Hot on the heels of Matt from Wide Open, Mark from KRD swung by the office yesterday with a few new bits and pieces from their large stable of brands. Most notably two new 35mm bar clamp diameter Race Face bars and some swanky new bits from CNC kings Hope. Race Face have been one of the few brands to get on board with Easton's 35mm bar clamp standard and these two new bars seem perfectly suited to the size, the all mountain/buzzword 800mm wide SIX C and the 760mm wide Next SL bars.
The Six C (on the left) features a 20mm rise 8º backsweep and 5º upsweep and weighs in at 210grams. The Next SL (on the right) features a 10mm rise, 8º backsweep and 5º up sweep and weighs in at 180grams. RRP on these sits at $275 for the SixC and $255 for the Next SL.
Now we haven't seen much from Hope come through the office in a while, well not since their funky chainring with the guide ring CNC'd on. Well Mark came packing a bunch of Hope stuff and first up he had these brakes rocking Hope's latest Tech 3 Levers mated to their four piston E4 Calipers. Now I'm not totally up to the play with Hope stuff but these amazingly CNC'd brakes have all the bells and whistles, there's an easily adjustable reach dial as well as a bite point adjuster, and some of the most comfortable two-fingered levers out there. Throw in a braided hose, SRAM shifter direct-mount compatibility and a black ano finish and you have one sexy brake.
Down the other end is Hope's E4 caliper, it is the trail orientated version, and there is a beefier V4 designed for larger vented rotors. The one-piece caliper is CNC machined from a solid billet of 2014 T6 aircraft spec aluminum alloy. The E4 caliper uses four identical 16mm phenolic pistons which gives more usable power to the brake, whilst keeping Hope's well known "feel". It also features top loading pads. Retail for the set is around the $399 mark.
Hope didn't wait too long to get on the extender range train and have produced these T Rex 40th rings for both SRAM and Shimano. If you don't know how these work then you probably have been sleeping under a rock, basically it's a hack to increase the range of gears you have out back in a single ring setup without having to switch to SRAM's groundbreaking 11 speed system. Shimano and Sram specific 40t sprockets have been designed, allowing benefits that wouldn't be possible with a larger sprocket size or with a universal type design. Hope's cogs feature precise matching of the tooth profiles and shifting points specific to each cassette with perfect mating of supporting tabs reducing flex and aiding shift performance. As well as that, a lower B-tension adjustment is needed ensuring good shifting throughout the cassette range compared to fitting a 42t. And all this at a weight of 74 grams. RRP on these rings is $150
The TRex Ring is compatible with Shimano XT and XTR 11-36 10spd cassettes and Sram PG1030, PG1050 and PG1070 11-36 cassettes.
And what would be the point of having that T Rex ring out back if you didn't have a Retainer ring up front. Hope's narrow/wide offering features a few nice little tweaks that separate it from the rest of the crowd. For starters they are 9, 10 and 11 speed compatible but the beauty of these puppies is in the details.
You'll see from this detailed shot that there is a little scallop underneath each gap, that is designed to easily shed mud and gunk, UK winters are obviously similar to ours! The other very subtle detail is the profile on the wide tooth, it is designed that when it wears, the chain won't hook up on it like it does on some of the other narrow/wide offerings out there. Those two little offerings set the Hope Retainer ring apart from the others out there and and at $125 you'd be silly not to be running one on your single ring setup. Like most other 104 BCD rings they don't come in 28 tooth but you can choose from 30t, 32t, 34t and 36t chainring sizes.