Hope Tech 2009 Overview

Mar 22, 2009
by Alasdair MacLennan  

Headset
Having moved through several design evolutions, from their effective, if slightly bulky Mk1, to the slimmer and lighter mk2, Hope’s ’07 spec headsets graced the front end of my race bike last season from the moment it was built until being sold in November. Pressure washed regularly, hit down the toughest of trails and abused by its rider, it took it all in its stride and still came out smelling of roses. Despite being pretty light at a real 122g all in, including the top cap and their own expanding wedge to take the place of the usual star nut, it manages to tick all the boxes, regardless of whether it is to be fitted onto a downhill bike, street hack or cross country race steed. Effective and adjustable rubber lip seals (through the use of thin shims) are fitted top and bottom to guard against the ingress of dirt & water and provide an effective barrier to protect the German made stainless steel bearings. After 8 months of abuse, the headset didn’t need tightened once, and the bearings still felt as smooth as the day they were fitted. They are available in a myriad of options, from straight 1.125”, 1.5”, several reducer types and also both integrated/semi-integrated. A standout feature is that the reducer headset is available in full zero stack and also a second option with a zero stack upper to reduce front end height but with a lower cup which is deeper to provide extra clearance to the down tube for those riders running large single crown forks. It can also be used to fractionally slacken the head angle on bikes where this is otherwise difficult to adjust. Overall, a quality piece of kit that will last a long time. Dare I say better than a King?


X-Type Bottom Bracket
Many have already come to the conclusion that whilst an improvement over what had gone before, X-Type bottom bracket systems still have issues. The main one being that the bearings still have a habit of lasting less time than a manager of the Scottish football team, which is no mean feat, and something which has left riders a little peeved, especially when you consider that the cups aren’t exactly cheap to replace. Factor in big mileages or regular pressure washing and some riders struggle to get half a season from a set of bearings. Shimano are usually a bit longer lasting than Race Face but not everyone finds this and it’s still not much difference when it comes down to it. Step in Hope. They may not be the first manufacturer to offer replacement bottom bracket assemblies for X-Type cranks but what they have on offer is up to their usual high standards. Coming with the option of stainless steel or ceramic bearings, both of which run directly on the axle, these will last a long time thanks to excellent sealing from a labyrinth seal and the usual tight design and manufacturing tolerances. Having seen these fitted to several bikes which are used both for pretty aggressive downhilling and others fitted to high mileage trail bikes, all are still running as smooth as they were when new. And when things do need replaced, it’s an easy task to swap the bearings over and get things back to where they should be. Available in the usual 63/73 & 83mm options, and multiple colors, it should be easy to find a set up to match your needs.


Stem
Here we have another product that epitomizes Hope. Fulfilling the purpose of keeping your bars attached to the forks, these stems are stiff, well finished and light (a real 148g for the 50mm shown here). All the while being available in enough options to keep both downhillers and cross country riders happy; from a short and flat 50mm zero rise, to 110mm ten degree rise, and available with both oversize and standard bars in mind. M5 bolts throughout help keep the weight down whilst still providing plenty of clamping force to hold things in place.

Also, a new integrated stem of which pictures are already circulating will be available soon. Once it is, expect a proper test to see how it all works, especially the front plate with its neat, interlocking design.


Pro-III Wheelset
I must admit, these are what really grabbed my attention more than any of the other parts which had been bolted onto the bike. They have appeared in various states of design on the bikes of several team and factory riders over the past 12 months and they are now available to all in the usual fitment options. Internally, they are very similar to the simple, effective & reliable Pro II hubs which have been around for a few years now. However, the Pro III differs by being spec'd with stainless bearings throughout. This means that with the already proven sealing, things should keep rolling smoothly for longer than they already do with the Pro II. But by far the most noticeable feature here are the straight pull flanges which are fitted with DT Competition spokes which remove the area of weakness which can normally be found at the elbow of traditional spokes. These, combined with the proven and still virtually unbeatable Mavic EX721 rims produce what should be a pair of tough and reliable wheels. From past experience we know that the internals are up to a serious amount of abuse, and are more than capable of withstanding a season of abuse without breaking into a sweat. The aluminum freehub body saves weight but has it has been mentioned that it can be susceptible to damage from certain cassettes. Keep things torqued up correctly and you should have no problem. Yes, it would be nice to have more than the standard 24 engagements through 4 pawls but it does mean that you have a very tough drive mechanism. As these wheels have 4 bolt mounts for discs rather than the standard 6, custom discs are included within the price of £385 which use oversized, hollow bolts to mount them which are lighter than those usually used.


