Bend's thriving mountain biking community just got a shot of adrenaline. As of June, the internationally established mountain bike components manufacturer, Hope Technology, has opened its U.S. assembly division in our backyard. The company designs, manufactures, and tests nearly every part of a mountain bike and accepts custom orders from avid cross-country riders as well as elite downhill competitors. They also provide a new, local resource for after-market mountain bike components.
Phil Dean and Dennis Yuroshek are the brain and brawn behind Hope Technology of Bend. Dean communicates directly with the original overseas branch of Hope Technology, placing custom orders once a week to be assembled in the Bend shop. While Dean recently relocated from Houston to pursue this endeavor, Yuroshek is quite a few years removed from his New Jersey roots. He is active in Bend's mountain biking community; he has raced competitively and has put in time wrenching at local bike shops. This month, he happens to be featured on the cover of Decline magazine.
Yuroshek, 29, is alone and already busy with orders when I arrive at the Hope Technology workspace. Assuming he's groggy from participating in Bend's 4th of July Freedom Ride the day before, I offer him coffee. He smiles and declines my offer, saying, "I'm too young for coffee. I've always been too young for coffee."
If you were to judge his age by the one-handed wheelie he's performing in his Instagram photo, he's perpetually eleven. Even without the American flag attire, it's obvious, he is pure passion and freedom on wheels. "That's what riding a bike is all about," he tells me.
Hope Tech embraces this desire. Twenty-five years ago, the company was started in the United Kingdom by two former Rolls Royce Aerospace employees, who decided to embark on a similar journey toward freedom. They've been creating high-quality bicycle components for professional and amateur mountain bikers ever since.
Just as Hope Tech is constantly pushing the envelop for mountain biking, Yuroshek is doing the same in his own right. He describes to me this evolution though a neatly groomed beard and a grin. It started too young to remember. Riding with friends. Someone – probably Yuroshek—got the brilliant idea to lay a piece of plywood over a brick. The pile of bricks grew until the riders were launching themselves over garbage cans.
Despite numerous fractures and scars, Yuroshek has gone on to compete in the Downhill and Enduro circuits. From his 1974 Schwinn, which he brings out on special occasions, to the unicycle that sits like an easter egg in the corner of the Hope Tech shop, he can and will ride anything with wheels. If it were up to him, it would all be outfitted with Hope Tech components.
The entire process, from state-of-the-art design, to Yuroshek's meticulous assembly, is based on quality and efficiency. Hope Technology works with many of the local bike shops, including The Hub and WebCyclery. Hope Tech's new Bend location is not a traditional shop that you'd wander into carrying a deflated tire or tweaked handlebars. Most of their orders are shipped out, or delivered directly. Customers can order and upgrade practically any part of their mountain bike through hopetech.com. The process is simple. A custom order will be made. Yuroshek and Dean will personally assemble your components. And you'll be back on the trails in no time—faster than ever.