Our global test team has been pushing products to the very limit on the world’s toughest trails. In The Lab, durability is rewarded and weaknesses have nowhere to hide. This time, we tested the Hope R8 helmet light.
When it comes to riding lights, the gulf between affordable and powerful is growing ever smaller. UK Editor Trev has been trying to answer the question of why we should spend more by testing the powerful, but expensive, Hope R8+. With eight LEDs, the R8+ generates a measured 3000 lumens with a mixture of spot and diffused lenses for a broad light pattern. Two power sequences with three levels are available, and at full power there’s so much light you expect they should dry the trails in front of you as you go. The light pattern is wide and free of any hot spots, perfect for technical trails; however, Trev has pointed out that the beam pattern is so wide that on very fast, open trails the light only just punches far enough ahead. For trail and technical riding, the R8+ gives you more light than you need, and Trev has done away with a second light, often heading out with just the R8+ mounted on his helmet and a small spare in his pack. The build quality is exemplary: despite his best efforts to break it, all the fixings are very tough and very fast to fit, making last-minute rides a possibility.
The six-cell 9600mAh ES battery has a neat gauge that lets you see the power available before you go, and by carefully moving between trail and full power modes, two to three hour rides are effortless on a single charge – just don’t keep it on full power for too long. The Hope is pricy, but has not faltered once and is the envy of the night ride crew.
- Smooth spread of light
- Bombproof durability
- Heavy for helmet mount
Length of testing: three months
Price: € 330
Weight: Lamp 174 g, complete system 701 g
Words & Photos: Trev Worsey