Knog is well known for their unique and attractive bike headlights and taillights. The new Blinder V series continues that legacy by incorporating their popular design elements with the latest COB LED technology. In this review we’ll be looking at the Blinder V Traffic which has a traffic light style three block pattern. Knog also offers a Blinder V Bolt variation which has nearly identical specifications but has a lightning bolt illumination pattern. Retail price on Blinder V lights is $49.95 and they are capable of upto 100 lumen output from the COB LED setup. A clever built-in USB-A connector in the mount eliminates the need for charging cables. There are eight unique output modes that trigger the three blocks of LEDs in different patterns as well as upto 50 hour runtime.
The Knog Blinder V Traffic is a sleek and attractive taillight that features unique light output modes that mimic traffic lights.
|Rating||9.2 / 10|
|Measured Weight (in g)||40|
|Likes||+ Minimalist design|
+ Clever integrated USB-A connector on the mount
+ Unique and eye catching output modes
|Dislikes||– Mount has no angle adjustment|
– Button placement makes it difficult to easily use
– Rubber coating on rear of housing attracts dust and dirt
|Where to Buy (US)||Knog|
The Knog Blinder V Traffic comes packaged in a hollow rectangular box with plastic center retainer that allows you to see the full side profile of the taillight. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Blinder V Taillight
- Three rubber o-rings (short / medium / long)
- Instruction manual
We expect Knog will move toward a more environmentally friendly package found on their other products such as the Blinder Road 400 which doesn’t use any plastic.
As with other Knog taillights, the Blinder V uses a clever rubber o-ring style mount with a twist. Instead of just having plastic hooks on both sides and a flexible rubber o-ring, Knog attaches a plastic and metal clasp to one side of the o-ring which fits over a hook. This modified design provides a more secure fit than just an o-ring. The mount itself even features a USB-A connector built into it which is a clever detail. The Blinder V can be used on standard round or aero seatposts thanks to the circular center cutout (i.e. similar to the Magicshine Seemee 180), a flexible side hook and three different length o-rings provided. It’s a nice detail to see which allows the taillight to be mounted on most bikes. A non-slip rubber coating on the rear of the taillight prevents the Blinder V from moving around. Our only complaint is that there is no angle adjustment or built in angle offset to account for the fact that seat posts are angled backwards. That means the Blinder V sits parallel to your seatpost instead of being perpendicular to the ground.
FIT & FINISH
With a V profile, the Blinder V was designed to be a sleek and aerodynamic rear taillight. It’s a clear evolution of the Knog Mob V with the same rectangular profile and large front face. The most obvious improvement with the Blinder V is the use of a COB (circuit on board) LED design which has multiple small LEDs embedded into the face. Not only does this setup look sleeker, but it creates a more uniform and attractive illumination pattern. Knog offers two versions of the Blinder V, the Traffic that we have here and the Bolt which has a bolt illumination pattern. The reason this is called the “Traffic” is because the three block illumination pattern is inspired by traffic lights which have a red / yellow / green pattern.
The Blinder V has a large front lens with translucent red housing that allows the light to be visible from side angles. Branding is limited to Knog printed on the bottom of the lens and embossed on the mounting clasp. The rear of the housing is coated in non-slip rubber which we found was difficult to keep clean. There is a single button on the top rear which allows you to turn the light on / off with a long press and cycle through the eight modes with a short press. Due to the combination of the small button size and inclined plane it is mounted on we found it could be difficult to use with gloves on. A larger button or larger open area around the button would improve the usability.
There are two LED indicators on each side of the button which illuminate to indicate the charging status as well as a low-battery status. Unfortunately there is no multi-level battery status indicator which is a useful feature that the Magicshine Seemee taillights have. The other clever feature of the Blinder V is the integrated USB-A connector in the mount. It’s easy to miss as the contact points are on the inside of the mount and not visible when mounted. It’s a similar design as the Light & Motion Vya lights and eliminates the need for charging cables as you can directly plug the light into a USB-A port.
Knog has incorporated eight different output modes that leverage the three blocks of LEDs in different ways. There are two constant modes: high (35 lumen / 4 hr) and low (20 lumen / 7 hr) where low lights up the center block of LEDs at the “high” intensity and the other blocks at a lower setting. The more interesting output modes are the flash variations which includes: low flash (constant center with flashing top/bottom – 50 lumen / 19 hr), high flash (uniform flashing – 100 lumen / 7 hr) and fading flash (top/bottom flash and then center flash – 30 lumen / 14 hr). The final three modes are: pulse flash (pulse top/bottom flash and then center – 70 lumen / 19 hr), accelerating flash (up/down pulsing – 30 lumen / 7 hr) and finally eco flash (alternating outer and inner flashing – 30 lumen / 50 hr). In terms of runtime the most efficient setting is eco flash although all the flash modes are capable of at least 7 hours.
We found the accelerating flash and pulse flash to be the more visually interesting modes. The three block illumination pattern gives the Blinder V a unique visual appearance and helps the light standout. The transparent lens is also slightly raised which improves side visibility and provides 180 degree visibility. While the large COB LED design is attractive, the Blinder V isn’t as visible from longer distances like the Bontrager Flare RT which has a focused single LED design. The Blinder V also lacks smart features such as motion sensors or brake sensors found on lights like the Magicshine Seemee 200 or Kryptonite Incite XBR.
Overall, we found the Knog Blinder V Traffic to be an attractive and well designed taillight. The Blinder V carries forward Knog’s clever integrated USB-A connector and minimalist product design. The combination of the flat COB LED lens and the flexible V shaped mount works well on round or aero seat posts. While the Blinder V lacks advanced features such as motion detection or brake detection, the bright 100 lumen output and creative three block traffic light inspired illumination patterns is quite eye-catching. The taillight can be used during the day in the full 100 lumen flash mode or at night in any of the other seven output modes. Our main negatives with the taillight is the dust attracting rubber coating, lack of angle adjustment in the mount, and the small power button. That aside, the Blinder V is a great taillight for commuting or road cycling use and features clever design details and output modes.
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.