After seven years producing silicon lights, the Knog crew have holed up and produced a new set of USB rechargeable lights, under the Blinder category, for 2013. These serve as the company’s bid to establish a ‘pro’ range of products.
The two new models – 1 and 4 – are what Michael Lelliott, Knog’s CMO, calls “solid in everything that solid means”. They’re encased in metal and silicon, watertight, USB rechargeable and as bright as either one or four LEDs can be.
The Blinder 4 puts out 80 lumens of white light for the front or 44 lumens of red light for the rear. But despite this output Knog still consider the new models as “to be seen lights” rather than full-on “to see” lights. The 1 puts out 20 lumens at the front or 11 at the rear.
The 4 lasts for 50 hours per charge on the Ecco setting, 30 hours on each of the four flash modes and 2.5 hours running steadily. Knog also say that the Blinder’s consistent output regulates the battery, so the light should maintain its full power for 90 percent of the charge before dropping off.
The lithium polymer battery will handle upwards of 1,200 charges. Knog have calculated that if you use it for 2.5 hours a day for the estimated five-year lifespan, each Blinder will save you buying 600 AAA batteries, and so the same number from disposal. “That’s lots of money saved and a lot that doesn’t go into a landfill,” said Lelliott.
Because the Blinders are USB rechargeable, Knog have been able to completely factory-seal the units. This makes them weatherproof but also submersible. There are no gaskets or grommets that will wear out or fail over the life of the product, and the USB plug and circuitry are also weatherproof.
Blinder 4 comes in two configurations – square, with six pattern options, as well as a vertical LED orientation. The units weigh just 39g and cost US$44.95. The Blinder 1 comes with one LED but six design options, including a skull, heart, cross, cog and flower. Blinder 1s weigh just 15g and cost US$29.95 each, or $55.95 for a front and rear set.
“We’re trying to provide options that extend riders’ personalities or riding styles,” said Hugo Davidson, Knog’s CEO. “It’s not dissimilar to the Swatch [watch] concept.”
Davidson said that he could see Knog changing the faces on a seasonal basis, to keep the designs fresh.
The Blinders aren’t meant to replace Knog’s venerable Frog lights. The Australian company sell upwards of 2.5 million of those per year, globally. Instead, they see the Blinders as a premium option for those who don’t mind recharging their lights, and can see the benefits of a lithium battery over the lifespan of the product.
Knog plan to have their Blinders ready for sale in October.
New locks: Bouncer, Milkman, Strongman and Straight Jacket
Bouncer (US$49.95) and Strongman (US$99.95) are Knog’s new high-security options, which they claim are as safe as Kryptonite’s New York. Both use high-security, disc-type lock cylinders and 13mm hardened steel shackles. They’re coated in UV resistant silicone, which serves to protect the paint job and bring signature Knog style. The Bouncer weighs 800g, while the larger Strongman weighs 1,100g and comes with a bike mount bracket for transport.
The US$24.95 Milkman is named after Australia’s milk bars (local convenience stores). As the name suggests, the Milkman is made for quick stops at the grocery or coffee shop. The lock weighs just 110g and sports a 90cm retractable, braided steel cable. The lock’s square shape makes it an easy addition to a jersey pocket, and it should be available for sale in four weeks.
The Milkman is a small device but features a 90cm retractable cable lock
The Straight Jacket is Knog’s chain-type lock. It comes in two weights – Skinny (US$22.95) and Fatty (US$32.95). The former uses a 6.8mm hardened steel chain, while the latter sports an 8.8mm chain. Both are 80cm long and come in three colors.