Don't let the simple looks deceive you, Knog’s PWR range is packed with super useful features and the Road 700L is a great entry point to its modular multiverse
Well shaped beam
Reasonable run time
Secure round bar bracket
Simple twist actuation
Modular battery & head versatility
Basic run time communication
Expandable and upgradeable
Pricey for the power
Supplied with round bar mount only
No remote switch option
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When we got our first Knog PWR sample a few years ago, it rapidly reversed our initial ‘gimmick’ impressions with super user-friendly performance, expandable modular versatility and overall reliability.
Our latest test focusses on the Knog PWR Road, and while you might need an extra mount kit if you’re not on round bars, it’s otherwise a practical, super-smart light that’s just about powerful enough for back road exploring, and it's visible around town too.
However, with an asking price of £99.99 / $89.95 / AU$139.99 / €94.99, it's in the middle ground of the price spectrum when compared to its peers, so how does the PWR Road stand up against the best bike lights out there?
Design and specifications
The Knog PWR range is based around separate head units and battery tubes that lock together in whatever combination you want. The PWR Road head uses three LEDs (two behind wide diffusers and one spot) producing a claimed 700 lumens. This is teamed with a 3350 mAh battery which will stretch to almost two hours at full power in warm conditions before the four micro-LED life indicator on the battery finally goes out. The PWR Road comes with six pre-programmed modes (three steady, three flashing) to let you change behaviour and run times to suit your environment or needs. However, if you want custom brightness or just fewer modes to scroll through, the Knog Modemaker program also lets you plug your light in and create your own options menu.
The light is supplied with an offset round bar mount that can cope with bars from 22.2 to 38.1mm diameter depending on which shim you use. This slides into a track on the side of the light and then locks into place with a thumbwheel. It can be run above or beneath the bars, and presuming you do it up properly, it is secure and shake-free even if you’re battering along bridleways.
However, if you’ve not got round handlebars, then you’ll need to buy a GoPro mount or helmet mount adaptor which includes the cable to join the separated lamp and battery together. Considering how comprehensive the rest of the range is, it's a shame there’s no simple strap mount for odd/aero-shaped bars.
Once you’re good to go, it’s super easy to use even in the thickest gloves or with the coldest hands: twisting the head and holding it for a couple of seconds turns it on and then further twists change the mode. There’s no chance it’ll accidentally get turned on by something pressing on a button in transit.
The actual beam is really well-judged. The extra 100 lumens over the last version we tried gives it a bit more reach and noticeably more than Knog’s own Blinder 600. You’ll still be squinting and second-guessing occasionally at speed, but if it's on roads you already know, or you're being more sensible with pace then it's enough to ride back roads and even low-tech off-road terrain without worry.
The oval shape of the beam means no wasted energy lighting up trees overhead or dazzling drivers, and the broad peripheral gives plenty of contextual information and illumination in corners. The cutouts on the side of the lens throw some light towards traffic coming in at an angle too which boosts your visibility and safety on busy urban roads.
When you’re not using it as a light, the battery can be used as a USB power bank for recharging other devices and, if you find you need more brightness or run time, the PWR options range runs up to the 2,000-lumen head and 10,000mAh battery of the Mountain or the 1,100-lumen head and 5,000mAh battery of the Trail. You can even get a headtorch strap mount for walking, running or camping.
As for reliability, while the force you sometimes need to pull the two halves apart worried us at first, the first sample we got several years ago is still running fine (the head twist is admittedly a bit wobbly) and we’ve never had an issue with a set since. All Knog lights are covered with a two-year warranty anyway and if it breaks after that the modular design means you only need replace the broken half.
If you only need a bike light then there are brighter options for the same money and lack of remote or strap bar mount might be a sale stopper for some.
However, if you’re after a very easy to use, smart and extremely versatile light that’s powerful enough for dark back roads or light trails, and also doubles as a useful power bank, then the Knog PWR Road is a great showcase of Knog's modular PWR concept.
Tech Specs: Knog PWR Road 700L
- Price: £99.99 / $89.95 / AU$139.99 / €94.99
- Power: 700 lumens (claimed)
- Battery: 3,350 mAh
- Weight: 158g (with bar mount)
- Run time: 1h 46 mins (Average of three runs at full power)
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