British hub, brake and lighting makers Hope have an interesting handful of new components for 2010 including a seatpost that's been in development for so long the company have named it, with typical gritty Northern humour, the Eternity. Also new is a lightweight disc brake, carbon fibre road wheels and tweaks to Hope's extensive range of stems.
Brake lightly on the earth
Cross-country racers and everyone else who picks parts with a gram scale will be interested in Hope’s new Race XC brake, which replaces the Mini Pro X2. Hope have shaved weight wherever possible, retaining the carbon fibre lever blade, but using aluminium and titanium fittings in place of steel, and aluminium back plates on the brake pads. Even the top cap will be carbon fibre. Hope are aiming for a complete weight of 270g including their signature floating disc.
The world in a grain of sand…
The new Eternity post has taken rather more than an hour to get right. With tapered, side-closing clamps to hold the saddle rails, it's a similar design to Bontrager's widely-used post, but the reason it's taken four years to come to fruition is that every time Hope were ready to go into production, they came up with a way to improve it.
Even the version you see here isn’t quite final: production posts with have 6mm Allen bolts instead of 5mm, a change that Hope CEO Ian Weatherill says adds very little weight for a lot of extra security.
Like a Model T Ford, it’ll come in any colour you like as long as it’s black – with silver clamp components. Different colour clamps will be available as accessories if you want to pimp your ride. The Eternity post will be available in November in 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters.
Wheels to road
It’s quite surprising to hear that Hope has gone from nothing to 10,000 pairs of wheels per year in just a few years, especially as they have steered away from doing anything gimmicky with their wheels. Where other companies quite literally tried to reinvent the wheel, Hope’s first wheels used conventional J-shaped spokes, Mavic rims and their own hubs.
Their latest road wheels were motivated by the desire to put decent hubs into the carbon fibre rims popping up all over, as they were being asked for hubs for rebuilds on expensive carbon wheels.
The wheels – with 50mm rims –will be available in clincher and tubular versions, with Sapim CX Ray spokes (20 up front and 24 in the rear) and in Campagnolo and Shimano compatible versions. They will retail for £950 per pair in the tubular incarnation.
Stems for descending
Hope are also known for very tidy stems, and for 2010 they have diversified from the do-everything approach that saw their CNC-machined stem being used for both cross-country and downhill riding to making what Weatherill calls “a proper downhill stem”.
The new unit closes with a combination of a dovetail joint and bolts, and will be available only in 50mm and 70mm lengths. For riders who use Fox 40 or RockShox Boxxer forks, Hope are also introducing a direct mount stem.
Not your cheap bearings
Finally here’s an interesting bit of random Hope trivia. The bearings Hope use in their bottom brackets cost them 11 quid each. Seems the way to get outboard bottom brackets to last is simply to throw money at the problem by using spendy rollers.
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