Written on: 26/10/2011 by DaddyBaddy (1 review written)
My trusty CatEye Opticube HL-EL135 got water logged riding 14 miles in last nights heavy rain. The rain short circuited it. The CatEye was always a "be seen" light, not a light to "see" with. I needed a new light in a hurry and my local cycle shops / Halfords were closed.
So I popped down to my local Tesco Extra (Toton, Notts 25/10/2011) to see what they had got. I found the (Tesco own brand) Via Velo 1 Watt LED cycle light. Having purchased cheap stuff from Tesco before, I must admit I wasn't expecting anything earth shattering. I needed something that would make me stand out commuting through Nottingham traffic.
Upon opening the packet, I must say the build quality of the Via Velo 1 Watt LED cycle light and the clever handlebar clamp design have both impressed me, especially for £12.00 (currently £6.00 off)! The clamp comes with 3 different thickness rubber insets for clamping onto different handle bars. The tool free ABS clamp is strong and vibration free, providing a rock solid platform for the light to operate from. The 1 Watt magnified LED is massively bright - the packaging spec said 20x brighter than ordinary LED's. A bold claim! However, when I put the (supplied) 3 x AAA cheap batteries in and commuted 28 miles with it, I can absolutely confirm the Via Velo 1 watt LED light is an absolute retina burner!!!! So bright in fact that I have now angled it down to prevent dazzling cars. Normally I use lights to "be seen" not to "see with" as the street lighting is pretty good. Man alive!! You WILL be SEEN with this! The light beam spread is perfect - long and wide and I had no problem cycling at 18mph in total darkness with fantastic road illumination - far better than anything I have previously used before.
Also, not mentioned on the TESCO Direct website, the Via Velo 1 watt LED Cycle light has two blue sideways facing LED strips which increase visibility from the sides. The blue LED's illuminate two full length frosted white strips on the body of the light and produce bright blue safety strips. A very nice added bonus and unique selling point!
Battery life is 23 hours on full power (1 Watt), 40 odd when in "energy saver" mode (operates at reduced brightness but even so still incredibly bright), and approx 40 hours in "flash mode" which flashes at full power. The light comes with 3 x cheap AAA batteries, but sticking some Duracells in there will give better battery life.
The light is weatherproof (hooray!) and has a quick release mechanism for removing the light from the handlebar clamp. Clear instructions for fitting the bracket and changing the batteries.
I have rated this 6 stars and think that it represents fantastic value for money. (Even at full price I would have given it 6 stars) It offers maximum visibility and safety and overall I am delighted with my purchase.
A superb cycle light to "be VERY seen" and to "see with". 10/10.
Well done Tesco on such a great product! Highly recommended.
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