Just over a couple of hills from Singletrack Towers is Hope Technology. The factory runs 24 hours a day and the clever bods there seem to work a similar amount on making clever new things. We took a tour with Alan who showed us some of the highlights.
First up is the new R8 light (£450 including all the different brackets and mounts) – it uses eight Cree XPG LEDS with user-selectable beam angles and a claimed maximum output of 2000 lumens. There are two modes: Race and Trail. Race concentrates on high power and vision, while Trail mode is more economical with the juice and also offers flashing mode (not something you ever want to be able to select in the panic of a race situation). The top-mounted backlit LCD screen glows green for race and orange for trail, with both modes showing red for low battery. This screen shows battery condition, beam pattern and mode. There’s a new bayonet QR mount too, with the option of a helmet mount or a head harness for you adventure racers.
There’s an R4 light too with half of the LEDs – which still offers 1000 lumens (65% more than the Vision 4, while being half the weight…) Price for that is £250
Cyclocross discs… Hope made a hydraulic actuator for disc brakes many years ago for touring cyclists. Now, with the introduction of discs on cyclocross bikes, those kind of gadgets are going to be in demand again. The Hope system uses a stem spacer-mounted pair of hydraulic reservoirs. Cables enter through the piston and attach with a grub screw. Pull the cable brake and the piston activates. Simples! Expect to see Paul Oldham using this system on his Three Peaks cyclocross bikes. Price for the system will be around £300.
Work on Hope’s integrated rear cassette and hub is going on apace. It is now playing with a six speed cassette for 4X racers and downhillers. The cassette integrates into the hub, with the pawls built into the cassette. As there’s no cassette body, there’s not need for lockrings or axle clearance, so Hope can make them with anything down a 9T sprocket. Oh, and it’s super light…
And here’s the XC version. We’re not sure about the Irn Bru orange spider colour, but as always with Hope, it’s subject to change and fickleness… Even to the point that Hope hasn’t decided whether it’s going to do nine or ten speed first. The six speed version will be the first out and available in the spring.
Wheels: Hope is getting a good reputation for its Hope Hoops wheels, using its own hubs, with wheels built in the UK on a number of different rims. A very popular option is with a Stan’s rim, so much so that Hope now buys bare Crest rims direct from Stan’s and then polishes, anodises and etches them to match and then builds them up using Sapim’s new Super Spokes. This wheel is called the TwelveNinetyFive which implies that the wheelset comes in at a very light 1295g a pair. The wheels will cost around £650 a pair.
Hope’s Tech lever has had mixed reviews – partly due to its bulk. But also because it wasn’t perhaps as powerful as people were expecting. Hope has worked out that some of that power was being lost in the lever/piston interface (finger pulls on lever, force goes through lever, brass barrel pivot, bolt and through to the piston. Hope has now done away with the brass barrel in the lever and replaced it with a roller that works directly on the piston. For the same pull, Hope reckons that the power has gone up by 15%.
In addition, the XC racing X2 lever also gains a 15% increase in power – this has been achieved by moving the lever pivot closer to the piston bushing without adding weight. This lever will also be available with an M4 caliper at the other end. New levers are out in October.