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Old 09-25-09, 05:39 PM   #1
HalfAussie
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Lightbulb NiteRider MiNewt 400 Dual vs. Dinotte 400L-LI

Hi to All,

I'm a new commuter who will be needing to purchase some big girl lights pretty soon. (Right now, I only have those really dim 'make it legal' lights by Planet Bike). I think I've got it narrowed down to these two:

NiteRider's MiNewt 400 Dual
http://http://www.niterider.com/prod_minewt400dual.shtml
Retail: $249 / Ebay (new): $184

or

Dinotte 400L-LI
http://http://store.dinottelighting.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=dinotte&StoreType=BtoC&Count1=780636012&Count2=697776436&ProductID=90&Target=products .asp
Retail: $269 / No Ebay option

I'll be cruising around paved roads only, some are semi-lit and some are not lit at all. I live in Tucson, AZ -a low-light city due to telescopes nearby. I'll need to do some nighttime restaurant / going-out-for-fun rides as well as grocery shopping. Do you have experience with comparing these two light systems? What is your preference and why?

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-09, 07:15 PM   #2
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I just ordered a Dinotte 400L. I don't have it yet, but I did spend considerable time reading up on all kinds of lights. So consider me an armchair expert
The Dinotte has a longer runtime thatn MiNewt (2.5 v. 1.75 hours). You can also by a 4-cell battery to bring the run time up to 5 hours. Not sure if that is possible with the Minewt. If you contemplate doing that, it is cheaper to do that at the time of ordering the light.
The Dinotte comes with two different lenses, a medium and a wide, so one will give a narrower, brighter beam, the other one will give a wider, less bright beam.
It also comes standard with both a handlebar mount and a helmet mount. The MiNewt only comes with a handlebar mount.

Also, Performance has the MiNewt on sale for $229

I don't think you could go wrong either way
Duppie

Last edited by duppie; 09-25-09 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 09-25-09, 09:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by duppie View Post
I just ordered a Dinotte 400L. I don't have it yet, but I did spend considerable time reading up on all kinds of lights. So consider me an armchair expert
The Dinotte has a longer runtime thatn MiNewt (2.5 v. 1.75 hours). You can also by a 4-cell battery to bring the run time up to 5 hours. Not sure if that is possible with the Minewt. If you contemplate doing that, it is cheaper to do that at the time of ordering the light.
The Dinotte comes with two different lenses, a medium and a wide, so one will give a narrower, brighter beam, the other one will give a wider, less bright beam.
It also comes standard with both a handlebar mount and a helmet mount. The MiNewt only comes with a handlebar mount.

Also, Performance has the MiNewt on sale for $229

I don't think you could go wrong either way
Duppie
Thanks Duppie,

I'm leaning that way myself but I knew there would be people here who did the whole pros/cons between the two systems already. Please post about your experience once you break into the Dinotte.

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Old 09-25-09, 09:42 PM   #4
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I love my Nite Rider dual lights; they run all week on the flash mode with out recharging and they are very light and easy to attach (commute is 5.5 miles one-way, 11 miles round trip, so 55 miles/week). The battery is rechargeable in about 5 hours, so it's not a problem to recharge the thing when it does get low. I run it on flash mode mostly; I'll switch to low beam come truly dark weather, so the run-time will probably decrease, but I still think it's been a great light.
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Old 09-26-09, 11:20 AM   #5
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I love my Nite Rider dual lights; they run all week on the flash mode with out recharging and they are very light and easy to attach (commute is 5.5 miles one-way, 11 miles round trip, so 55 miles/week). The battery is rechargeable in about 5 hours, so it's not a problem to recharge the thing when it does get low. I run it on flash mode mostly; I'll switch to low beam come truly dark weather, so the run-time will probably decrease, but I still think it's been a great light.
Thanks for your opinion Joe Dog. Seems I can't go wrong with either, and I appreciate the details you've provided.

