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PRESS RELEASE

Have you opened the factory yet? No one seem to have any stock of Hope products.

More and more we are being asked these questions regarding availability and supply. Although we closed following the lockdown in the UK, we slowly opened again during April with COVID secure measures in place. These measures did initially restrict our production although we gradually managed to get manufacturing back to pre COVID levels. 

By this time, the boom in cycling had really taken hold and all our distributors and retailers were clamouring for product from all their suppliers, but the story is very different in many parts of the economy. 

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Locally we are also seeing the other side of this with Rolls Royce, BAe and many of their subcontractors in the area announcing layoffs and factory closures following the huge downturn in the civilian aerospace market. 

With this at the forefront of our minds we are still very cautious in any expansion of staff and production capacity, although since the summer we have been investing in new machinery and taking on manufacturing staff to scale up the production. The total investment so far has been around £1.5 million. The factory already operated 24-7 but we are adding additional staff to some of the night shifts to help increase production. To help with efficiency we have also paused some of our new product launches, but we hope to bring these exciting new products to market sometime next year. 

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So back to the original question, why is there no stock in shops?

So back to the original question, why is there no stock in shops? Our recent expansion still has not satisfied the demand for Hope products. With our passion for keeping all production on site in Barnoldswick, there will always be a restriction on annual growth. We are still not comfortable sub-contract any of our production and losing control of quality. 

All manufacturers globally are having issues with demand outstripping supply and shops are continually searching for manufacturers and distributors who have stock. We are now receiving enquires from shops who have never dealt with us before, looking for any stock to sell. 

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Although we are shipping out around 25-30% more product than last year, we are seeing the current demand growing by well over 100%. Inevitably this mismatch will lead to shortages in some shops. We are trying to ensure products are available to all retailers and therefore to customers globally, we are sorry but there are sometimes some issues. We are not alone in this problem as all bike part manufacturers are having issues. Commercially it is a great problem to have, but reputationally not so good. Please note we still do not sell Hope products direct to consumers as we still hold huge value in the advice and expertise of your local bike shop. We are trying to keep retailers updated on delivery times, so they are still a customer's first point of contact. 

Thank you for your support and understanding at these difficult times and we look forward to being able to meet on the trails once again. 

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Photos by Roo Fowler

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iceman2058 iceman2058 10/23/2020 3:33 AM

8 comments newest first

What is the operation taking place in the last picture? It almost looks like pedal threads being cut from the back side of a crank, but that doesn't quite make sense since the tool doesn't seem to go all the way through and is being left in the threads for the next step?

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By the looks of it to the right of the picture (and the bottom as well), it might be a bushing, that's inserted into the BB axle hole to double up two cranks when putting them into the CNC to do the machining on the outer side? The threads are likely cut on the CNC anyway.

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Yeah if you look closely you can see the bolts have thru holes in them. They likely slide onto dowels on a tombstone setup for a machining op on the outside.

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But are the pair inserted into a palet thingie (I'm not versed enough in CNC terminology), put into the CNC, one crank is machined and then the crank pair is flipped over? I'd think they'd want to automate the flipping over with the palet design or by using a robot? They have automated their manufacturing line quite well...

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Can't reply to your answers anymore...

Anywho, that's clear, I've seen videos of their production and the rotating tombstones are kind of what I thought.

Hm... Are the cranks in pairs, as seen in the picture, set up like that just to have less clutter on the table? No idea why I though they'd be put into the CNC paired up like that...

So what I assume they do is install a higher number of cranks on whats called a Tombstone which sits on a pallet. The tombstones typically have 4 sides. The operator would install cranks on each side, say 5-10 cranks depending on the size of the machine. Those gold bolts are used for holding the crank and accurately locating the crank so the machine knows where it is. The first side is machined from a forging which is roughly the shape of the crank and held with whatever method they've come up with. Then the cranks are removed, gold bolts installed, and reinstalled into machine for the second operation.

I’m sure BAe and RR could turn half a million hubs if they asked...
Ps just make everything in black for 6 months or stop the slow colours and use the tanks for more black parts.

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