Knog Blinder Road 2 front light   £59.99

7/10

Well made, versatile light for clutter-phobic riders who generally ride within city limits

Weight 74g   Contact  www.todayscyclist.com

by Shaun Audane   March 17, 2014  

Knog Blinder 2 Road

Find a store

Available in black, red, grape and gunmetal, the Knog Blinder Road 2 light resembles an old school high power twin lamp system that some batty boffin passed through a matter-shrinking device. Look elsewhere if you're seeking that level of see-with firepower mind, since all guns blazing it'll manage a very modest two hundred lumens. That said, this remains sufficient for navigating less challenging semi- rural stuff and the wealth of settings mean it's easily tailored for commuting and contingency duties.

Up front we've a beautifully executed CNC-machined housing, which is not only sturdier than a resin case but regulates heat more efficiently, so it's kinder to the LED circuitry and the lithium polymer battery. Collimator optics bend and project light most efficiently, banishing halos and similar imperfections.

The compact layout means the switches are very intimately positioned and a little tricky to use in full finger gloves but they're increasingly intuitive with use. There are three power levels '' flood, narrow and dual '' with five themes and the option of mixing things up. High eco flash sounds a bit rude but means one lamp provides a clear, static beam for picking out the detail, while the other dances a very distinctive samba. It's particularly effective through built up areas where the ambient glare can drown out powerful blinkies and it optimises economy and run times into the bargain.

An integral battery indicator means being plunged into darkness will be a blue moon event, though these aren't idiot proof; getting the very best from each five hour charge cycle requires intelligent deployment. Highest setting is a case in point. Unleashing the full 200 lumens crosses into see-with territory and I've been able to tackle semi-rural stuff to around 16mph but the setting races through the battery reserves in 53 minutes; less when temperatures tumble.

All settings are extremely extrovert, unleashing a very intense white hue that captivates, rather than mesmerises to around four hundred metres. Eco flash is the most frugal and hopeless for navigational duties but its strobe speed means it's visible to 500 metres without dazzling the rider. That makes it an absolute lifesaver should a dynamo wire snag, or time slip away on those late summer evenings.

Low wide and low dual are another useful option around dusk, casting a reasonable pool of light around you and generally adequate for suburban stretches, returning 1 hour 47 minutes from a complete charge cycle.

Irrespective of setting, peripheral prowess is better than its design would suggest, devoid of obvious blind spots when entering traffic flow or negotiating larger roundabouts but nonetheless, I took the liberty of adding small retro reflective stickers.

Now a quick word about the fitting kit. Thoughtfully, helmet, standard and oversized lips are included for a host of options, whether complementing a more powerful bar mounted systems or swapping between different diameters.

Standard manages bars between 25.4 and 26.4, allowing for cork and similarly dense handlebar wraps, though the oversized sibling struggles with beefy 31.8 Godzilla types and while the nylon clasp is arguably kinder to Dun/similar finishes, it's a faff, especially in gloved hands.

Knog claims the Blinder Road 2 is completely waterproof. That's a tall order from a plug-in rechargeable light but ours sniggered at five minutes sustained hosepipe torture testing and in any case a two year warrantee comes as standard.

Verdict

Well made, versatile light for clutter-phobic riders who generally ride within city limits.

The light comparator

If you have a nice big screen you can click here for the widescreen version (1400x1000px)

road.cc test report

Make and model: Knog Blinder Road 2

Size tested: Black, Front light

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

"With the Knog Blinder Road 2, Knog introduces its first generation of Hi-powered bike lights specifically designed for road cycling. Delivering a colossal 200 lumen beam of light on the front, they're the first Blinder lights of their kind to give riders 100% visibility and freedom at night, all from a super-compact, super-light, USB rechargeable, waterproof, integrated silicone package." Certainly very bright in the seen-by sense and more powerful than others boasting 200 lumens but hardly colossal

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Specifications

* 200 Lumens

* Light Dimensions: W53mm x H30mm x D63mm

* Weight: 75g

* Materials: UV-Resistant, industrial-grade Silicone Rubber Body and Straps. Polycarbonate Housing. PMMA Lens. Anodised Aluminium Heat sink. Anodised Aluminium Fascia and solid Stainless Steel MIMLatch

* Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (USB). This saves using about 600 AAA Alkaline batteries during the lights lifetime

* Leds: 2 x CREE XB-D LEDs

* Lens: Use of an optic design to provide a balanced ratio of beam width and distance to safely illuminate you and the path ahead.

* Visibility: Visible from a distance of min. 1000 metres

* Beam Angle (degrees): Wide beam 22°- Hi/Low. Narrow beam 15° - Hi/Low. Dual beam 15 and 22°combined - Hi/Low.

* LiPo Technology with battery protection circuit. USB Rechargeable and extension cord included.

* Constant current drive technology: Maintains consistent brightness throughout specified run-time.

* Integrated USB Plug: Designed to be exposed to the elements, the plug is also waterproof and will not be damaged by exposure.

* Waterproof: 100% Waterproof and Dust Proof. IP68 approved.

* Light Modes: Total of 8 light modes: 1. Narrow Low Beam, 2. Narrow High Beam, 3. Wide Low Beam,4. Wide High Beam, 5. Dual Low Beam, 6. Dual High Beam, 7. Flashing Alternate, 8. Flashing-1 LED Steady/1 LED flashing.