Tech V2 Brakes
We’ve actually got a pair of these on long term test alongside their new Tech lever’d M4’s so we’ll give just a quick word here. Suffice to say, we have been impressed with the natural feel and increased progression from the lever over that of the old Moto design. The Tech lever was first seen on the team bikes towards the end of the 2008 season and is a major improvement in several ways over the previous Moto lever, something which was brought home after a day of testing on a bike recently which had the older lever fitted. The same mono bloc caliper continues this year as the powerful downhill orientated brake whilst the new 2009 spec 4 piston calipers carry the all mountain and light downhill duties. This year, the V2 is also available with the option of a 183mm rear rotor for those wanting something a little lighter than the standard 203mm. The new levers, available on both the V2 & M4 brakes are easily adjustable which means that it’s a simple operation to get things as you want them. And, being all metal, they should stay feeling better for longer than some of the alternatives which have short lived plastic internals. Despite some initial concerns over the fragility of the adjusters on the front of the lever, our concerns were somewhat dissipated after we wrote off a pair of bars whilst testing. Aside from having half a forest stuck in the levers, everything was still working perfectly and looked like new once cleaned up. We’ll have the full reviews of both brakes up in due course with more info and opinions on how they’re performing.


Seat Clamp / Bar End plugs
So this all falls under the banner of finishing kit. The bar end plugs are neat and not only help prevent ends of your bars becoming chewed but more importantly, help stop you looking like you’ve been attacked by a psychopath with an apple corer should you land on them too. The tweaked for 2009 seat clamp is a neat piece of machining. Machined entirely from aluminum, it is light, neat and managed to keep the well greased post held firmly in place even on this stiff, cast aluminum seat tower. Available in both QR and a simple bolted setup, it can be had in the usual sizes and colors so there shouldn’t be any problem finding one to suit your bike.


www.hopetech.com

-cloverleaf.pinkbike.com


109 Comments

  • 4 0
 I love everything but the proprietary 4 bolt rotors on the Pro III's

Forcing people to only be able to use their rotor is not a smart move at all.

I was really tempted to wait for the Pro III's as my next hubs, but requiring us to use a rotor that is going to be next to impossible to find replacements for is just plain dumb.

I really hope that HOPE makes the Pro IIIs with the STANDARD 6 bolt pattern at some point. If not they are going to miss out on a lot of business (mine for sure).
  • 1 1
 I think its a great idea and I'd rather see other manufacturers adopt this idea than see Hope compromise what I think is genius!
  • 9 1
 cool
  • 13 2
 this new stuff is pretty i have riden the new tech m4s and they are a huge improvement on last years m4 which i own.
  • 5 0
 yeah! ... cant wait to try some of those out
  • 2 0
 hot stuff
  • 4 0
 ok...the brakes def pop out at me...sick!
  • 2 0
 What with this steam? www.pinkbike.com/photo/2940944
  • 4 0
 I wish my Moto V2's with vented rotors were greenFrown
  • 2 2
 Is that Lewis Buchanan's bike?
  • 0 0
 hey commencal9, im looking at getting a pair of last years m4's i found a deal on them for 190 a piece, is there that big a difference in performance over this years and last years?
  • 0 0
 Segativ^^- it slides in from the side and bolts down on the bottom....maybe it shaves a little bit of weight with only 2 bolts?
  • 1 1
 best UK engineering ever!
hope will always have a place on my bike! there stuff is reliable, pimp and all round the best!
  • 1 2
 Not that it takes much, being better designed than Jaguars, Triumphs, and MGs...
  • 0 0
 not to mention tvr` noble or morgan oooh an lets not forget land rover shall we?!
  • 0 1
 Dont know alot about cars, but i know that TVR is owned by a russian buissnes man. Sweet looking stuff, i have the new seat clamps nice but had a few problems with the metal being abit soft and not closing properly. 2mins with a file sorted it out though!
  • 1 0
 i REALLY want to see that full bike
  • 1 0
 i hate hope vor not giving green parts for normal riders...
  • 5 0
 i want all those their green stuff,they looks so sick
  • 4 0
 too bad only for the PROs
  • 4 0
 i reckon hope should start making purple poducts aswell as he other colours they do
  • 1 1
 im sure they did ages ago it would look kwl if they did agen thow blue and red and shit just gets borin after a while lol even thow ive got every fing red lol
  • 1 0
 Purple is a good colour though, if they did it in the past, they better start doing it again.
  • 1 0
 I would like to see more options from Hope, aftermarket parts maybe. Titanium freehub bodies and hub bolt kits. Beyond that, Hope gets huge points from me; great product and service. I am curious to see if the headset creaks like an improperly installed King, or what the options are for front brake routing and the like.
  • 4 0
 Nice Stuff, if only the Green was availible to the public Frown
  • 0 0
 I have been about for some time comparing products as a costumer and, even though I am still unfortunate enough as to not own any Hope's at all for myself, I know about people how does and I've also tested them in the shop (I know what they feel like). They've only been about for 2 decades now, but Hope is probably the best stablished, well known and most reliable companiy there is worldwide now as we speak. They're just the big deal!
  • 1 0
 Those are some of the sexiest brakes I have seen, we had a set of red ones on a Ibis Mojo SL with the red ano link kit, pure sex on wheels
  • 0 1
 I appreciate the ceramic bottom bracket bearing offering, maybe someday they become obtainable instead of unobtainium. I wouldn't buy the stainless bearings tho. the best bearings have carbon steel for a good reason. It is harder and wears better. the only reason for going stainless would be if the bearings rust out rather than wear out. Mine don't rust out. Over all I like hope.
  • 0 0
 looks super sick!!! and on the TVR Tuscan you actually have to remove full bidy pannels to get at most of the car including the engine, kinda stupid if you ask me. Plus it has little to none safety features.
  • 0 1
 Readers/riders shouldn't be encouraged to pressure wash. While necessary for pro mechanics, under time constraints with a quiver of bikes and pro athletes to take care of, we mere mortals shouldn't be taught to think that's OK. Wearing out stuff needlessly that way's just laziness and carelessness.
End of rant.
  • 2 0
 Try going to a race in the UK and you'll see that it's commonplace, and in many cases the only option to get a bike clean between practice and race or even just between practice runs. If you're careful then you can get away without damaging things greatly. As with anything, give it to a monkey and you'll have problems. As a racer and rider who is regularly out in these conditions, I take the choice to pressure wash the bike and just put up with the slightly more fastideous lubing that's required afterwards. The bikes get fresh bearings whenever they need replaced anyway but if parts last the test of a season with regular pressure washing then it's a good indication of the quality of both the bearings, the seals and the basic design of the product.
  • 1 0
 Good on ya, cloverleaf. Hope the "monkeys" read closely!
  • 1 0
 I dont get HOPE these days! 4 bolt Rotor?? Not keen on the puke green either.

