Putting The Plus Light To The Test
My name is Mathieu, I’m a bike courier and urban runner currently living in Melbourne, Australia. The last few months I have been testing the new Knog Plus lights. Full disclosure, Knog did ask me to write about using them. But they did so because I already said to them how much they saved my team’s ass out in the Nevada desert!
Earlier this year, in March, I organized the Cremornite: a short, sharp, night running race in the streets of Cremorne in Melbourne’s southeast. I asked Knog to help with some safety lights for the runner, and they gave us all prototypes of the “Plus” light to test. A wearable bike light that, it turns out, works soo well for runners.
A month after the Cremornite, I flew to Los Angeles, California, with the AM:PM. RUN.CREW. We ran “The Speed Project”, a running relay race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Nevada – day and night – through the desert roads. And we were so grateful we still had the Plus lights. The race started before dawn from Santa Monica, in the L.A suburban traffic, all the way out to the desert. Then after a day under the California sun, the crew ran the whole night to the doors of the Death Valley in the morning. The Death Valley was a long, hot and tiring section. In the last part, at dusk, there was an ascent and a never ending downhill along the highway to finish in Las Vegas in the middle of the night after 44.16 hours of relay running. Without the Plus light flashing for hours on the back of my cap, Death Valley may have taken on a new meaning for me. I didn’t realise how important a light would be until I was there in the pitch black.
After staying in touch with Knog, I told them about PAVEMENT, a race with the same format as the Cremornite. I helped them to design the route, and thought about marking the route with the Plus lights. Knog went one better and lit up the 4km route mounting the lights on road signs and fences. Plus, they gave a light to the runners. It was interesting to see how each runner used them – stuck in hair, wrist bands, shirts, socks and more.
The Knog Plus definitely has a permanent place in my running gear. In an urban environment, it gets the runner seen by the city life. I could notice a difference when I had to cross some streets and face a group of people. In some wilder areas, like in the desert, the lights were a great asset, and I could recognize “Plus runners” from far away among the others. With their 5 different lighting modes, it’s bright enough to see, be seen and be safe. I would suggest clipping it on your shirt collar, on the back of your cap. Socks are good too but make sure you have strong elastic on the cuff of your sock (like most cycling socks) or else they may fall out. The autonomy and the charging system is very good as well. Easy to plug in, it doesn’t obstruct any device because of its small size, and on the flash mode it can be used for hours.
Knog Plus are lightweight and perfectly designed for cycling, great to wrap around the seatpost or the handlebar of the bike with the magnetic mount for a mellow commute ride. They are bright “be seen” lights – I would recommend them as an extra to “see by” bike lights for safety reasons. I always think riders should use high power lights in city or countryside as primary lights. If you have the Knog PWR range, which go up to 1000 lumens (and they tell me more later this year), you can recharge the Plus by plugging them straight into the PWR Bank!
As a bike courier and everyday bicycle commuter in and around Melbourne, I’ve been using the Plus everyday through the winter. Leaving when the sun is rising, when it’s cloudy or rainy, and coming home at night.