Weight: 114g / Colours: black, silver, red, blue, gunsmoke and gold / Warranty one year / Integrated and zero stack £60 / Contact: www.hopetech.com
Hope recently revamped its headset range and now uses the same type of headset in standard, step down, zero stack and integrated designs. All of them use the same bearing, which is great for the consumer because they’re better value (£15 each) and a Hope dealer is likely to stock them. With the new design, tolerances also don’t have to be as tight so the bearings run smoother and the wedge-shaped washers can accommodate discrepancies between the frame and steerer tube, making things easier to set up.
Like all the best headsets our sample came with the split crown race. We like these because they make switching forks easy, and for consumers they mean you don’t have to whack the race off with a hammer and screwdriver.
Hope gets Swiss firm INA to custom-make the bearings; these are not off the shelf but neither are they an odd size, which means at a push you could fit an FSA bearing into a Hope headset. Three 0.2mm washers are included to lift the taper ring cover slightly so that it doesn’t bind and cause friction. If you need a bit of extra clearance for fork dials this headset can also be upgraded with Hope’s 3mm extended crown race.
Since we’ve just fitted this headset to a long-term test rig we’ll be updating this test at some point in the future but there’s no doubting if you buy Hope you’re guaranteed good quality, superb machining and a product you can easily move from bike to bike.