At A Glance
The R4 from Hope has been around for a year or so now, and has had plenty of time to prove itself in the field and out on the trails. There are, as ever, many happy customers and, as fans of the previous incarnation, we were keen to see how the Vision R4 performed. First up, it is tiny in comparison, Hope have made the main unit for the light a lot smaller and lighter while packing even more power into it. They claim to have crammed 65% more light output into the device as well, which is nothing short of impressive. There are various battery options available, depending on how long you want the light to run for, and also how heavy you want the battery to be. The batteries are compatible with the old Vision 4 lights so if you already have one lying around then you can take a spare battery with you! It ships in "standard mode" with the Epic 4 cell battery that will give you 2.5 hours run time on high. There is also an endurance option which ships with two 4 cell Li-Ion batteries and the lightweight option which ships with the 2 cell Li-Ion that users of the Vision 2 will be familiar with. Naturally it is backed by Hope's impeccable customer service and the unit is extremely well made.Buy Lights on
On the Trail
The new handlebar bracket is excellent, very sturdy and well built, a simple push and twist mechanism detaches the light unit from the bracket, meaning you can leave the bracket on for the winter and simply click the light to it. It ships with a helmet mount and a long cable which is great for putting the battery in your bag and the light on your head. One thing we would say though is the new mount isn't as low profile as the old Vision 4 system. This means that while the R4 is considerably smaller, it sits a little higher than the predecessor, so watch out for low-lying tree branches! The R4 is pretty bright, certainly brighter than the old Vision 4, though claiming that it’s 65% brighter is pretty bold! It is hard, even using lux meters to quantify this, there is a lot more to a light than simple brightness. The optics deliver an excellent flood of light out to the sides and the way in front of you is bright enough to ride at full speed without holding back. It is a whiter light than the Vision 4, which is perhaps where the added brightness comes from. The battery life is brilliant, especially if you run the light on the medium mode, which is plenty for normal trail riding. This year there are 2 combinations of settings, and you access them by either pressing the on/off button once (Trail Sequence) or pressing and holding the on/off button (Race Sequence). In the Trail mode you access all of the lights power with the light ranging through from Low, Medium to High. In the Race sequence mode you have two lower levels of power and a flashing option. With all the accessories on offer with the "standard version" it makes for a good value package.
The R4 is smaller, lighter and brighter than its predecessor; it's been mounted on our editor’s bike for a while and he doesn't show much sign of taking it off! Compact, well built and very powerful, what more could you ask for?
Run Times: 2hrs 15mins on High (1000 Lumens)
Weight: 326 GramsBuy Lights on
This review was in Issue 20 of IMB.For more information visit Hope Technology
By Rou ChaterRou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.