Hope Hoops Pro 2 Evo / Mavic EN521 mountain bike wheelset review£330.00

Top-quality package

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Hope’s Hoop wheel buffet combines their long-lived and versatile hubs with whatever rims you fancy in a top-quality, hand-built format at an excellent price. The result is unbeatable. We normally test the lightweight Hope Hoops options that use Stan’s rims, but this time we've gone for Mavic’s totally bombproof EN521 rim – it’s heavier than the latest trail rims, but then it’s stronger than most downhill rims.

The 21mm internal rims pinch anything fatter than 2.35 a bit narrow, but they’re easy to convert and rarely dent or wobble. Hope also offer lighter, broader Stan’s and DT Swiss rim options at the same price. All their wheels are hand finished to order in their Lancashire factory using top-quality Sapim spokes. The new Pro 2 Evo hub is a significant upgrade for all-mountain uses too. The old rear axle, which had frequent snapping problems when used with cutaway Maxle Lite 12mm axles has been replaced with a larger diameter, thicker walled piece.

You can now change between different axle standards with pull off/ push on end caps rather than a complete axle rebuild as before. You get the stainless steel cartridge bearings of the Pro 3 hub as standard too, with noticeably faster spin from the lower drag seals than before. Make sure you tighten cassettes on firmly though, in order to stop freehub spline damage.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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