-Sarah
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Old 09-28-09, 04:05 PM   #6
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FWIW, I just ordered the 800L headlight/400L taillight combo. I plan on doing some evening fall and winter rides soon. I will let you know as well. I should have them by Wednesday 9/30.
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Old 09-28-09, 04:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by duppie View Post
I just ordered a Dinotte 400L. I don't have it yet, but I did spend considerable time reading up on all kinds of lights. So consider me an armchair expert
The Dinotte has a longer runtime thatn MiNewt (2.5 v. 1.75 hours). You can also by a 4-cell battery to bring the run time up to 5 hours. Not sure if that is possible with the Minewt. If you contemplate doing that, it is cheaper to do that at the time of ordering the light.
The Dinotte comes with two different lenses, a medium and a wide, so one will give a narrower, brighter beam, the other one will give a wider, less bright beam.
It also comes standard with both a handlebar mount and a helmet mount. The MiNewt only comes with a handlebar mount.

Also, Performance has the MiNewt on sale for $229

I don't think you could go wrong either way
Duppie
The Dinotte actually comes with 3 different lenses if you order the lense kit. The light itself has 2 led's, so you can mix and match a little if you want.

For the 400L you can also buy a head strap so you can wear the light as headlamp without a helmet. I haven't used it yet, but I bought one so I could wear the light over the top of a helmet cover. It also might be more convenient to get on and off the helmet than the helmet mount it comes with. One cool part is it put the light at the front of the helmet rather than on the top - a helmet light on the top of the helmet always seemed to me to be a really bad idea if you actually need your helmet to protect your head (slamming the light into the top of your skull seems...bad).

Replacement batteries for the 400L are also likely cheaper when they do wear out, and you get 2 when you order it, rather than just one.

The 400 takes up minimal handlebar space, just a half inch for the connector part then the light is ahead of the handlebars.

The biggest disadvantage to the 400L is if you want to take it on and off your handlebars all the time. It's attached to the mount with a standard screw. So it's not quick release, but it's not exactly secured to your bike either. It may also make taking the helmet mount on and off a bit of a PITA to, though I haven't tried it yet. Worst case you just have to take the entire mount on and off the helmet.
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Old 09-28-09, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfAussie View Post
Hi to All,

I'm a new commuter who will be needing to purchase some big girl lights pretty soon. (Right now, I only have those really dim 'make it legal' lights by Planet Bike). I think I've got it narrowed down to these two:

NiteRider's MiNewt 400 Dual
http://http://www.niterider.com/prod_minewt400dual.shtml
Retail: $249 / Ebay (new): $184

or

Dinotte 400L-LI
http://http://store.dinottelighting.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=dinotte&StoreType=BtoC&Count1=780636012&Count2=697776436&ProductID=90&Target=products .asp
Retail: $269 / No Ebay option

I'll be cruising around paved roads only, some are semi-lit and some are not lit at all. I live in Tucson, AZ -a low-light city due to telescopes nearby. I'll need to do some nighttime restaurant / going-out-for-fun rides as well as grocery shopping. Do you have experience with comparing these two light systems? What is your preference and why?

Thanks!

I'd say neither. Not in the day and age of this. The other lights are far too expensive for the light output. They are nicely made and pretty but for the cost of one the other lamps you can get 3 of the Magicshines.

And you should always have more then one light. Stuff happens and it's dark when the sun goes down
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Old 09-30-09, 11:13 AM   #9
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Update: I decided on the *none of the above* option that was suggested. I had to come to my senses when I realized how little money I would have to spend on a headlight. I ended up buying a new NiteRider Minewt Mini USB LED Bicycle Light off eBay from acycleshop for $84.95, no tax, free shipping.




I'll post a review once I get it set-up and out for a test spin. I will also get a bright 'be seen' blinkie light for the handlebars.

So far my bicycle commute set up has set me back about $1,000.
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Old 09-30-09, 11:28 AM   #10
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Update: I decided on the *none of the above* option that was suggested. I had to come to my senses when I realized how little money I would have to spend on a headlight. I ended up buying a new NiteRider Minewt Mini USB LED Bicycle Light off eBay from acycleshop for $84.95, no tax, free shipping.




I'll post a review once I get it set-up and out for a test spin. I will also get a bright 'be seen' blinkie light for the handlebars.

