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Verdict: 
An innovative and well-designed light with the very useful ability to charge your phone
Weight: 
115g
Knog PWR Rider Front Light
8 10

The Knog PWR Rider is a very useful, long lasting and innovative commuter front light that packs in the features.

  • Pros: Innovative design, well made, simple to use
  • Cons: Strap difficult to remove

One of the key elements that sets this light apart from the competition is that it also acts as a power bank, so you can top up your phone or bike computer on the go. It does this through a USB port that sits underneath a dust cover at the rear of the light, along with a micro USB port to charge the light.

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It isn't something that will charge my iPhone from 0-100%; it's designed to be more of a top-up in case I run out of juice while out riding. Knog claims that after an hour of use it will generate around 35% of the phone battery, which is broadly what I found throughout the review for my iPhone 8. You don't need to have the light shining to charge stuff: all you need to do is connect your device to the PWR unit then wake up the light by pressing the button so the red dots come up.  It will then charge away happily.

Attaching the light is via a single rubber strap with a hook on the other side of the base. It is a simple system and it keeps the light secure on the bar. There was no issue at all with it seeming like it could fall off or even shift on the bar. The light also rotates on the base, which makes both mounting it at different angles easier and also allows better access to the hook when mounting the light on the bar.

Knog PWR Rider Front Light - side.jpg

Knog PWR Rider Front Light - side.jpg

The only downside I found with this system was that, although attachment was fairly simple, taking it off was a bit difficult because the thick rubber strap is hard to get off the hook, especially if you have slightly slippery hands after a ride.

Operation is from a single button that sits on the underside of the light beneath the lens, which is easy to use even with thick winter gloves. At the back there is another button that allows the dust cover to be removed. One press on the button turns it on, and as it has a mode memory it will automatically turn back on in the setting you were last using. Pressing the button again cycles through the different modes and a longer press turns it off.

At the top of the light there is also a charge indicator, with four red LEDs each representing 25 per cent of the battery, so you can see when you need to charge.

The light comes programmed with six different modes: three solid beams of 450, 190, or 50 lumens and three different flash settings. I generally found that these were enough, but you can also use the ModeMaker app, which allows you to plug your light into a computer and choose the order the modes appear, and which six of eight available modes you would like to use. It is an innovative idea and the app itself is really easy to use.

The beam on the light did everything I needed for a variety of commuting conditions, whether that was to increase my visibility in low light rides or lighting the way on unlit routes. For the price there are certainly more powerful lights available, but this was certainly up to the job for everything I needed it for.

> Buyer's Guide: The best 2017/2018 front lights for cycling + beam comparison engine

Battery life is very much dependent on how you are using the light, but is pretty good for many types of riding. I most often used it at around 50 lumens for the evening commute, and the claimed 16-hour battery time is broadly what I found; I only needed to charge it roughly once every two weeks when using it on this setting, which is really good.

The other settings vary from 2 hours on a 450-lumen beam (tested), to 90 hours for the Eco-Flash option (claimed).

The light is well made, with the CNC machined aluminium body providing a look of quality, water resistance, and the likelihood that it will last for many seasons.

RRP on the light is £57.99, which for all its different innovations is a pretty strong price. There are others that are brighter and with a slightly better battery life for around the same price, but when you throw in the ability to edit the light modes through an app and being able to charge your devices, it is a good price.

Overall, I was really impressed with the light. It brings together some innovative ideas into one well-made and easy-to-use package. It would be good to have a strap that is easier to remove, but that's forgivable given the overall quality of the light.

Verdict

An innovative and well-designed light with the very useful ability to charge your phone

road.cc test report

Make and model: Knog PWR Rider Front Light

Size tested: 450 lumen

Tell us what the light is for

A commuting light that also allows you to charge devices when on the go.

Knog says, "PWR Rider is a 450 lumen bike light that can also be used as a power bank. Includes the option to program your brightness and runtime (through ModeMaker app), then use your remaining battery to charge your devices. The light outputs in an elliptical beam for broader, brighter road coverage; has a 2 hr runtime at max 450 lumens and 4 smart battery indicator LEDs to let the rider know how much charge is left in the light."

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

From Knog:

RUNTIME

MODE LUMENS RUNTIME

Ride 450 2hrs

Commuter 190 5.5hrs

Stamina 50 16hrs

Pulse 320 7hrs

Strobe Flash 190 10hrs

Eco-Flash 50 90hrs

 

FEATURES

The two Charger lights come with 5 pre-programmed modes, just in case you haven't yet discovered the ModeMaker app. The PWR Rider will last 2 hours at 450 lumens, and for those with stamina, will run at 200 lumens for 5 hours.

Elliptical beam - Elliptical beam for wide view works with spot beam for intense light in front of front wheel.

Programs your modes - The ModeMaker app lows you to design the modes for any PWR bike light. Simply plug in your light, then select and tailor modes from the menu. You can do things such as control brightness, adjust runtimes and add new light modes.

Charge your devices - Rear of the light is a USB rechargeable power bank. Use this to charge your phone, GoPro or cycle computer on the go. 1 hour riding @450 lumens means you can top up charge your iPhone by 35%. Charge time 3.5 hours.

 

SPECIFICATION

Light output: 450 Lumens.

Power Bank: 2200 mAh.

Dimensions: 122 x 30mm

Weight: 115g.

Battery indicator.

CNC Machined.

Programmable modes.

USB rechargable.

Water resistant when cap is on.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well made, with an aluminium machined body and strong strap.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Very easy to use: simply cycle through the modes and on/off with a single button.

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

Easy to put on, more difficult to take off.

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

Stood up to everything the Beast from the East threw at it.

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

Fairly good battery life, with a huge variety based on the mode used.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Performed well throughout, offering a decent amount of light for all types of riding I needed.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Well made thick strap and aluminium body. It's a durable light.

Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
5/10

It's about where I would expect it to be, although it can be found for below RRP if you shop around.

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

Designed well, it threw out enough light for whatever riding I was doing, and charged my phone easily too.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The ModeMaker app is a really great idea; the ability to change the modes available for different types of riding is really useful.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Getting the strap off was a pain.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a well-made, well-designed and well-considered light for modern riding. It has a couple of little niggles – like the strap – but these are only small complaints about a strong performing light.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.