Hope caused quite the stir with the unveiling of their in-house designed and manufactured prototype HB.211 trail bike early last year. Since then, the project has gathered momentum. New molds have been machined and serial production is on the horizon. In addition to the latest news on the HB.211, we also got the inside story on Hope's upcoming carbon handlebars.
The HB.211 is aiming high in the marketplace with low volume numbers and only top-spec, full build options with tops specs.
Hope's long-awaited trail bike will be built at their factory in low volumes (around four units per week) and to start, will only be available in medium and large sizes. A size small will be coming into production at a later date (the moulds are currently being machined at the factory). There will be no frame-only option, with full builds decked out in high-end spec, and kitted out with either Öhlins or Fox suspension. Prices were not finalized, but the HB.211 will be aimed to compete with the likes of Specialized and Santa Cruz. As of yet, there are no concrete dates for availability, but come Eurobike, Hope aims to be close to that mark.
No final specifications have been confirmed, but expect the final builds to offer Ohlins or Fox suspension. The medium-sized bike with a coil shock tips the scales around the 30-pound mark.
Every part of the frame is machined in house at Barnoldswick, from the CNC-machined aluminum rear triangle, right down to the plastic cable routing ports.
Producing aluminum handlebars left Hope with no option but to use Far Eastern manufacturing, so Hope instead turned to carbon fiber, which meant that they could keep the production at their factory in the UK. Hand in hand with the HB.211, Hope learned valuable experience laying up carbon fiber, which led to the possibility to produce the bars in-house. Presently Hope is manufacturing the bars, with an emphasis on speeding up production, intimating that current rates are putting a strain on the bar's economic viability.
Handlebars are now in their final production form, with Hope now working on streamlining production times before going to market.
Experience gained from the HB.211 project has been utilized to create the handlebar molds and layup process.
The wider 'bulbous' area in the center of the bars extends beyond the clamping area - something which Hope says, offers up a significantly stronger handlebar. If you fancy getting your hands on a set, Hope projects a late spring release.
Hope's carbon bars will be offered at 780 mm in width and initially, only in a 20 mm rise. But, depending upon demand, Hope are keeping a flexible approach. They have a possible advantage over rivals, with their ability to machine their own molds and manufacture under the same roof. As for availability, you’ll be able to get your hands on Hope's new bars in late spring of 2017.