Hope Technology have released three new clipless pedals for mountain biking, utilizing an all-new dual clip mechanism that uses its own specific cleat and is not cross compatible with other clipless systems. The new mechanism is primarily designed for easy entry, with two cleat options offering different degrees of free float, release angles and effort required to unclip. Here’s all you need to know about the Hope Union Clipless Pedals.
Hope Union Clipless Pedals
The new Union Race, Union Trail and Union Gravity clipless pedals for Hope Technology all run the same dual-clip mechanism, an entirely new clipless mechanism that isn’t compatible with any other mountain bike cleat on the market. Before we get into how it works, we wanted to know why Hope thought a new clipless mechanism was necessary.
“We didn’t set out to develop a new system but it naturally developed this way. We have made flat pedals for a number of years but the majority of us at the factory ride clips so it seemed a shame we couldn’t use our own pedals. Basically, we wanted to stick a clip mechanism on an F20. When we looked at our options the only existing system available to us would be based on a Shimano SPD, however this system doesn’t work too well when used with a big platform, it needs clearance meaning most of the platform would be wasted. We made some prototypes of our own mechanism which solved some of the issues and it worked pretty well first time so that gave us confidence to develop it further and see where it took us” – Sam Gibbs, Hope Technology’s designer of the Union Pedals.
The new mechanism design aims to provide easy pedal entry combined with secure cleat holding and positive release characteristics. The dual clip mechanism means the front clip can move on pedal entry to reduce the effort required to clip into the pedal. It also flattens the entry angle of the shoe, giving a wider cleat acceptance angle and allowing the front of the shoe sole to run closer to the pedal body for increased stability. Cleat release is driven off fixed pins for a positive and consistent release.
The Union Pedal bodies are CNC machined from billet. All are designed to maximize the contact area at the shoe/cleat interface and pedal body for increased stability and power transfer. The contact area combines cleat-to-stop-plate contact and shoe-sole-to-pedal-body contact for a solid under-foot feel.
All Hope Union clipless pedals are supplied with two cleat options. The Number 4 cleat gives 4° of free float (the amount of angular float before the cleat starts to disengage with the mechanism) and has a 12° release angle. The Number 5 cleat gives 5° of free float and has a 13° release angle. It also requires more effort to release, suited to more aggressive riding. Both cleats also allow 2mm of lateral (side to side) float.
The Hope Union Race, Trail and Gravity clipless pedals all run the same internals as Hope’s F20 flat pedal. That’s three cartridge bearings and a norglide bush for smooth long term durability. Axle service kits are available at £16.75 per pedal.
What MTB Shoes do the Hope Union Pedals work with?
We asked designer Sam Gibbs, exactly that. He shied away from mentioning any particular brands, but he did tells us the Hope Union Clipless Pedals are optimised to work with a 7mm deep cleat box, stating that “any shoe around this number will work nicely without cleat shims or spacers on the pedal itself”.
Shoes with a deeper cleat box would need shims under the cleats; these are provided with the pedals. On the other hand, shoes with a shallower cleat box would need the pedal pins to be made taller with spacers (also provided) to get contact with the shoe sole.
Union Race Clip
The Hope Union RC is the smallest, most lightweight of the three models, and runs a titanium axle as standard. A pair weigh in at a claimed 324g. The lack of platform and pedal pins pushes this one towards the realms of XC and endurance racing.
Union Trail Clip
The Hope Union TC runs a high strength Cr-Mo axle, as seen on the Hope F20 flat pedal. It gets a larger platform with 4 replaceable pins per side for increased contact with the shoe sole and greater stability for more aggressive riding. A pair weigh a claimed 437g.
Union Gravity Clip
The Hope Union GC pedals weigh a claimed 498g. They run a Cr-Mo axle supporting the largest platform with 7 replaceable pins per side or the option of running foot plates. These offer the greatest contact area between the shoe and pedal, providing the greatest stability.
Pricing & Availability
The Hope Union Clipless Pedals retail at the following prices:
- Union RC – £150, €185, $190 USD
- Union TC – £150, €185, $190 USD
- Union GC – £160, €195, $200 USD
All are available to order with first deliveries scheduled for September.