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: