I chose the ‘downhill / heavy trail use’ Hoops because I wanted strong and reliable wheels that can take lots of miles and lots of abuse with little or no maintenance. I wanted ‘not too heavy’ as well and the Hoops fulfil all my requirements. Really lightweight wheels are not for me, I just don’t need the worry, and don’t want to be spending time with the truing stand when I need to be riding so much.

I’ve been using Hope hubs for years and am firmly convinced of their reliability. It’s easy to service them when need be and the spare parts are always easy to get hold of. It’s well worth watching the Hope maintenance videos, which clearly show you how to service pretty much anything Hope. The videos are usually a good laugh too, especially if you try to imagine how someone from America would go on, trying to understand the Lancashire accents of the Hope boys in the videos. “Just gi’ it a tap. Don’t bray it like. Just a tap”. Bang on! Not they they need much attention of course. The seals do a good job of keeping the water and grit out and the grease in.

The Pro2 Evo hubs that I have here, differ from the previous Pro2 in that they run on stainless steel bearings. Everything else stays the same, including the adaptability, which means you can change the hubs to take pretty much any type of axle you like. I’m running 20mm bolt through on the front and 135mm spaced, quick release on the back.

Hope hubs make a righteous northern racket and I love it. All other trail users are warned of your presence. This can come in really handy if you’re sessioning a bit of trail with other riders, all riding and pushing back up at different times. There’s little need to shout “rider” as long as you’re freewheeling.

The Mavic EX721 rim is a bomb proof classic. Tyres are easy to get on and off. The rim is nice and wide, allowing big volume tyres a good footprint. So far after a few months use, including a week on the rocky trails of the Basque country in north west Spain, the wheels are still perfectly straight and the spoke tension is still good. You get 2 spare spokes included with your Hope Hoops.

I’m just left wondering why anyone would pay big money for a pair of wheels when these are so good and only £330 RRP.

Ed Oxley