These tidy new BB cups from Lancashire's lathe masters promise the answer to your shortlived Hollowtech II/GXP/X-Type external bottom bracket misery. Integrated axle and crank are stiff and easy to fit, but their bearing life has been disappointing. The Hope BBs use Swiss INA double sealed bearings, with stainless steel races running either stainless steel or ceramic balls.
They are direct fit onto the crank axle rather than using shims or spacers that can cause wear-accelerating looseness, and they spin smoothly yet feel rock solid on the bike. The bearings sit behind external labyrinth and internal O ring seals and can be easily replaced when they wear out. Hope have had sets running for seven months with no problems, and ours still feel great after a gruelling winter.
Full fitting/spacer setup instructions are laser-etched onto the alloy centre tube (you even get a Hope logo on the threads). The cups have a perfect, slip-free engagement on ?tting tools and come in red, blue, silver, black, gold and gunmetal finishes. Weights are 109g for ceramic and 113g for steel.
We'll be back in a couple of months to tell you if the extra cost (£90 and £65) is worth it over existing options, but they've certainly been fantastic so far.