(You probably guessed, but this story is one of a few April fools articles live on BikeBiz.com today.)
With the growing number of rear frame widths being launched and frustration in the market, Hope has quite rightly identified the need for a future proof rear hub.
After several ideas were tested the final solution proved to be very simple, explains Alan Weatherill. "Inspired by the infinite adjustability of "pump" trainers from Reebok we fitted an expanding air cylinder inside the hub. This cylinder allows the hub to be adjusted to fit all current and future width standards.
"The Barometric Uni-Laterally Level Structured Horizontal Internal Tube forms the basis for our patented design. This unit is built into the central section of our iconic Pro2 hub and the user simply inflates it until the desired width is achieved. The hubs are designed to suit all frames from 130 to 200mm widths."
One current restriction when using conventional spokes is that the wheel must be rebuilt if the hub width is altered although Hope are also working on a new semi-elastic spoke which will allow for the widening of the flanges with changing spokes.
During the research Hope also discovered an additional benefit when installing this new hub. If the hub is inflated with helium the rider can also reduce to overall weight of the hub.
"We see these new hubs as a genuine "fix all" solution to the current minefield that surrounds bicycle frame design," concludes Weatherill.