Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Hope HID or Hope Vision 4 LED?

Posted by Matt | September 4, 2008 | 14 comments so far

Lights. Everyone has an opinion on them but after a long time in denial I’ve come to firmly believe that the best option involves a reasonable sum of money, well engineered systems and short cable runs with solid connectors. Definitely not homemade battery / connectors / cable / bracket / lamp unit efforts with their multiple ways to fail inopportunely.

So here’s a heads up — I need some advice. Read on to see if you can help…

For about a year now I’ve been running a Hope HID fitted to my Thomson stem using one of Hope’s custom faceplates. It’s proved to be both effective, with an excellent spread of light and powerful, with 550 lumens output. During that time it’s been easy to adjust the direction of the lamp which has always stayed exactly where I’ve wanted it and it’s been a model of quiet efficiency.

The short, screw connector cable run (it’s about 4 inches max) has meant that there’s been no cable rubs on my paintwork and overall I’ve been pretty pleased with the unit.

What I lack though is flexibility in my lighting set up. I can’t switch it from the Orange Five to the On-one without buying another Hope or Thomson stem with a faceplate – that’s another £60 minimum. This means the On-one, in many ways the perfect winter bike, doesn’t get used as much as it should.

Then there’s the fact that the HID, though easily powerful enough for me to travel at close to daylight speeds, is often pointing in the wrong direction on the slower twisty stuff and can be overwhelmed by the likes of Dave with his ‘everything-but-the-kitchen-sink‘ approach to lighting. Riders with LEDs behind me have definitely been known to put me into shadow despite the HID.

So I have a problem which is I have around £150-200 (absolute maximum) to spend on upgrading my lighting. Now, I could buy a Hope stem and faceplate for the On-one and add an Exposure Joystick MaXx to my helmet which would probably be pretty good. I’d then have light where I need it on the twisty stuff assuming I look where I’m going and the chance to easily switch the light between bikes.

Or I could buy a Hope Vision 4 LED (or, I guess, the Exposure MaXx-D) which has nearly twice the light output of the HID, variable power outputs to eek out riding time and a quick release bracket to swap between bikes. If I sold the HID and OS Thomson stem (ie the complete system) on eBay I’d have funds to contribute toward the purchase of the light and a new Thomson stem.

Dave has also found these self contained ‘twenny-dollah’ LED lights recently which could be hacked into an efficient helmet light (I’ve seen them in action).

So which is the best option? I really don’t know so thought I’d ask what others would do… Any advice gratefully received.


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 14 comments on ‘Hope HID or Hope Vision 4 LED?’

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  1. Andy says:

    I really rate the Exposure lights. They are well made and the really good thing is that they dont suddenly switch off like my lumicycle lights (some serious brown moments have resulted). I am planning a conversion to LED this winter.

    Emmas Enduro maXx is awesome with a good wide range of lighting, a neat mounting system and excellent run times. 750 lumen as well.

  2. Colin says:

    Reliability of the Exposure lights is a worry – Dave P’s are going back yet again and I’ve heard this elsewhere.

    Lee’s Ayup’s are well worth a look though I’m sure the Hope brand will draw you in.

    The problem with LED’s is riding in mist or rain. The colour tone of the light means you end up being dazzled by a wall of blue light. This doens’t happen with HID’s.

    Jez has Light & Motion HID I believe but they’re beyond the budget.

    Don’t forget the Nightlightning iBlaast. I’m still chuffed with mine but as you point out, the cabling isn’t as tidy as others.

  3. Lee says:

    As you might expect I can recommend the Ay Ups for the money. The MTB set will set you back £250, just a little over budget, but for that you get bar and helment mounted lights with 12 hours of battery!

    What’s more you get a whole host of sundries, including two bar mounts meaning your On One will see action in the winter.

    Oh and next day delivery now they’ve got a UK distributor.

  4. Alex says:

    I had a similar dilemma. Started night riding again and didn’t feel my Lumi HID was cutting it against the newer stuff everyone else had.

    Sold that and some old Lumi Halogens and bought a heavily discounted Vision 4 (£210). Mainly because I’d heard less than stellar reports about USE reliability.

    It’s a superb light, good bar mount, easy battery attachment (under stem with velcro so no cable flappage), great beam, very powerful. About as good as my friends Lupine.