* Burn time: Low-beam modes: Steady 2hr, Flash mode 6hr. High-beam modes:Steady 1hr / Flash mode: 4hr.

* Charge time: 5 hour charge time

* Button: New longer button push on (0.75sec) prevents accidental activation of your light. Short presses switch modes continuously. Similarly, the light is switched off with a long button push off (0.5sec).

* Low battery indicator

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

A prime example of how Knog's build quality has improved these last two years.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

Pretty intuitive, although rubberised buttons were tricky to locate and engage on the fly.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10

Very user friendly, although oversized strap struggled with 30.8 bulge diameters, even with judicious stretching.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

Passed my garden hose torture test with flying colours.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10
Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Excellent in the seen-by sense and plentiful choice of settings.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Surprisingly well made.

Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the light for comfort, if applicable:
 
6/10

Small switches were tricky to operate in gloved hands, especially in the saddle.

Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Knog Blinder Road 2 has considerable allure for those wanting a very bright, yet unobtrusive system primarily for sub/urban seen-by duties but with occasional/short semi rural sections thrown in for good measure. However, serious back road scratching demands a minimum of 500 lumens.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Cute looks, impressive output and build quality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Switch gear tricky to operate in gloved hands.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? No, a little under powered for my locale.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, provided they weren't straying far from the suburbs or wanted to make the most of late summer evenings.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

oh great something else to blind everybody coming towards you with. These things should not be legal to cycle on streets with unless they have cut-offs to prevent light from going above the horizontal. Fine for off-road, but an absolute pain for other road users.

posted by Paul_C [306 posts]
17th March 2014 - 18:45

2 Likes

Paul_C wrote:
oh great something else to blind everybody coming towards you with. These things should not be legal to cycle on streets with unless they have cut-offs to prevent light from going above the horizontal. Fine for off-road, but an absolute pain for other road users.

My immediate reaction Paul, which is to wholeheartedly agree with you, is unfortunately tempered by harsh experience. The latest, but by no means the only, example took place in the half-light of a recent morning as I was pootling along a well-lit urban street, wearing my hi-viz and showing 400 rapidly flashing lumens at the front. None of which prevented an oncoming car pulling onto my side of the road to overtake slower traffic. His completely unnecessary manoeuvre gained him about three seconds and almost cost me my last breath.

This kind of lunacy convinces me that I really need as much light as I can muster. And if careful, law abiding drivers have to suffer in order to keep me safe, that's a price I'm happy for them to pay.

Mike

mike the bike's picture

posted by mike the bike [333 posts]
17th March 2014 - 19:01

68 Likes

I've used a Knogg Blinder 3 for some time now (Very similar spec) and have found it fantastic for mixed night riding. It is equally good at urban "I want to be seen" and rural "I want to see".

As for blinding other road users, yes there is potentially a problem but this can be alleviated by considerate riding.

1) If your light is mounted on your bars then be aware that your light is at the same height as a cars wing-mirror. If your stationary just turn your bars a little.
2) If your light is helmet mounted be aware of where it is shinning and the effect it might have on other road users.
3) All these types of lights have variable outputs. Select a power output that suits what you want to do. If you want to be seen then you don't need the same level of light as wanting to see.

Mike. There is a huge difference between a driver not seeing you and just not caring that you are there. Don't give the Daily Mail and/or Top Gear any more "bloody cyclists" ammunition. Nursey has your tablet and your blanket ready for you now. Smile

posted by levermonkey [551 posts]
17th March 2014 - 20:51

66 Likes

this is what I have as my main front light:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00EUB6F9K/

these as my blinkies:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cateye-HL-LD130-TL-LD130-Light-Set/dp/B002HD56JS/

I also have a Lezyne Microdrive rear light for my rear steady.

posted by Paul_C [306 posts]
17th March 2014 - 23:20

67 Likes

Why not review the Road 3 instead?
I've been using a Road 2 and Road 4 LED Rear for months and have found them great. Excellent visibility on the rear light during winter days and even more so at night.

jasonbrim's picture

posted by jasonbrim [25 posts]
18th March 2014 - 9:50

67 Likes

I've been running a Knog Blinder Road 2 on my helmet for 6 weeks now and found it faultless. I have it set in the lowest output, Eco Flash, which gives me on average a weeks' commuting.
The only issue was having the Eco Flash on in the recent fog as the light was reflecting off the fog 3 foot in front of my eyes. I now have a USB cable in work 'for those 'just in case' days when I forget to charge the light at home.

To those who mention blinding other road users, this light is aimed at the same spot on the road in front of my bike as the bar mounted light.

Redvee's picture

posted by Redvee [149 posts]
18th March 2014 - 13:04

65 Likes

Redvee wrote:
I've been running a Knog Blinder Road 2 on my helmet for 6 weeks now and found it faultless. I have it set in the lowest output, Eco Flash, which gives me on average a weeks' commuting.
The only issue was having the Eco Flash on in the recent fog as the light was reflecting off the fog 3 foot in front of my eyes. I now have a USB cable in work 'for those 'just in case' days when I forget to charge the light at home.

To those who mention blinding other road users, this light is aimed at the same spot on the road in front of my bike as the bar mounted light.

Redvee,
are you still happy with the light? How is the helmet strap holding up? i am just about to but the light as a supplement to my dynamo light. I will run it on low flash for attention.
cheers
Bob

bobinski

posted by bobinski [181 posts]
23rd September 2014 - 12:04

0 Likes