We’re at the Bike Connection 2019 gathering in Italy with a load of top brands who all have something special to shout about. First up is Hope Technology (no, the irony is not lost on us about having to go to Italy to find out about products made up the road from the office…)
Hope is launching a redesigned rim range for its wheels, plus a simpler version of its popular crank. Let’s get started with that.
Hope Evo Cranks
Hope’s existing crank was not without a level of complexity in installation. It seems that enough customers (and indeed dealers) were confused by the multi-stage installation process that involved a separate tool so it has redesigned its cranks to be a simpler job to install and simpler to remove. As of… Friday this week, the cranks will now be a more familiar two piece design, with the non-drive arm pressed on to the axle. (It can still be removed by a shop with a press (or apparently ‘by hitting it with a hammer a lot, though we don’t recommend that approach’))
There is a locking ring for taking up bearing play and a captive bolt that can be used for installing and removing the cranks with an 8mm Allen key. The Hope system of installing chainrings is unchanged. As is the price.
The new design is said to be 15% stiffer and, being Hope, every part is available as a spare. There are Boost rings and regular rings and all rings (not just normal ones) now come in Hope’s range of six colours. The cranks themselves come in six colours too.
Price is still £235, with chainrings (and BB) costing extra. Hope aims to have a bottom bracket for every current ‘standard’. And they’re out as of today.
Hope Fortus Wheels
Hope’s previous Tech wheel range is no more! Instead, it is phasing in a new collection of wheels based on new extrusions, still exclusive to Hope. The name comes from the Latin for ‘strong’ and Hope is confident that it has a wheel for everyone. (Even 26in wheel fans!)
There are four new rim sections, with widths to suit today’s, wider tyres. The rims feature eyelets for durability over weight
This is the new XC race, or light rider, rim. 23mm internal width, tubeless compatible (though they will come with regular cloth tape for purists.) The hubs are Hope’s Pro4 and all the new rims are 32 hole. Available in 27.5 and 29in
26mm internal, this replaces the Tech Enduro. Like the 23, it comes with a single cavity extrusion for lighter weight. Comes in 27.5 and 29in. And it comes in 26in too!
The downhill rim of the family, the 30 is 30mm internal and is the only rim to use an extrusion with internal reinforcing ribs. This rim also comes in all of the wheel sizes. An all-up weight is 2400g, so it’s built for durability, though Hope hinted that there might be a lighter one in the works if we all behave.
And last but not least is the Fortus 35. Aimed at plus bikes and riders who want a bit more cushion from wide-tread style tyres, they will come in 27.5in and 29er.
All of the new wheels will come with regular J-bend spokes, the straight pull hubs are being phased out. And all the new wheels will be available in May. Like all previous Hope wheels they are hand laced with Sapim spokes, machine built and hand finished in Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Price is a standard £425 a pair across the range. Rims will be available separately for £90 each.
And for those colour-lovers, there are coloured decals! The regular rims will come with black on black stealthy waterslide decals, but there are coloured decals that will fit over the stock logos to allow you to tune the look of your bike to be all matchy-matchy (or clashy-clashy if you’re me…) – there are seven colours available. Six standard colours plus the normally team-only green colour.