FrostBike 2013 Exclusive: Knog’s blinding new, er, Blinder Road lights
No longer content just being seen, design-aware antipodean accessorizers Knog are teasing a new light for seeing with- just in time for Australian winter (I gotta give Marc credit for that opening line, well done). When it comes to commuting lights, there are generally two categories – to be seen lights, and to see with lights. First seen at FrostBike, Knog is graduating from the to be seen category into the to see with category with a blinding new Blinder Road light set. More than just a lot of lumens in a small package though, the Blinder Road set builds a bunch of smart features into a compact, USB rechargeable light set while managing to keep Knog’s fun sense of design.
Look directly into the light after the break.
Built with two high powered CREE LEDs, the Blinder Road 2 headlight features two lenses, one that throws a wide beam to see immediately around you, and one that is a focused narrow beam for seeing down the road. Hold the left power button for a few seconds and the light blazes to life offering 4 different lighting modes – narrow beam only, wide beam only, both narrow beam and wide beam simultaneously, or narrow beam constant with wide beam flashing. That last commuter mode setting is pretty cool because it allows you to see where you’re going with the narrow beam, while still alerting oncoming motorists with the flashing wide beam. Hit the button on the right at any time and you will toggle through a high and low beam setting for each option, so there is technically 8 lighting options total. Technically, these are still first samples, but the final headlight is expected to push 200+ lumens with the tail light clocking in at 60 lumens – plenty bright for such a small, useable package. Oh, and the lights are fully waterproof as well.
When it comes to the Blinder Road R, it boasts many of the same features and packs some serious illumination. With 1 CREE super bright LED, and 3 additional very bright LEDs the Road R offers a 290º illumination radius thanks to the clear section sandwiched in the body. Like the head light, the rear features 5 different modes of steady and flashing variety, including a Peloton mode which only uses the two middle LEDs as shown in the photo above, so you don’t blind your friends when riding in a group. See? Smart, right?
Hoping to make the least impact on the environment as possible, not only does Knog use biodegradable and recyclable packaging for the Blinder Roads, but they’re both USB rechargeable as well. Once the integrated battery indicator tells you you’re low on juice, it’s time to plug into your computer to recharge. Each light has a full size USB tab built into the body of the light that flips closed when not in use. Given that the position of the USB tab isn’t ideal for all of the computers in the world, each light includes a USB extension cord in typical, fun Knog colors. Each light’s LiPo battery will charge in about 5 hours for a completely dead battery, and should provide 3.5 – 20 hrs of run time for the tail light, and 1 – 6 hrs of run time for the head light depending on the setting.
Also inside each head light box you will find two different rubber straps, one for smaller 22-28mm bars, and one for larger 29-35mm bars (yes these are compatible with the new 35mm road and mountain bars, if you care). Better still, each head light also includes a helmet mount with a velcro strap to mount, well, on your helmet. The helmet mount uses a cylinder the same size as the smaller handlebar diameter so it’s a perfect fit. Both front and rear lights utilize a high quality metal buckle on the rubber strap that hooks to the other side of the light and cinches everything down.
Both lights are expected to be available in May, with the head light retailing for $85, and the tail light for $60. We’ve got a set in for review, and barring some catastrophic failure, from what we’ve seen so far there is nothing not to like.