Knog Gekko bike lights review

Guest post by Iain

The Knog Gekko light in white product shot

The Knog Gekko lights stand out in a bike shop. With simple packaging and design – but how do they perform?

When the Gekko’s younger brother was reviewed (The Knog Frogs) the light emitted was found to be inadequate. This was definitely for being seen, rather than seeing the road ahead. Even by that measure, the Knog Frogs felt like they underperformed.

The Knog Gekko is definitely a more powerful light. Featuring 3 LED’s vs the Frogs 1 LED. The size is bigger and is determined by the batteries (2xAAA). The unit is contained within a one piece silicone moulding.

Knog’s fitting system using a simple silicone strap is used on the Gekko. This enables the lights to be quickly fitted to your bike. The only downside to this fitting system is the problems it causes by having the light so closely attached to the handlebars. In particular with drop handlebar designs this results in little side visibility. This was noticed in other Knog lights reviewed.

The strength of the Knog Gekkos

To test the lights out, I stopped on a quiet unlit road. I turned off the rest of my bike lights and noticed that the light spread of the Gekkos is impressive. The vision is around 1 metre either side and approximately 5 metres in front. For a leisurely ride along a quiet lane it should suffice.

As with most budget bike lights reaching a stretch of road which was lit by street lighting resulted in the Knog Gekko completely fading out. This is never particularly comforting.

The rear version produces a good output. It is clearly visible from a good distance, with a range of flashing options to grab the attention of traffic.

Overall, I found myself a little reluctant to rely solely on the Knog Gekko for visibility. However, that might be just a personal preference for very high visibility. For riding in the inner city where everywhere is fairly lit anyway this should be fine. On darker and speedier commutes I think you’ll be looking for something a little more powerful.

Wiggle currently have a sale on the Knog Gekko where is is available for just £12.59.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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21 Responses to Knog Gekko bike lights review

  1. peter 21/02/2011 at 9:28 am #

    The main issue I have with bike lights in the city is riders using over-powerful front lights and blinding on-coming cyclists on two-way cycle lanes. If you’re riding in the city then “being seen” is the whole point of lights. If you’re out where the streetlights don’t shine then it’s a different story of course.

    • Tom 21/02/2011 at 9:40 am #

      I don’t think ‘blinding’ is so much due to the brightness of the light as the position. If people have a bright bike light, they should ensure that it is tilted downwards. In the city the bright centre should hit the road only a few metres ahead, or else they will startle!

  2. Dave Escandell 21/02/2011 at 10:25 am #

    The problem with the powerful lights is that people do use them to be seen rather than to see. The majority of urban cycling is done in perfectly visible conditions even at night.

    The Gekko sounds perfect for that ‘i’m flashing please see me’ light. I would also echo the original post and not rely on them as a sole light.

  3. Meadowend 21/02/2011 at 10:34 am #

    I use a Knog Gekko as a backup/additional rear light. Works OK but isn’t as visible as the CatEye TL-LD610 I have mounted on the rear pannier as the main rear light.

    Not sure I’d rely on the Knog Gekko as a front light though – IMHO it’s not really visible enough to be seen in the city and definitely not bright enough to see where you’re going on a dark country lane.

  4. Reuben 21/02/2011 at 10:37 am #

    My problem with knogs are their attachment mechanism, had them fall off more than once, the last time it was then ran over by a bus. So moved to other lights, although in general I find all light fittings fairly poor (or at least in the under £50 range).

    • Andreas 22/02/2011 at 1:52 pm #

      I’ve been told this and yet I’ve never had a Knog drop off (Though from all the horror stories I’m constantly looking to see if the rear light is stilll running)

  5. Strve 21/02/2011 at 10:51 am #

    I agree with the review, the light is good But not great. The best front light, that is small and gets attention is the Blackburn flea USB. It’s bright as. Only downside is that you don’t know when it’s low in battery untill it suddenly stops.

    • Andreas 22/02/2011 at 1:51 pm #

      Agreed – I’ll be doing a review of the Flea soon..

  6. Will Meyer 21/02/2011 at 12:49 pm #

    The most annoying thing about these lights is the on button… placed directly on the front of the light it almost ALWAYS turns itself on in your bag or pocket. Nothing gives me more rage than opening my bag at the end of the day to see my light has been flashing away all day long. Grrr. These are obviously designed to be taken on and off regularly so they should have spotted this flaw.

    • Andreas 22/02/2011 at 1:51 pm #

      True! I hate this moment too – realising you’ll be replacing the batteries a lot sooner..

  7. Gaz 21/02/2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I’ve had bad experiences with knog’s. Mainly the rubber breaking when i’ve change batteries a couple of times.
    + It seems now that they are far to common, i much prefer a light which stands out half because it is bright and half because it is unique.

