight
    EXtreme LEDs 300% brighter. 5 Super bright white LEDs for maximum visibility and to illuminate your way. Soft touch Power Switch accesses flashing + Steady modes. QuickCam™ handlebar bracket mounts, removes or adjusts in seconds w/o tools – fits 25.5–31.8 mm handlebars. Up to 100 hrs run time on (2) AA Batteries.

    Product Features

    EXtreme LEDs 300% brighter
    5 Super bright white LEDs for maximum visibility and to illuminate your way
    Soft touch Power Switch accesses flashing + Steady modes
    Up to 100 hrs run time on (2) AA Batteries
    fits 25.5–31.8 mm handlebars
    UPC: 642016303302

  • The route I ride Thursday night is poorly lighted and we’re doing 20 mph. There isn’t much car traffic so, though the road is signed for 35mph, 50mph isn’t unusual. I absolutely want to be able to see the road debris and for cars to be able to see me.

    I’ve gone through three cheapish ($15-$35) headlights in the past six months. The hassle of buying and returning, warranty replacement and dead batteries was just too much for me to take.

    I think if you saw how small, light weight and bright the MiNewt was, you’d be more willing to give it a try.

    Cheers,
    Matt

  • mark S

    When you get tired of this one, send it to me and I will try it out for a while.

  • My SON generator doesn’t take batteries, nor does it need a USB connection. I have lights as long as I have legs.

  • Greg

    Mark, thanks for the comparison. I also went thru 3 or 4 $20-$40 lights before spending $100 on something that actually provides enough light to ride by. Although we do have streetlights here in Northern Colorado, the broken pavement & road debris doesn’t congregate around the lights.

    I own the pre-Trail Rat version of the same light (the Cyclops, w/NiCads) & love it. I upgraded the 10w lamp to a 15w for commuting. Like you say, seeing debris is critical. Thanks for the heads-up on the new version’s charge feature, too.

  • You guys all sound like you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on lights costing $20-$40 each. Why not just spend $75 for the light alone or $150 for the entire kit and get the IXON IQ. I did and haven’t regretted it. It literally lights up the road 30 feet in front of the bicycle. It simply rocks. You can go 20 mph down a hill and see what is up ahead with no problem at all. It has 2 intensities of light and the full kit comes with rechargeable batteries and recharger.

  • Bruce Kulik

    Regarding the comment from mark s. I commute in an urban/suburban setting with moderate to heavy traffic. I ride with the Minewt turned on both day and night. Since implementing this policy, the number of left crosses and driveway pullouts has diminished to near zero. Previously I used a Blackburn Quadrant, which is a great light for around $20, but effect when I upgraded was startling.

  • Lynne

    I have definately got to get the MiNewt light for my partners bike. He cycles to and from work at all hours and the roads are so busy in our town. It seems like a pretty impressive little gadget for the money.

  • mr11 led

    It’s good that it can last so long when you’re out because the light my brother was using would die after about 45 minutes and for people who like to ride around for a while it’s not much good.

  • Rob would like this light. He likes anything that can potentially blind oncoming traffic. Me, I’m a diva and prefer to do all my riding during daylight hours. I like to keep my evenings free for couch potato activities.