- 4.5 / 5 Bee's Knees -
Bringing us fresh designs, new concepts and bold innovations, Knog has been a pioneer in the bike industry. Another milestone has been set with the introduction of the PWR series lights. Here is, what may be, the first ever modular bike lighting system...but the features don't end there.
Knog brings wild innovation to the entire PWR series including this, the PWR Road. At 600 lumens, this is the smallest modular light in the family with the exception of two non-modular models beneath this. This system is designed so riders can swap batteries, headlamps, mounts and even utilize the battery for charging other devices and running Knog accessories such as Knogs own camping lamp or speaker. From a bike light sense, all is well and intuitive. What is a bit different from other lights is the button-less design. Twisting the water resistant headlamp cycles the light through its various settings. Overall, the aluminum construction feels robust without being bulky or heavy and adds a premium fit and finish. Every component of this system offers liberal customization, so lets touch on each.
With options of Road, Trail and Mountain, Knog offers 3 unique headlamps with varying outputs and beam patterns. Each headlamp works with any of the 3 battery options. The Road model pictured here has an elliptical shaped beam pattern cast from its diffuser style lens. In testing, the beam pattern looked more round than elliptical with a generous flood and blended spot. It was neither my favorite beam pattern nor one which has any real faults. On either side of the headlamp there is a vertical cutout which exposes a portion of the lens. This window illuminates a generous amount of light to either side increasing motorist side awareness. Again, this light operates by twisting the headlamp rather than pushing a button. I found little advantage to this setup but again found no concerns either.
No time was spared engineering each of the 3 battery options for the PWR series. From 3,350ma - 10,000ma, runtimes, sizes and weights vary but features remain the same. Each battery is charged via USB within 5 hours, can charge other devices via its USB port and displays its remaining charge simply by touching the housing (the manual specifically indicates touching the "base"). Only the 10,000ma or Large battery must use a specific "large mount" due to its additional weight.
Mounting options are seemingly limitless. Included as standard, the side mount offers versatility and places the light directly over or under ones stem...perfect for us OCD types. In my testing of the small battery and side mount, no noticeable light shaking was present and the connections always remained secure. Two indexed positions (seen above) allow riders to mount the light in a fore or aft position further catering to each cyclists preferences. Opitonal mounts are abundant including helmet mounts, battery extension mounts, brake bolt positioning and more. It is truly remarkable how many options you are given with this product.
As the final icing on the cake, any of the PWR lights can be connected to a Mac or PC and programed with Knogs ModeMaker beta. This software enables the customization of 3 constant settings and 11 flash settings. You can change the organization of the modes within your light, adjust their intensities and even change the speeds at which some of the flash settings operate. It is the first system of its kind that actually seems to perform in the manner intended. Furthermore, it provides ample customization to suit every rider.
When you add up each of the features of the PWR series, it is not only incredible to see how much technology Knog has packed into these lights, but also quite remarkable to see how competitive the pricing is as well. Having only reviewed the Road model, I wish I could have tested additional mounts and headunits to compare beam patterns, outputs and mixed setups to get a feel for the full ecosystem. My only main concern is the intensity of the side-facing windows. These cast too much light up towards the rider and cause some distractions in my opinion. Regardless, the PWR Road is a fantastic little light with YUGE features. You'd be hard pressed to find a more technology-rich package from any other manufacture. I highly suggest visiting Knogs website to explore the full array of accessories and models even if you plan to buy the light elsewhere. This review was such a pleasure in sharp contrast to my last review (long time readers will know which product) being that Knog employs a team of ranchers who know how to wrangle and tame technology into their products. Well done, well done!