Home
Verdict: 
Powerful and classy-looking dual LED light that's a good option for winter riding.
Weight: 
102g
Contact: 
www.todayscyclist.com
Knog Blinder Road 3 front light
7 10

Knog's Blinder 3 front light is a classy and capable front light for anything up to pitch black lanes. It's unobtrusive, easy to fit and powerful. Only the slightly flimsy mount and lack of side visibility let it down, especially as a commuting light.

The Blinder 3 kicks out a claimed 300 lumens from two CREE XB-D LEDs housed in an aluminium body and powered by a lithium polymer battery. The two LEDs have different beam patterns. There's a 15° spot and a 22° flood, and you can run them separately or together; there's a number of flashing and pulsing modes too, 11 in total.

There are two buttons on the Blinder 3. One controls the beam pattern being used, and one toggles between high, medium and low power. The buttons are small and a bit fiddly to use with gloves, but otherwise fine. There's a green/blue LED to indicate what setting you're on and another, red, LED comes on when it's time to plug the Blinder back into the mains.

A flip-out USB connecter at the back of the body is used to charge the battery; you can plug it into your computer (easier with the supplied lead) or straight into a USB mains transformer like the ones supplied with mobile phones. Charge time is around five hours and the Blinder 3 will run for two hours on full beam and up to seven with just one of the LEDs running on low.

The Blinder attaches to your bars with a silicone strap and metal clip. It's a simple system and Knog supplies two bands for different bar diameters, but even with the small strap tightened on an oversized bar the light can be easily adjusted by hand. That also means that a big hit from a pothole or speed hump can move the light, however, and on road bars with under-tape cable rounting it can be a bit of a trick to get the light to stay pointing where you want it.

It's not a deal-breaker, and generally doesn't move much in normal use, but it means you rein in your speed on descents just in case the light suddenly ends up pointing at the front wheel or the tree canopy. Handily knog supply the Blinder 3 with a helmet mount and it's very capable when stuck on your helmet, and light enough to not be a burden.

The amount of light available is perfectly adequate for clipping along unlit lanes. Assuming you're not in a big hurry you'll get by with just the narrow beam, which is a good shape for road riding. On full beam that'll power you for nearly four hours, which is good value from a light this size. Because the control buttons aren't that simple to use on the move – especially with gloves on – you tend to pick a mode and stick to it a bit more than lights with a big button. If you stick both LEDs on full then that's enough light to even venture off-road, although you won't get that for long. The red charge LED comes on at just under 50% in my experience, meaning you get plenty of notice to stick it in the wall; too much, in fact, since you tend to ignore it for a bit.

Around town it's a good light for getting seen from the front, especially in alternate-LED-flashing mode. There's no side visibility at all though, because the LEDs are recessed into the aluminium body. The Blinder 3 is claimed to be fully water- and dust-proof and we've had it out in the slanting autumn rain with no issues at all.

If you're looking for a simple, good-looking light to stick on your road bike to get you home after dark, or light you up before dawn, then the Blinder 3 is certainly one to consider. It's more powerful than it looks, and at 105g, with a small footprint, ideally suited to living on your bars through winter just in case you need it. The lack of side visibility marks it down as a commuting light, unless you pair it with a cheap blinky.

Verdict

Powerful and classy-looking dual LED light that's a good option for winter riding.

The light comparator

If you have a nice big screen you can click here for the widescreen version (1400x1000px)

road.cc test report

Make and model: Knog Blinder Road 3 front light

Size tested: Red

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?

300 Lumens

Light Dimensions: W53mm x H30mm x D75mm

Weight: 105g

Materials: UV-Resistant, industrial-grade Silicone Rubber Body and Straps. Polycarbonate Housing. PMMA Lens. Anodised Aluminium Heat sink. Anodised Aluminium Fascia and solid Stainless Steel MIMLatch

Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (USB). This saves using about 600 AAA Alkaline batteries during the lights lifetime.

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

Leds: 2 x CREE XB-D LEDs

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: Visible from a distance of min. 1000 metres

Beam Angle (degrees): Wide beam 22°- Hi/Low. Narrow beam 15° - Hi/Low. Dual beam 15 and 22°combined - Hi/Low.

