Weight: 146g / 1-year warranty / Colours: silver, black, red and blue / 1 1/8in only / Contact: Hope 01282 851200
The only British made headset on test, or on the market for that matter. A set of custom made Japanese INA stainless steel cartridge bearings are plugged into the 2014 series aluminium cups. They’re protected by four O-ring seals; one on the crown race and upper cover, two more shrouding the compression ring and top washer. Hope says the bearings are slightly angular contact, so are more effective at handling front loading but it’s contamination that wrecks bearings, hence the extra seals.
Included with all Hope headsets is a Head Doctor compression device, which replaces the Star Fangled nut. It’s only 7g heavier but is easier to install (with a 8mm Allen key) and is reusable.
Although slightly industrial looking the Hope unit has quality bearings, belt and braces sealing and should last several seasons.
MBR rating: 9/10