Its sometimes tough reviewing bike products, it is easy to get swept up with the latest and the greatest technologies, blinded by clever materials and hi-tech acronyms. Sometimes you have to step back from the hype to see what you really need in a product. Pedals are an especially tough one, the choice these days is astounding, literally all shapes and sizes, and with prices ranging from the very reasonable reverse engineered far eastern products to ridiculous boutique offerings, which at the price you expect to be hand sculpted by Michelangelo himself. What do we really need from a pedal? Grip, feel and robustness seem to fall high on the list of my criteria.
6 Months on the Hope F20s are still working perfectly.
When I was sent a set of Hope F20’s to test, what was immediately apparent is the light weight, large concave platform. They offer a suitable perch for those with the largest of feet and at only 390g a set are definitely in the respectable weight class. The pedals are fully CNC machined out of T6 aluminium and feature 20 replaceable steel pins that look sturdy and strong. With a heat-treated and plated Cro-Mo axel, supported by one Norglide bush and 3 cartridge bearings in a sealed chamber, service intervals should be long. They also come in 6 colours, and the gold we tested certainly stood out. Machining is the usual hope standard, simply beautiful, as it should be to justify the £119 price tag.
The feel of the platform is good, amply sized and low so you really get that standing ‘inside’ the bike feeling, that is essential for control. Grip is good, with 5:10’s on it is perfect! A lot can be argued about absolute grip of pedals, I like the possibility of a small amount of readjustment, and super grippy pedals like DMR vaults are too ‘locked in’ for my liking, if your foot gets displaced it can be super hard to get it back in line when charging through gnar. Absolute grip seekers may find the Hopes a little lacking as the wider, rounder pins are less aggressive, but I never found them to be insufficient and liked the balance of grip/control. Some will see that as a negative, but for me it is a positive plus, secure grip but with a little unweighting, the potential for small shifts.
When running from the jaws of death, good pedals are everything!
Anyway, down to the review. I have been riding these Hope F20’s for the last 6 months, they have been thoroughly abused with numerous strikes on Lake Garda rock, raced in Enduro World Series events and down the Megavalanche course, they have also been lent out to mates, screwed in and out by usually neanderthal hands, left in a ‘heavy tools’ bag for a week and rattled around in the back of the van. I was expecting at this point to express how easy they were to service and restore back to former glory, but unexpectedly I cannot! For the Hope’s are still spinning as well as when first fitted! A gentle flick of the pedal results in a easy smooth glide, not a manic buzzing of a dry bearing, but a smooth, buttery rotation. Despite 6 months daily use in some of the most heavy duty locations, and a poor cleaning routine, the Hopes are still spinning well and looking in good shape. Repeated rock strikes have left scars on the pedals, but no aluminium is missing, the pins are all there and still screw in and out. I normally get through a set of pedals a season riding on really rocky terrain, the abuse taking its toll. I even took a massive high speed rock hit that sent me unceremoniously over the bars, and was surprised to find the the axel was not bent at all.
Even after repeated rock strikes, the pedals are in great shape and still show 10 pins a side!
There is now huge competition in the flat pedal arena, with some excellent low cost options. However, if reliability, build quality and performance are important to you, the Hope’s do seem like an attractive option! They are expensive, but seem to have a good balance of cost/reliability and as ever Hope are always on hand to help with any issues, with their excellent after sales service.
For more information, check out Hopes website.
Review: Trev Worsey