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Old 07-06-10, 07:22 AM   #1
chaadster
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Praise for Knog gear

Just because they don't get enough love on these pages, I want to say a few words of praise for Knog products.

By way of background, I'm speaking of their lights in the context of urban commuting, and of their computer as a road bike device. In other words, I don't use their lights to light the road, but rather to be seen, and the computer sees a relatively stable environment, not the rough, dirty world of MTB.

What seems to be a bit of an addiction for me started with a tip from a friend who's connected to the hipster/fixed gear scene. I found his Gecko tail light interesting, but when I hit their website, I found a slew of cool designs built around their silicone unibody theme.

I purchased a set of the 2 LED Beetle models to play with, and was very impressed by their brightness. Compared to the old VistaLite and Cateye models I already owned, these little buggers really shone favorably. I don't know if it is newer LED tech or the closer placement of the diodes, or what, but they seemed just as bright or brighter than the 5 LED VL TL500.

Performance taken together with their easy, tool-less installation and compact, cool styling, I was sold. I went on to buy three more Beetles and the super bright Boomer headlight and tail light set to distribute across the 10 bikes, trailers, and a sidecar that make up my household stable. That the Knogs can be mounted and removed so easily means that I can have more choice in bikes for evening rides without needing to buy a dedicated light set for each. I think that's great!

I also use their wireless NERD 9 cyclocomputer on my road bike. Both the head unit and the transmitter have the silicone housing, and mount just like the lights, by simply stretching the strap around whatever bike bit you want to. This is not the most sleek unit out there, as both pieces are rather chunky, but it works well and is easy to manipulate the functions by pressing on the bottom of the screen.

The transmitter was designed for a wider blade than those on my old Lemond carbon, so I had to either run it up high on the fatter part, just a few millimeters away from the bottom of the brake shoe, or do a double wrap around on the lower part. I went with giving it the extra stretch to keep it down by the axle, since the white housing would get really dirty so close to the brakes. It feels like it pretty much maxed out the flex of the strap, but is secure. We'll see how it holds up.

The big downside to the Knog derives from the charm of their simplicity: there are no angle adjustments. You just strap 'em on. If the part you're strapping them to doesn't have the right angle, you're basically out of luck in getting the light aimed properly. This condition is particularly acute on the seatpost, where I automatically go to place tail lights. Being angled back, this puts the lights aiming at the road not too far behind the bike, rather than upwards at drivers' eyes.

You can strap them onto the seatstays, but then the opposite extreme is met, with the lights aiming skyward too high. I'm speaking of traditional diamond frames here; other types might not have this problem. The positive spin on all this is that you have lots of novel mounting positions!

My solution was to shim the lights; by sticking a small, balled up wad of paper or teeny bit of old innertube, I was able to angle up the bottom edge of the Beetles to make the seatpost mount as effective as possible. Inelegant and slightly irksome, which is why for my commuter I bought the hi-lume Boomer set, with it's more seatpost appropriate housing. Those Boomers are very bright, like the Planet Bike Superflash rear (I haven't used the PB matching front light).

The one other thing to consider is that since these things don't bolt or screw on, they're really easy remove...by you or anyone else! If you're risk averse, pop 'em off and take 'em with you.

So those are my thoughts on Knog. Highly recommended stuff for certain applications, and for those who appreciate the style and design and are willing to make some adjustments for it. I have to admit, it's kind of comforting not having the same stuff that's off-the-shelf at REI or all the national brand, chain LBSs around, too!

Sorry for the long post, and I'll close with a pic of the NERD and a Beetle on my road bike:

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Old 07-08-10, 05:45 PM   #2
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Hipster appendages.
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Old 07-09-10, 06:54 AM   #3
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+1 for Knog lights!


The batteries are very easy to change while as well. I love that design. It is water-resistant (as far as biking and rain are concerned) yet it does not use O rings to seal the batteries in since it is essentially a giant O ring anyway.
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Old 07-09-10, 11:39 AM   #4
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I was given a knog brand LED light as a gift. Worthless. It used expensive non rechargeable batteries and certainly did not give enough light to see and I would want brighter to rely on for being seen.
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Old 07-10-10, 07:12 AM   #5
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I was given a knog brand LED light as a gift. Worthless. It used expensive non rechargeable batteries and certainly did not give enough light to see and I would want brighter to rely on for being seen.
Dude, I TOTALLY know what you mean! Once, I had a Ferrari brand car that ran on expensive, non-renewable gasoline, was too low to the ground to drive on trails, and only had one passenger seat. Can you believe it? Boy, do those Ferraris suck. Totally worthless. It reminds me of my .22cal rifle that won't even kill an elephant...piece of sh*t gun. Worthless Browning crap. And don't even get me started on the appetizer I had that didn't satisfy my hunger; French Laundry is the worst restaurant in America! In fact, ALL restaurants are worthless.
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Old 07-10-10, 12:47 PM   #6
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My $25 PBSF and my $20 Mars 4.0 make those Knog lights look like a joke. My $28 Terralux LED front light as well. I've seen commuters with those Knogs as well as some roadies, and I'm not impressed in the slightest. More form than function - in busy LA traffic, I definitely wouldn't rely on those alone.
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Old 07-10-10, 07:04 PM   #7
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My $25 PBSF and my $20 Mars 4.0 make those Knog lights look like a joke. My $28 Terralux LED front light as well. I've seen commuters with those Knogs as well as some roadies, and I'm not impressed in the slightest. More form than function - in busy LA traffic, I definitely wouldn't rely on those alone.
You sir, are wrong.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTBe1Ewn_ds
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Old 07-10-10, 08:23 PM   #8
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I'm not a big Knog fan but that light looks really cool.

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Old 07-13-10, 09:02 PM   #9
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I'm thinking about getting the Boomer front/rear combo as safety lighting. That Boomer front will make a good blinky, but I ain't gonna cut as a "to see by" light, for me anyways.
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Old 07-13-10, 11:11 PM   #10
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That Boomer taillight is pretty nifty! I used to have a Frog. It was fairly useless, but I liked how easy it was to attach and detach. I'm glad to see that Knog has applied that concept to a more serious taillight.

Perhaps I'll pick one up when the mount for my Superflash fails. And it will fail; I haven't even had it a year yet and I can already tell that it has weakened.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:58 PM   #11
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I have a knog boomer (recommended by a member on this forum last year). What I like:
+ Small and lightweight
+ Simple install/uninstall ("install" is a too big word for this)
+ Smart design, nice silicone covery, cute looks--lightens my hour

The problem:
- Unreliable mode: it would switch from steady to flash, or from flash to steady, or stick with one particular flash mode which you didn't set (supposed to have different flash modes), or wouldn't turn off at all,... All for no apparent cause! (occasionally due to bumps, but often just happened by itself)

This problem has been raised for a long time by many users. I wonder if the smart designer has been working on improving it.

Of course, this little light is only for being seen in short distance.
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Old 07-14-11, 09:40 PM   #12
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Knog Frogs? They're called hipster cysts. Around here you can buy them from MEC, so they're anything but unique.
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