Rear Hubs: Hope Pro 2 vs Shimano XT. Worth 3x the price, or just hype?

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  • Rear Hubs: Hope Pro 2 vs Shimano XT. Worth 3x the price, or just hype?
  • robware
    Member

    Beyond not being a cup and cone hub, more points of engagement, and interchangeable axles is there any reason why you’d pick a Hope hub over a Shimano XT hub? Would you say it’s worth the triple price tag?

    Given the complete lack of maintenance I’ve given my rear Hope Pro2 in 5 years of use in all conditions I’d say yes.

    There are very few bits and pieces I’d have on my bikes no matter what and Hope hubs are one of those things.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    Not really, but you have to accept that you will be stripping and re-greasing bearings and occasionally replacing goosed freehubs. I’m happy with that level of maintenance.

    robj20
    Member

    Same mine just keep on surviving, been through a couple of frames, forks and drivetrains but the hubs are still going strong. I have changed the rear bearings but only to change to a XD freehub.

    cyclistm
    Member

    If your prepared to strip them every 6 months shimano are spot on. Otherwise go for hope and change bearings when they seize

    Given the complete lack of maintenance I’ve given my rear Hope Pro2 in 5 years of use in all conditions I’d say yes.

    +1. I’ve had Shimano and Superstar on other bikes and they’ve both needed attention, while my Hopes have ticked (literally) on and on.

    It’ll be more like 5x at online prices is it? I had the same dilemma recently as I’m building a disc braked road bike, XT hubs look really bloody good and amazing value but you can abuse the Hopes, no maintenance reqd just pop in new bearings every 5 years or so. I went with Hope.

    Edit- XT also come with skewers, easily the best QR’s made.

    My last set last a good 5 years of hard riding with zero issues, even when I got my new wheels again with pro 2 hubs the old ones were still working fine. At the end of the day Hope stuff is more expensive to start with but lasts so much longer, take my 8 year old Hope M4s, still going with zero issues in all that time so I’ve more than got my money out of them.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I dunno, I’ve got 2 pairs of Pro2’s. On the one hand they’re completely rebuildable, and if yo get a major failure like a split hub then Hope’s customer service is A1 for replaing it and rebuilding the wheel. So they can be considered a hub for life, but they’ve been nowhere near as good as Hope hubs of old. My XC and Bulb hubs really do/did go on forever. My Pro2’s don’t. One split in half on my winter XC bike (so pretty light use), the springs/pawls don’t seem great on my commuter, it feels like it’s skipping gears so it probably needs some attention before they fail entirely, and the bearings don’t seem to last as long as they did in XC’s, even comparing similar quality aftermarket bearings, so i guess it’s something in the design thats just not as good.

    Compared to XT. Well XT needs TLC every few months, and they’re not enirely rebuildable, but if you look after them then the bearings last indefinately, and the freehubs last 2 years or so. And by which point you’ll probaly want new rims anyway so binning the lot isn’t a problem.

    If you don’t need a 142mm axle, I’d get a bulb, if you don’t need bolt through at all get an XC. IME they’re much better hubs.

    robware
    Member

    Just took another look. Was working off some (rather out) mental figures, but on CRC Hope is 4x XT.

    The lack of maintenance makes Hope a tempting proposition. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had to redo the cone lock nut because I could still feel some play after re-greasing.

    The one thing that did bother me about the Hope QR hub is the lack of skewer, but as I’m currently running an XT that’s not an issue.

    g5604
    Member

    Had xt & hope, would always go with hope now. The XT were fine and great value, but they do require a lot more maintenance – get any serious water in them and they need a re-grease and fiddle with a cone spanner.

    scotroutes
    Member

    My fatbike has an XT rear hub that is now 3 years old and I’ve regreased it once. I don’t know where this concept of constant maintenance comes from. My tourer has XTR, has done several thousand miles and the hub are like new.

    I have Pro2 hubs on other bikes too, so not anti-Hope in any way.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    I’m not sure, I have 3 sets of wheels with proII evo hubs (one newer 40t and one older) and have used the XT hubs in the past.

    Big advantage for me with the ProIIs is being able to cheaply and quickly swap between axle standards, which makes them better value if you think you will change frame or fork, or want to use on different frames.