So far my bicycle commute set up has set me back about $1,000.
That's kind of sad, actually. At 110 lumens, it's not really enough light (in my experience, and from what I've heard and read from other people) to be used as a commuting light by itself. A Dinotte 200L (AA version) would have cost $120-$150 depending on whether you ordered it with rechargeable batteries - twice as much money, yes, but also twice as much light output. 200 lumens is about the minimum people seem to need for a "see by" light. It also would have been a light you could keep using even if you upgraded - for example, you could put more light on the handlebars then move the light to the helmet.

I wish you luck. Maybe your commute is either consistently lit, or not lit at all (you need less light if it's completely dark, bizzarely). Hope so. Good luck.
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Old 09-30-09, 11:40 AM   #11
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Agreed 110 lumens was fine 5 years ago.. It is enough light for being seen but not to see the road at speeds above 15mph..
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Old 09-30-09, 03:44 PM   #12
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I'd say neither. Not in the day and age of this. The other lights are far too expensive for the light output. They are nicely made and pretty but for the cost of one the other lamps you can get 3 of the Magicshines.

And you should always have more then one light. Stuff happens and it's dark when the sun goes down
The day when cyccommute recommends an LED and not over-volted Halogens means something. Honesly. I have the MS900, a Minewt X2, and a 400L.

The Minewt USB does not have enough punch. My boss has one. Its not a great light for the $$. I give the 400L a lot of respect and for their fall sale prices Dinotte normally does, $209 for the 400L is a good deal given its rock solid performance, proven waterproofness, better UI, and 2 batteries. Its not 600-700 lumens like the MS, and its more money.... but its also still a very nice light and has features beyond what the MS offers.

The MS is really a god-send to the bike commute community. Its cheap, bright, small, and way more light than any of us are used to for the $. I am running ~ 1000 lumens with my MS + 400L which feels about right. Last year I was at 550 with my X2/400L.

I think next year Dinotte will finally give us a P7 light which may or may not be a success. It all depends on the reliability of the MS. If it blows, people will migrate back to Dinotte/NR/Cygolite/Lupine/ etc. But if the MS proves reliable.... other light makers are in real trouble. Have you noticed that Geoman's stock of MS lights is now consistently sold out?
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Old 10-01-09, 09:37 AM   #13
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The day when cyccommute recommends an LED and not over-volted Halogens means something. Honesly. I have the MS900, a Minewt X2, and a 400L.

The Minewt USB does not have enough punch. My boss has one. Its not a great light for the $$. I give the 400L a lot of respect and for their fall sale prices Dinotte normally does, $209 for the 400L is a good deal given its rock solid performance, proven waterproofness, better UI, and 2 batteries. Its not 600-700 lumens like the MS, and its more money.... but its also still a very nice light and has features beyond what the MS offers.

The MS is really a god-send to the bike commute community. Its cheap, bright, small, and way more light than any of us are used to for the $. I am running ~ 1000 lumens with my MS + 400L which feels about right. Last year I was at 550 with my X2/400L.

I think next year Dinotte will finally give us a P7 light which may or may not be a success. It all depends on the reliability of the MS. If it blows, people will migrate back to Dinotte/NR/Cygolite/Lupine/ etc. But if the MS proves reliable.... other light makers are in real trouble. Have you noticed that Geoman's stock of MS lights is now consistently sold out?
Oh, I still use my overvolted halogen The output from one lamp is still higher than 3 or 4 of the P7 emitters. For shear, over the top, blinding, car-like lights, I haven't found anything that matches the halogen.

The Magicshine (and P7 MTE flashlights) are just damned cheap for the light you get out of them. About equivalent to an overvolted MR11.
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Old 10-16-09, 02:54 PM   #14
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Cool

Minewt Mini-USB Update

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to update this thread with my opinion on the Minewt Mini-USB headlight. It is adequate for nightime road riding in Tucson, Arizona which is a low light / no light town. We do not have much weather outside of monsoons in July/August. On a clear night (most nights) the headlight allows me to see in front of me easily enough to avoid road hazards and see where I am going. I can understand why some folks will not like it, because it is not all that strong at 110 lumens.

