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The Knog Blinder MOB Mr Chips is a very good small and powerful front light that makes you very visible on the road, and makes the road visible in the dark. It has a useful five modes and pumps out 80 lumens, which makes sure it lives up to the Blinder part of its name. The only thing I would consider changing is the USB charging, but that is just a small aspect of the overall quality.
I've been testing and using several lights of late, from the handlebar-bendingly huge to the invisibly small. This Knog Blinder sits towards the smaller end, but unlike many others in this category, it really packs a punch.
Pumping out 80 lumens of light means that you have to be careful to position it facing slightly downwards, as taking a full blast of this in a rear view mirror wouldn't be a pleasant experience. It means you are very visible to everybody around you, and you can see signposts reflecting the light back at you from considerable distances.
The light comes with five modes: the full 80 lumens on a steady beam ('steady high'), a slightly lower output beam ('steady low'), 'strobe' flash, pulsing flash ('fancy flash'), and 'eco flash' – flashing on left/right sequences. These will fit the needs of most, and with the 80-lumens full beam I could navigate in the dark on the road (it probably wouldn't be good enough for night trail riding).
Battery life is very good, although this is dependent on how you use it. It can run for around four hours on the full strength beam, but using it on the eco flash (the mode I most commonly used) it lasts around 60 hours (I didn't ever run out of power in this mode despite long uses). And when the battery is running low, a red light indicates that the unit needs to be charged.
Knog achieves this impressive battery life by using low-power LEDs, which can pump out a bright light without rinsing the battery, meaning small size and bright light.
Charging is done through a USB attached to the light itself, so the light attaches direct to the computer/plug, cutting out the need for additional cables. It is useful, but does cause the only slight concern I have: that after a long wet ride, you don't really want to plug a wet light into an electric socket. That said, you can just wait for it to dry or dry it yourself, then it's safe. Knog does say that it's "designed to be exposed to the elements, is waterproof and will not be damaged by exposure".
Fitting the light to the bar is simple, and it has the added bonus of being able to attach to aero bars because of the shape of the back. This is done through a secure strap with a sturdy metal buckle. Throughout the testing period the light felt sturdy even on cobbles and rough surfaces.
The Blinder comes in at £35, which is reasonable for a light of this quality. I used it in torrential rain with no adverse effects and it pumped light into the road ahead of me, so for safety and reliability it's a price worth paying.
Overall, I am very impressed with this little light. It manages to pack a real punch despite its small size, and the battery life is impressive: you can just leave it on your bar for days and not worry about it (somewhere safe, of course). It is also nice to see that Knog has considered performance riders who want to ride their aero bikes during the winter, something that's often ignored by light manufacturers.
Small light that packs a punch without killing the battery
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Knog Blinder MOB Mr Chips 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?
To increase your visibility in urban areas and potentially light the way in darker patches without taking up too much space on your bar and without needing to be charged constantly.
It does just what you want, with the LEDs pumping out brightness without draining the battery and the small size allowing it sit well on the handlebar.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
LIGHT DIMENSIONS: 42 x 42 x 62mm
MATERIALS: UV-Resistant Industrial grade silicone. Polycarbonate Lens, Polycarbonate Optical grade PMMA Lens, Hard-Anodised aluminium fascia.
USB: Rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery
FRONT OUTPUT: 80 lumens (LED Rating)
BIKE ATTACHMENT : Two removable silicone FRONT light straps for bars 22-27mm / 27-32mm
Small with a durable a fully waterproof body, and the straps don't look likely to break easily.
Good brightness, good battery life and a multitude of sequences – what more do you need?
With the storage option on the light, good battery life and LED use, these are likely to last over several winters.
Of course there are cheaper lights, but at £35 these certainly offer plenty of bang for your buck.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, lit me up nicely and when on full beam lit the road ahead of me.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The use of LED lights combining brightness with battery life saving is a real winner.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only slight bug is the uncovered USB; it's designed that way, but you would not want to plug it in anywhere when still wet.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.