    • Andreas 22/02/2011 at 1:50 pm #

      I’m a fairly new user to them so haven’t had these issues yet. Though I definitely don’t recommend the Knog Frogs any more due to the very short battery life and tiny amount of light. I’m actually going to review the Blackburn Flea soon:
      http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/go/blackburn-flea-front/

  8. Jon 22/02/2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Why would anyone buy a single Knog for ‘just’ £12.59 when you can buy a pair of front and rear LED lights – including batteries – from Wilkinsons for less than £7? I just don’t get it.

    http://www.wilkinsonplus.com/Cycle-Accessories/Wilko-Front+Rear-LED-Light-Set/invt/0258253

    • Andreas 22/02/2011 at 1:47 pm #

      One reason: They’ve got more than one bike and want to switch the light between each bike quickly. Each to their own Jon ;)

    • Mike 22/02/2011 at 1:57 pm #

      My experience of cheap lights is that you get what you pay for – either they chew through batteries like they’re going out of fashion, or they’re not bright enough to be seen. I’ve bought some where the mountings are poor (as Reuben points out above), the lights aren’t fully weatherproof and the internal contacts can’t put up with the regular pounding they get on a commute through London so they stop working without warning.

      Mind you there are expensive lights with similar faults!

      If your life depends on either you being seen, or being able to see, then the right kit for the job is vital. That’s why these reviews are so helpful. Maybe Andreas would like to road test and review the cheap lights from Wilko’s next?

  9. Jon 23/02/2011 at 11:17 am #

    I’ve relied on CatEye products for many years and since using the Wilko bike lights I’ve decided that when it comes to lights, price is no guarantee of design or build quality. The last CatEye lamp I bought was (I think) a red TL-LD-600 at £20+. I found that the switch was very sensitive and kept going off in my bag so was wasting the batteries. I’ve also had, and continue to use, a big CatEye HL-EL300 5 LED front lamp (£35) but that had an appalling mounting system that snapped despite careful handling – the plastic housing was brittle. I had to graft/Araldite a mounting catch from an older CatEye lamp to it.

    Sorry if I come across as an evangelist for Wilkinson, but honestly I’m giving feedback on my experience. And if anyone thinks that at £7, Wilkinson’s is too cheap for lights, you can opt to buy the exact same ones branded as ‘Smart’ from Amazon for £9.62 or branded as ‘Oxford’ from ChainReaction for £12.99.

    Light sets at the omnipotent Evans Cycles start at £19.99 (instore) for the Cateye 130 set (I had those before too and a switch on the end broke in a matter of weeks). With shops charging £20 for the most basic lights, I begin to understand why there are so many cyclists riding around without any lights. I’d just love it if all the ninja cyclists could realise that decent lights can be had for as little as £7. I do appreciate that there are better lights around, but for the money Wilkinson’s offer is good.

    I’ve now been using the Wilkinson lights for more than two years. They get left out on the bike in all weathers and they don’t give me problems. Can’t ask for much more than that.

    As you say Andreas, each to their own. :)

    Cheers, Jon

  10. peter 23/02/2011 at 11:25 am #

    Actually I think reflectors are more valuable than lights in town. All bike lights are washed out by headlights and street lamps, particularly in the rain with reflections off the road, but some good reflective tape really shows up in headlights (which is when you want to be seen).

    A few strips of reflective tape can be a real lifesaver.

  11. RedRocket 25/02/2011 at 11:49 am #

    I bought the four LED rear lights. Attached to seat stem. They are angled so you mount them with the on/off switch facing the ground. Three days later I decided to have a quick bike wash. I flipped the bike upside down to lube the chain while I was mucking off. Quick rinse and when the I turned the bike right side up, I realised I left the Knog lights on. Switches are not waterproof. I noticed in the middle of the night the bike flashing away, then they died a random and painful on/off death. I returned them. Got refund.

  12. Jack 11/03/2011 at 12:51 pm #

    I’ve a set of these Knog lights and they’re just not bright enough.

    Most London cyclists go for the long, thin 5 LED Cateye type rear light, the latest incarnation is this:

    http://www.cateye.com/en/product_detail/468

    I think these are by far the best of the lower price end of the market.

    There’s even an easy modification you can do yourself with a bit of plastic and some glue to ensure the light doesn’t turn on when in your bag:

    http://www.lfgss.com/post6969-6.html

  13. pocket bikes ninja 30/08/2011 at 8:32 pm #

    This enables the lights to be quickly fitted to your bike. . front of the light it almost ALWAYS turns itself on in your bag or pocket. I’d just love it if all the ninja cyclists could realise that decent lights

  14. led bike lights 26/04/2012 at 12:42 pm #

    The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lot of great information which can be helpful in some or the other way. Keep updating the blog, looking forward for more contents…Great job, keep it up

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