As I mentioned during my cycle tour to Durham I needed to get a new bike light. I had been tempted to buy a USB rechargeable light for a while as I assumed they would be a lot more reliable than cheap ones off eBay. As I also like to use different bikes I wanted a light that I could easily move between them without getting my allen key out. This is partly because it is easier but also because I have found rubber brackets on seatposts actually hold a rear light on better than a solid bracket. Often solid brackets snap or shake off on more bumpy roads whereas rubber ones absorb the vibrations. My requirements were simple then. However as I made my way over to the light section in the local bike shop I still wasn’t convinced anything on offer at my price point would be any decent.
As I have previously, almost entirely purchased my rear bike lights from eBay I have a good idea of what you can get for your money on there. Yes the build quality may not be as good but if the light costs £7 rather than £30 surely buying four of them would last longer than just one expensive one? This is the logic that I used to use, although not very eco-friendly, it showed now that it is more of a hassle buying four than just one which will last longer and be more reliable. At the end of the day you have lights on your bike so that you can be seen, they are there for your safety. Therefore I reassessed my preconceptions deciding that reliability was actually what I needed. If it cost a little bit more then that wouldn’t really matter because theoretically I would be safer.
So I began to test the lights available in the shop. The way I selected this light was that the flashing mode was at a good speed. Not strobe-like but also not like a zebra crossing. I found that too many lights when flashing flashed too slowly, this meant there was a significant time period where the light was in fact off during the flashing cycle. A feature I wasn’t entirely keen on, if a light is off you aren’t being seen. I like a high frequency flash, this way you are highly visible and also it uses less power than having it constantly on so you can save battery life.
With a big rubber button on the rear to switch the light on and off this makes it very weatherproof but also easy to operate wearing full winter cycling gloves. A feature I found very useful during my winter cycle tour to Durham. The attachment system is also throuroughly thought out. It can be very easily removed, and being rubber it will fit a variety of seatpost sizes easily. However it also feels robust, I don’t think it will snap any time soon. Furthermore as Knog is a well established company I reckon they will have much better customer service should you ever experience a problem with the light. Completely different to just buying one of eBay where obviously there is higher risk as you don’t know what you may be getting.
What really sold it to me was how you charge this light. It has been so cleverly thought out almost for this design feature alone I purchased it. The one thing I wasn’t sure about with getting a USB rechargeable light was that it would be yet another cable for me to accumulate with the hundreds of others that lay in a tangled mess in my desk drawer. Would I just lose the cable and then it would become obsolete. Or would I just forget the cable on cycle tours thus rendering my light useless? Fortunately Knog have ingeniously solved this issue. There is no cable. Instead you flick out a USB attachment which is concealed within the design, and protected by the seatpost during riding. It is such a clever piece of design and one that works incredibly well, feeling very robust.
Needless to say it is incredibly bright and although it costs £30 I think it is extremely good quality for money as the build quality is fantastic. I will be using this on all my bikes throughout the year and think it was a very good investment.