I’ve been waiting since June to share my stoke for this news: Knog has updated the Frog bike light, and the latest version is rechargeable! The iconic and insanely practical mini lights have new LEDs and electronics inside too, making this a major update that’s been long overdue.
Before going into what’s new, I want to share a few bullet points from a forum
thread rant about blinky bike lights that I started back in February, before I knew the Knog Frog was getting an update:
- Most rear bike lights (aside from the Knog Frog) have insecure mounts for trail riding.
- Many are not rechargeable.
- The good ones cost up to $40. For a red blinky light.
I’ve never lost a Knog Frog on the trail thanks to its integrated silicon band, and my only real issue was it used a throw away watch battery — the type of battery I never have on hand around the house when I need one.
So the Knog Frog is rechargeable now and it even uses a symmetrical USB-C connector for the charging port, hallelujah. I’ve been using the rear, red light (Knog also makes a brighter, white light for the front), and it weighs 19.4g on my scale.
Knog says the Frog rear light pumps out 20 lumens which might not sound like much, but it’s super bright, so much so that it hurts your eyes to look directly at the light. In fact the brightest settings are actually too bright for trail riding — they blind the rider behind you — so it’s best to use the solid, dim setting on the trail.
The light features nine modes that range from bright to dim, and from solid to pulsing. Knog uses a curved lens and LED board which shines out and to the sides for increased visibility.
Reading through the user guide I was surprised to learn there are even more features that my pre-production sample doesn’t include. For example, there’s a red LED that shines through the body of the light when the battery is getting low, and the front light array serves as a charge indicator when the light is plugged in, or when you tap the power button while the light is turned off.
Over the summer I found I could get two or three long night rides in between charges. Of course battery life depends on which light mode you’re using, and Knog says the Frog should get about three hours on high, and 10 or more hours in a couple of the pulsing modes. There’s even an eco mode that promises 60 hours of battery life.
So yeah, this is a pretty badass blinky light, and easily the best one on the market right now (believe me, I’ve checked). Get one of these now and you’ll have it forever.
- Price: $24.95 (rear)
- Buy from knog.com.
- Secure attachment.
- Simple design and operation.
- Excellent visibility.
Pros and cons of the Knog Frog rear bike light.
- Would like to have an additional low-light, blinky mode for trail riding.
Not forever. Having the band incorporated in the body of the light is a huge design flaw. They usually wear out after a few years, and once the band breaks, the light is finished too. (Maybe this one is replaceable? Doesn’t look like it in the pics.)
This problem can be easily solved by designing it with a separate, replaceable band that hooks on both sides of the light. I’ve got a little Lezyne headlight like this. I’ve had it for at least 15 years and I think I’m on my third band, but the light itself still works fine. Meanwhile I’ve worn out the built-in bands on several lights over the years. I would never buy one made like that anymore.
Now that I think of it, even the semi-hard rubber/plastic strap that attaches the mount for my big Serfas headlight wore out eventually. Happily that, again, is a separate part, and Serfas sells replacement mounts so I didn’t have to buy a whole new light. Anything soft that works by stretching will fail sooner or later. Spending $25 every few years is not cheaper than spending $40 once (though obviously more affordable if money is tight).
Solid points. I still have my original Knog Frog that’s at least 10 years old and the band hasn’t worn out yet but I know it won’t last forever. (It’s silicon which does tend to last longer than the rubber mounts I’ve seen on other lights.)
Earlier this year I ended up getting a light like the one you’re describing and I have to agree, it’s a very good choice. Still, it’s not as easy to install/remove and doesn’t look nearly as cool IMO.
Agreed, it does look a lot cooler, and more “premium” I guess. I was thinking that as I was reading. I’m sure that’s why they do it, it can’t be cheaper to manufacture than a simple uncovered plastic shell. I suspect cool-looking gear is often legitimately important to someone riding a $5000 bike.
Might look at the Lezyne Femto USB. 19 bux