Hope’s Carbon bike project has a long history and shuns standards

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You’ll have to wait a while, but the Hope frame teased recently lives and the UK manufacturer has revealed it is more than just toying with the idea of full production.

“We’ve no dates on production, but the prototype is comparable with other carbon bikes in its class and we still have more work to do on the layups,” Alan Weatherill of Hope’s marketing told CyclingIndustry.news.

“Everyone’s amazed at how the bike climbs without bobbing and yet is so active on the descents. We’ve managed to get the geometry spot-on with this first prototype.”

The Barnoldswick firm has revealed that it has been messing around with designs dating as far back as 2005, a timeline of which you’ll see at the base of this article.

“So, why make a bike,” asks Hope. “This has been a dream of Simon and Ian, Hope’s co-­founders and owners for many years. It’s never  been about the idea of becoming a bike brand, but rather just to have the satisfaction of producing a complete bike.  Initial ideas were for a welded steel frame, but as technology moved on over the years, so their ideas moved to carbon.”

Having put a seatpost into production that’s recently become available, Hope has clearly become confident using its in-house carbon facility and has drawn on the knowledge of experts within Formula One and a thriving aerospace industry, with an array of these talents “on the doorstep.”

Hope said: “Since our existing products are manufactured using the processes most companies only use to produce their first  prototypes, ie CNC machined rather than cast or precision forged, it’s not been an unusual experience for us. Mould production has been one of the easiest processes since these are made on CNC machines and we already have a  few of these.  Cutting and laying up the carbon sheet is quite a labour intensive process, but keeping production on site in Barnoldswick gives us total confidence in the quality of parts we can produce.”

In its adoption of carbon making, Hope has had to meet some pretty tight controls on health and safety, ensuring all staff can work without fear of adverse health affects – “more than can be said for some companies who have parts produced in anonymous factories around the world,” says the manufacturer.

What we know about ‘the bike’

This is the “perfect bike, without compromise,” says Hope and that means it doesn’t comform to standards.

“Although we didn’t really want to create new standards on this project we felt it was important as we have seen  compromises bike manufacturers have made when designing frames and also the restrictions on component  manufacturers to conform to standards,” they say.

“Very few companies have previously been able to combine the needs of the  frame and component designer into one project. With this unique opportunity, we set about creating the perfect bike -­‐  without compromise. Our bike designs have gone through a big evolution over the years, changing as our current bike  requirements have changed. We started back in 2005 with a downhill bike, but this design progressed though many  different disciplines and have finally settled on our current ride -­‐ 160mm travel All Mountain/Trail/Enduro style bike.   This bike uses very few current standards since it has been developed as a design concept rather than a product design  exercise. Maybe not the best solution for compatibility, but when you make every part, it gives you the opportunity  manufacture a bike without compromise.”

All of the above considered, Hope intensely focused on things such as rear hub integration, how the rear brake functions, suspension linkage and bottom bracket design.

Suspension

This will be a four-bar linkage optimised for aggressive riding and pedaling efficiency.

Rear Brake

This will be radially mounted, with means only simple spacers are needed to change disc size. The designer comments: “It is really frustrating to model things perfectly on the screen, have CNC machines capable to hold very tight tolerances to then fit a caliper and some randomly dimensioned brake mount. When you go away from the std 160 postmount dimension depending what manufacturer spec you go for, the caliper would end up in a different position and not aligned as it should be. Of course it is not stopping the brake working, but somehow it looks like a bodge.”

Bottom Bracket

Designed around a 30mm standard in order to give long bearing life and frame/pivot stiffness.

Rear Hub

Having produced a specifically spaced rear end, Hope utilise a dishless wheel build. The drive side chainstay is moved out and the chainline increased to give more clearance around the BB. This development came about pre-Boost, but achieved roughly the same thing). Additionally, Hope broguth the non-driveside chainstay in to create a narrower rear end and brought the rotor/caliper as close to the spokes as possible. The hub is further fitted with a 17mm axle and a 25mm location for maximum stiffness.

www.hopetech.com