    I run it on the third of the four power settings (top one is for shop wow factor apparently!) and I’ve got 3hrs+ out of it with no sign of fading.


  5. Dominic says:

    Have been running the Ay-ups for nearly a year now, have the old style with no battery switch off. I have medium on the bar and intermediate on the helmet, very very good.

    Can be used for snorkeling too…



  6. Matt says:

    Thanks for your thoughts folks.

    So everyone seems to think I should trade in the Hope HID and Thomson stem combo and replace with some form of LED?

    Lee/Dom I’d overlooked the Ay Up lights – only saw them that one time Lee and was definitely impressed but curious about output?

    Alex, you’ve lead where I may follow! Can’t argue with the output figures but wonder if I might still need a helmet lamp for the noodly bits?

    Andy, Exposures seem to offer the neatest option with high power. I’m very tempted by the Joystick for the helmet to be honest

  7. Colin says:

    I see bikeradar have beaten Lee to a review of the Ay Ups

  8. Muddymoles says:

    I am missing

    Matt puts his Hope HID up for sale on eBay and looks forward to good times.

  9. Muddymoles says:

    Exposure Lights MaXx-D (for Daddy) 4 LED light review

    What’s it like living with and using the Exposure MaXx-D 4 LED light? Find out in this detailed review.

  10. Peter C says:

    I’d go for the Niteflux Photon Max and stick it on your helmet. 650 lumens for £150 and the light is always where you need it. Been using this all winter up on the Pennines, Lancashire side and it’s been great. 2.5 hours at max or 10 hours at low… which is adequate for basic tracks. I tend to use medium at 5 hours which is fine for most usage.

  11. GooseDog says:

    Magic Shine P7. £50 for some brutal light output.

    Crap optics but with 900 lumens who needs finesse?

  12. JB says:

    Although I intend on buying the hope vision (single) I don’t think much of its brightness as measured in lumens and find the lies stated by hope about the 4 LED to be outrageous. They actual state they give out 960 lumens?? How does the advertising authority let them get away with it? 240 lumens is………..240 lumens. You cannot increase brightness by adding extra bulbs. 1000 100watt incandescent light bulbs are no brighter than 1 100watt incandescent light bulb. There may be more light but it’s not brighter therefore it is 240 lumens. Presently I use Trail tech 650 lumens (MR 11) with a narrow beam (spot?) I also have the flood but that is useless as it waste light…..why would anyone want to see a tree 50 meters away at 30 degree to there left or the top of the trees..Weidos one person even brags about how cars raise there lights to him because of all the light going out to the side… on earth can that improve your vision having cars dazzling you because your dazzling them……another weirdo. Anyway I am happy with the 650 lumen trail tech HID. I would only replace it with a trail tech 800 lumen LED, Which I might add is 3 times brighter than Hopes 4 LED light. I will buy a vision single LED as a back up and get 3 thingies to attach it to all my bikes. I particuly like the use of 4 NIMH batteries as I have tons of them. Although I may buy Hybrids to make sure it is working when I actually need it. Also I have found a multitude of problems with Lithium batteries they have major problems…………..but that’s for another day and anyway that’s a do as I say not as I do …..I just bought 2 from the US for my Trail tech light. JB

  13. Dave says:

    Interesting comment JB but also confused.

    Watts measures power, lumens measures luminosity. Lumens measure the brightness output of the LED direct from the die. 240 Lumens spread over 180 degrees is quite different to it being focused by an optic or reflector into a narrow beam such as 10 degrees.

    Increasing the number of light sources will increase the level of light at a given point. If you have a camera that gives you any form of read out you can see this for yourself by turning on a series of lights and watch the meter adjust for increased light. I do accept that it won’t be a multiple of the number of lights though (which I think is a logarithmic scale anyway, not linear)!

    The real problem is that there is no unified way of measuring light output. At what distance do you measure it and at what angle off axis? And we haven’t discussed colour temperature yet either.

    Lastly read the light test we did last year. Lots of different lumen rated lights tested giving lots of results.

    You can’t blame Hope though, nearly every light on the market uses the lumen figure for the die as their output.

  14. Related: I am missing | Mutterings, Lifestyle | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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