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  1. #1
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    I am looking for a good headlight at a resonable price.

    Is the Nite Rider Minewt Mini-USB Plus Light a good stand alone headlight for commuting?

    I currently use a Planet Bike 1 watt Blaze with an unknown lumen rating, which works well as spot light only. The Blaze works fine between street lights, however in unlit areas it does not illuminate the ground very well and obstacles like leaf piles are virtually invisible until I am right up on them.

    My LBS let me bring the Blaze and the Nite Rider in the back room to test their power and the Nite Rider was brighter and cast a much broader beam or flood of light than the Blaze did. The Nite Rider is rated at 110 lumens and costs $120.00--is this a good durable headlight at this price point?

  2. #2
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    It's a nice setup, especially for the USB charging option. However I returned mine after I found that a $25 flashlight and a $1 o-ring from Walmart produced the same lighting results.

    Check out the Coleman Max Cree flashlight 2AA model. The o-ring is 1-3/4" ID. It's brighter than the Blaze with a much larger spot.

  3. #3
    No, that's not phonetic
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    The current crop of insanely bright LED flashlights are really stunning. I am using an MTE SSC P7 900-Lumen 5-Mode light I got from DealExtreme for $40. They have worldwide free shipping. The light uses a Li Ion battery called a 18650 and they only run $5 each. Get 2 for $10. The charger is $9. They will power the light on high for 1 hour, or longer on a medium or low or flash setting. It claims to put out 900 lumens, but it is really more like 500 or 600 on high. Still pretty amazing.

    The light has 5 modes (medium > low > high > strobe > SOS) which is too many. If I were to do it again I would get the 2-mode version (high > low) for $37. Some commuters like the strobe though.

    Get the light, two batteries, and the charger for under $60 shipped to your door (delivery from SE Asia can take a solid 2 weeks). For 500+ lumens, this is crazy cheap. There are also a lot of handlebar mounts for under $10 available. I just made my own.



    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  4. #4
    jrm
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    My experience with LEDs

    is they are bright but dont throw much of a beam. Is this one different..$60 bucks.. is tempting. Right now im using a L in M ARC HID thats rated @ 650 lumens but needs a new $200 dollar battery.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  5. #5
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    Right now im using a L in M ARC HID thats rated @ 650 lumens but needs a new $200 dollar battery.
    That is the EXACT reason why I tried the flashlight system. I also ordered a set of solder tab AA batteries and I will put new cells in my old L&M battery (I tore it apart and will just replicate the original build). I got enough cells to rebuild 2 batteries for only $25. It may look ghetto, but it should be as good as the original if all goes according to plan.

    The flashlight I bought has as much throw as a L&M hid, but there is less peripheral spill. The L&M is nice for offroad on the bars because it illuminates such a wide area, and the hot spot is good on the helmet. The flashlight is good for commuting when you don't need as much spill as offroad. It still works great on the trail but should be combined with a helmet light so you can see around corners.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  6. #6
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    If you already have, or want, a good flashlight then I would highly recommend going that route with rechargable batts and a twofishblock (or two...or three. enough for each bike plus your helmet).

    After running a Nite Rider Sol, the modded cat eye in my sig and a couple of different flashlights I've settled on a Fenix L1T V2.0 Q2 on my bars for regular old commuting (5mi each way, suburban) powered off a single LSD NiMH battery I get about 1.5 hrs of light and its insanely easy to care and change spares.

    Of course, for off road fun the cat eye goes on the bars and my Fenix goes on the helmet.
    For Sale: Cateye Triple Shot, modified with high output emitters!

  7. #7
    PCC
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    When I was researching the light that I wanted to buy for my commute I had considered the MTE P7 flashlight but decided to get the Minewt Mini-USB instead. The reasons? The MTE uses 18650 batteries. I didn't own any (that I knew of, anyway - my laptops are loaded with them inside their battery packs) and a fully charged 18650 would only give me a little over an hour's worth of light. My ride home is almost two hours so I was pushing it with a spare cell, if I even remembered to charge it. The Mini-USB can be charged at work from the computer on my desk. A fully charged Mini-USB battery should be able to last me about 3 hours, more than enough to get me home even if I have a flat or two on my way. Sure, it's not as bright as the MTE but you really don't need more than 200 lumens for commuting. Yeah, the Mini-USB only produces about 110 lumens. When I bought this light that's all I thought I would need. I now know that I need more like 200 lumens and I've got almost that much with my Mini-USB with a P4 U-bin retrofit. The MTE light is a bit heavier and bulkier than the Mini-USB, too.

  8. #8
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    I have been using the Minewt Mini-USB for two months and so far so good. This rig has a small footprint, easily used on multiple bikes, and the USB charging option is real handy for my daily commute. I ride a city route with almost constant low ambient light, if you have a long run in complete darkness you will want to spend more cash or build one of those extremely cool frankenstein set-ups the others have offered.....
    Last edited by listener mark; 12-11-2008 at 09:14 PM.

  9. #9
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by listener mark
    if you have a long run in complete darkness you will want to spend more cash or build one of those extremely cool frankenstein set-ups the others have offered.....
    I've found that my Mini-USB works best in near total darkness or darker. That is because my eyes adapt and the light lights up the road nicely. It's when there is a lot of ambient light that the Mini-USB's lack of throw becomes apparent. On my commute I find myself riding on a MUT that runs beside a highway and I get the glare from the headlights coming at me (it's like a raised walkway to the left of the road). In this case my headlights are worthless. I have to slow way down to avoid running into pedestrians on the path who aren't wearing lights or a lot of reflective material to alert me to their presence.

  10. #10
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Most of the flashlights have multiple modes that knock the output down and reduce battery consumption. I bet you could do a 2-hour ride with an MTE on low with a single battery, and you still have the option of impersonating the Japanese squid fishing fleet if the mood strikes you.

    I also modified a L&M helmet mount for a flashlight. The angle is adjustable, and it sits very securely.



    The light weighs 172 grams with the battery. It works fine as a helmet light, but I would not want it much heavier. I guess it would feel lighter if my helmet mount were shorter an the light were closer to the helmet shell. No heat issues.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwalton
    Is the Nite Rider Minewt Mini-USB Plus Light a good stand alone headlight for commuting?

    I currently use a Planet Bike 1 watt Blaze with an unknown lumen rating, which works well as spot light only. The Blaze works fine between street lights, however in unlit areas it does not illuminate the ground very well and obstacles like leaf piles are virtually invisible until I am right up on them.

    My LBS let me bring the Blaze and the Nite Rider in the back room to test their power and the Nite Rider was brighter and cast a much broader beam or flood of light than the Blaze did. The Nite Rider is rated at 110 lumens and costs $120.00--is this a good durable headlight at this price point?
    i have this light, i used it for my 24 hour race, and weekly on my night rides and i love it. its small and you can charge it anywhere. Mine did malfunction and for some reason stopped working, but the lbs sent it back and i had a new one in a week, no questions asked, so im happy with it

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