PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Knog: Little & Light / Big Bright

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Knog: Little & Light / Big Bright
Knog started out in 2002 as the brainchild of a couple guys with a healthy scoop of, well, brains. Already in design and development, the thought behind Knog was to make high quality high function products that were also very simple.

Cycling seemed to Hugo Davidson and Malcolm McKenchnie like a place filled with pretty cool people, so that’s where they put their thought. Even the company name was easy, as “Knog” is actually short for “noggin” because the company’s first design was for a helmet.

10 months after they put their heads together, 20+ cycling accessory products had been developed but the first winner wasn’t for your head. It was a bar end light that got them rolling … They whipped up a few samples and in 10 months they had 20 products, in several product types, into production. Fast forward two years and they had world wide distribution and 56 products rolling round (it’s actually more than that now…), including bags, gloves, shoes, lights, backpacks… In an industry where companies are more likely explaining why a single product is two years late, the noggins at Knog are a pretty cool story and we get a couple of their lights…


Welcome To The Swamp
Knog sent us a couple things, a Gator and a couple Frogs.



We’ll start first with the big guy first, and I say “big” guy only as the Gator 105 relates to the frogs. Open the box and it looks pretty minimal…



That’s pretty much because it is simple and trim… The light portion is small enough to fit in the small space between your bar tape and stem, even for guys like me that only leave a small gap…



The unit features twin LED’s; the first is a 1 Watt high power and the other a 5mm. Turned on high these knock out 200 Lumens in a 32 degree flood pattern that works really well for road riding. It can also run as a simple flasher on “Low”.

The functions are controlled by an easy to press (think gloves) button in the head unit.



The battery pack is a short 1 hour charge and is a 4 cell NiMh type that will let this thing sing for about four and a half hours. The battery itself is also what I would call damn small for what it is…



You can use the head unit size and see for yourself that together they don’t add up to much (300 grams) with the exception of a lot of light relative to their size.

Mounting lights might have some worried about their bike’s finish, but I had no worries strapping this to the custom paint on a Parlee Z1sl which isn’t what many folks would call “cheap”. The silicone base and strap system goes on with ease but stays snug. You just pull on the stretchy part and wrap it round. No fuss. About all I would do is to make sure the frame is clean before you wrap it around.



The camera angle plays with you a bit here, but there is absolutely no clearance issue…

The light that this unit gives off is very good for the road. The pattern is nice and even, and a good 25-30 feet ahead is in clear light ahead of the bike. I might go for the Gator 305 if I were riding trail and wanted the extra pop (the 305 is only another 50 grams and is another 150 Lumens brighter) but this works great on the early mornings ahead of sunrise.

The one thing I wished for that didn’t come in my package but that does for yours is a helmet mount. The battery is very light and very small and would be great in a jersey pocket running the cord to your head… Just remember to use this option when you’re alone… Your mates may be polite and say no problem, but head lamps in groups are literally an eye-sore…


Add a Frog!
A favorite of mine also came in the box. Knog’s Frog light that’s slick not only for its simplicity and brightness but also because it blends with my custom paint…




In fact, the Frogs blend with a whole bunch of different paint.




These little guys are one of the simplest, most effective and cheapest “cool things” you can add to a bike. 12 grams, 10,000 millicandelas (not a clue, but it’s bright) and 12 colors. (They’ll also have an Amber version very soon.)

In fact, you might want to add a pair as they are available in both clear and red LED for front and rear mounting as safety flashers.



They’re also frame friendly / stretchy enough for me to strap on to a seat post, bars, chain stays, a fork…




Another nice thing is that they have a very simple replaceable battery and you can swap the LED colors (Red light doesn’t need to be in a Red housing).


Biggie sized frog?
If you want to make sure the space shuttle won’t rear end you, or plan on flagging down search aircraft, you might also want to upgrade to the Frog’s big brother the Bullfrog.



This thing tosses out a better light show than mounting a disco ball to your ass (yep, personal experience here) with all the different flasher settings and has a neat little design feature that allows you to keep it tilted more level to the road while mounted to your seat post.



And handy as handy, just like the little brother the frog you can also pull the guts out easily and change the batteries…



For me though the best set up as an early morning road-geek is a Frog rear and Gator front. That’s all the warning I think my rear end needs as I ride on not so busy roads and, like a lonely guy at last call, I am more concerned with how things look than I am with protection…

How much are they? Not much. Where do you find em? Call your shop and if they don’t stock em, they should. These are inexpensive safety things that look cool. It’s not like stuff like that grows on trees…


That’s That
Of course we didn’t have time to get to all of Knog’s other products. To do that we would need 6 months as the range is big. But don’t forget to check out the full Monty. Knog have stuff like wallets and casual carry bags as well as cycling kit like their gloves…



All of it featuring max-effect minimalist design that someone might say is form causing function as it makes you want to use it…

Check out their web site at Knog.com.au and be sure to load their Knogalogue. To date, I’ve not enjoyed a catalogue down to the last pages as much as I did this one…


Have Fun,
Charles Manantan


Thanks for looking. We’re happy to bring you lots of large pictures instead of making you click a bunch of extra pages. We would rather make things convenient and entertaining for you than artificially inflate our page views…

Note: if you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products we test here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper use and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

Send your comments to: manager@pezcyclingnews.com

 

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