KNOG POP 1 DUO LIGHTS
114g pr £29.90
Knog Pop 1 Duo lights are aimed at fashion conscious casual riders and commuters who want to be seen but need something more substantial than traditional blinkies.
There are ten colours from the mild (black, white and carbon electra) to the seriously wild (sky blue tattoo, leopard print, rainbow) with a few pretty middle ground options in between. The front are available in single, or twin diode versions and both use surface mounted technology. SMT is just a clever way of saying diodes are mounted directly on the printed circuit boards, thus allowing more compact product. Pop 1’s deliver 35lumens, pop 2s almost double. Polycarbonate lenses seem durable and side windows allow some peripheral bleed and use collimator technology for a crisp, focused beam. AA cells might sound a bit old school given rechargeable li-on and li-polymer cells have been default for several years now. However, replacement batteries are easily carried, or bought anywhere, no need to worry about charging.
The front opens via a coin slot, the rear by simultaneously pressing and pulling the lens, so we are talking water-resistant in the heavy showers, not submersible, sense. A Slither of silicone grease on the contacts and switch doesn’t hurt either. Speaking of silicone, Knog pretty much started the craze for rubberised bike lights and the
Pop’s stretchy brackets hug their hosts handsomely. These are removable for easy cleaning/replacement and permits the 5 lumen rear to sit vertically for cleanest aesthetic, or horizontally on bikes with bigger saddlebags and/or less exposed seatpost. Overall performance is pretty good. In the highest setting 35lumens is adequate for navigating moderately lit sub/urban stretches to around 18mph, although the lower pulse and flashing settings are arguably more conspicuous.
Drivers seemed to take notice from around 300 metres in town-especially when tackling roundabouts/junctions. Sticksville ranges between 300 and 400. Mounting the front beneath prevents the front being eclipsed by brifter hoods on moustache and other, less conventional bar patterns-assuming you weren’t using an extension bracket. Switches won’t accidentally engage in pockets or panniers but powering up proved trickier than some when wearing winter weight gloves. The rear is far more extrovert than 5 lumens suggest and on its own, fastest flash seems best, although the subtle samba dancing strobe worked quite well combined with dynamos in slow moving traffic. Concrete jungle, we’re talking 300, maybe 400metres on a clear night and vertical mounted. Scores in the sticks are better, we’re talking 450-500 metres, 650 from the rear in fast flash, which falls a long way short of Knog’s 1,000 metres but seriously impressive nonetheless. Run times seem pretty faithful to those quoted-even with the OEM cell, the front managed 2hrs 37 (3hrs) while premium grade replacements notched up 97hrs 37minutes in eco-flash, whereas the rear hit 6hrs 23 (steady) and a whopping 197hrs 41 minutes in eco flash. A faint pulsing red beam is emitted when reserves are dwindling and we’re talking three hours before you risk being plunged into darkness.
Verdict: 4 out of 5: Does exactly what they say on the tin - good choices for townies who want something cheap to run, or just enjoying summer evenings on the best bike(s).
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2015