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Knog PWR Mountain light kit review

Knog’s PWR Mountain is a really neat, powerful and versatile lighting package, but there is room for improvement

Knog PWR Mountain Light
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

A powerful and easy to use light, but it’s the super comprehensive package and powerpack benefits that really make the Knog stand out

For

  • Powerful and well-spread beam at max power
  • Multiple mounts and separable versatility
  • Button-free operation and basic programming
  • Also works as a big power bank

Against

  • Connecting lead needs to be longer
  • ModeMaker app is underdeveloped

Knog has taken it's own design path ever since it introduced its first silicon wrapped, built-in strap LEDs. The modular PWR range is loaded with unique user-friendly features and this Mountain kit is the most powerful and comprehensive of the lot. That makes it a great all-rounder for off-road or epic on-road use, but a few more tweaks would really seal the deal. 

Construction

The whole PWR family are based around a head unit and a battery that click together to build the complete light. The modular system starts with the PWR Road using a 600-lumen max output head and a 3350mAh ‘small’ battery. Then there’s a PWR Trail with 1000 lumen output and a 5000mAh battery. The Mountain uses an 8 LED head and a 10,000mAh battery to create the most powerful combination but the same two-prong attachment means you can mix and match different heads and batteries if you want. All separate lights come with an offset cam-closed bar mount that slides into a slot down the side of the battery pack so the light sits over (or under) the stem with rubber shims for 22, 31.8 and 35mm handlebars.   

For an extra £20 over the basic light, the Mountain kit also includes a bolted centreline mount for extra security. You also get GoPro compatible bar, twin disc helmet and even road brake bolt mounts that sync with a head unit plug attached to a coiled lead to a battery pack connector. You can then attach the battery to the frame with a saddle mount. Male/female and mini USB cables are also included for programming and recharging the battery itself or other USB devices when used as a power pack.

Performance

At a fraction under 400g, the metal-bodied Mountain is a chunky unit, but the bar mount is well balanced and there’s a thumbwheel lock to stop it rattling in its slot. That means as long as you do the bolt up reasonably tight, the rubber shim keeps it stable and secure on the rowdiest terrain.

The maximum light output is enough to push the pace in those same rowdy circumstances. There’s plenty of depth in the beam for speed and the medium width, ovalised spread gives just enough width to get an idea of where the trail is turning next or give a context of the surrounding landscape. Importantly for tired eyes and brains, there’s no weird fluctuations or patterns in the beam to cause confusion. 

Knog PWR Mountain light review

The handlebar mount is secure even when the trail gets rowdy (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Changing modes (and switching on and off) is done by twisting and releasing the light head which is far easier than trying to find a small, stiff button on the light body in fat winter gloves. It’s not as convenient or safe as a remote that lets you leave your hands on the bars though and there isn’t one available. The default mode setup drops dramatically from the 2000 lumen max to a 500 watt ‘mid’ that’s only enough for slow climbing or cruising. You then have to twist past several different flashing modes to get back to full power. Thankfully you can plug the light head into a computer and use the ModeMaker app to choose which modes you want in the menu. There’s no way to change the power output for the different options and create something like a 1000 lumen option for intermediate riding. That’s more frustrating as we’ve yet to get beyond around 85% of the claimed two-hour run time on the trail, and the four indicator LEDs give an approximate - rather than accurate - idea of remaining charge. You could always buy a separate 1000 Lumen head for £44.99 if you’re desperate though.

The other missed trick is that the coiled connecting cable is too short to reach a battery in back pocket or bum bag. Even if you put it in the top pocket of a backpack or lash it to a strap the cable is super thick and heavy so it clunks around on your helmet unless securely fixed into place.

On the bright side, our worries that we’d break/or loosen the connectors from pulling them apart to recharge every use have been unfounded on the several PWR units we’ve been running for over a year. Considering the basic performance of the light, the modular versatility and everything included in the kit, it’s decent value too.

Verdict

Knog’s PWR Mountain is powerful and stable enough for properly technical mountain biking with a useful powerpack facility and lots of modular upgrade options too. The kit bundle adds extra mount and split system options for a very good price too. We’d score it even higher if you could change power outputs in the ModeMaker app and a proper length, lighter weight helmet cable was included.

Tech spec: Knog PWR Mountain light 

  •  Price: £199.99 / AU$299.99 
  •  Lumens: 2000 max  
  •  Battery life: 1hr 40mins  
  •  Colours: Red/black, White, Ion yellow, Sage green