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  1. #1
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    Impressions: Knog Road 2 light set

    So, I just got back from my preliminary ride with the Knog Road 2 front and rear light set, and I can say that I'm pretty delighted!

    I love the size, style, and easy mounting of the units. The headlamp is particularly small, but both are great looking and sport good switchgear that positively affirms each selection. The buttons, two on the headlight and single on the taillight, are small though, so perhaps there could be some hassle operating them with gloves on, particularly the taillight, the button for which is on the upper back side of the unit, leaving not a lot of room between it and the seat post.

    Knog's silicone strap mount, intro'd on the Blinders, is the best in the business, but that didn't stop them from addressing two complaints. First, for the taillights, the simple strap meant no angle adjustment, and that the brightest spots on the LEDs were angled too low, so Knog angled the LEDs upwards in the housing, to offset the typical angle of the seat post and keep the lights firing straight backwards. A simple, sane, fix. The other complaint was that, depending on bar diameter, there could be excess strap or not enough, so the headlight includes two, switchable strap lengths to securely and cleanly mount the light on small 25.4s or big 31.8s.

    Headlight modes are easy to toggle through, and the dual beam (i.e. pencil and flood beam) system indicates when in high and low power modes with an small LED. The best part, though, is that the light will return to the previously selected mode after being turned off and back on, so if you've got a favorite setting, these are up and running with a single push.

    I found the pencil beam at low power was a favorite of mine, plenty for marking light in an urban setting, strong enough to be seen on the road under a HPS streetlight at 5', and bright enough to safely illuminate a slow roll up darker side streets. The flood modes are probably nice for single track and narrow trails where seeing edge-to-edge is possible. The flash mode for the front is pretty sane, a nice steady flip between lamps, rather than the seizure inducing, rapid strobe flashing of some.

    Rear modes are less interesting, except for the dual LED, low power Peloton mode, and a cool sequential flash. As with the headlight, I'm glad that the flash rate is slower and steadier than, say, their Boomer models. Those crazy, off-beat, rapid strobes just aggravate me tremendously, so hopefully there is a new day dawning in the light biz. The tail light also has a narrow, translucent band wrapping the edge that lets light leak out for side marking. Nice, but direct side lighting would be better.

    Run times are low, like 1hr at max for the front, and 3.5hr for the rear at same. Clearly, these are best suited for urban riding and moderate length commuting, as opposed to touring.

    The crummy packaging does include a helmet mount and USB extension cable, both of which are nice, especially considering the flip out USB plug on the lights is floppy and awkwardly located on the inside of the straps, making it almost impossible to plug directly into a USB port on a computer.

    Build quality seems to be very good to excellent, though my headlamp did have a little sliver of light leakage at a corner where the metal bezel meets the housing. It's not a game changer and probably varies from unit to unit, but for those who pay attention to the details, it's something not quite right. No other nitpicks to report; these look and feel like very well built and finished gear (e.g. the raised and polished Knog logo is trick!).

    Overall, these are really cool lights that will certainly be my go-to gear for my common city jaunts and commutes, and perhaps those road rides that catch me out briefly at night. For a proper night road ride, the headlight just doesn't have the run time to get the job done, but it might make a decent supplemental helmet mount if the 2hr run time on low is as advertised. Time will tell if these fulfill their promise to be the best Knog lights ever.

    Here are a couple of quick, lame pics; I'll leave the beam shots and all that stuff to better fotogs:



    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  2. #2
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Looks good. I have a Blinder 4V myself. I really really do not like the silicone strap mounting though. It's OK if it happens to be what you need, but it means you have almost no way to mount the light if your needs are different than normal. Also there are multiple reports here of them breaking, and there's no way to fix it if it breaks.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Looks good. I have a Blinder 4V myself. I really really do not like the silicone strap mounting though. It's OK if it happens to be what you need, but it means you have almost no way to mount the light if your needs are different than normal. Also there are multiple reports here of them breaking, and there's no way to fix it if it breaks.
    Yes, it's true there's no alt mount options beyond bar and post, but for my needs, the clean, easy mounting trumps that limit. I use Portland Design Works Dangerzone lights when I need seatstay or odd angle mounting. I've been thinking of getting Niterider Solas for those kinds of apps, and moving to USB recharging, but I'm not sure I want to be chasing around a charging schedule for all the lights deployed in the house. Keeping some AA lithiums on hand and replacing as needed is much easier.

    I've also heard about the straps breaking, but have not experienced it over years of Knog use from Frogs, to Boomers, to NERDs, so I can't help but wonder if it's really ham-fisted users more than anything. I've got Knog stuff mounted on all types of bikes and trailers, too, with all kinds of diameter tubing, so yeah, I'm a little skeptical of most reports.

