Lancashire hub masters Hope have now started building their own wheelsets with DT rims and spokes.
The EX 5.1 is DT's all-rounder rim with a 500g weight keeping each wheel XC agile, but also offering reliability, strength and enough width for tyres up to 2.5in. Hope's new Pro II hubs are great all-rounders too - you can switch between axle types (QR or 20mm front, QR, 9, 10 or 12mm rear) easily and they're very well sealed.
Hope's wheels are hand-built to a very high standard - our wheelset, made with 32 double-butted spokes, stayed round and true during our test period - and they represent a good saving over buying the parts separately.
If you're looking for wheels that will take a few drops and jumps in their stride, but won't hold you back on a day in the hills, there are several options worth considering. The top one is Hope's Pro II hub/DT 5.1 rim combo. This wheelset offers great hub versatility, lightweight rapid-response performance and enough strength to tackle the trail head-on without any problems.
Alternatively, you could consider these options... Chain Reaction's DT Freeride set-up is massively strong, fat tyre friendly and easy to maintain at a crazy fully built price that's way less than the separate bits should cost. Also, Mavic's CrossMax XL wheelset is light enough to really speed up your bike, but it will sting your wallet badly.