Turf Blog 01-02-10

Back on Turf Blog 22-09-22 I mentioned that I’d purchased new bicycle lights, a pair of Hope Vision R2 Epic LED lights, at a cost of £160.00 each. And yes, while you pick yourself off the floor having fallen from your seat in shock, they are very expensive, more than the cost of some bicycles. And the question is, are they worth it? Having been out turfing a few times at night since that purchase I now want to share with you the answer to that question.

But first the technical stuff.

  • Produces maximum 1300 lumens (1000 measured).
  • 6 different power options so you can customize your run time.
  • Option of 3200mAh or 6400mAh rechargeable Li-Lon battery.
  • 2 powerful 5W Cree LED’s.
  • Coloured backlit switch indicates which power setting is being used.
  • Battery has integrated power level test button.
  • Weight 298g (Headlamp unit and 2 cell battery)
  • Pack includes handlebar and helmet mounts, head harness and 1m extension cable.
  • Battery charger also included.

So, what are my thoughts. First of all, mounting the light. It comes with a handlebar clamp which fits most common sizes of handlebar diameters and once attached is rock solid. However, it is not quick release, so if you want to swap between bikes or kick scooters, it’s a pain. But all is not lost as you can purchase additional spare mounts. There’s also a separate universal quick release mount available – I already had these from previous lights – and they fit the Hope Vision R2 unit. Just unscrew the bayonet mount from the light unit and attach the QR mount. You will need a few spacers as the new bolt is too long. I used some old valve stem nuts which fitted perfectly. The batteries where carried inside my handlebar bar.

Now the important part, actually using the light. The light comes with six different power modes and for some reason Hope have split them into two separate sequences, Race and Trail. I purchased the Hope Vision R2 Epic model which comes with the higher capacity 4-cell battery, so the following values are based on that, are approximate and based on information found online at the Hope website and published reviews. Half the values for the smaller 2-cell battery.

Race Sequence

  • Mode 1, white LED, 400 lumens, run time 7-8 hours.
  • Mode 2, green LED, 700 lumens, run time 4-5 hours.
  • Mode 3, blue LED, 1000 lumens, run time 3 hours.

Trail Sequence

  • Mode 1, purple LED, 40 lumens, run time 60 hours.
  • Mode 2, yellow LED, 200 lumens, run time 15 hours
  • Mode 3, green/blue LED, 40/200 lumen flash, run time 30 hours.

Out in the field the light is very easy to operate and the coloured backlit switch can be used even with gloves on. Each mode has a different colour on the switch. Press and release give you Race Sequence. Press and hold will give you Trail Sequence. Further presses select each mode.

I started in Race Sequence in Mode 3 – 1000 lumens and really, it’s way too bright for turfing, even in pitch dark woodland. Fine if you are hurtling down the Glentress Black Route at night with a death wish but crazy bright otherwise. Mode 2 – 700 lumens I found much the same and found myself settling for Mode 3 – 400 lumens, which was okay for turfing both in town and off-road woodland and the like. Note, I like to run with both light on at the same time.

In Trail Sequence, Mode 1 – 40 lumens, is great as a daytime running light (DRL), more than bright enough to be seen but too dim to see anything with. Mode 3 – flash or strobe mode – this runs a constant steady light at 40 lumens but flashes at 200 lumens. Also good as a DRL. This leaves Mode 2 – 200 lumens and this is what I used for my most of my turfing session when I was out collecting zones for my Greed-350 medal. (See Turf Blog 02-10-22).

One important note is that these are very intense lights and you should not look at the light directly, even in the lowest settings. You have been warned! It’s also easy to dazzle oncoming cyclists and pedestrians. I eventually found a suitable tilt angle that didn’t dazzle but still gave me enough forward beam spread to make use of the light. With the QR clamps you can easily reach the light unit and simply tilt it down or up as required. Only takes a few seconds and useful when entering or emerging from woodland trials where more light is required than paved cycle paths.

So, are they worth it? I would say yes, they are. Okay they are rather expensive but they fulfil all my turfing by bicycle at night requirements. One, they offer more than enough light to see my way and with such long run times I never need to worry about the batteries running flat. In addition, I can easily swap them between my bicycles, Ogre for street turfing, Pugsley the fat bike for night turfing at the coast. And they also fit my Swifty kick scooters as well. What more could you want? Back again soon.

Copyright ©2022 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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