Friday, April 8, 2011 9.00am
By Matt Skinner & Lowenna Smith
This is a very, very bright, well-sealed rear light, that enjoys ridiculously long burn times (11-100+ hours, depending which of the five settings – high, low and three flash modes – you use). It makes a difference to the space that cars give you when overtaking on main roads, and the tilt adjustment is a boon to help set it parallel to the ground.
Running it on high might not make you popular with your riding companions at night, but on day-lit commutes we found it a great asset. For most rides the ‘normal’ setting provided all the light we needed and the battery kept going and going. If you already have a Hope front light, you can buy the head unit on its own (£95) and run it off the same battery. Hope say this reduces burn times by just 10-20 minutes.
The bracket attaches securely around a seatpost shim (27.2, 30.9 or 31.6mm). These are a pain to attach and remove, but once on, the neat bayonet design of the clamp means the lamp can be quickly and easily detached. The downside of the design is it won’t ﬁt aero seatposts, which will disappoint some time triallists looking for a light for racing.
It’s not perfect however, as dirt can collect on the recessed lens and the side notches can clog up, too – although this is likely to be more of an issue for mountain bikers than roadies. It’ll also have to perform flawlessly for a minimum of six years in order to recoup the significant cost over buying a new rear light every year, but we do like the ‘buy right, buy once’ philosophy. We’ll report back on long-term performance.
Niggles aside, Hope have certainly achieved what they set out do in producing a weatherproof and high performing light for commuting and night riding duties that’ll survive anything short of a nuke. We like it. System weight is 248g (including the 141g battery), and it charges in 3-6 hours.
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