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Lunch » Tags » Sport And Outdoor » Reviews » Cygolite Mitycross 350 LED Bike Light

Cygolite Mitycross 350 LED Bike Light

1 rating: 5.0
Sport and Outdoor
1 review about Cygolite Mitycross 350 LED Bike Light

Lighter and Better Than the Niterider MiNewt X2 Dual

  • Dec 16, 2008
Rating:
+5
Pros: Light weight, very bright, more durable and easier to use.  Less cost than the competition.

Cons: Cygolite probably is not a household name with your riding buddies.

The Bottom Line: A highly recommended light system that is the new benchmark for the $200 and under category that can rival systems costing twice as much.

For many that know me, when I write reviews on bike products for Epinions, I thoroughly put them through a workout during my frequent biking patrols at my local regional parks as a bike patrol officer.  I have been using a set of Niterider MiNewt X2 Dual headlights that I reviewed here: Niterider MiNewt X2 Dual the past year as my primary headlights.  I have noted the issues with their rubber o-rings breaking and now them sliding into the down position on rough terrain.  I was looking for another set of bike lights that wouldn't cost too much, were similar in weight and size and thought to give the Cygolite MityCross 350 LED bike light a try.  Here are my thoughts after a month of use for both on and off-road uses:

Quality:
Every bit as good as the Niterider.  From the head unit to the battery and included helmet mount, each component exudes the same quality and attention to detail as the Niterider.  One area that the Cygolite exceeds the Niterider is with the handlebar mount.  The Cygolite uses a traditional quick release screw mount for the handlebars that clamps down very tightly and doesn't let the head unit twist or dip in any way unlike the Niterider.  The Niterider with its innovative rubber o-ring system is thoughtful but over the long-term is problematic with its rubber o-rings breaking and head units sliding or twisting downwards on rough off-road terrain.  This was something I didn't expect with the Niterider.  But for certain, I do not expect this to happen at all with the Cygolite and its traditional handlebar mount with its screw mount that you can tighten as needed. 

Beam Pattern and Light Intensity Comparision:
The Cygolite instruction manual states that the two LEDs used in their headlight are focused with beam patterns that cross each other so that it creates a larger light spread to help you to see the road or single track trail better than lights that focus their beam in one spot.  The MityCross definitely has a beam pattern that is wider and deeper than any single beam headlight that I have ever seen or used.  Of course you can position the dual heads of the Niterider to have a wider beam pattern than the MityCross but at the expense of seeing farther down the road.  The MityCross with a rated 350 lumens (equivalent to 30 halogen watts) vs. the Niterider rated at 300 lumens (equivalent to 25 halogen watts) proves that having more lumens is a good thing.  The extra 50 lumens from the MityCross feels more like a truer rating than even the Niterider.  On the same off-road trails, I would definitely need a helmet light to supplement the Niterider lights.  With the MityCross, I can get away with using it by itself on the same fire roads I use because of the increased depth of field of the lights.  Describing the MityCross beam pattern that I see on the ground would be one large and wide spot vs. the Niterider which looks like two small spots that converge.  Also, the MityCross beam pattern is actually very fluid without any shadows or hot spots like the Niterider.  I have found that if you point the Niterider heads similar to the MityCross to reduce the dark spots, the Niterider doesn't spread their beams as wide as the MityCross if cross patterned the same.  

Ergonomics and Use: 
The MityCross single button on the head unit is very easy to use and is logical.  Press it once, and the light is on high.  Press it again depending on the length of time, and you can go into its flashing mode which includes a walking and SOS mode.  I really like having the control button on the head unit and not on the battery like the Niterider.  Depending on how you install the battery, the button could be under your stem and away from your view.  Also, going into the flashing mode of the Niterider is a bit difficult with their necessary 5 second hold on the button.  Who has 5 seconds to hold a button when they are riding?  The Cygolite has a feature to quickly go into the flashing mode for you roadies that is not documented in the owner's manual.  Just hold the button down for more than 1-2 seconds, let go and immediately the MityCross is in flashing mode.  Do it again, and you will be on continuous high beam.  

As I said before, the handlebar mount is very easy to use, as well as their helmet mount.  Sorry Niterider, you don't nor are you designed for helmet use.  Installing the battery is easy.   A velcro strap around the battery which they recommend go under your stem, a simple connector to the head unit, slip the head unit onto the handlebar mount, and you are ready to go.  I did notice that the connector to the head unit is more positive, defined and doesn't disconnect vs. the Niterider which has disconnected on me a couple of times while on the trails.   Very disconcerting to say the least.  Another interesting feature of the MityCross is that the head unit slightly swivels to vary the angle and direction of the beam pattern.  At first I thought there would be a problem with the swivel moving or shifting but this hasn't happen as of yet.  The MityCross head unit takes less space on my handlebars than the Niterider.  So if you have space constraints, you are better off going with the MityCross over the two head Niterider.  For those of you that use a wireless computer like me, you will be happy to know that the flashing mode on the MityCross will not interfere with your computer's readings.  I had this problem with the Niterider in flashing mode which made my computer always read 30 mph even when I wasn't moving.  Changing the angle on the beam of the MityCross can easily be done on the fly vs. the Niterider with its fragile and tempermental rubber o-ring system.  Lastly, I haven't experienced any sliding or twisting issues with the MityCross vs. the Niterider as I said before.  Overall, the MityCross is simpler and easier to operate than the Niterider.

Run Times and Actual Weight Comparisons:     
If you look at the advertised run times, the MityCross wins hands down over the Niterider.  The MityCross gives you three levels of light to choose from with run times from 3.5-17 hours while the Niterider with its two light levels gives you run times from 1:45-3:30 hours.  If you wanted longer run times, the MityCross with its flashing, walking and SOS mode can give you from 50-100 hours of run time.  Which would you choose if you were a 24 hour racer?  I am still running on my first charge when I got the MityCross a month ago.

The MityCross is advertised to weigh 240 grams which includes the head unit, battery and handlebar mount.  My digital scale said 250 grams.  For comparison the Niterider which is advertised at 317 grams is actually 326 grams.

Features and Accessories:
Six different light modes which include: high, med, low beams, flashing, walking and SOS.  Top mounted indicator display to tell you when your battery power has more than 1 hour left, less than 1 hour left, and less than 20 minutes left.  Includes handlebar and helmet mounts.  An extension cord for helmet mounting, a smart battery charger for the Li-Ion battery used to prevent overcharging which is rated for worldwide use 100-240 volts.  Charge time from empty is 4 hours.  Head unit is made of aluminum alloy and they include a rubber strip you apply to the Li-Ion battery to prevent scratches and slipping of the battery under the stem.     

Warranty:
This is one area that Cygolite should take the lead from Niterider.  One year warranty from date of purchase.  Niterider is two years.  

Pricing:
MSRP is $199.99 while the Niterider is $229.99.  I purchased mine on sale for $160.  

Manufacturer's Web Site:
Here is the link the Cygolite MityCross 350 LED web site:
http://cygolite.com/products/new/MityCross/mitycross.html


Conclusions:
Overall, I feel that the MityCross is a far better thought out system than the Niterider MiNewt X2 Dual.  You have the options of handlebar or helmet mounting with light functions that are easier to access.  A lighter weight system that produces more light and costs less with a run time that far exceeds the Niterider.  I would definitely recommend this system over the Niterider.  Less weight, greater light output with longer duration in a more compact system, plus the added benefit of costing less.  The MityCross is probably the new benchmark in lightweight LED light systems around the $150-$250 range.    
 

Recommended:
Yes

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