Hope Hoops Evo 2 SP Crest wheelset review£350.00

Reliable, lightweight package

BikeRadar score3/5

Hand-built in Lancashire, these wheels are cracking value – if you can keep them taut. The hubs use stainless steel bearings and labyrinth seals for legendary reliability and can be configured for every current axle standard, but they’re heavy and the loud, average engagement freehub is a love/hate rider divider.

Hope offer chunky Mavic 719 UST 29er rims or these sub-400g Crests for easy acceleration and direction change. They support up to 2.3in tyres, but getting tyres onto the broad, shallow rim section can be a test of your profanity vocabulary.

You need to buy the sealed rim strips and valves separately, but sealing is easy once you’ve wrestled the tyres into place.

The complete wheels are a massive bargain. However, despite 32 Sapim Sprint spokes hand-laced into block flanges on the SP hubs, our sample pair isn’t the first set of rather soft and baggy Hope Hoops we’ve had recently.

The rims are in the flexy cross-country rather than tough trail camp; even once we’d retightened the wheels they slurred rather than sliced in cornering and tracking terms. Their softness also undermined power response, confirming they’re best suited to lighter, less powerful riders.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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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