The price of sterling £ = $ Better price for the people in North America.
  • 2 0
 i bet nobody could afford them anyway
  • 0 0
 I can hahaha
  • 0 0
 ahhh i just bought some hopes, should have waited so i could have got the new levers! ahh well im not complaining the v2 is the best brake ive used
  • 0 0
 the seat clamps are weak. i bought a red 2009 model and the metal just shredded as the guy in the lbs tightened it. luckilly he gave me an instant refund.
  • 2 0
 sick! go king though!
  • 0 0
 The top left bolt on that stem is different to the other three. Just thought i'd say.
  • 0 0
 Just a refection
  • 0 0
 whoa! parts are on a empire cast alu bike! and great looking everything, i wonder if the changed the mono 6
  • 0 1
 Those are the worst seat clamps you'll ever see, sure they are made in a very pretty manner but an alloy bolt?! What a stupid idea. They don't last two minutes.
  • 1 0
 looking sooooo fresh and yommy! Razz
I need it right now!
  • 1 0
 sick stuff! Hope is really going all the way with they're components!
  • 1 0
 i fuckin love this! im goin to buy them!
  • 1 0
 can vouch for the BB, much better then any raceface i've eva had
  • 0 0
 Since when does Renthal make MTB bars? are those 28mm (Moto OS) or 31,8mm (MTB OS)too cool .
  • 0 0
 looks good, i dont like the 4 bolt hubs? why four when 6 in so easy and standard? apart from that its sweet!!!!
  • 1 0
 they look pretty sick but i hopwe they dont only come in green
  • 0 0
 probably not
  • 0 0
 that would be kinda pointless cause then ud have to have only green parts on ur bike or something
  • 0 0
 It is in the review. Green is just team colour; you usually don't get in the shop. The standard colour for brakes is black (levers) and silver (body) whereas it is stil possible to buy hubs, floating rotors, stems and other bob and pieces in different colours (usually red, blue, gun metal, silver and black, but that green). The good thing about it though is you can colour match rotors with hubs, for instance, or stems with brake levers (the stratline ones which will go into hopes), or maybe just make it your own way. You should probably not buy into the hype, but performance is the same and it is a good thing hope gives costumers this opption in any case (some people just like pimpping up their rides).
  • 0 0
 yea good because i like lots of color options
  • 1 1
 its a shame they dont do them in green for public only pros can have green ithink public should have the choice of green
  • 1 0
 hope makes the sexiest parts
  • 1 4
 buy their headsets they're not total shit like the chris kings if you don't want to believe me, talk to a real bike mechanic, not a shitty one who just wants his bike to look colour matched. hope headsets come in all the same colours, maybe even more. but they don't use an o-ring to keep your headset tight. like chris kings do. chris king headsets also slowly wear gouges in your steerer tube from the slight loosness they ALL have in them. this will cause your steerer tube to break one day. A hope headset won't cause your steerer tube to break like a chris king will. a hope headset also won't creak if its properly installed, unlike most chris king headsets, which will creak whenever you hit the front brake or land a drop.
  • 0 1
 I have never heard of a properly-installed and -maintained headset leading to a steer tube failure, nor do I understand how that part of a steerer would break in the confines of a headtube. (Shaking head.) If/when steerers fail, it's at the junction with the crown of the fork. There are no shear forces within a head tube! If you don't like KIng, fine. But don't make a Ford-vs-Chevy thing into "Product X will lead to your death or disfigurement." That's absurd.
  • 1 0
 Chris King doesn't use the same wedge system that is common place in normal headsets and instead rely on an o-ring in the top cap to limit movement. Now this is fine in many situations, I'd gladly run one on my xc bike with short forks and therefore low leverage, but on longer travel forks there can be significant issues. I've yet to see an actual steerer tube failure caused by this on a pair of twin crown forks although the markings can be severe. However, on a pair of current generation, long travel forks like the totem, the potential for stresses to increase and centre around the striations caused by the headset cups grinding away at the steerer tube are increased. It's all caused by flex which occurs as standard in the headset. Whilst the upper bearing race keeps the bearings tight when you do it up (and hence no play between those two metal parts, what actually happens is that in effect the steerer tube is moving around in the upper bearing race as the O-ring is all that is keeping it tight rather than with the metal to metal interface which is present in other designs.

