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The Knog Blinder Road 600 Front Light is quick and easy to mount, has a durable design and doesn't require a separate lead to charge it. It's best suited to extending commutes home, although brighter lights are available for the same price (or less).
It's that time of year again... the clocks have changed, post-work rides are in the dark, and even the weekend ones during daylight hours sometimes require lights depending on just how much the gloominess is affecting visibility. The Blinder Road 600 performs well as a 'be seen' light and as the name suggests can punch out a maximum of 600 lumens, which is enough for it to work as a main light in a pinch.
As with many Knog lights, it's mounted using a rubber band and clip; it's quick and easy to use and holds the light securely. Having broken a similar band on a Knog back light after a few years of use, I was happy to see that the bands are removable, and replacements are really cheap (£1.50 from Tredz).
There are two straps included in the box, which should fit the vast majority of bars; the smaller band (22-28mm) worked well with my circular profile bar while the larger band (29-35mm) was impressively stretchy enough to fit around aero profile bars. The light itself is about 53mm wide so you will need this much space between the computer mount/stem and where your cables start as it's not designed to go over these.
The Blinder differs from many lights of similar output in that it has two LEDs that are independently controlled. The one on the left has a relatively narrow beam (12 degrees) that acts as a spotlight, illuminating the ground immediately in front of you. Although this spotlight is enough to highlight potholes on a dark lane, I've found the light best suited to extending commutes and rides that run into the evening rather than as a light to see with the entire ride; for unlit back roads it's necessary to use the combined output of both LEDs and even then I'd rather something a bit brighter for navigating them at speed.
The second LED is behind a lens designed to make it a floodlight (32 degrees). Knog says that this is best suited for use on slower rides on bumpy or uneven riding conditions; in real life I used it to get me seen, and it also helps to illuminate the gutter of the road when using both LEDs.
Mode selections are completed with the two buttons on the top of the light. Holding the left 'mode' button for two seconds turns the light on and off, and a single press scrolls through flashing mode, just the left LED, just the right LED or both LEDs. The button on the right then changes the brightness for each of these modes, with low, middle and high settings for the three constant modes and two different flash patterns within the flashing mode.
This gives a total of 11 different modes which, although relatively easy to navigate, does seem a little excessive. Knog has certainly made sure there is a setting available for every condition, but I found myself drawn back to using either the flashing modes or double LED mode and varying the intensity to balance battery life. The buttons are also quite small; they are well placed so you can at least see what you're doing but in thick winter gloves they're not the simplest to operate.
Knog claims that in its brightest 600-lumen setting the light will last for 1 hour; 2 hours when putting out 400 lumens; 8.5 hours in its most frugal constant setting; and either 5.4 or 9 hours for the flash modes. That's in line with competitors such as the Lezyne Microdrive 600XL but less than the Ravemen CR600 which will last 1.4 hours while pumping out 600 lumens and much longer than the Knog in flashing modes.
The real life burn-times matched up with the claims, although it has been quite mild during testing so these could be ever so slightly shorter in colder weather.
When it comes to charging the light, you simply plug it into a USB which unfolds from the rear. This means that no leads are required, which is useful for unplanned top-ups at work, for example. You do get a short USB extender which helps to free up ports next to the one being used and reduce the chances of snapping it off while charging.
Cutouts on either side of the light help to aid visibility from the side, which will be particularly useful in an urban environment where junctions are more frequent. The light also has an IP67 waterproof rating and survived the shower and sink test so should happily survive plenty of wet weather. (IP67 equates to 30 minutes in up to a metre of water.)
The Blinder Road 600 has an RRP of £79.99 which is expensive for a light with an output of just 600 lumens. The Lezyne Microdrive 600XL and Ravemen CR600 mentioned earlier, for example, cost £55 and £54.99 respectively. You can even get something more powerful than the Knog for less that you can ride long into the night with – the Magicshine Allty 1000, for example, costs £69.99 and has far more power and longer burn-times.
However, the Blinder can currently be found discounted to around £50. At this price it's a much more attractive proposition as long as you don't intend on travelling too quickly in pitch black. For serious commuting and the odd evening spin at dusk the light is great – durable, quick to install and keeps the bars tidy.
Nicely designed and durable, best suited to serious commuters, but you can get brighter lights for less
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Knog Blinder Road 600 Front Light
Size tested: Lumens: 600
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: "The Blinder Road 600 features all the best attributes of our original Blinder Road, but now with an incredible 600 lumens of light output. When this increase of illumination power is combined with the carefully considered beam angles for road riding, you have Knog's most powerfully perfect road bike light ever."
I like the design but think that it is expensive for a 600-lumen light. It's best suited for commuters as the burn times and output don't allow for sustained riding at speed in unlit conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Dimensions: H: 73mm x W: 30mm x L:53mm
Weight: 95 grams
Min Burn time: 1 hour
Max burn time: 9 hours
Single LED Lumens: 400
Wide angle (32 degrees)
Spotight (12 degree)
As long as you've got 53mm of bar without cables/hoses then you'll be all right. No issues mounting to both circular or aero profile bars. Sleek design, which looks less clumsy than some when installed.
Quick and easy to use, held the light securely with no bouncing/wobble on rough roads, replacement silicone straps available very cheaply.
It's IP67 rated (can be submerged up to a metre for 30 minutes – Knog says 'more than a meter') and has survived plenty of wet rides.
Burn-times can be found in the review; they're OK but nothing to write home about. Charging from flat took roughly 3 hours.
For the price I expected more power and longer burn-times. These are likely limited in order to keep it small so are forgivable, but it costs a lot more than some 600-lumen lights.
It does appear to be built to last with a rubberised body and replacement straps available, but it's far more expensive than other lights with a similar output.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed well other than that the buttons are hard to use in thick winter gloves.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Quick to mount, doesn't require a separate USB lead to charge.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
I found the 11 different modes excessive and unnecessary.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As mentioned in the review, it's very expensive for a 600-lumen light.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? No
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I think, overall, it's a good option. Yes, the buttons are small and you can get brighter lights for less, but it has survived drops and the rain, it's bright enough for the vast majority of commutes and will get you by in an unlit emergency as long as you go slow, plus there are loads of modes and the flash settings are eye-catching, with decent side visibility.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,