29er Wheels: Crossmax ST vs Hope Hoops

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  • 29er Wheels: Crossmax ST vs Hope Hoops
  • Premier Icon roverpig

    Just doing some idle internet research on 29er wheels, looking for the usual moon on a stick (light, stiff, reliable, cheap etc).

    Crossmax ST seem to be well respected but cost around £200 more than, say, Hope with Arch EX and I can’t seem to find a definitive answer for what that £200 buys you.

    They are, presumably, lighter, but by how much?

    Stiffer too I guess, but I thought wheel stiffness had more to do with how they are built than the individual components. I’ve built a few road wheels in my time.

    I guess what I’m thinking is, if I took my time, used some nice light spokes, could I build a Hope+Arch wheel as light and stiff as the Crossmax ST?


    I haven’t ridden the hopes, but I do have a pair of Crossmax ST & I’m running tubeless with Maxxis Ardent LUST’s. For a big wheel they feel mighty light, they spin up to speed pretty well and are very stiff. All that said I have no benchmark to compare against with 29ers, I made my choice based on a few forum postings suggesting the hopes were a bit flexy in comparison.

    I could probably get the weight down a little further with a pair of Spesh 2Bliss tyres, but didn’t fancy ripping the sidewall out while I’m miles from home.

    Premier Icon jasonm945

    I believe the answer is no!

    Arch ex rims are heavier and not designed to have spokes pulled uber tight.


    Premier Icon davosaurusrex

    What puts me off the Mavics is the 19mm internal width. 21mm plus and I’d be sorely tempted. Thinking of Arch Ex on Pro 2 myself, is it the lack of eyelets on the Stans that prevents high tension?


    I just bought a set of Hope Hubs on Arch EX and they seem fine. Lighter than my flows on other bikes (obviously) and i got them for £225 which i was more than happy with (buddy who does trail maintenance up north where Hope give them trade prices).

    My first foray into Hope Hubs as i’m not really a fan of noisy hubs. Hopefully the hubs will last far better than the Sun Ringle Chargers i have on two other bikes that both died within a few hundred miles and needed LBS help to fix them.


    I’m currently running Easton havens which I’m pleased with so far, however, I have plans to build a pair of carbon wheels using Hope Pro 2 hubs, and rims from the Light Bicycle Company. There’s a few folk on here running 26” versions, including a friend of mine, and they do seem to rate them. A pair of 26” carbon rims on Pro2 hubs comes in at 1500g, so it should be possible to build a sub 1650g 29er carbon wheelset without breaking the bank.



    I have had both, ST’s are 1712 grams on my scales, so within margin of error what mavic quote.
    Hope Pro II evo hubs, double butted spokes and brass nipples on Arch EX built by Merlin came in at exactly 1900 grams on same scales.
    Hope/Arch combo definitely more flexible laterally, feel slower to accelerate but are close to half the price.

    The bike I have the Mavic’s on is pushed to accept very wide tyre, 2.30 bonty XR4’s seem fine on the rims.

    I don’t regret buying the Mavic’s

    Premier Icon roverpig

    Thanks Folks.

    I hadn’t spotted the limit on the spoke tension for the Arch EX rims. The Light Bicycle rims could be a better option in that regards I guess. Just not sure how easy they are to get hold of in the UK.

    Still, it looks as though it could be Crossmax ST vs Hope+Light_Bycicle_carbon now.




    I’ve ran both on my 29FS, the Hopes are good and great vfm but the ST’s are just lovely..

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex

    Hmmm, I’d been looking at the light bicycle carbons too but the am rims are around 410g each aren’t they? That’s close to the pacenti tl28s I’ve currently got, just weighed the rear with tape on ss tesla and it was 968g, not sure 1650 would be achievable or is that for the 21mm internal rims? Look to be about £260 posted, with tax say 300, pro 2s spokes etc going to be in the region of £600?
    Still sorely tempted by e13 trs+ for 750 at just under 1800g, lot of money and LOUD freehub though…..


    I have just had a pair of Light Bike 29er wide rims (412g and 420g) built onto a set of ss tesla hubs with DT SuperComps.

    There are no eyelets and the spoke holes are not offset but they had no blemishes and were plenty stiff.

    They built up nicely with slightly more tension than would be normal with no issues around the spoke holes.

    Wheel weights with no valve or tape were 932 and 833 so 1765g overall.

    Cost wise it came in at £525 including the build by http://www.bikewheelguy.co.uk/index.html

    I have gorilla taped them and have a set of Nobby Nics on tubeless with no sealant and no leaks.

    Off to North Wales for 4 days this weekend so can feedback some more info then.

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex

    Mbnut – not a huge weight saving over the TL28s on Teslas SS do for £260 then although think the spokes on the SS are lighter, not sure by how much though – be interested to know what they ride like. What other wheels have you ridden to compare them to? Good luck with the Teslas, my rear one has just gone pop for the second time in 200 miles (first time was first ride with less than 10 miles), I’ve given up on them now…..


    The Pacenti TL28s were a little soft and didn’t ride as stiff as I like, i’m 14st kitted and ride everything from xc, enduro and some uplift days on the one bike (Transition Bandit 29 ’12).

    Went with the rims as a punt really, hoping they work out so that further sets can be built.

    As for the Tesla, I hope I have more luck than you… I have a set that have been good as gold built onto a P35 (Pacenti Velocity) that gets a serious kicking on the back of my Sov and take care of winter duties and they have been fine…. I will be gutted if the new wheelset falls apart that quickly!!

    As for other wheels… i have ridden most…. my dream is that one day Mavic will make a decent width rimmed SX.

    Anyone got experience of the Easton haven 29er wheels?


    Ok so a quick update…

    I ran the wheels over the weekend.

    Rode Llandegla Friday, plenty of air on the jump sections with mostly good landings… no problems.

    Coed y Brenin Saturday, Fox trail ridden at mild pace with the odd balls out section, no problems. The beast in the afternoon, rode the whole thing in under 2 hours 35 minutes and gave it some stick on some sections, flowed others, at one point I was dropping my seatpost at the wrong moment so banged through the travel and felt the rear rim hit the deck hard… no air burp and no problems… phew.

    Decided not to ride this bike at Antur Sunday but I did give it a full bore effort at penmachno Monday and I was pretty hard on the wheels…. no problems.

    Just cleaned the bike and checked the wheels, they are straight with even spoke tension, there are no marks or cracks around the spokes or at the outer edge of the rim.

    I ran the 2.35 Nobby Nics at 22psi front and 25psi rear. I popped a tube in for an hour before going tubeless, they both went up easily then with no air loss even without jollop.

    Overall I am chuffed with my rims and wheels in general.

    Groundskeeper… I have been tempted by the Eastons and at £359 at the moment they look good but I have never spoken to an owner that hasn’t had to nurse the hubs and that is a best case scenario so I have resisted.

    Mbnut-the reports about hub failure etc made me decide against the crc havens and go for hope hoops!


    I have a set of hoops that have seen long service… still straight and spinning… bit noisey for me but they work!

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex

    Good info Mbnut, thanks. Bit late for me though as a spanking pair of e13 TRS+ should be with me tomorrow. Will report back when I’ve got a few miles on them.

    For info I weighed my Pacenti TL28 29ers on Superstar Tesla earlier, 1855g with rim tape and 20mm adaptors.

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