    I did read comments on a review over on Bikerumor that said Knog reformulated the material to make it more durable, but it wasn't clear if that was coming directly from Knog or what (http://www.bikerumor.com/2013/05/30/...r-road-lights/).

    Anyway, the strap on the Road 2 headlight, at least, is replaceable.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    So, on the taillight, are the beams angled upward to compensate for typical angle of the seatpost or do they shine angled downward perpendicular to the seatpost?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    So, on the taillight, are the beams angled upward to compensate for typical angle of the seatpost or do they shine angled downward perpendicular to the seatpost?
    The lenses are visibly angled upward in the housing to compensate for seatpost angle.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  6. #6
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    It's funny, the angled lights would be counterproductive for me - I already built a custom mount that angles back up to level specifically because the Blinder pointed down.

    In the case of the Blinder though, the angle hardly matters - the light dispersion from that light is pretty much completely equal through about 120 degrees, so it could be angled down pretty far and still be just as visible as if it were pointing straight back.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    The lenses are visibly angled upward in the housing to compensate for seatpost angle.
    Cool. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    It's funny, the angled lights would be counterproductive for me - I already built a custom mount that angles back up to level specifically because the Blinder pointed down.

    In the case of the Blinder though, the angle hardly matters - the light dispersion from that light is pretty much completely equal through about 120 degrees, so it could be angled down pretty far and still be just as visible as if it were pointing straight back.
    This comment made me think, so I went down to the bike and double-checked the Road 2 tail light, and to be clear, only the lower, larger, and most bright LED is angled upwards, while the 3 smaller emitters seem to be square to the housing.

    I can only assume that, as you noted, the smaller LEDs are less directional (i.e. emit in a wider pattern), while the super bright, long-throw LED is more focused or directional, and so benefits from being more carefully aimed.

    All of the LEDs are quite bright though, and the big one is very bright, on par with the Niterider Solas' bright LED (to my naked eye).
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  9. #9
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  10. #10
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Yikes : $125
    That seems about right for that light set for a name brand light with such a low profile. Personally 200 lumens is not nearly enough light up front, I want 400+ and I get it for < $30, but some people want a light that looks nice and don't need the extra light.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  11. #11
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    Yeah I didn't reckon, perhaps obviously since I bought it, that $125 was ridiculous for this kind of form factor/quality combo, particularly compared to other lights in the category (to the extent there even are any). For example, Light & Motion's Urban 200 is about $100 without a tail light, or about $135 with the Vis180 tail light; a Niterider Mako 200 is about $40 without a tail light, and with a Solas running another 40-45, I'd consider that an $85 getup.

    However, the Niterider stuff is too ugly and ungainly to even consider, so the $40 premium for the Knog was a no-brainer for me; the L&M is much nicer looking than the NR, but still loses the design competition to Knog by a good margin, and actually costs more. Sure, those aren't the only options, but they're pretty representative of the self-contained, USB rechargeable light products available, so by my count, Knog Road 2 actually looked like a pretty good deal, and delivers the slickest, most user-friendly, and easy to swap between mount system out there.

    Now, I've only used these twice, so I don't want to get too carried away here, and I have had a couple of Boomer headlights go on the fritz, so whether these turn out to truly be a smart buy remains to be seen.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  12. #12
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    ...Personally 200 lumens is not nearly enough light up front, I want 400+ and I get it for < $30, but some people want a light that looks nice and don't need the extra light.
    I'm intrigued by the little self-contained led lights that are starting to come out. I'd like to see a beam shot of the Knog road front light.

    I own a little self-contained ( usb ) type light that I bought from Performance called the "Axiom". I use it basically for just "flash duty" which works out great. Still I'm surprised how useful it can be when in steady mode. On high/steady it won't run likely more than an hour but it puts out enough light to see for maybe 40-50 ft. in complete darkness ( 70 lumen ). That's enough to ride down the road at a 12mph pace and see something in the road before you hit it. Comparatively the Knog road front lamp, if it can produce 200 lumen that is much more light and should take top honors when it comes to minimalist design. The only place it falls short is in run time but if it has a 100-150 lumen mode that should give a bit more time of "useable/minimalist" light.

    If you are truly a minimalist / weight-weenie, then the Knog Road might be what you were waiting for. Push come to shove, if you needed more run time on high you should be able to buy a spare battery with USB outlet and run the Knog Road for as long as you need ( depending on battery size ). Then again if you need more run time you can buy any number of torches that will easily supply enough light to ride road ( which is what I do if I decide to go minimalist ). Still, I love the clean-minimalist look of this Knog light.

  13. #13
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads-up chaadster! Those actually look reasonable in price compared to the Serfas TL-60 and similar light. Compared to previous Knog models - looks like you're actually getting more lumens per dollar too. Not an all day light but would certainly wirk fir a lot of commutors.

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