Hope Technology R4+ LED 2016 Mountain Bike Review

Hope Technology R4+ LED 2016

Reviews / Lights

Hope Technology 158,761

At a Glance

Hope needs no introduction, renowned for high-quality engineering and manufacture; they have been making lights alongside all their other products for many years. The R4+ represents the latest version of their 2000 lumen (1500 measured) light. The light unit is a beautifully machined piece, with 4 Cree LEDs held within a solid and fantastically detailed case, with etched logos, plenty of curves and a bayonet fitting on the base.

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This is a truly lovely piece of kit to fondle, and the robust and reassuring attachment into either the bar or helmet mount is a joy to behold.

Cable options allow for the external battery pack to be frame mounted, or carried in a pack if used on your helmet. There is also a head torch strap for use off the bike for when/if you feel the need to go for a run at night. The battery has a five bar indicator and a test button to keep you up to date with burn time. 2.25 hours of run time on high should give plenty of time for an evening jaunt in the winter. A back-lit button with different colours allows for output level to be determined on the two power sequences, each with three different levels.

On the Trail

With the larger four-cell battery, the R4+ was set up as a bar mount, with the battery easily strapped to the frame. The bar mount is solid, and the twisting bayonet mounting is excellent, just a quick twist to install with enough force to inspire total confidence. The battery pack has rubberised ends to protect it, but this also reduces the rattle when it is strapped to the underside of a top tube. The cable is spiralled to allow for some stretch in the system and not have any spare cable dangling around, and although this seems a pretty basic feature, it's really useful.

Obviously, the first test is on full power, and immediately it is evident that the light is thrown in an excellent way onto the trail ahead. The spread is excellent, with a strong central beam, and a very gradual reduction in penetration towards the sides. It feels like Hope are using every last lumen to great effect, and even into the peripheral vision, there is useable light. It's always hard to explain how light looks on the trail, but this illumination gives a very pleasant feel on the eye, it's a lovely display, rather than harsh bright glare or a single spotlight. In conjunction with a helmet light, the combination was excellent, with The R4+ providing a perfect backdrop for a spotlight beam to pick out the crucial detail or look round corners.

Switching between modes is simple, with a press and hold to get onto the second power modes, which are all lower level and ideal for secondary functions like commuting. The three colour back-lit button allows for a quick glance if you're not sure what mode is on.

Overall

The construction is top drawer, as would be expected from Hope and it oozes quality. The bar mount is a beautiful thing and provides a brilliant attachment system for the light. The light spread is fantastic, and although it doesn't have the raw power for serious trail penetrating vision, it provides a great all-round light spread that would be complimented well by a focused head light. The helmet mount is good, but while the Velcro straps are capable, they aren't as impressive as the rest of the package, and with the big battery (a smaller one is available), it's probably best suited for a bar light. Robust and dependable, this is a great workhorse light to see you through multiple winters of night riding.

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This review was in Issue 44 of IMB.

For more information visit Hope Technology

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By Ewen Turner
Ewen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.

Tried this? What did you think?