Knog have overhauled their range of lights for 2013, with the introduction of the Blinder 4 and Blinder 1 front and rear lights.
Knog were the innovators of the silicon-bodied light; a versatile and easily attachable design which has, erm, inspired similar lights from rival manufacturers.
So Knog have gone back to the drawing board to see how they can improve the design and the Blinder 4, now the most powerful light in Knog’s range, and Blinder 1 are the result. The Aussie firm’s boss, Hugo Davidson, dropped in to RoadCyclingUK HQ to talk us through the range, leaving a selection of samples for us to put to the test over the coming weeks.
Knog’s existing lights, which remain in the range, have a silicon rubber skin which fits closely over a hard plastic housing, but the Blinder has an anodised aluminium front cover, with a plastic rear, moulded to a silicon strap with a redesigned, stainless steel camber clip.
Both the Blinder 4 (£34.99) and Blinder 1 (£22.99) are available in front and rear incarnations. The Blinder 4 pumps out 80 Lumens at the front and 44 Lumens at the rear, which Knog say makes it visible from more than 800m, while the Blinder 1 has an output of 22 Lumens at the front and 11 Lumens at the rear, visible from over 500m.
Both the Blinder 4 and Blinder 1 have five different flashing modes (steady, fast flash, organic flash one, organic flash two, eco flash). Battery life is reportedly up to three hours in constant beam and up to 50 hours in eco flash mode for the Blinder 4 and two hours in constant and up to 11 hours eco flash mode for the Blinder 1. The lithium polymer battery is charged by a USB plug which is integrated behind the clip to protect it from the elements, and Knog say the whole unit is fully sealed and weatherproof.
The Blinder 4 front light comes in a square casing with the four LEDs arranged in a choice of six patterns, while the rear light sees the LEDs arranged vertically in order for the casing to sit flush with the seatpost. The tiny Blinder 1 is offered in a range of designs, including a cross, skull and flower.
Hugo told us the redesign was inspired partly by the need to reinvent and innovate upon Knog’s tried-and-tested formula, but also to offer a premium product for road cyclists wanting a light with which to be seen – and, at first glance, the Blinder 4 is a solid, stylish and bright unit, while the Blinder 1 is a super-light – just 15g – safety light. We’ll see how they perform on the road and will report back.
Knog also produce a range of locks and the Milkman (£19.99) is a new addition to the collection. Locks are invariably too heavy to be practical for a road cyclist with any designs on riding fast so the Milkman looks a good solution.
It’s a 90cm braided steel cable lock which, in truth, is going to provide little protection from any tooled-up thief. Instead, it’s the Milkman’s convenient size (75 x 75 x 20mm), which means it’s comfortably small enough to fit in a jersey pocket, and the light weight (a claimed 110g) which make it useful for riders who want a quick and easy lock to ensure someone can’t just pick up your bike and walk off when you take your eyes off it for a second. We’d imagine the Milkman to be useful for a club run cafe stop.