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Verdict: 
Very bright and eye-catching light, with only a slightly fragile feeling clamp taking the shine off
Weight: 
43g

The Knog Mid Cobber Rear is a smart looking funky light with a huge range of eye-catching modes with a large spread of lumen output making it ideal for use in the dark or on the brightest of sunny days.

  • Pros: Eye-catching modes, decent battery life
  • Cons: Bracket can be fiddly to use and feels slightly fragile

Using a blanket of Chip on Board (COB) LEDs, the entire curved body of the Cobber is illuminated, giving what Knog claims to be 330 degrees of coverage. And unlike some lights that make similar claims by having a cover that allows light to escape sideways, the Cobber actually has the LEDs pointing in the direction of each of those 330 degrees to give a uniform brightness of up to 170 lumens.

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The modes are mixed between solid state and various flashes or strobes, so you can adjust to the light conditions and control battery life.

Performance

With the days being long and bright at the moment and most of my riding taking place during the middle of the day, I've been favouring the two that offer maximum brightness. Both the Steady Pulse and Flash offer that 170 lumens and they are bright. The latter has a consistent flash that will give you 6.5 hours of run-time, with the Pulse lasting 2.5 hours because of the LEDs remaining on all of the time at a lower output (about 70 lumen), interrupted with a bright flash.

In lower light like overcast days or during the build-up to dusk, I found the 70-lumen Rolling Flash (4.5hrs) worked well with a bit of 80s TV Knight Rider action on the go.

There is a Side Flash (100lm/2hrs) and a Disco Flash (80lm/4.5hrs), and for an emergency light to get you home there is an Eco Flash of just 15 lumens, but the battery will last 100 hours from full to empty.

Battery burn times were within +/- 5% of those claimed, so I'd be happy with that.

Charging

Charging is taken care of by the integrated USB plug that plugs directly into any USB slot, so you could charge it at work by plugging it straight into your PC or a wall-mounted charger. In the pack you do get a USB extension cable should space be a bit tight.

Charging was also pretty close to the claimed 4 hours and you can keep an eye on the battery level by way of the LED behind the switch. When it is fully charged the LED will go green.

Mount

The light is held in place by a bracket and silicone loops and it does the job of keeping it in position. It isn't angled to take into account the lean of the seatpost but with the amount of light coming from the Cobber it isn't a problem being pointed slightly at the road. It will fit seatposts of 'up to 32mm+' – plus you also get an aero mount.

The light fits to the mount by magnetism and it's a strong bond – you'll have no worries about the light disappearing off down the road – but it can be a bit tricky to remove at times: you need to hold the light firmly, lifting the mount over the little stopper to slide it out of the grooves. It all feels a little brittle and the tabs that hold the silicone ring feel quite fragile so I'd be wary of dropping the light. (Knog has a video here to show how to attach/detach it.)

Waterproofing is good. The USB plug is designed to withstand the elements, and neither riding in heavy rain nor a good blast from the power shower have seen any issues.

Value

Value-wise, I suppose it could be seen to be a little pricey at £59.99 for a rear light, but looking at the opposition it doesn't seem too bad. The Exposure Blaze mk2 Daybright is one of my favourite lights; it's durable and performance is impressive, but it costs £90, and is only half as bright as the Knog.

On the other hand, the Lezyne Zecto Drive Max Rear is just £48 and can be run at up to 250 lumens for ultimate daytime visibility. I'd say that the striking modes of the Knog are more eye-catching though.

> Buyer's Guide: 17 of the best rear lights for cycling

The Cobber is also available in a shorter 'Lil' version for £44.99, or a long 'Big' version for £74.99. You can also buy front and rear as a set. (I'm testing the front separately – full review to come.)

Overall, I really like the Knog Cobber for its design, brightness and range of modes, and even with a bit of faff with the bracket it should last you a good few seasons.

Verdict

Very bright and eye-catching light, with only a slightly fragile feeling clamp taking the shine off

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Knog Cobber Mid Rear Light

Size tested: Lumens: 170 Visibility: 330°

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?

Knog says, "Mid Cobber produces an incredible 330° of light, so you'll be clearly seen from all angles. In an increasingly busy world, this bike light is brilliantly effective at attracting attention and helping keep you safe on the road. Packing 170 lumens this Mid Cobber is seriously bright.

"The Cobber has integrated USB recharging, is 100% waterproof and you can programme the settings using Modemaker.

"If you are looking for the best rear commuter bike light of 2019 look no further."

I think the Cobber is a great light for year-round use.

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

Knog lists:

LIGHT MODES : Max, Mid, Steady Pulse, Flash, Rolling Flash, Side Flash, Disco Flash, Eco Flash come pre-programmed.

LEDs : Efficient Chip on Board (COB) LEDs designed to provide maximum brightness level for up to 90% of the battery burn time for each mode.

INTEGRATED USB PLUG : No charging cable required, plugs directly into USB ports & is designed to be exposed to the elements

100% WATERPROOF : The Cobber is 100% waterproof against all elements

CHARGE TIME : 4 hours (LED will turn off when fully charged)

BATTERY : USB Rechargeable Lithium Polymer

BIKE ATTACHMENT : Tool-less removable silicone straps for bars/seat posts 22 - 32mm+ diameter with magnetic mount. Aero Mount also included.

ACCESSORIES INCLUDED : Standard Mount, Aero Mount, 3x interchangeable straps for bars/seat posts 22-27mm / 28-32mm+, and USB extension.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Easy peasy. Press and hold the button to turn it on/off and a small tap to scroll through the modes.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
6/10

It does the job of of holding the light in place but I found it takes a certain knack to remove it and it doesn't feel the most robust I've come across.

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

No issues at all.

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

Battery life isn't the longest I've seen for this kind of output, but you can still achieve some long rides or a week of commuting.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

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

Bright enough for a whole multitude of weather conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Some smart looking lighting modes.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Slightly fragile feeling clamp.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It sits somewhere in the middle of the range for lights with this kind of brightness and battery life.

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

It's a great little package offering plenty of different modes to cope with various light conditions and decent battery life.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

5 comments

Avatar
mylesrants [512 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

be hard to let go of my seesense but i do love the idea of the curved LED bank. Max visibility

Avatar
Kapelmuur [477 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

A gift for Dr Spooner?

Avatar
Kendalred [403 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
Kapelmuur wrote:

A gift for Dr Spooner?

Sod that - he never buys me anything. The bight tastard.

Nice light though - the ability to plug in directly to a USB slot without propreitary leads is a boon as well. No need to have leads at home and in the office.

Avatar
stolenbrain [1 post] 1 month ago
1 like

I'm skeptical about how they worked out the 330 degrees as it would mean you can see it from any angle but dead front which you can't , but it's surely well visible from the sides. At night it lights up the road pretty well around and cars seem to give me a fair bit of clearance when overtaking. You can delete the modes you don't want using their software and also make your own. I use a steady medium power mode with periodic flashing during dark rides and pure max flashing during the day. Battery life is ok but switches off without warning, also you can't tell the battery level. The bracket could be stronger but so far it holds the light in place so cannot really complain. The price is pretty high but most cycling gear is priced with the MAMIL wallet in mind  1

Avatar
Sriracha [336 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

"Cobber actually has the LEDs pointing in the direction of each of those 330 degrees..."
That is obviously false. Why write it?