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Hope Fortus 30 wheelset review

Aimed at the privateer enduro or DH racer, the Fortus 30 has big shoes to fill

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £460.00 RRP | USD $585.00 | EUR €565.00
Hope Fortus 30 mountain bike wheelset

Our review

A solid, dependable pair of wheels that should last years
Pros: Easy to inflate; tons of options for those looking to colour-match their bike; predictable ride feel on the trail; good value
Cons: Weighty; they don’t come pre-taped; freehub finish was marginally tighter than others
Skip to view product specifications

Like DT Swiss, Hope offers a broad range of wheels and its Fortus line spans everything from narrow 23mm-rimmed alloy XC wheels through to 35mm-wide hoops aimed at riders looking for a wheel to support super-wide rubber.

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The Fortus 30 is made from 6061 T6 aluminium, has a 30mm internal rim width and is designed for chunky enduro and DH rubber.

As you’d expect from Hope, there is a ton of options, including 26in, 27.5in and 29in diameters, quick-release (QR) to through-axle adaptabilities plus six hub colour options.

Hope Fortus 30 specifications and details

While there are many Fortus 30 builds available, my test set has a 29in diameter with Boost hub caps and a Shimano Micro Spline freehub.

I measured the internal width of the rim at 29.8mm, so bob-on for a 30mm claimed width.

The rims don’t arrive taped, though tape and valves are included – as is an alcohol wipe to clean the rim before you apply the tape.

Hope Fortus 30 mountain bike wheelset
I had to apply the tape myself, but it was easy to do and came in the box ready to apply.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

A pre-taped rim would be preferable as bubbles and creases are a hazard. However, the symmetrical rim, with its central well, makes applying the non-flexible tape as easy as it could be.

The rim well isn’t the deepest around, however the outer diameter of the rim wall was one of the shallowest, which means getting tyres on and off proved relatively easy.

With a shallow rim depth and an exterior rim wall that quickly angles in towards the spokes, it’s easy to get a tyre lever between rim and tyre bead and hook it over the rim wall, should you find yourself with a tight bead.

Access to the hub bearings is easy, with the standard non-wobbly end caps easily (but not too easily) pulling off.

We’ve had issues with ‘torque cap’ end caps being a bit too loose on some Hope Pro 4 hubs, though, which makes getting the front wheel in between fork dropouts a bit fiddly.

Being a Hope product, spares are well supported and I’m confident you’ll be able to run this generation Pro 4 hub for many years.

Hope Fortus 30 mountain bike wheelset
With an 8-degree engagement angle, pickup is quick.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

It’s a similar story at the rear, with an easily removable freehub body. I did find that the machining on the Micro Spline freehub was a touch tight out of the box.

The main body of my Shimano cassettes slid on easily, but the individual sprockets seemed to have quite a tight fit – on other wheels, I didn’t have this issue with the same cassettes.

Hope Fortus 30 performance

At 2,445g for the pair, these are the heaviest wheels I had on test. The payback is reliability.

The 32/32 spoke numbers build into a pair of wheels that proved stiff enough not to feel noodly, but with 2.6in tyres they also avoided being harsh. I didn’t notice any undue pinging or creaking from the build, and they stayed true throughout.

Hope Fortus 30 mountain bike wheelset
Hope’s Pro4 hubs are legendary for their adaptability, serviceability and reliability.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The Pro 4 is a hub that has won many fans, thanks to its ease of maintenance and very clicky freehub that warns other trail users of your presence from afar.

The 8.2-degree engagement angle gives the wheels a reactive feel under snaps of power, which I like.

Hope Fortus 30 mountain bike wheelset
I found mouting tyres nice and easy.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

While not a marker of poor quality, I dented the rim wall in testing. However, they weren’t the only wheels to suffer this fate.

The tyre remained inflated and locked into the bead. It’s a simple job to straighten the rims out, should you wish to do it yourself.

Hope Fortus 30 bottom line

If weight is a factor for you, then 2,445g for the Fortus 30s will likely put you off.

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However, if Hope’s legendary backup, multiple hub options and clicky freehub appeal, then on the basis of this test I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

How we tested

Wheels are a pretty pricey upgrade, so we put 12 trail/enduro sets to the test to find out if there’s an inherent benefit to pricey carbon fibre hoops or is alloy better for hard-hitting rims?

The wheelsets were taken on back-to-back runs down selected tracks in the Welsh woods and at BikePark Wales. They were pummelled over and into rocks and drops, turns and berms, and off-camber roots.

To keep things fair, all our testing was done on the same bikes, both hardtail and full-sus, with the same tyres (thanks Specialized!) at the same pressures.

We tested 29in wheels, but most are offered in 650b versions too. While we predominantly ran 2.6in rubber, we also slung some 2.3in tyres on, and we varied the pressures between test sessions to see what difference we could feel.

Bikes shouldn’t be a pain to live with, so we took into account the ease with which tyres could be fitted and inflated. Likewise, we considered how easy it was to access bearings and swap freehubs, too.

Also on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €565.00GBP £460.00USD $585.00
Weight 2,445g (29") – as tested per set
Brand Hope technology

Features

Features Weight (f): 1,171g
Weight (r): 1,274g
External width: 35mm
Engagement angle: 8.2 degrees
Brake type Disc
Freehub Shimano Micro Spline
Hubs Hope Pro 4
Rim depth 23mm
Rim internal width 29.8mm
Rim material Aluminium
Spoke count 32 front, 32 rear
Spokes Black Sapim Race stainless steel double butted
Tubeless compatibility Tubeless compatible
Wheel size 29in/700c