One thing I like in particular is its small discreet size. The headlight is small enough that most people wouldn't recognize it as a $90 accessory. I haven't tested my theory by leaving it on my bicycle yet, and probably wouldn't on a college campus, but for running in for groceries and the like I may leave it on.

Mounting could not have been easier and I like the indicator light that lets you know when your battery power is running low.

Thanks for listening
Sarah
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Old 10-16-09, 03:03 PM   #15
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Thanks for writing back with the update!
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Old 10-17-09, 12:32 AM   #16
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Minewt Mini-USB Update

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to update this thread with my opinion on the Minewt Mini-USB headlight. It is adequate for nightime road riding in Tucson, Arizona which is a low light / no light town. We do not have much weather outside of monsoons in July/August. On a clear night (most nights) the headlight allows me to see in front of me easily enough to avoid road hazards and see where I am going. I can understand why some folks will not like it, because it is not all that strong at 110 lumens.

One thing I like in particular is its small discreet size. The headlight is small enough that most people wouldn't recognize it as a $90 accessory. I haven't tested my theory by leaving it on my bicycle yet, and probably wouldn't on a college campus, but for running in for groceries and the like I may leave it on.

Mounting could not have been easier and I like the indicator light that lets you know when your battery power is running low.

Thanks for listening
Sarah
Don't leave it on the bike, especially in a city like Tucson with all the college kids, transients, and meth heads as if you do I can imagine it being gone very quickly.

Oh, and if you know of a good taqueria in Tucson I'd be grateful if you could PM the name and address. Thanks!
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Old 10-17-09, 05:06 PM   #17
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Update: I decided on the *none of the above* option that was suggested. I had to come to my senses when I realized how little money I would have to spend on a headlight. I ended up buying a new NiteRider Minewt Mini USB LED Bicycle Light off eBay from acycleshop for $84.95, no tax, free shipping.




I'll post a review once I get it set-up and out for a test spin. I will also get a bright 'be seen' blinkie light for the handlebars.

So far my bicycle commute set up has set me back about $1,000.
Should've bought the magicshine for that price.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:38 PM   #18
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Should've bought the magicshine for that price.
+1 I have the Minewt USB and a CygoLite Pace 135 LED. The Cyglolite is brighter and cheaper than the Minewt; consquently, the Minewt is relegated to secondary status. Based on the reported performance, if I had to do it agian and buy a new light I'd skip both of them for a pair of magicshines.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:35 PM   #19
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Should've bought the magicshine for that price.
The MiNewt is a good size for a helmet-mounted light though.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:47 PM   #20
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Oh, I still use my overvolted halogen The output from one lamp is still higher than 3 or 4 of the P7 emitters. For shear, over the top, blinding, car-like lights, I haven't found anything that matches the halogen.

The Magicshine (and P7 MTE flashlights) are just damned cheap for the light you get out of them. About equivalent to an overvolted MR11.
I was a little curious about this, and so I went and remounted my old 20W overvolted (14.4v) MR16 halogen. Pictures below (identical exposures on Canon 500D). It's not too far off from the magicshine, but it's not as bright and not as white, and it weighs a lot more and has less runtime.

20W MR16 12v halogen running at 14.4v (actually the battery was freshly charged so probably more like 15.8v)


Magicshine on high:
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Old 10-18-09, 12:03 AM   #21
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One thing I like in particular is its small discreet size. The headlight is small enough that most people wouldn't recognize it as a $90 accessory. I haven't tested my theory by leaving it on my bicycle yet, and probably wouldn't on a college campus, but for running in for groceries and the like I may leave it on.
I've had an $8 mirror swiped off my bike one time because I forgot to take it with me. I wouldn't leave anything attatched to the bike at all reguardless of how discreet you might think it is.
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Old 10-18-09, 12:24 AM   #22
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I've had an $8 mirror swiped off my bike one time because I forgot to take it with me. I wouldn't leave anything attatched to the bike at all reguardless of how discreet you might think it is.
On a century one time, I only left my bike alone a few minutes at a time when stopping at convenience stores for water or restroom breaks.
When I got home I discovered some moron had stolen the black plastic Cinelli bar-end plugs.
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