Designed, tested, manufactured… keeping it local.The UK based Hope Technology are now in their 25th year of making high quality bike components. Co-owners Ian Weatherill and Simon Sharp were both high level motor-bike trials riders whilst also working as engineers at Rolls Royce. They wanted brakes for their mountain bikes to match the performance of the discs on their trials bikes…so they made some. Hope just sort of flowed from there as the pair started making other bike parts and the demand for the products grew. That idea of riders making components for riders is still strong within the company today.
Based on the foot of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, Hope are provided with some of the best riding terrain in the UK. Factory riders Sam Flanagan and Rachael Walker were joined by local boy Joe Flanagan as we spent a couple of days checking out Hope’s local “testing ground”. Sam and Rachael picked the riding spots for the few days I joined them. Choosing to keep the trails natural, Sam took us around the Borrowdale Bash in the Lake District – the views definitely didn't disappoint. On the second day, Rachael took us a little more local to Hope as we headed up into Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales.
Lakes' epics are no trail centre - big climb ups are rewarded with even bigger ride downs - Rach, Joe and Sam work their way up the first climb of many climbs round the Borrowdale Bash route
Hope’s trademark green camouflaging perfectly in the winter colours.
Those with a keen eye for trail centres may be able to spot the ever popular Whinlatter...
As anyone who spends a lot of time in the hills will tell you the weather in these parts is really unpredictable. Therefore packing wisely is essential. Signs of sometimes relentless wind and rain are visible everywhere.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened to Rachael... Damn, shin digs are painful...
It can't be classed as a Lakes' epic, if you haven't had to carry the bike at least once!Day 2
The Flanagan brothers will be tackling the 2014 Enduro World Series, while Rachael Walker is focusing on the UCI Downhill World Cups, this year.
This motto sums up what Hope is all about. Hope have got a wealth of riders within the company to test the components, but they use their Factory riders to get feedback on the latest parts. I couldn't help notice a few 3D printed parts on the bikes - take a look at Rachael’s chain device. Sam was also testing a 35mm stem, which Hope are now planning to release in the next few months.
Words by Rachael Walker and Sam Flanagan
Photos by Simon Nieborak