Hope R2i LED front light review£175.00

A light for the long-term

BikeRadar score4/5

Hope’s machined self-contained light is a highly practical and utterly robust unit that performs way better in the real world than on paper stats would suggest.

Hope produces a range of separate battery lights designed for mountain biking but the R2i (integrated) is the only self contained one in its range since it phased out the R1.

Hope isn’t shy of using plenty of metal to guarantee a solid product and the R2i comes with a multi adjustable two-piece, two-bolt metal mount. This clamps around 25.4-35mm round section bars depending on what spacers you leave in/out.

I’ve also managed to squeeze it onto the round clamping section of otherwise flat aero bars by nudging the bar off-centre slightly. Once in place the offset arm centralises the chunky carved body over the stem with a built-in spring to the bayonet lock to keep it quiet and stable.

In lighting terms, the 1,300 theoretical (1,000 measured) lumens looks poor on paper for the price. It seems significantly more powerful on/off the road though, not least because a hint of ‘double barrel’ effect from the side by side LEDs helps add binocular detail to deciphering what’s ahead.

The deliberately eye friendly, warm coloured, focused centre, progressive fade beam spread avoids stark reflections and sharp edges to keep eyes fresh, even at the end of a long day at work or in the saddle. That means I’ve found that even the mid setting is ample for most riding on or off road which extends run time significantly.

Current mode is indicated clearly via the back-lit main button and there’s a ‘push to test’ traffic light battery level checker.

It’s high weight reflects its sturdy all metal construction, and factory direct back-up from Hope is legendarily good. That means you’re definitely getting a smart long-term investment for your money and not a short lived, unsupported ‘bargain’.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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