Lights just seem to get smaller and smaller and brighter and brighter. At this rate, in a few years they'll be brighter than the sun and invisible to the naked eye. For the time being though we'll have to make do with units like the MiNewt USB which kicks out three hours of super-bright beam and weighs less than your race saddle.
The MiNewt is marketed as a commuter light so before I go on to remark on its goodness I'll have the usual gripe about it not having any side visibilty. I mean, light manufacturers, how hard can it be to put a couple of windows in the side. As it is you'll need to run an LED flasher as well if you want to be safe (and legal).
Anyway, back to the good stuff. The beam is very bright: 110 lumens is the claimed output, and while I can't vouch for that empirically it's certainly as hot as other lights I've tested with similar numbers. The beam is focused in the centre with a dimmer halo, which is more or less perfect for road riding: you get most of the light pointed at where you're going but with some spill to give a bit of peripheral vision. It works well as a head torch too (you'll need the plus version for that which costs an extra £30, either that or fashion a mount yourself) and is a great supplement to a bar-mounted light off-road.
The USP of the USB is that you can plug it in to your computer to recharge it via any standard mini USB lead, so there's no need to remember where your charger is (it does come with a mains charger). It takes about four hours and the button on the battery goes green to let you know when it's full. As far as convenience goes it couldn't be better, there's no excuse for a flat battery if you use a computer at work. The USB port has a waterproof cover and the lamp lead is pretty well sealed too. Of course if you don't use a computer at work you may have a slight problem.
Fitting the light is easy: the battery attaches to your stem with a velcro strap and the light is held on with an O-ring. There's a bit of side-to-side movement in the light mount if your bars aren't straight and the whole system can be securely fitted in about 20 seconds.
I really like the MiNewt for the convenience and beam power that it offers. It's super-light and a fuss-free way to get some decent illumination if your commute or training schedule requires it. It's a pity there's no side visibility for town riding.
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Make and model: Niterider MiNewt USB LED front light
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, it's an excellent light
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: Schwinn Moab, urbanised with 700cs My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with upgrades
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, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.