Australian-based Knog are at the forefront of making cool lights. They’re experts in small, stylish and power-packed lights for the style-conscious pedaller. The Knog Blinder Mob Mr Chips falls into the “be seen” light category that are bright enough to draw attention to you, but not bright enough to light up the road. At $59.95 AUD they’re not cheap. Thankfully they live up to their price tag.
The Blinder Mob Mr Chips crams plenty of smart design into its compact package. The light face is covered with tiny Chips On Board (COB) LEDs surrounded by a reflective square. Even when switched off, these will bounce light and help you be seen. When active the front deploys a squint-inducing 80 lumens, and the rear puts out 44 lumens.
You’ll have plenty of options to place your lights too. The back of the lights are rounded and have a central groove to grab onto standard and aero bars/seat posts. In the box you get two rubber straps to wrap around 22-32mm+ surfaces. Knog have put a lot of thought into making this product fit a broad range of component shapes.
LIVING WITH MR CHIPS
Mr Chips has two major selling points: brightness and wide beam angle. There are five light modes on offer to give riders the perfect situational brightness. There’s high steady; steady low; strobe flash; fancy flash, that phases across the light face, and eco flash, which alternately lights half of the LEDs. With so many options, I mostly opted for fancy flash or eco. Those were the most sympathetic to other road users, and least likely to blind fellow riders. No more strobing ride companions on your rear wheel, unless you want to.
The beam angle is an impressive 120 degrees. Mounted on the handlebars, the inside of my hoods and most of my front tyre were illuminated. I felt significantly more visible from the sides compared to most forward-facing lights. The large, flat panel deploys lumens in all directions. They’re discreet too. I’ve lived with a lot of chunky lights so these are a welcome change, sitting flat against the bars and seatpost.
Battery life ranges from 2-60 hours depending on flash mode. I never ran them dead on the eco modes I used and they easily lasted a week of riding. The solid beam will burn through battery much quicker though. Charging is cable-free, with Knog lights plugging directly into USB ports. It’s a clever idea, but it can be awkward charging with a computer because the light’s body can easily overlap adjacent ports.
The mounts are versatile but can be fiddly. Fitting and removal can require lots of stretching to get the tiny hook into place. Switching regularly between multiple bikes can get tedious when changing rubber straps. On the plus side, I can’t see any signs of wear or stretch yet.
The Knog Blinder Mob Mr Chips is a very well considered product with impressive brightness, wide beam angle, and clever packaging. It’s nice to have so many light modes to choose from as well. There are certainly cheaper ‘be-seen’ flashing LED lights, but very few are as versatile as these. Considering all of the intelligent design in these lights, it’s easy to see the returns on your investment.
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