LiPo Technology with battery protection circuit. USB Rechargeable and extension cord included.

Constant current drive technology: Maintains consistent brightness throughout specified run-time.

Integrated USB Plug: Designed to be exposed to the elements, the plug is also waterproof and will not be damaged by exposure.

Waterproof: 100% Waterproof and Dust Proof.

Light Modes: Total of 11 light modes: 1. Narrow Low Beam, 2. Narrow Mid Beam, 3. Narrow High Beam, 4. Wide Low Beam, 5. Wide Mid Beam, 6. Wide High Beam, 7. Dual Low Beam, 8. Dual Mid Beam, 9. Dual High Beam, 10. Flashing Alternate, 11. Flashing-1 LED Steady/1 LED flashing.

Burn time: Low-beam modes: Steady 4hr, Flash mode 9hr. High-beam modes:Steady 1hr / Flash mode: 5hr.

Charge time: 5 hour charge time

Button: New longer button push on (0.75sec) prevents accidental activation of your light. Short presses switch modes continuously. Similarly, the light is switched off with a long button push off (0.5sec).

Low battery indicator

Thermal management: Automatically regulates the light output for optimum performance when the bike is stationary and in motion.

Bike Attachment: Two removable silicone straps for bars 22-28mm / 29-35mm. Helmet mount included

Testing: The Blinder Road 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.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
6/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10
Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the light for value:
 
7/10

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Simple, small footprint, bright.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

fiddly buttons, clamp not strong enough, no side visibility.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Yes for road riding, not for commuting.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 102kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

9 comments

Avatar
Belaroo [44 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I've got the heart shaped rear blinder, very happy with it, they make a good range of lights and once you can prevent any slippage, the fasteners are easier than the sort that need tools.

Avatar
Belaroo [44 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I've got the heart shaped rear blinder, very happy with it, they make a good range of lights and once you can prevent any slippage, the fasteners are easier than the sort that need tools.

Avatar
step-hent [718 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Quick question on the attachment - do you reckon the bigger of the straps would go around a standard sized 1/18" head tube? The way I wrap my bars means there's not much room for a light except very close to centre, and then it tends to get hidden behind the Garmin (which is on an out-front mount) from all but narrowest angles from head on. For that reason, I want one which will mount on the head tube, but I can't seem to find anything with a long enough strap...

Avatar
DanTe [169 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Really handy sets of info!
Theres only one thing bugging me.
Although I'm sure there's different reviewers in different places you ought to try and find a way of producing a criteria for the beam shots.
I dunno, something like exactly 20 metres from a junction with the same kind of sign on. Or 15 metres from two cars one with its door open.
Otherwise your just left with brightly lit bits of verge with no similar reference point.
I've got a Magicshine 880 and it'd be handy to be able to look at the beam shot of that then look at an identical picture from a different light and be able to directly compare them for what I might want.
Otherwise there's no point putting them side by side...

Avatar
dave atkinson [6148 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
step-hent wrote:

Quick question on the attachment - do you reckon the bigger of the straps would go around a standard sized 1/18" head tube? The way I wrap my bars means there's not much room for a light except very close to centre, and then it tends to get hidden behind the Garmin (which is on an out-front mount) from all but narrowest angles from head on. For that reason, I want one which will mount on the head tube, but I can't seem to find anything with a long enough strap...

yes, probably. it's not really designed to but it's pretty stretchy. i'll check...

Avatar
dave atkinson [6148 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

...it will go round but it kind of points at the sky. so not ideal

Avatar
step-hent [718 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Thanks Dave! I guess I might be able to bodge in a wedge to make it point straight, but then that will stretch the bands even more. Looking at it again, I'm wondering if it might stick out far enough to overcome the Garmin problem - gonna try and find one in a shop and have a look at it on the bike to see how it fits.

Avatar
pz1800 [23 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I loved this light right up until the silicone strap (not the replaceable one) broke and rendered it useless. I still have the back light .... it is only a matter of time, I think, before that one goes, too. Shame.

Avatar
rogermerriman [69 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Only had this a month, I use it on MTB's admitly mostly on road. But had no problems with it moving seems to last at full for a hr or so, and as of yet hasn't run out.

But I don't use it day to day it's for times when I want a light to see.