Smog alert today and even though the weather was still cold and calm, I was hesitant to ride out. I decided to go anyway but ride easy so as not to breather too deeply. I wanted this opportunity to test the Lupina Tesla 4 in some real offroad nightriding circumstances. The wind was completely gone and the light was fading quickly as I set out on the Green Meerdael BLOSO. Temperature was -3 degrees C and the trails were hard and clear. The Tesla 4 illuminated my path quite nicely on full power - 12W and 700 Lumen. There is a very bright center spot and a nice even halo which still allows good reading of the terrain and of the instruments. Needless to say, I used the helmet mount. Nightriding is always a bit tricky and with these freezing temps I was not taking any risks. The ruts and tracks of numerous motorbikes, cycles and quads were frozen solid, and one of the peculiarities of riding at night is that it is very difficult to judge depth. You only see two dimensions. Also , with the floor frozen it was brighter than usual, reflecting the bright spot of the tesla. I can imagine that this light might be too bright to ride in the snow. Obviously I could have switched it into a lesser wattage - I also have 4W and 1.5W positions - but after a bit of getting used to how the light presented itself before my eyes I got to grips with it. A lot also depends on how high you aim the beam. When the light is mounted on your bike, the beam is always positioned in the same direction as your front wheel, and also the height doesn't vary. With the beam on your head this is another thing. When you are riding uphill, the bright spot is closer to you, when you are riding downhill and standing up, the bright spot is positioned further away, making it imperative that you alternate between looking 10-20metres in front of you and looking 3-4 metres in front of you. The faster you go, the more you need to alternate where you are looking along the trail. Obviously, on well-known trails a single helmet-mounted light is sufficient but on technically challenging and unknown terrain you will need another beam mounted on you handlebar.
After 90 minutes the tesla switched into red mode - this means that the battery is well over half and the electronics switch to a lesser power setting to help you get further with what is left in the battery. The fact that the light goes out for a fraction is a bit freaky but I quickly understood what was happening. In all I think I rode 2h15 without recharging - I already used the low mode a week ago for 30 to 45 minutes - and when I got home I plugged it into the Wiesel charger to fully recharge the battery for the next nightride.I tried to make some pictures but they still are not doing justice to the strength of the light. The first pic is at 12W strength and the second is in the 4W setting. The pics make me think of the Blair Witch movie.I could very well see the microscopic dust flying in the beam when I was out of the forest, also the temps dropped considerably when riding in the open field. I did not want to remain out too long so I settled for just the Green route. Ride Stats : 25.5K and 220/214 heightmeters (Polar/Garmin) in 1h19mins10247/96490
30-12-2008, 20:39 geschreven door Big Bad Wolf