The Knog Mid Cobber front light offers a good choice of standard beam modes and others that are a little bit more attention-grabbing whether it's night or day, but it is expensive for a light you can't really see by.
- Pros: Eye-catching modes, decent battery life
- Cons: Flimsy, fiddly bracket
As with the rear Cobber, thanks to its curved body shape and a large amount of Circuit on Board (COB) LEDs, the Cobber has 330 degrees of coverage to really get you noticed from the front and the side, depending how it is mounted.
The modes are mixed between solid state and various flashes or strobes, and with plenty on offer you can select them to work in a variety of conditions or to preserve battery life.
As with testing the rear, I've been using the two modes that offer maximum brightness lately as the days are long and I've mostly been out in the midday sunshine.
Both the Steady Pulse and Flash offer 320 lumens, which is plenty bright enough to get noticed on even the sunniest of days. Both give 9 hours of run-time.
In lower light, like overcast days or as dusk approaches, I found the 140-lumen Rolling Flash (8hrs) worked well, making your presence known when filtering your way through traffic, with a noticeable scrolling pattern grabbing attention in drivers' rear view mirrors.
There is a Side Flash (200lm/3.5hrs) and a Disco Flash (160lm/7hrs) and, for an emergency light to get you home, an Eco Flash of 25 lumens with a battery life of 120 hours from full to empty.
The solid mode's max at 200 lumens isn't quite bright enough to see by, and there is also a Mid which chucks out 80 lumens for 5 hours. These are a good option if you don't like the flashing or strobing effects.
As with the rear, battery burn times were within +/- 5% of those claimed, which I'm happy with.
Charging is taken care of by the integrated USB plug, 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 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.
The light is held in place by a bracket and silicone loops and it does the job of keeping it in position however you mount it.
The silicone loops can fit any tube with a circumference of up to 200mm, so if you have a metal bike with a standard style head tube you can wrap it around there for forward and side-on visibility, although it won't work on most deep-section carbon frames where the top and down tubes tend to blend into the head tube.
There are smaller silicone bands in the pack which allow you to fit it to your handlebar, although you lose the side visibility. In the dark, because of the huge angle the LEDs cover, they can flash directly into your eyes – not such an issue in daylight.
The light fits to the mount by magnetism and it's a strong bond – no worries about the light disappearing off down the road – but it does make it quite difficult to remove.
Waterproofing is good. The USB plug is designed to withstand the elements and it's survived both riding in heavy rain and a good blast from the power shower without issues.
Both the front and rear Cobbers are £59.99 each, which for a rear light doesn't sit too badly against the opposition. When it comes to front lights, though, for this sort of money you can get proper 'see by' lights, like the 700-lumen Sigma Buster 700 for £61.99.
Or for an extra 20 quid you could get the Exposure Switch Daybright at £80, a 475-lumen light that you can use for riding on dark lanes.
As a light to be seen by, the Knog Mid Cobber is one of the better ones thanks to the funky modes and bright output, but it is quite a bit of money for a light that can't really be used to see where you're going.
Excellent visibility range to be seen by and bright too, but full-on headlights can be had for the same money
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 Front Light
Size tested: Lumens: 320 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 320 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 commuter bike light of 2019 look no further."
To get you seen it does a very good job, at a price.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
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.
No issues at all in wet weather or under the bathroom shower.
It managed to meet all of its burn times and charging is short enough to be completed during the working day for your return journey.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a commuter light to get you noticed it's one of the best out there, but you are having to pay for it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Eye-catching patterns and brightness.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Bracket can feel a bit fragile when removing the light.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As a 'be seen' light it's quite pricey against most of the opposition.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Possibly, if I was a full-time urban commuter as it works well in daylight, in traffic.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
On the whole it is one of the brightest and most striking lights for being seen, but you can get some fully blown front lights for the same price.
About the tester
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
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.