For an on-trail comparison between this light and seven other LED models click HERE.

Knog Gator 605
Price: $400
Contact: 419.433.9057
More Information:
Includes: Handlebar Mount, wall charger, wired handlebar switch, Li-Ion battery

Knog, the offbeat accessory company from down under, makes its first foray into trail-quality LED lights this year with its Gator series. The 605 is the high-zoot model with three separate bulbs.

Owing to the company's urban roots this light is made with loads of consideration for commuters, casting a wide 32-degree swath of light with one of its claimed 140-lumen bulbs, while the other big bulb points more dead ahead, casting an 18-degree path. The third light will do you about as much good as your cell phone in lighting the way, but all it's supposed to do is blink to let drivers see you. However this is the only light in the test that lets you run a blinker for visibility at the same time you're running a couple of big ol' LEDs to part the darkness in front of you. Performance AND safety. With some of the other lights in this test, running the blinking mode with the big bulbs is liable to induce an epileptic seizure. Seizures: not safe.

One of the best features of the 500-gram system is that you don't need tools to install it. Flexible silicone latches secure a long, spindly Li-Ion battery pack to a top- or down-tube, and the same tool-free latches secure the light head and handlebar control. The bummer about this light is just that, there are three interconnected components to deal with, and surplus cables flopping around to boot.

Once mounted the light is easy to use. Three circular soft-touch buttons correspond with the three different bulbs. Each bulb has a few different settings, and tiny LED indicators built into the control unit let you know what level you're running the light at.

The ability to fine tune your amount of light is nice, but sometimes it feels like you're drowning in options – it takes several clicks of three different buttons to power the thing completely on and then completely off. And in traffic the indicator lights on the control unit that tell you what setting you're in aren't a distraction—there are so many other lights on the road. But on a dark trail, those same LED indicators can get a bit tiresome.

For that reason, and for the price savings, the $300 Gator 305 might be a better option for pure trail riding, although it only has one powerful LED bulb and one blinker.

None of Knog's Gator series work as a helmet-mount. They are bar-only, and they demand a lot of bar space at that—at least a couple inches on either side of your stem. IF you occasionally commute and occasionally night ride and already have a good helmet mount, One of the Knog Gator series could help round out your kit nicely.

For an on-trail comparison between this light and seven other LED models click HERE.