Hope Union TC Clipless and F22 Flat Pedals
Hope Union TC (Trail Clipless) Pedals
Hope introduced three different clipless pedals in 2021; the XC-appropriate Union RC (Race Clip), the all-around Union TC (Trail Clip), and the gravity-specific GC (Gravity Clip) All fall under the Union moniker. I’ll discuss the Union TC (Trail Clip) pedals here.
What’s in the box?
Hope uses a dual mechanism clipless interface for the heart of their Union pedals, meaning both toe and heels are spring loaded, in contrast to the static toe bar of Shimano’s ubiquitous SPD system. Tension is adjustable via a 3mm hex key. A machined alloy cage surrounds the mechanism, with four replaceable 4mm pins at each corner of the body. 1.0mm washers are included, in the event you’d want slightly more height from the pins. The Union TC is available in six different colours.
The pedal spins on a fully serviceable heat-treated chromo axle, supported by 3 outboard cartridge bearings, and an inboard IGUS bushing. A titanium axle upgrade can be purchased separately for weight-conscious folks. While the clipless mechanism isn't user-serviceable, you can contact Hope for a factory rebuild.
Hope provides two pairs of their proprietary stainless cleats, with 4 or 5° of free float. The No. 4 cleat has a 12° release angle/low release effort, and the No. 5 with a 13° release angle/higher release effort. A 0.5mm and 1.0mm cleat shim is included, along with a user-trimable template to ensure the Union TC engages exactly as Hope intended, regardless of the shoe you use.
Union TC Ride Characteristics
On the engagement side, you can feasibly clip into the Union TC pedals in a variety of ways. The familiar toe-heel motion works, as does a heel-toe (but no hee-hee here, MJ). Even brutally jamming your foot straight down will smoothly click you into the mechanism. A positive thunk is the tell-tale sign the cleat is engaged, with a slight ramping feel, vs. the in/out click feel of other brands. I used the 5° cleat, which releases at a higher tension than the 4º. I want to be absolutely sure my foot won’t come out of the pedals when pounding through chunder and compressions.
Though the pedals show signs of minor impacts and scrapes, I have yet to rip a pin from the body. The bearings are smooth as the day they were installed. I’ll update the article down the road if the bearings lose their damped spin.
Though Shimano sets a gold standard for dyed-in-the-wool clipless trail pedals, I find their alloy perimeter platform to be vague, not actually interfacing with the sole of my shoe. It's merely extra real estate for your shoe to grab in the event of a missed clip. The Union TC has a machined body that actually contacts the sole surrounding the cleat pocket, providing more support than just cleat engagement. I tested these with very stiff (and aptly-named) Fox Union Clip shoes. Using softer shoes, I could see the alloy platform aiding in a more uniform feel throughout the sole, potentially mitigating a pressure point at the cleat location. I appreciate that I can use the supplied pins for extra support, but they can add to step-in tension as the sole rubber bites into them. I noticed pin reference marks on my sole, aft of the cleat. I'm still playing with pin configuration to see what works best for my riding style. With that in mind, the functionality of Union TC pedals ranks as high as its top-tier clipless competition.
Hope Union TC Pedal 274 CAD / 150 GBP / 185.00 EU / 190.00 USD
Hope F22 Flat pedals
The beautifully machined Hope F22 flat pedal has a very large pedal body, engineered for maximum shoe contact while contoured to shrug off any trailside rock strikes. Utilizing an asymmetric design, there's nearly 11mm more real estate forward of the axle, compared to aft. Upon first glance, the 2014-T6 alloy F22 appears to be completely flat, but a ruler reveals a minute amount of concavity, to fully marry the shoe to the 11 pins. Threading in from the backside, 6mm long stainless hexagonal pins adorn the fore/aft area of the pedal body, while shorter 4mm spikes live on the inner/outer side, closest to the axle, furthering concavity with pin length. A slight amount of knurling is machined into the innermost area of the pedal body atop the axle for added grip. On the silver version of the F22, the knurling almost gives a pearlescent aesthetic - business as usual for Hope’s exquisite CNC work.
Much like the Union TC Clipless pedal, Hope uses a heat-treated chromo steel axle, with three outboard cartridge bearings and one large inboard IGUS bushing. Internal and external seals keep water and debris ingress at bay. The F22 pedal is fully user-serviceable, and rebuildable.
Hope F22 Ride Characteristics
While riding the unreal Hope HB 916, I switched from using Chromag Daggas to the Hope F22 flats. Visually, the F22 looks far more benign and delicate than the brutal Dagga.
I think Hope is really on to something with their asymmetric pedal body. If the ball of your foot is placed directly atop the center of the axle, there’s 11-ish mm of more pedal body material forward of the axle, compared to the rear. When I think of slipping a pedal, it’s usually with my forward foot. I’ve yet to do this with the F22s, so for me, that’s an absolute win.
Mated with the Fox Union Flat shoes, the grip was very high, nearly identical to the Dagga. Let’s call a spade a spade, the Dagga being one of the highest grip flat pedals currently produced.
Reflecting on the F22’s pin layout, found only on the outer perimeter of the pedal body, I believe this allowed me to reposition my foot to its desired location if not placed correctly. Instead of catching a mid-body pin (as found on other pedals) and stopping my shoe, I didn’t have to fully lift my foot from the pedal but could shuffle to the proper position while keeping some semblance of grip on said foot.
The F22 has easily handled a bunch of rock strikes, as evidenced by some scratches on the pedal body. Luckily I've not broken or bent a single pin, though replacement should be easy as they thread in from the backside. Bearings are still fresh, with a slight resistance that doesn't let the body spin like my head from Instagram loam FOMO.
Hope F22 Flat pedal 269 CAD / 145 GBP / 180.00 EU / 183 USD // 360g/pair
/ Hope Union TC Pedal 274 CAD / 150 GBP / 185.00 EU / 190.00 USD // 450g/pair
Age - 38
Height - 182cm/6ft
Weight - 92kg/205lb
Ape Index - 1.035
Inseam - 32"/81cm
Bar Width - 780-800mm
Preferred Reach - 475-500mm