It's quite a common thing and certainly well documented. I stopped using King back in '03 for this very reason.
  • 1 0
 Finally. someone understands. its an xc headset, i'll admit its ok for that, barely for everything else, buy a different headset I'd like to hear chris king justify the inadequacies of his headset. better yet, they should get with the times and make a good one. Its all because they don't want to pay someone money for the compression ring design, as if their headsets aren't expensive enough that they can't give someone 5 bucks to make their headsets a million times better.
  • 1 1
 nice stuff.. Is that the only colors it come in tho?
  • 1 0
 Nope, the Green is team only. Most of the parts are available in the full range of Hope colours whilst the brakes are normally silver.
  • 0 0
 sick. the green isn't bad ether, I was just wondering
  • 1 1
 naw there are like 10 colors to choose from... hope is siick
  • 0 0
 WTF i want grenn parts so bad!
  • 1 0
 nice green
  • 1 0
 sick love the color !
  • 0 0
 Renthal fat bars?! Now there just straight up using moto bars?!
  • 0 0
 renthal are starting a new range of mountain bike bars now
  • 0 0
 serious or did you make that up? Cause renthal has never had a big part of the mountian bike industry so that seems wierd
  • 0 0
 Dude thats way sick! I run renthal on my 450, Im gunna have to get some of those! Thats way cool! Thanks for showing me that!
  • 0 0
 I HAVE to see the full bike... absolutely insane ride!
  • 0 0
 i wonder when there going to release the direct mount stems?
  • 0 0
 saw what chief? had a hope new products flier posted the other week an it had pics of a direct mount stem for fox 40`s on there!
  • 0 0
 ooh that green looks kool
  • 0 0
 My Riding buddy has a set of EX-Team Green Moto V2's, they are Sick!
  • 0 0
 Did he get them off ebay ?
  • 0 0
 i prefer hope to king. i dont like how king has play in their 1.5 headsets
  • 1 0
 very nice in green
  • 0 0
 everything looks awesome, especially the color
  • 0 0
 Finally they make some good parts
  • 0 0
 Hope does it AGAIN. Nice stuff as ALWAYS.
  • 0 1
 Where did you get the colour opption in your brakes from? It seems like they're always doing the boring black all the time.
  • 0 0
 I need some of these green parts for my double.
  • 1 1
 that stuff is nice and beautiful in colors
  • 0 0
 i want the green stuff for my v10, it would look sweet
  • 0 0
 Very nice, as you can see, hope is at the top of the game.
  • 0 0
 vai ser show assim no inferno!!
  • 0 0
 dam nice
  • 0 0
 hope is looking dope
  • 0 0
 what frame is that?
  • 0 0
 Empire AP1 (www.empire-cycles.com). The test for that will be up shortly.
  • 0 0
 sick thanks
  • 0 1
 The 13.5 lb Empire* Great for all the weight freaks!

*Weight WITH Ti spring.
  • 0 0
 sickkk
  • 0 1
 are those renthal mtb bars i see??!!?
  • 1 1
 no never... can you read?
  • 1 1
 no one asked for an australian's opinion
  • 1 0
 im a kiwi mate
  • 0 0
 such nice colours!
  • 0 0
 how much this brake? xD
  • 0 0
 looks all so nice
  • 0 1
 HOPE these brakes work.
  • 0 1
 totaly man. lame.
  • 0 2
 i want the brakes!!!!
  • 0 0
 Not british racing green mate. That's just hope's signature colour. British racing green is a lot darker.
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