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Knog PWR Rider Duo helmet light review

Does this front and rear light combo cut it in the mountain bike world?

Our rating 
2.5 out of 5 star rating 2.5
GBP £87.00 RRP
Knog PWR Rider Duo helmet light

Our review

Impressive beam and glow considering its low power, but struggles to impress off-road
Pros: Can be attached to any GoPro mount; doubles as a power bank; battery-indicator light is useful; rear-light attachment a valuable addition
Cons: Underpowered for off-road riding; mount doesn’t have any padding
Skip to view product specifications

The Knog PWR Rider Duo is designed explicitly as a helmet light and features a 450-lumen maximum-power front light and 12-lumen detachable rear light.

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The 2,200mAh battery can also be used as a power bank to charge external devices and is housed in a sleek aluminium tube.

The detachable rear light has a plastic cover that helps keep the light watertight and is rated to IP66 (sealed against dust and powerful jets of water).

The battery is charged through a micro-USB port. There are four red LEDs on the top of the light’s body that serve as a battery-charge indicator.

The light features six modes claimed to last between two hours at full power (450 lumens) and 50 hours in Eco Flash mode (50 lumens). You can toggle through these with a small button on the underside of the casing.

The PWR Rider Duo is housed in a slimline aluminium body.
Luke Marshall / Our Media

A neat feature of this light is the ability to customise the modes through Knog’s Modemaker app, so you can add or remove modes, choose between set flash patterns and select the brightness of standard modes.

The light weighed in at 151g on my scales.

The mount comprises a GoPro-style connector on top of two flat plastic plates bolted together through a helmet vent.

Knog PWR Rider Duo helmet light performance

Maximum output from the front light is 450 lumens.
Luke Marshall / Our Media

Attaching the mount to your helmet requires a bit of finesse because you need to be careful with a 4mm Allen key on the plastic bolt that fastens the two parts together. These clamp together through a helmet vent.

I would have liked to have seen some padding on the mounts to offer a little extra protection and a less slippery surface. Knog also uses a tiny bolt to attach the light to the mount, which is a bit of a fiddle.

That said, once the light was installed, it remained in place during testing and didn’t rattle or move around.

With the light mounted, toggling through its modes was easy, even though there’s only a small button on the underside. The button was easy to find with gloves on and has a definitive click, making counting mode changes much more straightforward.

Fitting the light to your helmet is less straightforward than with rival lights.
Luke Marshall / Our Media

If you don’t want to toggle through all six modes, you can customise them through Knog’s Modemaker app. However, I didn’t feel this was necessary for testing, because toggling through the modes takes just a few clicks.

Nevertheless, it’s an intelligent feature, and if it were my only light, I’d probably limit it to two constant modes – full-power and half-power.

The PWR Rider Duo will also remember which mode it’s in when you turn it off. The battery indicator is simple but helpful for keeping track of remaining charge.

The 450-lumen Knog does an impressive job considering its low power. It’s possible to ride with this light by itself, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

Charging is via a micro-USB port at the rear.
Luke Marshall / Our Media

Its white light has a decent spread from its elliptical beam pattern, which enables you to pick out the trail edges and helps keeps you on track. This white light doesn’t tire the eyes or have any distinguishable hotspots, but that’s to be expected from a unit with an output of only 450 lumens.

The throw from its beam pattern is okay but not class-leading, so vision down the trail isn’t great. It doesn’t illuminate trail features in the distance that well.

This is compounded by the lack of a strong central focus point. The beam is diffused evenly, meaning the Knog isn’t great at highlighting specific trail features, but instead gives a broader but less bright view of the trail ahead.

Four red LEDs display the battery charge level.
Luke Marshall / Our Media

The main issue is that when riding with a brighter handlebar-mounted light (2,000 lumens), the Knog isn’t powerful enough to punch through and add meaningful additional lumens.

When looking at the exit of turns, it provides more of a glow than a focused beam that enables you to see where you’re going and highlight what’s coming next.

At full power, the light ran for two hours, seven minutes, which is pretty impressive. This is the benefit of having fewer lumens – power consumption is lower.

Knog PWR Rider Duo helmet light bottom line

The Knog struggles to compete with the best helmet lights.
Luke Marshall / Our Media

The PWR Rider Duo packs a decent punch for its 450 lumens. The diffused white beam has a good spread that helps pick up the trail’s edge and a moderate throw to help you see into the distance.

The additional red rear-light end cap is helpful for road sections of a ride and can be removed easily when needed.

The diffused beam pattern lacks a bright spot in the centre to highlight trail features, and the low lumen count makes it hard to ride at speed.

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The small helmet mount lacks padding and needs a tool to fasten it enough, but it was stable when in use.

How we tested

We put six helmet-compatible lights to the test. With prices ranging from £65 to £265, there should be something for everyone’s budget.

The lights chosen here have an output of 450 lumens up to 2,100 lumens. That covers everything from occasional use or as a backup light, to full-on, high-speed riding.

We tested how each light performs riding back-to-back runs on the same trails, comparing beam pattern, LED colour, ease of operation and, most importantly, light projection.

We also timed them all on maximum power to find out just how long the batteries last, and whether they live up to the brands’ claims.

While many of these lights can also be used as handlebar-mounted units, for this test, they were specifically reviewed for use as helmet lights for off-road night riding.

Head to BikeRadar’s round-up of the best helmet lights for our pick of the bunch.

Also tested

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £87.00
Weight 151g
Brand Knog

Features

Features Features Run time: 2hr 07mins (measured)
Battery capacity: 2,200mAh
Light type: Helmet, front, rear
Integrated battery Yes
Output (lumens) 450