by Jorji Frederiksen
December 5, 2013
A cleverly designed, well-made bit of kit. The single LED packs a mighty punch, in a compact, light housing.
The R1 is a single, high-powered LED light, pumping out 500 lumens at maximum power focused through an internally reflective lens. The R1 produces a brighter than expected, smooth and concentrated, singletrack-width beam. The standard two celled battery version gives up to 2.5 hours play on full power, with plenty more in the five lower settings. Judging power levels is left up to you though, as there’s no battery warning light. When the power drops below a certain level, the light flashes every 15 seconds. That’s your indication to drop the power and make your way back to civilisation (or get the bivvy out!). Other battery options are available – a four celled option doubles playtime. Conveniently all the batteries, leads and mounts are interchangeable between the Hope series so while a good light in its own right, the R1 neatly adds to an existing Hope light collection.
As to be expected of Hope, the machining of the components and build quality is excellent. The lamp housing is CNCed from a single lump of black, anodised aluminium, so is solid and sturdy, and weighs in at less than 250g. The three attachment options – all bayonet-fitted to the light unit – include a quick release handlebar mount, a helmet mount and an elasticated head mount.
The helmet mount is as simple as it gets, just velcro strapping through the helmet vents. It works a treat and keeps the light secure though I wish the velcro was 10cm longer to accommodate the venting on my particular helmet. The harness fitted well on the piss-pot style lid I tried it on, too.
Weighing so little, the light is barely noticeable when on top of your head. That said, the light unit does seem to protrude quite high, martian-styley.
The cable is neatly coiled, which means there are no wires dangling, and is the perfect length from top of helmet to top of rucksack, where I had the battery. An extension lead comes with the kit, if you don’t ride with a pack and have other ideas.
Overall: A cleverly designed, well-made bit of kit. The single LED packs a mighty punch, in a compact, light housing.