    Other than that, they work but have some annoying features like a rubbish freehub seal and a propensity for said seal to pop off and be near impossible to reseat, unless you happen to have a chain whip and cassette tool with you.

    XT are good value though, and cheap to service.

    g5604
    Member

    scotrouters how many miles are you putting on your fatbike? I did a year of commuting 5k+ with XT hubs in all weathers and they needed to be regreased every month, that said these were second hand, so god knows how many miles they had in them, it’s also a easy job to do that costs next to nothing.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I’d say it comes down to user serviceability and the general longevity of the hub.

    If you get 3x the working life from a 3x pricier hope hub Vs a shimano then yeah, it’s worth it.

    But that needs qualifying, both will require some sort of maintenance/looking after it’s simply that an XT hub will need the user to be more on the ball, checking cones for wear, and adjusting as required to prevent them getting shagged out, where a hope will roll on and eventually inform you that you’ve reached the acceptable level of neglect with grindy bearings, at which point you simply knock the old bearings out and press in fresh ones a relatively simple, infrequent task that most people could manage…

    If you have the time and can be arsed with the frequent, relatively simple preventative maintenance tasks then shimano’s are good VFM, but if not then Hope are a better choice… it’s all down to the type of user you are, just be honest with yourself.

    I’ve had generally good service life from both manufacturer’s hubs, but I tend to keep an eye on stuff like bearings, not everyone does TBH…

    jimc101
    Member

    Never got all this maintenance required with Shimano hubs still have an old 737 from around 1996 which was used over multiple winters which has never been serviced and is still as smooth as the day it was bought, the only reason it’s not used now is the frame it was on broke.

    Have multiple XT, LX & XTR hubs of different generations, all used to different extents, non need maintenance. Cheap and come with skewers is a big plus as well, although the weight isn’t so good with them.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Shimano front hubs are OK, main problem with the rear is the freehub, they used to last pretty well but the fat axle wheelset had flaky freehubs that didn’t last very well (I got through a couple and replacements aren’t cheap) dunno if standard hubs have this issue.

    Add in the lack of axle options, weight (hope aren’t particularly light but they were still lighter than xt last time I looked) and the fact that if you leave servicing a bit late with shimano they’re shagged, hope is probably worth the extra for many. My Xt front wheel is still going strong after 6yrs, see whether it outlives my last qr fork.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Interchangeable axles is one of the best things going. Only costing a few quid to go 135 QR to 142×12 etc. is great. Bearing changes are easy and they just work.

    Junkyard
    Member

    I have Hope and XT
    My XT are on my winter SS bike

    Odd re grease and that is it

    In use very little difference though you do need to fettke then twice a year for about 20 minutes.
    I would have no problem having either and if lack of funds were an issue I would plump for XT

    they are also mercifully silent unlike **** Hopes

    rocketman
    Member

    Am not a fan of Shimano but I do like their hubs

    Last time I looked I had to scout around for a 20mm 6-bolt front and a 12mm rear. They do exist but folk question why anyone would want anything other than Hope.

    enfht
    Member

    XT hubs spin so freely you can literally make a cup of tea and its still spinning when you’re finished. The energy Hope hubs need for all those clicks has to come from somewhere..

    Hope for the ham-fisted otherwise go XT as they’re very easy to maintain ime.

    cyclistm
    Member

    I wouldn’t say XT need constant maintenance, but You do need to service them before they need maintenance otherwise you need new cones etc. some of the bits can only be bought as axle kits now, which makes servicing them a little more expensive than when you could get the parts individually

    philjunior
    Member

    g5604 that does sound like an awful lot of maintenance, in recent history I’ve only had Shimano on the front of the commuter but for a similar mileage maybe regrease every year or two (more out of guilt than anything not working).

    I used to get through Shimano freehubs like nobody’s business. In the space of 2 years or so when I rode a lot and used them, I had a maximum of 3 months and a minimum of 3 weeks out of them (running STX-RC at the time, I guess Deore equivalent)

    Scamper
    Member

    Really like the Hope `click’, but noticed my latest Pro 2 hub is way more quieter even allowing for more grease – have they changed the design?

    g5604
    Member

    I think it depends on the amount of miles you do and where you ride, I ride along the coast so in the winter it is extremely gritty / salty / wet. Also get a hose too close to a xt hub and you need to regrease.

