Hope EVO 155 Cranks say bigger isn’t always better

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

hope evo 155m cranks on hop hb916 enduro bike high pivot

The Hope EVO 155 Cranks modeled on the HB.916 High-Pivot Enduro Bike

After much testing, Hope settled on 155mm as the “sweet spot” for their short crankset option. The supposed benefits are as follows:

  1. Body weight remains more centered on the bike, increasing stability and making it easier to shift your body weight around
  2. Quicker to “spin up” which can help when transitioning from descending to sudden steep uphill features
  3. More ground clearance for reduced pedal strikes
  4. 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

hope 155 evo crank stance versus 175mm

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. 

hope evo 155 crankset more ground clearance

The Hope EVO Cranksets feature a self-extracting axle/arm interface, simplifying fitting and removal

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.

hope evo 155mm cranks

The Hope EVO Cranks run a 30mm oversize 7075 aluminium alloy axle. A range of axle length options are available to accommodate most bikes from XC, DH and FAT bikes, including a new SuperBoost version.

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.

hope evo 155 cranks

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.

hopetech.com

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Version 1
Version 1
2 months ago

The Hope EVO 155 Cranks are available now direct from Hope Technology.” That does not appear to be correct.

Ted P
Ted P
2 months ago

I’m 6’2″, and have been experimenting with shorter cranks for about 4 years. 165s for about 1300 miles, 153s for about 1800 miles, about 500 miles on 140s. As of the 153s, I climb steep hills 2-3 gears higher. The thing about lowering 2 teeth for 10mm is just flat wrong. I know, all of the rationalists talk about gear development. What we should be asking is why our knees are bent to a useless/harmful degree for half of the pedal stroke.

The issue is not the length of the lever, the issue is how weak the knee is when it’s folded in half. Outside of my BMX days, I’ve never been able to put down max power without either knee pain or maxing out my heart rate. I had to spin. Now I can put out maximum effort for extended periods if I keep my rpm below 68. The reason I say 68 is my legs are moving slow enough for blood to replenish. The powerband is much wider, both on top and bottom, and max efficiency is from 65-75. My longest rides doing all of this are about 40 miles on mild to hilly terrain, so far. It’s almost doubled my endurance.

I was taught about 20 years ago how to pedal properly but could not do it. I didn’t know why. About 2 weeks after I put on the 153s. I remembered it and gave it a try. It worked. It’s a total game changer, but I’m guessing 90% are shut out by the clown-shoe cranks that come stock.

The 140s are better in every way with no loss that I can find. I’m still experimenting and verifying. I plan on getting some 130’s in a few months.

We all spend thousands on our bikes. I believe $500 for a set of 150’s will offer 10 times the benefit of a set of $2000 wheels.

pedalstroke-direction-and-magnitude.png
Dominic
Dominic
1 month ago
Reply to  Ted P

That’s a pretty strong opinion. I came across a kind of countervailing sensation. First that it seems to make a huge difference as to what you’re trying to do, are you sprinting or trucking along, during much of the ride. The other thing is that when i get close to my cadence and effort level from my cross country running days I find even “long” cranks for my leg length to feel very constricting, it takes more time to get open and limber, and I can tell I’m not using the full power my legs have to offer.