Since their 2012 introduction, the Knog Blinder Road lights have been a popular light among road cyclists. The Blinder Road lights are known for their compact lightweight designs and have been offered in various configurations over the years. In this review, we’ll be looking at the latest Blinder Road 400 which benefits from numerous improvements in design and LED technology. The headlight retails for $69.95 and offers 400 lumen output from dual CREE LEDs. Each LED has a specific beam shape with the left-hand-side LED having a narrow 12 degree beam while the other LED offers a wide 32 degree beam. As with the previous versions of the light, the Blinder Road 400 has a clever integrated flip-out USB-A connector for cable-less charging.
The Knog Blinder Road 400 combines a stylish compact form factor with a bright dual LED setup.
|Rating||8.7 / 10|
|Measured Weight (in g)||68|
|Likes||+ Minimalist design|
+ Clever integrated USB-A connector on the mount
+ Unique and eye catching output modes
|Dislikes||– Low runtimes in higher output modes|
– USB connector position requires space below the USB port
– Can’t be installed onto out-front mounts without an adapter
|Where to Buy (US)||Knog|
The Blinder Road 400 comes in an environmentally friendly cardboard box with specs printed on the exterior. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Blinder Road 400 headlight
- Longer strap attachment (designed for 29-35mm diameter bars)
- USB extension cable
- Instruction manual
The box also features an Augmented Reality feature that can be accessed by reading the QR code on the back of the box. It’s a clever feature that takes you to a Knog website and shows the Blinder Road 400 rotating in 3d. The feature allows you to see the headlight without the need for plastic windows or additional packaging.
The Blinder Road features Knog’s unique fastening system that uses a multi-piece strap mount with a durable clip design. One side of the elastic rubber strap is removable to allow for the Blinder Road 400 to be installed on 22-28mm diameter bars as well as a longer strap for 29-35mm bars. The straps attach to the light using flexible attachments which allows the Road 400 to easily be used on non round bars as well. An over-molded poly carbonate clip connects to one side of the strap and slides over the hook on the other side of the strap for a secure and durable mount design. It’s a clever design that can easily be installed or removed from handlebars but requires about 2” of open handlebar space. We’d recommend considering the $14.95 Blinder adapter which is a simple cylinder connected to a GoPro adapter which allows you to mount the Blinder light onto out-front mounts.
FIT & FINISH
One of the perks of Knog products are their stylish yet functional designs which is clear to see with the Blinder Road 400. The light has a wide and thin profile with rounded corners that places the LEDs side-by-side in a metal housing. Metal fins wrap around the housing to help with heat dissipation and break up the otherwise smooth housing. The flat lens housing has a translucent surround and frames the dimpled lens reflectors. Despite the impressive IP67 rating, which allows the Blinder Road 400 to be submerged under certain conditions, there are four visible bolts on the lens face attaching it to the housing. The rear of the light has a rubber coating that makes it easy to handle the light but seems to quickly attract dust.
The Blinder Road 400 has a dual level menu that is operated through two buttons mounted on the rear face of the light. You can cycle through the four different mode LED modes with the mode button while the other button toggles the intensity between low and high. A small LED indicator to the right of the hi/lo button turns blue when the light is on high output mode or will be illuminated red to indicate low battery status. The light is also used to show the charging status and switches between red to indicate that charging is in progress to green when charging is complete.The buttons are easy to operate even with gloves and allow you to easily switch between intensity without having to cycle through flash modes.
One of the interesting features of Blinder Road 400 is the integrated USB-A connector. It’s a flip-out design that sits in between the mounting straps on the backside of the housing. It’s a design feature we’ve seen with other lights such as the Light & Motion Vya and theoretically eliminates the need for charging cables. Due to the positioning of the USB-A connector on the Blinder 400 you’ll need about two inches of clearance below the USB port to directly connect the light to a USB port. That’s why Knog includes an extension cable with the light to avoid the clearance issue if you have a cramped USB port setup.
There are a total of eight unique modes available with the Knog Blinder Road 400 that consists of a low and high output intensity for each of the four output modes. The output modes are: left “spot” LED only, right “flood” LED only, dual LEDs and a flashing dual LED option. Knog doesn’t list the individual lumen output for each mode but states that each LED is capable of 250 lumen while the combination achieves the 400 lumen output. For the single LED only modes claimed runtime is 1.2 hours in high mode and 2 hours in high. Dual mode has a slightly higher 2.5 hour low runtime but a lower 1 hour high mode. The most efficient modes are flash which can be run for 3 hours in high mode (one LED is constant while the second flashes) or 8 hours in low (each LED flashes sequentially).
Given the low runtimes, we wouldn’t recommend using the Knog Blinder Road 400 for extended night time rides or faster rides. Larger but higher output lights like the Magicshine RN 1500 are better suited for that type of riding. That said, the Blinder Road 400 is a good option for urban riding as the 250 or 400 lumen modes is enough to illuminate city roads as long as you’re aware of the low runtimes (note Knog offers a brighter but thicker Blinder Road 600 as well). The Blinder Road 400 fills the gap between daytime visible lights like the Bontrager Ion 200 RT or Light & Motion Vya and larger lights such as the Moon Sport Rigel 700 or Magicshine Allty 400. As a result, the light is larger than traditional daytime visible lights but has enough output and wide enough beam to actually be useful on darker roads.
Overall, we found the Knog Blinder Road 400 to be a stylish and well designed headlight. With 400 lumen and a dual LED setup the Blinder Road 400 is an interesting blend between be-seen daytime visible lights and brighter be-seen style headlights. The compact form factor and clever mounting design allow the light to sit flush against round or aerobars and can even be used on out-front mounts with an optional adapter. Although the runtime is limited in the higher constant output modes, the combination of the spot and wide beams can illuminate dark roads. We’d recommend using the Blinder Road 400 for urban riding situations or as a daytime visible light that can also be used to lower-visibility conditions.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Knog. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.