Recently, I bought a pair of front lights for use on the bicycle and kick scooter, Hope R2 Vision Epic, and I’m delighted with them. They offer a great compromise between sufficient light output and battery duration and I can use them during the day as daytime running lights as well. So, as part of the same project, I set about looking at my rear light. To date, most of the rear lights I’ve bought have either fallen off and vanished or stopped working altogether. I used Knog for a while but they proved very unreliable. I also bought two from Magicshine a few years ago. One fell apart and the other is on the way out. Time to find something better.
As usual I set down my requirements: bright enough to be seen both at night and during the day, decent enough battery duration for my style of riding and a good secure mount on the seat post. It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for, the Hope District Plus rear light. The main features are:
- 135 (105 measured) lumens on maximum power.
- three static modes, low, medium and high
- three flashing modes, slow, fast and strobe.
- 2600mAh or 5200mAh, rechargeable Li-Ion battery.
- supplied with splitter cable for battery sharing.
- quick-release band seat post mounting.
- battery has integrated battery life indicator.
- 270-degree visibility.
- 15 to 200 hour run time.
Pricing varies considerably depending on the actual package you purchase, ranging from about £80.00 up to £125.00. There are various options such as light head unit only, with or without charger, etc. I bought mine for £77.00 from Winstanley Bikes complete with 2600mAh battery but without charger – I already have two from my Hope front lights. So, it pays to shop around.
It comes suppled with a splitter cable, which allows you to use the same battery your front light uses, which I did last night as the new supplied battery was needing charged. Will probably use the dedicated battery in the future reserving the front batteries for the main lights. I tried it out last night and even at lower levels is too bright to look at directly, a far cry from the old Eveready lights of my childhood. I’ve still to play around with the different modes to see what I prefer.
One thing I don’t like about this light is the way it mounts on the seat post using a rubber loop. To me it’s seems like a cheap way of doing things. In fact, earlier models of this light used a proper bracket. So, something had to be done and that was to re-use an old Hope universal clamp from an older light unit. Some working of the brain required though, to find a method of securing incompatible parts together and also holding a nut firm while tightening the bolt. The nut was inside a narrow recess too small for a spanner or socket. A screwdriver blade did the trick. More soon.
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