As Australia's smuggest bike brand, Knog has provided us with heavily designed and moderately innovative bike lights for over a decade. Earlier this year the not at all tiny and not at all new brand took to Kickstarter to launch the Oi bell, one of their first non-light products. The waters tested fine, and now they're throwing themselves back into the crowdfunding pool behind Pwr, a whole suite of new bike adjacent products based around one cool central idea.
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Pwr is a modular accessory system based on a single battery. The battery is a 3200 mAh power bank, which fits two different bike headlights—300 and 800 lumen respectively—a 100 lumen camping lantern/flashlight, a 300 lumen headlamp (same parts as the headlight), and a portable Bluetooth speaker. It also functions as a traditional power bank, even while mounted on your bike. This opens up a host of uses, from keeping your Garmin from draining on a long ride to refueling a GoPro on the trail.
The headlight bodies are tough aluminum, the lights have a pretty reasonable and they're ostensibly waterproof. The heads can be programmed with custom flash options via USB.
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The other products feel very pared down, compared with the more tried and true lighting features, but they all seem legitimately useful. The lantern is compact if a bit flimsy, and the headlamp looks like an unwieldy strap-on, but assuming it's more ergonomic than it looks, it could be fine.
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The biggest plus for me is the Bluetooth speaker, which has a nice mobile size and shape and comes with a bike mount (aka a side door into my heart) for groovy riding.
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The mounting hardware is honestly where they got me. Other lighting companies have used modular rechargeable batteries for ages—Cygolight and Niterider in particular have been doing it since before USB showed up on laptops. Given the advances in affordable power banking, adapting the principle to a range of outdoor gear is a step that outdoor brands should be more on top of by now. So, I'll give them points for doing the damn thing, but the light brackets are where it shows me that they mean it.
The headlight bracket gives a multiple options for mounting over and under the handlebar, which is great for nerd-ass riders who use computers, folks with small bars, and bikes with tricky cable routing. The attachment itself looks incredibly clean and minimal, though I wish there was more close up footage of it. The "gimble shim" they refer to a couple times allows more accurate directing of the headlight when it's mounted on a curved part of a bar. This is a very good idea for any lights with rigid/unarticulated mounts.
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All in all, it's a pretty solid range of products surrounding a totally reasonable idea. Given that the well-established company has reached almost half their goal in just a couple days, I'm willing to bet they make it easily. Hopefully the guiding principle does too.
Any favorite elements? Quibbles?