Since the Knog PWR Mountain is a modular design, you can mount it in several different ways and also add other lamp units to the battery
In standalone form, the Knog PWR Mountain is £199, but for an extra £20 you can buy the PWR Mountain Kit, which includes a cable extension and six different modular bar/tube/helmet mounts. The extension kit lets you mount the mountain bike light in a conventional way with the lamp on the bar and the battery on the top tube. However, you can also join the two parts and create an Exposure-style all-in-one light.
A big plastic clamp mounts the headlamp to the handlebar and it extends quite far in front of the stem, which is good news for our Race Face stem. The cylindrical battery slides into an oblong-shaped mount, which is then lashed to a tube via two Velcro straps. It can quick-release from this mount, but it’s almost as convenient to remove the whole thing.
There are three fixed light modes (2,000, 1,000 and 500 lumens) and three flashing modes. In the factory setting, you have to cycle through all six, but Knog offers a ModeMaker app that lets you reprogram the light and eliminate redundant modes and also tweak the output to boost burn time. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the app to download correctly and it’s also desktop-based, so not that easy to access on the trail.
Turning the lamp on and off is done by twisting the lamp unit, and it’s surprisingly quick to cycle. The beam pattern is a good shape, illuminating both close-in features and obstacles in the distance, but the light quality is not as clean as the Seca or Hope. The Li-ion battery features a fuel gauge and also twin USB ports, so it doubles as a fuel cell. However, the run-time was poor – on full beam we burnt through two chunks in 20 minutes and all the juice in under 45 minutes.
So, while this is a versatile system that comes with a ton of accessories, for off-road use having to cycle the settings is irritating and it’s under-powered. All of which leaves the Knog PWR in a bit of a no-man’s land – it’s good value and versatile, but on-trail performance is lacking. Sometimes less is definitely more.