    I think the discussion is really between cup and cone bearings and Cartridge bearings. Ther are a lot of other manufacturers that produce hubs that use cartridge bearings. If your preference is for cartridge bearings, just look for a cheaper manufacturer of hubs that use cartridge bearings then Hope.

    Personally if i had to choose between the two, i would go cup and cone, a little bit of maintenance and they would last forever, and they cost a fraction of the price.

    [list]I’m still running Hope XC hubs , in a wheel set I bought s/h 6 years back, they are about 8 years old. I replaced the bearings, springs and pawls 5 years ago, in the rear, front untouched and smooth as anything, even then the wheel bearings probably didn’t even need changing. Haven’t had to touch them since. Apart from replacing a dinged rim.
    Lost count of Shimano cups cone jobbies I rejuvenated for mates in the meantime. Hope all the way for me.

    What thisisnotaspoon said up there.. Hope Pro hubs just aren’t as reliable as old XC or Bulb ones. I’m waiting for some spokes to turn up today so I can rebuild my XC Ti bodied rear.. Guess what the front hub is? XT! I was trying to get hold of a cheap XTR rear, but the Hope became free from another bike.

    XT and Hope isn’t really a like for like comparison. The XTR rear I got in 2008, I ran it in for a few rides. Then I serviced it and replaced the balls with 10 grade chrome steel ones, and adjusted it properly (i.e. ever so slightly loose). I opened it up 5 years later, after loads of use, especially in wet weather, and it was still clean and shiny inside. A pro 2 would have been through 2-3 sets of bearings easily by then. My Hope XC ran for 8 years before needing bearings.

    If I were in your shoes, I’d get the XT, service it properly when new, and if you ever find the freehub to be grumbly, just buy another donor hub.

    Premier Icon Ben_H
    Subscriber

    I have Hope Pro & Pro 2 hubs on my bike – and my older XT M756 hubs on my wife’s bike.

    The Hope hubs have been completely hassle-free and have needed no attention or servicing whatsoever in my 10+ years of using them. (My current ones date from 2008, 2011 and 2014). I use the latest Pro 2 hubs on my “road” bike, which means they’ll see big miles.

    The XT M756s have covered around 8,000 miles without any issues, or indeed any servicing.

    The XTs are definitely *a lot* heavier and build into a reliable, but more dull feeling wheel.

    molgrips
    Member

    My mountain bikes have Pro2 – I don’t think I’ve replaced any bearings in 7 years, but they haven’t had as much use on each one as when I only had one bike. When I did, and it did everything from commuting to weekly wet epics, I got 2-3 years from a set.

    Not had any issues with Hope, and only one on XTR when I found myself in the bottom of a dip in the wrong gear. I heaved stupidly hard on the pedals and ovalised the freehub body which finished my ride that day…

    willyboy
    Member

    I had Hope and have gone back to XT. The XT hub spins for far longer than any Hope i’ve ever had, but has less pickups. It also cost me £35, instead a lot more for a new Hope.

    They don’t need servicing as often as people may suggest (unless you are an idiot with a jet wash). You can service one in less than 10 minutes without too much trouble.

    ps they are a bit heavier than Hope though.

    pps they are also nice and quiet.

    warpcow
    Member

    Outside of the changeable axles, I can’t honestly say there’s much in it. I’ve got Hopes on my main MTB because of the axle thing, but I’ve two other bikes with Deore and SLX hubs (and previously had XT on the MTB before I needed a different axle). My Deores have commuted about 2500-3000km a year in the last 5yrs or so on little more than a couple of half-hearted attempts at repacking them with grease. I guess the real problem is that I’m treating them like they were Hopes and I could just pop in new bearings when they inevitably die. The reality is that it’ll probably be new hub or wheel time. So, maybe not best suited to the lazy and careless, but they do just work mostly. Until they don’t I guess.

    mboy
    Member

    It’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other in the Hope Vs Shimano hub debate…

    Hope Pros:

    -Axle interchangability
    -Relatively forgiving of lack of maintenance and all spares readily available
    -Light(ish) weight
    -Loads of colours to choose from, and available in 28H too if required
    -They’re all 6 bolt so you know most rotors will fit without and adapter
    -Hope’s backup service has an enviable reputation

    Shimano’s Pros:

    -Cheap
    -Easy to service with just a couple of cone spanners and some grease
    -Setup well, they last a long time and spin very freely
    -Come with probably the best QR on the market included in the price.

