Hope Technology R4+ LED Front Light Review £235.00
Like all Hope Technology kit this light is a thing of beauty to have and to hold, it just could be a little brighter for the dollar.
Apr 10 2018
Lights - front
Quality, well made item
Mount situates light in the centre of the bar
Long battery ilfe
Light lacks a little power compared to rivals
Large battery is a tad heavy
You want an easy to use light that's built to put up with some rough and tumble
The R4+ LED front light sits in the middle of a range of external battery mountain bike front lights from Hope Technology. It powers out 1500 lumens, costs £239 and comes with a well designed (as you’d expect) bar mount. It was, however, a little lacking in sheer power when compared to others in its class.
The R4+ has been updated over the R4 of old boosting power by 500 lumens to 1500 using four cree LED’s and the inclusion of a fuel gauge. Inside the box you get the light itself with it beautifully machined bar mount, a 2 or 4 cell ES Li-Ion battery pack and top tube strap, a helmet mount, a 1m extension cable and of course the charger.
Mounting the light to your bars is an easy and enjoyable affair in the way fitting any high quality component to you bike always is. The Hope Tech bayonet handlebar mount is offset meaning that the light can be mounted directly over the stem and centering the light nicely on the bars and therefore the trail. The clamp is now 35mm in diameter but also includes all the necessary paraphernalia should you need to mount this to 31.8mm diameter bars. Setting up the battery pack is easy enough with the extension cable there are a variety of options to place the rubber covered pack. If you choose to mount the pack near the head tube the cable is coiled to keep things nice and neat.
The backlit on/off button is easy to locate on top of the light itself and changes colour with the mode in play at the time. There are two upper tier modes available, each with 3 options within them. The first mode (Race) features a 550 lumen option, a 1000L and finally the 1500L, the second (Trail) gives you 60L, 300L or a flashing mode, with each and every mode getting a different, easily identifiable colour on the switch. For trail riding in the dark I found myself sticking with the 1500 lumen option in Race mode, with 2hrs15 of runtime here, it was plenty for most of my nighttime forays.
The battery houses a neat gauge to check the life left, just press and hold the small ‘test’ button on top of the battery housing and the five bar gauge will let you know how long your ride can last.
At 471g the R4+ isn’t the lightest for the lumens but it does have a mighty runtime so what you put up with in weight, you get back in life. That said this light was supplied with the 4 cell battery, you can buy it with a lighter 2 cell battery (battery and light costs £205) so if you know your rides are shorter and want to save the weight. This might also be a good option if you want to utilise the helmet mount and want to attach the battery to the back of your lid as well rather than put it in your pack.
Out riding and the 1500 lumens is enough to keep you going and in a fairly fast way at that. I mounted the light on the bars and sometimes used it in conjunction with a lesser powered head light. The R4+ lit the way pretty but I couldn’t help feeling that it was slightly underpowered compared to other lights in this price range of the £235 mark. A few more lumens added might just produce a slightly brighter light so you don’t get dazzled by other lights out on the trails. This would make the R4+ more useful as a main bar mounted light, as it stands it has the power to make a very good secondary helmet mounted light but has the weight and a clamp that is best suited to it being a bar mounted unit.
Overall, the Hope Tech R4+ is a pleasure to fit and use and like all Hope products, it's finished impeccably. I really like the fact the clamp positions the light in the centre of the bars and the long battery life coupled with the power meter gives peace of mind that the light won't fail on longer rides. I'd like the light to just be upped in power slightly for the same money to make this more useful as a bar mounted light.
Previously Editor here at off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. In the past Rachael has written for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding, she has been equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories or doing the site admin. When she's not busy with all the above she's roasting coffee or coaching mountain biking in the Forest of Dean.