TESTED: Lupine Wilma 6

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


Price: $669
Contact: 717-283-0041
More information: gretnabikes.com; Lupine.de
Includes: Li-Ion battery, wall charger, helmet mount, handlebar mount, padded carrying case


Lupine is just asking for trouble. The company claims its latest LED light system, the Wilma, produces a whopping 830 lumens, which is nearly as much output as an automotive headlight. (I’m not exactly sure what a lumen is, but I’m not exactly sure what a calories is, either. But I do know that a Burger King Whopper (mmmmm Whopper) tastes mighty fine and it is filled with calories; so let’s work on the premise that when it comes to lumens, just like calories, more is better.) But by claiming so much power, the company is putting itself in the crosshairs of every product reviewer and night rider out there. Not a good place to be…unless you’re product actually withstands the scrutiny.


In addition to its boatload of lumens, the Wilma has a nifty feature that lets users program the brightness of its two light settings. With this, riders can choose the appropriate brightness levels according to personal preferences and trail conditions and conserve the maximum amount of battery life. Speaking of battery life, Lupine claims the Wilma will run for 4 hours on it’s brightest 15-watt setting and up to 42 hours at 1 watt.

While I can’t attest to whether the light runs for full 4 hours on its brightest setting, I can say that it outlasted me on several rides when the cold, darkness and rain forced me home after just 2 or 3 hours of riding. Each time, the Wilma was still glowing brightly. Lupine literature says the 6.8 Ah-Li-Ion battery recharges in 4 hours, which was in the ballpark of our tests; partial charges took significantly less time.

Brightness is one thing, but harnessing that power into a beam that actually shows detailed trail features is another. On this front, the Wilma worked supremely well. Although the beam is a bit narrower than some others, that focused ray of light illuminates the trail incredibly well, showing depth, contours and even significantly reducing shadows from small drops and ledges, roots and rock gardens. It made negotiating even the most technical trails a relatively painless affair. There were no annoying rings or dark spots just a beautiful tunnel of white light.


While the Wilma functioned flawlessly, it’s battery pack and helmet mount raised some eyebrows. The pack, which is fairly lightweight and of minimal size, uses a basic clip to secure a small strap around the stem, downtube or elsewhere. The flimsy clip was tough to cinch down tightly, but I found a good home for the battery sandwiched between the toptube and seat tube, hanging just above the shock on my Santa Cruz Blur. Others may have a harder time with it.


The helmet mount looked even scarier: a web of Velcro attaches a small mounting foot to the helmet. The light attaches to that foot via a tube of plastic that’s the same width as a handlebar. It might look scary, but I found the mount was easy to install, kept the light secure and most importantly, didn’t slide, bob, dip or shake during the ride. Ditto for when the light was mounted directly to the handlebar through the same rubber O-ring that connects it to the helmet mount. There might be better helmet mount systems out there, but Lupine’s system worked fine for me, although some others had less success with it.


The real question is: Is this Whopper of a light worth $700. Its performance, clarity, size, ease-of-use and performance all warrant that rather stiff price tag. But as LED technology rapidly progresses, lights with similar performance that cost a little less are hitting the market. The Lupine is still worth every penny, but if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of performance, cheaper options may exist.


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

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