    Hope cons:

    -Relatively expensive
    -Cartridge bearings need special tools (you can bodge them but its not recommended) to replace
    -Anodised colours known to fade over time
    -Loud freehub irritates some people

    Shimano cons:

    -Lack of axle interchangability (IMO this is the single biggest reason not to buy Shimano hubs these days, it’s unforgivable!)
    -Heavy(er than Hope)
    -Freehubs sometimes last ages, sometimes die prematurely
    -Only available in 32 or 36H
    -Only available in Black or Silver
    -If not maintained properly, the hub can go beyond economic repair very easily

    Time was that I bought a pair of XTR hubs over and above Hope, because they just lasted and lasted with literally no maintenance. As long as they were setup correctly from the off, they were fantastic, one pair lasted me 6 years (with no maintenance) and I sold them to a mate who ran them for another few years (with no maintenance) and they still span like new after that! These days though, things are different. Everything was QR front and back back then, now it’s a bit of a lottery as to which standards are used. As everything begins to settle on 15mm front and 142×12 rear on everything (including hardtails?) it will settle down again, but I’d not want to buy a hub now that limited the choice of frame I could fit it to quite simply…

    mboy
    Member

    I had Hope and have gone back to XT. The XT hub spins for far longer than any Hope i’ve ever had

    Whilst true, the extra drag inside a Hope hub is so infinitessimally small that there’s no way you will be able to notice it whilst riding. We are talking fractions of a watt here, so although correct, this argument really is clutching at straws!

    Premier Icon lovewookie
    Subscriber

    I have XT hubs, if you strip them and regrease from new then they may last. I didn;t and mine were pitted within 4 months. They still roll OK, but I was hugely disappointed with the sealing on them.

    I have had Hope hubs previoulsy, not the Pro II however. The original bearings on mine lasted well over a year, but replacements were going for 6 months before needing sorted.

    Next set of hubs may be XT again, as they are cheap, or may be circus monkey ones off ebay..as they are cheap too and have replaceable cartridge bearings.

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    Whilst true, the extra drag inside a Hope hub is so infinitessimally small that there’s no way you will be able to notice it whilst riding. We are talking fractions of a watt here, so although correct, this argument really is clutching at straws!

    Also, unloaded drag doesn’t always translate to loaded drag so don’t be fooled that a wheel that spins longer will necessarily be better once you’re actually sat on the bike.

    Premier Icon FOG
    Subscriber

    Another vote for XT. I have had them on most bikes for a while so when I went 29 , I went for an XT 29er wheelset which so far seems as good as the previous incarnations. My biggest gripe with XT is what other folk have said about the lack of axle swappability which can mean more careful fork choice and not being able to take up sudden bargains on the wrong standard.
    As for longevity I had a pair of low rent S hubs, 475 I think, that lasted for years despite abuse and poor maintenance and are still on my mate’s hack 10 years on.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Used to think it was 50:50 but my last xt hub was a bit of a ballache – just could not get it tightened up right, it kept coming loose no matter how much I tinkered with it. Sort of soured me on using them, although I’m sure it was just this one hub as I’ve used plenty in the past.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    My old Shimano were great (I’ve got an exage hub that I just retired this year after over 20 years use, and only because the rest of the bike fell apart) but I’m not convinced modern XT is really that high quality a part tbh. Nothing against cup and cone in principle though.

    I’ve no idea how people can find Hope low maintenance though, I need to replace bearings in mine more often than in any decent hub I’ve used, I’ve broken 2 axles, had to replace pawl springs a bunch of times… I’ve retired them now to occasional use only and the DTs I replaced them with probably need about 1/5th as much attention. Then again they’re more expensive.

    willyboy
    Member

    mbay/nemesis – i was just pointing out that they seem to spin more freely when unloaded.

    I was more bothered about price and ease of servicing than anything else. I would happily buy Hope’s, but i don’t think they are worth 3 times as much as an XT (if you don’t mind a bit more weight/ lack of axle changeability/ cup and cone servicing etc etc).

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