Hope Technology has added a 155mm crank length option to its line of UK-Made EVO Cranks, forged and CNC machined from 7150 series aluminum. Until today, the shortest cranks you could get from Hope were 165mm, a length commonly available from most manufacturers. However, having enjoyed the benefits of 165mm cranks on eBikes over the last few years, Hope saw fit to have their World Cup DH riders experiment with shorter options; as short as 140mm, would you believe it? Low and behold, they discovered that bigger isn’t always better. Introducing the Hope EVO 155 Crankset.
Hope EVO 155 Crankset
After much testing, Hope settled on 155mm as the “sweet spot” for their short crankset option. The supposed benefits are as follows:
- Body weight remains more centered on the bike, increasing stability and making it easier to shift your body weight around
- Quicker to “spin up” which can help when transitioning from descending to sudden steep uphill features
- More ground clearance for reduced pedal strikes
- Lighter and stiffer due to the shorter length
It’s very hard to argue with the last two of those four benefits, right enough. As for number one, that seems to make a lot of sense, too. For arguments sake, try this:
- Stand in the regular descending position, “pedals” level, with your hips square
- Now move your feet further and further apart, mimicking increasing crank length, while keeping your hips square
If you’re like me, you’ll find it increasingly harder to keep your hips square with the increasing distance between your feet. The difference is subtle over the 10-20mm range of crank lengths we’re discussing here, but taking it to the extremes highlights the imbalance it introduces.
As for benefit Number 2 listed above, relating to the ability to “spin up”… I guess that makes sense too. However, the change in crank length does alter your final drive ratios, i.e., it will now be harder to pedal in any given gear with the shorter length cranks. That’s why Hope recommend that for every 10mm lost in crank length, you downsize the chainring by 2 teeth.
In addition to the extra ground clearance offered with a shorter crank length, it follows that you will also get more heel-to-chainstay clearance, something that folk with bigger feet will appreciate.
If you’re not happy to take’s Hope’s arguments at face value, may I point you in the direction of some relevant peer-reviewed sports science research, the best of which can be found here. Have a read and decide for yourself.
Finally, if 155mm isn’t short enough, do take a look at the Appleman 2XR Modular Cranks (also released today), which are available in lengths from 135mm up to 175mm.
Pricing & Availability
The Hope EVO 155 Cranks are available now from dealers, retailing at £255 / $320 USD / € 320 (excluding chainring). Other length options include 165mm, 170mm, and 175mm. Arms are available in black, blue, red, silver, purple and orange.