The Hope Union RC pedals seem to be aimed at individualists: they’re a rare sight, rely on an in-house clipless mechanism and are available in a wide range of colours. But how does the specially developed clipless mechanism fare? And do the Union RC pedals have what it takes to be all-rounders? We found out.
Together with the flat pedals from the same manufacturer, the Hope Union RC pedals are the most expensive pedals on test, priced at € 195. What you get in return is UK made pedals featuring a beautiful, machined finish and titanium axles as standard. As with all of Hope’s products, you can choose from six different anodised colours.
The best of both worlds: Hope Union RC
The Hope Union RC pedals rely on a specially developed clipless mechanism that only works with Hope cleats. Unfortunately, this makes getting spare parts more difficult. However, there are two different sets of cleats included with each pair of pedals, supplying everything you need to get started and giving you a choice between two different float and release angles. One offers 4° of float and a 12° release angle while the other offers 5° of float and a 13° release angle. Unfortunately, we could hardly feel any difference between the two during our tests due to the similar angles. The Q-factor is 55 mm and can’t be adjusted, as is the case with Acros or Shimano.
At first glance, the clipless mechanism looks very similar to the Shimano SPD system and also allows you to adjust the spring preload tension. On closer inspection, however, you’ll see that both sides of the mechanism are spring-loaded, letting you click in by pushing your feet down or forward. In addition, you get a very loose floating feeling that resembles the Crankbrothers pedals, though with a little more feedback. Despite their freedom of movement, clicking in and out feels nicely defined, which you can adjust to suit your preferences via the spring preload setting. It feels like a very good mixture of the SPD and Crankbrothers mechanism.
With a 15.5 mm stack height, the Hope Union RCs are both significantly flatter than the TIME pedals and slightly taller than the Shimano XTR, but we haven’t been able to detect any negative effects of this height while riding. Due to the relatively open design and the dual sided spring, they offer amongst the best self-cleaning on test, though they’re not quite at the level of the Crankbrothers.
|Brand||Model||Weight||Price||System||Float||Release angle||Q-factor||Stack height|
|Hope||Union RC||318 g||€ 195.00||Hope||4°/5°||12°/13°||55 mm||15.5 mm|
Our conclusion on Hope Union RC
The Hope Union RC pedals stand out due to their angular shape and stylish machined finish. The included cleats make it easier to switch to Hope’s in-house clipless system, but they don’t offer much in the way of adjustability. The clipless mechanism provides a relatively loose clicked in feeling with a lot of float, and clicking in and out still feels nicely defined. This in combination with their excellent self-cleaning properties makes them great all-rounders and the deserved Best in Test!
- great all-rounders
- a lot of float with a defined feeling click
- excellent self-cleaning
- easy to click in with adjustable preload
- there’s little difference between the two cleat options
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Simon Hänle