So it’s finally here, after a long seven months since it was first announced back in January the Hope HB.130 has finally landed! By the time you are reading this the reviews will be up and all the main online players have laid their opinions on the table. Not sure what the result is going to be, but pretty certain they are going to love it. We have ridden it, and we did.
What do you need to know? If you haven’t already read the reviews it’s a 130mm rear 140/150mm front aggressive 29er, with pretty modern and progressive geometry and a really nice linkage/pedaling platform. It’s available in one stock build (£6299), with a ton of options, and also a frame kit (£3949, frame, shock, headset, BB, chain device, hubs). We have put together a few of our own ‘staff pick’ builds ready to go as off the peg customs (£5899-£6499), and obviously offer full custom builds as well.
We take a £350 deposit to reserve either a frame or bike, this is available on the items page.
The images aren’t quite right just yet (in fact it’s all the same image!) but this will change over the next few weeks once we get bikes built up. Oh yeah, and it’s also made totally in house. In Barnoldswick. But more on that later!
First up the important stuff – what does it ride like? Unfortunately we didn’t get the sunshine and buff Ballater trails the journos did, instead we had to settle for a sopping wet lap of Gisburn trail centre but it certainly hit the spot. The bike has a great lightness of step on the climbs, making easy work of the slippy tech rock and root covered ups (swear they were more technical than the descents!). Jumps, puddles and berms were order of the day going down, with both the Ohlins and Fox equipped bikes offering tons of grip with some decent pop off the lips, while still managing to dispatch the rough sections with ease. A proper all round bike and very easy to jump on and ride, no adjustment period needed. Real nadge tech testing will have to wait for another day, but luckily we have one of the UK’s first demo bikes being delivered over the next few days, will be ready to ride by Saturday 10th, and plenty of jiggly tech to get it settled in. One thing we did really notice was the narrow back end, in a world of Boost spaced bikes us wonky feet folk can struggle a little scuffing stays and to be honest don’t notice half the time, but when you take it away… then you really DO notice the absence of heel rub.
Our in shop demo is a large stock build bike, with 475ish reach and suits people about 5 foot 10 and up, perhaps a bit shorter if you are keen for a long bike. Standover is really low and seat tube length short so plenty of room to just pick the reach you want. We should also have a medium (450 reach) on hand over the next few months available for full demos. Anyone looking for an XL we can get a demo sent up from Hope very easily, just ask. Looking for a small? Lodge a note of interest and we can pass it on to Hope. If they get enough orders a small can be produced.
What’s in stock? Well, not much! We ordered our demo bike and two frame kits to have here (one medium one large, one green and one blue) so for anyone wanting first picks then custom builds can be built pretty fast, but for any new orders they get slotted into Hopes production schedule and how long that is depends how popular the bike is from launch! Get in touch for current accurate timescales. Doing everything in house means they can react pretty fast, and production is getting pretty fast.
Speaking of production, what they have managed to develop down there in Yorkshire is really something special. Not just producing carbon frames at a price the same as a lot of far east carbon, but the total control they have over it and how many of the small parts are also made in house. Take the front triangle as a case study, the carbon sheets are woven by a company near Manchester then shipped to Hope on huge rolls. Fed into a huge plotter and cut out into numbered sections. These are then laid inside a CNC machined mold (obviously also produced in house!) and baked at gas mark 7 until golden brown. Once out and checked, the pivot hardware is added most of which is also made in house. In fact out of that drawer up there, only the bearings and snap rings are not produced by them, and I am happy to be corrected about the snap rings!
Anyway, I am sure the real journalists will have much more coherent words to say about the whole thing, but we were already huge fans of Hope and the new bikes before the visit, and come away even more so. Get in touch with any questions, we are sure this bike is going to be big.
Full details are over on the Hope site – Hope Tech HB