As the first bicycle trade show of 2017, Core Bike may not be bursting at the seams with huge product launches and new season bike announcements, but there’s plenty of gold to be found amongst the sand. Case in point; Hope Technology.
Back at the 2016 Eurobike show, we visited Hope Technology to get a sneak peek at a few goodies hidden in plain sight on a prototype HB.211 carbon enduro bike that they had on display in their booth. Several months later, many of those goodies have gone through the final testing phase and are now ready for production.
Hope has already made its own wide-range cassettes for a little while now, but a new ratio joins the line for those wanting a really big spread out of their 11-speed drivetrains. The 10-48t cassette is a monster, and comes pretty darn close to the range of the SRAM Eagle 10-50t cassette, albeit without having to go to a full 12-speed system. However, the Hope cassette is designed specifically for Hope rear hubs, as it uses a special freehub body to mount the cassette.
Also new are oval chainrings. Hope admitted that it hasn’t invested a whole lot of scientific testing behind oval chainrings – it’s neither for or against oval rings, but decided to introduce them into the product line as they were getting a lot of requests. The oval rings use a narrow-wide tooth profile for 1x setup, and feature a 12% ovality and a 113° clocking. If you’re into oval chainrings, you’ve now got several (colourful) options from Hope, including 104 BCD mounting and direct-mount options to suit Hope’s own cranks.
We’ve already seen the 12t jockey wheels to suit SRAM rear derailleurs, but they’re pretty, so here’s another photo of them. Oh, and we kinda like that they don’t use a narrow-wide tooth profile like SRAM’s XX-1 and X0-1 series derailleurs, which seems a little overkill from a chain retention perspective, and serves to be a sufficient surface for excess grease and dirt build up.
Another prototype product from Hope Technology that’s nearing production is the carbon handlebar. Hope will only offer one size for its carbon bar to begin with, which uses a 780mm width and a 20mm rise. Hope has invested heavily in carbon fibre production in its Barnoldswick factory, and the new carbon bars are part of an ongoing process to refine the production processes so that they can speed things up. Right now, it takes a whole day to produce just one handlebar. And Hope reckons that might be a little too long. Expect more sizes to become available once they get things moving a little quicker than that.
And finally, THAT HB.211 superbike. The bike that we had an exclusive first look of back in March of 2016 is a little closer to production than Hope first let on. Initially reported as just a prototyping project, Hope has since revealed that the HB.211 will go into production, and we’re likely to see availability as soon as the end of this year. There will be Larges and X-Large frames first, followed by Mediums and Smalls. Here are some of the basic geo specs;
- 65.5° head angle
- 74° seat angle
- 416mm reach (medium size)
- 340mm BB height
- 435mm rear centre
According to Hope, the HB.211 will only be sold as a complete bike. They don’t have prices finalised yet, but for the Ohlins-equipped beast that you see here that’s dripping with Hope components and a RockShox Reverb dropper post, it’ll be around the £8500 mark. Because of the proprietary rear hub and bottom bracket system, Hope won’t be looking to sell this as a standalone frame. So don’t ask!
After pressing a little further, it sounds as though this won’t be the last mountain bike we see from Hope. As production methods progress, there may be some future opportunities on the HB.211 frame, and potentially a shorter-travel 110/120mm 29er trail bike. Which sounds damn fine indeed.
Whilst hanging out and drooling all over the Hope booth, we shot a video with Hope’s main marketing man, Alan Weatherill, who gave us a tour of some of the new products that’ll be hitting the trails very soon. Enjoy!