Hope Fortus 26 - Pro 4
As the name suggests, the Fortus 26 – Pro 4 wheelset uses a relatively narrow 26mm internal-width alloy rim laced to Hope’s stalwart Pro 4 hubs.
The wheels use 32 Sapim Race J-bend spokes with reliable brass nipples.
The hubs aren’t available with Shimano’s Micro Spline 12-speed driver at time of writing, but they’re otherwise hard to fault.
The hubs on the Hope Fortus 26 – Pro 4 have good engagement and pedal pickup. Georgina Hinton
With 44 points of engagement, they offer quick enough pedal pickup that I never wished for faster engagement.
The axles and freehub are smooth-running and low in friction when turned by hand, and when taken apart they appear to be particularly well sealed and generously greased.
Hope enjoys an enviable reputation for reliability and customer service, and so far my experience has found that to be the case.
My test wheels are showing no signs of wear. Georgina Hinton
Hope Fortus 26 – Pro 4 ride impressions
Testing with 2.5in Maxxis Wide Trail tyres (which are designed for 30 to 35mm wide rims), there is just a touch more tyre-squirm when pushing hard into berms than with wider (30mm) rims. But if you want to run bigger rubber, these aren’t the wheels I’d recommend.
However, for tyres that come up too square on a 30mm rim, the narrower width can create a more predictable cornering feel.
The Hope Fortus 26 – Pro 4 has a measured internal rim width of 25.6mm. Georgina Hinton
The wheels remain quiet and unphased when clattering through rough rocks and they offer a relatively smooth ride quality when testing over chattery trails.
The Fortus 26 wheelset should last well too, based on my experience of the hubs and the hefty rims, which have a particularly thick sidewall, with mine showing no signs of damage.
You can buy lighter for less and, on balance, I’d prefer a slightly wider rim, but these are a tough set of hoops with Hope’s quality hubs.