Waterproofing, excellent visibility, and super-easy charging make for a winning combination, but attachment system disappoints
Weight: 15g Contact: www.todayscyclist.co.uk
Knog's Blinder 1 is essentially a slimmed-down single LED version of the Blinder 4, weighing in at a mere 15g and cutting a very low profile. It may be small in size, but it certainly makes a style statement, with the anodised aluminium fascia available in 4 colours – black, red, white, and the rather fetching blue tested here. The light forms a completely sealed unit, and the build quality is excellent - far superior to Knog's other silicon-bodied lights.
And it's not just a looker... On the road, the 15 lumen front Blinder equates to a surprisingly bright light for such a small package (Knog quote visibility to be over 500m). The 2 hour burn time on steady beam isn't bad, but I was particularly impressed with the unusual light patterns; fast flash and two speeds of 'organic flash' which incorporate a fade/glow/strobe effect and really catch attention in traffic. Eco-flash (a standard flashing mode at a slower rate of 100/min) gives 11 hours run time. The button is integrated into the body of the light, so switching between modes is as easy as briefly clicking the side. A longer button press to switch on prevents accidental activation, and another neat feature is the mode memory; the light switches back on to its last setting.
Unlike most other rechargeable lights, there are no dodgy silicon port covers, caps or cables to worry about. The USB plug is ingeniously incorporated into the body of the bracket, and is completely weatherproof. A full charge takes 2 hours, indicated by the red charging light changing to green.
The only flaw in the otherwise superb Blinder design is in attaching the light to the bike. Knog states the Blinder 1 is suitable for bars and seatposts with a diameter of 22-32mm, which doesn't give much wiggle room. It sits on the bars beautifully with a standard setup, but really strains to fit around some more awkward under-tape cable routing. This particular issue will be dependant on cable setup and personal handlebar real estate, but it's worth bearing in mind. The latch looks nice and tidy (it's plastic rather than the stainless steel of the Blinder 4), but I found unclasping it in particular a bit fiddly, especially with gloves. The unusual design does mean that the Blinders aren't suited for attachment to most clothes, bags, seatstays or forks, and my attempts at fitting them to a helmet have resulted in one of the straps developing a couple of little tears from overstretching. I can't help wishing Knog had gone for a more robust and adjustable strap to give more attachment options – such as those found in the Moon range.
The strap does reclaim some brownie points on the rear Blinder, as the clasp contours unobtrusively around the seatpost, leaving no hooks or loose bits to catch thighs. The LED lens cover protrudes slightly from the faceplate, providing a fair amount of side visibility and wide light diffusion. Rated at 11 lumens, it's pretty bright by itself, and the different modes work brilliantly in combination with a more powerful static light.
Waterproofing, excellent visibility, and super-easy charging make for a winning combination, but attachment system disappoints.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Knog Blinder 1 front light
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product 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?
The Blinder 1 is clearly aimed at the fashion-conscious rider looking for a functional, durable, low profile blinky light. It certainly fits the bill.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
DIMENSIONS: 25 x 25 x 33mm
MATERIALS: UV-Resistant Industrial grade silicone. Polycarbonate Lens, Latch and Housing. Hard-anodised aluminium fascia.
USB: Rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery
FRONT: 20 lumens (LED Rating)
REAR: 11 lumens (LED Rating)
LEDs: Efficient LEDs designed to provide maximum brightness level for up to 90% of the battery burn time for each mode. Rather than LED brightness deteriorating during your ride.
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: Light is visible at over 500 metres.
Light Modes: 5 light modes: Steady, Fast Flash, Organic Flash Slow, Organic Flash Fast, Eco-flash.
Burn Time: Burn time of over 2-hours in constant and up to 11-hours eco-flash mode.
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium polymer battery via integrated USB plug.
Integrated USB Plug: Designed to be exposed to the elements, the plug is also waterproof and will not be damaged by expsure.
Button: New longer button push on (0.75sec) prevents accidental activation of your light. Short presses switch modes continuously. The light is switched off with a long button push off (0.5sec).
Storage Mode: Storage mode provides the best longevity for your Blinder light. Repeat this procedure every 3 months thereafter if the light isn't being used.1. Charge the light for a full charge cycle. (indicator glows green when charged).2. Remove light from USB charging device / port.3. Turn light on in any mode.4. Hold button down for more than 5 seconds, at which point the indicator LED will turn red.5. The light itself will remain on until the Blinder switches itself off and into storage mode.
Bike Attachment: Tool-less attachment for handlebars/rear-posts and frames of 22-32mm ø
100% Waterproof: The Blinder 1 is IP66 Tested and 100% waterproof against all elements.
Testing: The Blinder 1 has been tested against the following; Drop tests, corrosion tests, UV tests, Electrical shock and static, vibration and impact, temperature and humidity, cycle testing and CE certification.
Great build quality - the body and USB port are well designed and constructed. The silicon strap and clasp are far from perfect though.
Performed flawlessly throughout the test.
Tricky one, a very high score for the light itself is I do have some doubts about how long the strap will last - although they're only doubts because we haven't had it long enough to be really sure.
A lot of money for a be-seen safety light, but about average compared to other USB rechargeable ones. Waterproofing and style add to the value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Light itself worked brilliantly. The strap functioned, but definitely felt strained on certain handlebar setups.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Looks, total waterproofing, integrated USB port, unusual beam patterns.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Silicon strap and method of attachment.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if their cable setup was suitable on the front.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Tricross My best bike is: Van Nicholas Mistral
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Local postal delivery