Although the Hope R2 LED STD (Standard) uses the two cell ES (energy status) battery pack, it’s just as bright as the R2 LED Epic – it just won’t last as long
Like most Hope mountain bike lights, the Hope R2 LED STD has two distinct modes that you access by a quick or slow press in the initial turn-on phase. Press the button quickly and it turns on instantly into the Trail mode which has high, medium and low settings. Proceed slowly, and you can access a secondary mode with high, low and flashing options.
On high beam the R2 will put out about 1,000 lumens for around an hour. The beam pattern is narrow, so illuminates less of the trail, and often we couldn’t see obstacles until we were right on top of them. If you ride on fire roads the R2 LED does throw a lot of light forward, and the crisp white light is perfect for picking out detail, we just wanted a bit more of it.
The machined lamp body has fins for cooling, neat and tidy controls and a backlit switch to show what function you’re in. The lightweight machined clamp lets you mount the R2 centrally over the stem without needing shims, and we really like the rear facing bolts – they’re easy to get to when making adjustments. The lamp also features an energy preserve feature, dimming the light in steps as you run down the battery life.
The Li-ion battery has a five-stage fuel gauge, coiled cable and comes in a durable plastic hard case, but the profile doesn’t fit neatly around a frame tube. We’re also not fans of the stretchy strap – we could never get it that tight and the battery would rattle when riding.
The finish and quality of the Hope R2 LED light is impressive, and it also has a bright and clear output. Unfortunately, as a sole handlebar light the smaller battery doesn’t quite have the staying power to match the Seca or Magicshine lights on test.