When most people think about buying a pair of bike lights they’ll usually head straight for the nearest pack of Cateye lights. However, they’ll be missing out on some pretty innovative benefits of the Knog lights. I recently bought a pair of Knog Strobes and was sent a rear Knog Skink to test for London Cyclist.
The innovative Knog lights
The Knog lights have been gaining in popularity. As evidenced by having a quick glance around (read: perve) at other peoples bike lights. After testing one out for a couple of weeks it’s easy to see why.
The first obvious advantage is in the material. The wrap around silicone material means you don’t need a bike mount. You simply pull the material and wrap it around your bike handlebars. This is great for zero setup and removal time. It also means if you have more than one bike you can switch your lights between the two in seconds.
The second advantage is the size. The Knog lights are pretty compact. In fact the Knog Strobes have to be seen to be believed for size. Even the Knog Skink is fairly small compared to similarly bright bike lights.
However not all is perfect in the world of Knog. Below I’ve reviewed each one individually starting with..
The Knog Strobe
The baby frog of the bike light world. This new 1LED “Strobe” version offers 25 Lumens of light and 80 hours of flashing battery life. For a front and rear set the damage is £13.85 (The best price I’ve found so far is on Amazon).
Would you like the good news or the bad news first?
Let’s start with the bad.
When I’ve been riding around with the Knog Strobe bike light in central London I’ve found it doesn’t quite offer enough light. At a similar price point a bottom of the range bike light from Raleigh which I highly recommend has 4 LEDs offering considerable more brightness. As a solution I recommend upgrading to the Knog Skink (see below) for more lumens.
The other problem I noticed comes from the lack of bike mount. As the light is placed so close to the handlebars the beam is interrupted by the brake cables. The only way to correct this is to zip tie down the cables. You may be more lucky on your bike and your cables may rest further down but for me it was a slight issue.
Now the good news.
The Knogs are by far the most beautifully small bike lights I’ve ever owned. I love the quick setup and the forget about it operation. The lights weigh next to nothing and can easily fit in your bag or pocket. As a solution to the inadequate amount of light I’m opting to place two Knog Strobes on the front of my bike and use a Knog Skink on the rear.
The Knog Skink
At the higher end of the Knog bike light offering is the Skink. It is a 4-LED bike light providing 60 Lumens of light and around 220 hours of flashing light. The damage to your wallet is £9.99 for each light.
This time let’s start with the good news.
Riding around London I felt comfortable with the Knog Skink bike light. It provides enough light to be seen. The different flashing modes provide good variety. Despite the larger size, setup remained easy and the light clipped on and off on my seat post in seconds. The light seems to be of excellent quality and I’ve not heard any reports of problems with water getting into it and so forth. Also in flashing mode the battery life is impressive.
Onto the bad news.
Like a typical English weather reporter of course I have some bad news to deliver. Fortunately it’s only a minor annoyance. Unlikely the Knog Strobe you cannot simply hold down the button to turn the light off. This means you have to cycle through the full range of lighting modes (of which there are 6) before the light goes off.
Knog Strobe vs Knog Skink
I took some pictures at night of the two lights using the same camera settings. Unfortunately it doesn’t really prove much but I thought it might be of interest to some people.
The first blurry picture is of the Knog Strobe.
The below picture is of the Knog Skink.
I’m a big fan of the design of the Knog Lights. Unfortunately, the super small Knog Strobe just doesn’t provide enough light to feel safe. However, the Knog Skink provides considerable light and offers many of the same benefits without quite the same level of portability.
A special thank you to Moore and Large and Today’s Cyclist who sent me the Knog Skink and another pair of Knog Strobes after they heard that my rear one was stolen!
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.