Hope’s new cranks use a patented splined interface to connect the oversize 30mm axle to a pair of cold forged and CNC machined crank arms. This means they’re not as easy to install/remove as, for example, Shimano or SRAM cranks (the latter requiring just a single 8mm Allen key). In fact, they require a set of specialist tools.
Thankfully these are included in the box (you’ll also need a 19mm spanner, plus 2.5mm and 10mm Allen keys) and are as impeccably finished as the cranks themselves. The extraction spanner also doubles up as a bottle opener, which is a nice touch. With four steps and four tools for installation and six tools and five steps to remove them, these cranks aren’t for the mechanically impatient!
To fit the cranks you have to align the splines on the driveside arm with the splines on the end of the axle, slot the arm on, thread a tapered plug into the end of the axle using a special tool and then screw in an end cap. As the end cap is tightened the plug expands to create a rock solid fit. Once everything is nice and tight the bearing preload collar on the non-drive side allows you to eliminate any play.
A closer look at the patented splined interface on the crank arm
A secondary set of splines on the driveside arm lets you mount either a chainring spider or a direct-mount ring, held in place by a threaded lockring. Both arms can be removed (the non-driveside arm is attached to the axle in the same way as the driveside arm) and used with a different length axle if you change frames.
Out on the trail, Hope’s typical craftsmanship and attention to detail translates into a solid, ‘fit and forget’ product. The cranks are superbly stiff underfoot when really putting the power down and we’ve had no reliability issues despite some hard landings and crank strikes.
After a good number of wet, muddy and gritty rides with shoes rubbing against the arms, the finish remains in remarkable condition too. Weighing in at 630g (arms, axle and spider) – only 90g more than SRAM’s similarly priced X0 carbon cranks – they’re not exactly heavyweights either.
Although Hope’s spline based setup is more complicated than some other designs, things do feel reassuringly steadfast and hassle free once the cranks are on the bike. The high build quality combined with the ‘made in the UK’ tag will undoubtedly prove a significant pull for those who want a combination of high performance and rock solid reliability.