New bike lights by Knog: Knog Blinder Arc 1.7 and 5.5 review

Knog Blinder Arc 1.7 riders

Christmas may have come and gone but the nights continue to be long and dark and, as cyclists, that means that a good set of lights is essential. While in London we really only need lights ‘to be seen’ rather than to see where we are going, for those of us who like to spend our weekends exploring the countryside around the city, a bright pair of lights come in very handy indeed.

Knog have always had a good range of lights available for city and countryside, and their latest offerings – the Knog Blinder Arcs – are equally impressive. Available in two models and hitting UK shops later this month, those in need of a new front light could do a lot worse than check these out.

Knog Blinder Arc 1.7

Knog Blinder Arc 1.7 closeup

The smaller of the two, the Knog Blinder Arc 1.7 offers 170 lumens of light that Knog claim is visible to people over 1km away. And, with a waterproof casing and four modes (low, medium and high beam as well as flashing) and integrated USb charging, the Blinder Arc 1.7 is convenient and resilient. The silicon strapping is simple to use and while it seemed resilient enough, a ride down a few of London’s bumpier streets and the light was soon knocked out of place. This could be a bike light only for those of us with thicker handlebars, which should reduce the problem. However, in my opinion, it’s a surprising oversight by Knog. The much loved silicon strap design, is perhaps less suited to larger bike lights.

It takes a respectable 4 hours to charge and interestingly, the USB is exposed to the elements – but is waterproof and the rain I’ve cycled through so far hasn’t done any damage.

UK RRP: £44.99 – available soon!

Knog Blinder Arc 5.5

Knog Blinder Arc 5.5 rider

Now, if the Blinder Arc 1.7 isn’t powerful enough for you (and I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be), then try the Knog Blinder Arc 5.5: it’s the 1.7’s mean big brother, the one that always has to go bigger and better.

The 5.5 has a massive 550 lumens, is a bit bigger than the 1.7 and is probably the most powerful front light I’ve had the pleasure of testing. However I did experience the same issue of the light’s strapping not being secure enough on some of London’s roads. While this isn’t a huge issue (the light remains firmly attached and just needs redirecting), it’s a bit of a pain for the price you pay. Having said that though, a helmet mount is included in the packing.

UK RRP: £84.99 - available soon!

Knog Blinder Arc 5.5

Overall

These are powerful bike lights, perfect for serious weekend cyclists and tourers. Both great options that will keep you pedalling all through the night. On the plus side is the obvious power, and the ease of charging. Both lights cope well with water and dust – which is more than can be said for other USB rechargeable options. However, for the price you pay – particularly for the 5.5 – I can’t help but feel the light is slightly clunky. I often ride a cyclocross and when the light is strapped on, there’s little room for anything else on the handlebars. But to end on a plus, both of these are reliable, powerful and resilient lights that will last well through winter and beyond. The only thing that lets them down is the strap kept slipping. This however may be more of an issue with my bike handlebars. It’ll be interesting to see when these lights are release to the UK market whether fellow cyclists will experience the same problem.

Both lights get a decent 3/5.

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4 Responses to New bike lights by Knog: Knog Blinder Arc 1.7 and 5.5 review

  1. Mike 21/01/2014 at 4:04 pm #

    Any word on how long the battery lasts on each setting? The biggest problem I have with USB rechargeable lights is that the battery life sucks.

  2. Tony Parrack 24/01/2014 at 12:24 pm #

    Great lights, like Mike above tho I worry about USB charged lights because all the ones I have had when they run out of juice just cut out – they don’t gently fade, they just stop. Difficult with a rear light that you don’t notice when you’re three-quarters of the way home.

    I always have a battery powered light separately as well.

  3. Alan 24/01/2014 at 2:19 pm #

    I bought my ARC 5.5 only yesterday. Charged it for 10 hours, and the pilot light went from red to green. Had it tested working, then left it on the bike for a day with light off, I then found the battery totally drained. Very disappointed !

  4. Sean 27/01/2014 at 10:45 pm #

    Hi guys, Sean here from Knog. Thanks for your interest in the new Blinder Arc lights by the way.

    The burn times for the Arc 1.7 & 5.5 are as follows;
    Arc 1.7: Mode 1 = 1.4 hrs, Mode 2 = 2.7 hrs, Mode 3 = 5.9 hrs and Flash Mode = 11.7 hours.
    Arc 5.5: Mode 1 = 1.8 hrs, Mode 2 = 3.5 hrs, Mode 3 = 7.9 hrs and Flash Mode = 17 hours.

    Alan, regarding the issues you are having, could you please email peeps@knog.com.au as we would like to obtain some more information from you and determine why your unit is not functioning as it should.

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