FrostBike 2013 Exclusive: Knog’s blinding new, er, Blinder Road lights

FrostBike 2013: 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.

FrostBike 2013: Knog's blinding new, er, Blinder Road lights

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.

FrostBike 2013: Knog's blinding new, er, Blinder Road lights

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?

FrostBike 2013: Knog's blinding new, er, Blinder Road lights FrostBike 2013: Knog's blinding new, er, Blinder Road lights

FrostBike 2013: Knog's blinding new, er, Blinder Road lights

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.

FrostBike 2013: Knog's blinding new, er, Blinder Road lights

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.

 

 

Comments

Nico M8 - 02/27/13 - 7:34pm

I’m glad you guys are going to do a review on these and I hope you give them a nice long test (at least 2 months) before you write the review. My dad and I have both used Knog head and taillights that failed to work properly within months of their first use. These look promising but it will take a several positive, thorough reviews of their products before I buy Knog again.

limba - 02/27/13 - 9:31pm

Same thoughts here. I’ve bought three lights from Knog. All of them seemed great at first but failed within a year.

Capretto - 02/27/13 - 10:00pm

I wouldn’t buy another Knog product after the attachment strap on the Blinder taillight I bought broke the third time I used it.

Nalim - 02/27/13 - 10:37pm

I’ve had my blinders for about 8-months, swap them between different bikes regularly and never had an issue.

Jim - 02/27/13 - 10:49pm

Knog seems to make some great and some crappy products. From a shop guy perspective: Frogs are dead in box like a quarter of the time and require cleaning the contacts. They’ve made products that literally don’t work on any bike (rackless panier), but the blinder and boomer series are actually some of the most reliable lights I’ve sold. Are there problems? Sure. More than other lights? No.

Every time they launch a product I get one and really beat it up… if it passes, then I sell it to folks.

Matt - 02/27/13 - 11:37pm

The front Blinders are crap. I’m on my third one. The first two had the strap fail within ten rides, and the third just stopped working entirely. Knog replaced the first two no problems but blames it on the fact that I have a 31.8 bar and actually dared to have cables and tape on it. Rather than blame the issue on their customers they should either a) make the strap a bit longer and more robust or b) say its for brakeless, tape less fixes only.

It’s a shame because the light is rakishly bright, but I won’t buy another Knog product again.

Joe - 02/28/13 - 2:12am

Just to balance out the comments, i’ve got numerous Frogs at home that i’ve been using for years with no sign of failure.

roy - 02/28/13 - 2:17am

I agree knog blinder and blinder 1 rubber straps rip easily.

Max - 02/28/13 - 2:48am

Well, new Knog lights with Lipoly accumulator. With temperatures of 0°C ans less you will get half of the batterylife for every 5 Kelvin less. Sounds like a stupid idea to me….

And well, had two Blinders, they died after some salt water from the streets within two days. :(

Devo - 02/28/13 - 2:54am

I have last years tail light. its awesome. looks good, super bright, easy install. no brainer.
what does it need? tilt adjustment to compensate for seatpost angle. luckily the silicone is super flex, and its easy enough to mount the light against the seatpost clamp which tilts the light upward a touch.

needs tilt adjustment.

very curious to the head light!

iperov - 02/28/13 - 7:44am

$85? no thx, look same as KNOG’s lights at taobao, 10 times cheaper.

Nik - 02/28/13 - 8:43am

yup.. the lights are really bright. But have gotten them replace countless time due to the strap breaking. Dealer had the cheek to say I put it on a seatpost that is too wide. 27.2? come on.

Jason - 02/28/13 - 9:30am

Knog makes cool looking lights that are crap, period. If want a reliable light look elsewhere.

limba - 02/28/13 - 9:56am

Yeah, so basically they suck. I’m done with Knog.

Ajax - 02/28/13 - 11:19am

Unfortunately, I am going to have to echo many other people’s opinion here. The Knog’s suck.

Brandon - 02/28/13 - 5:08pm

Huh, I have a front and rear blinder on two different bikes (4 lights total) that see commuting time daily all year long, neither have ever needed to be replaced. I’ve had a number of Frogs that didn’t work or broke, but were replaced no questions asked every single time.

Marius - 03/06/13 - 2:45am

Happy to see that they’re including straps for different bar sizes.
That automagically means you should be able to get a replacement if the strap breaks.

Dave - 05/20/13 - 1:38pm

Broken strap after 6 rides on 31.8 handlebar, no tape or cables in the way; strap cannot be replaced, making the light useless.

BMark - 12/11/13 - 7:26pm

Hey Dave – the straps can definitely be replaced on the Road. Shoot us an email at peeps@knog.com.au and we’ll sort you out.

Thanks!
Brian from Knog

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