Weight without skewers: 1,672g / No skewers supplied
The new Pro III SP (straight pull) hubs from Hope are only available as part of the Pro III wheelset. Both hubs use Swiss-manufactured stainless steel cartridge bearings, and to save weight the front hub is only available in a 9mm QR version. This means there is no retrofit 20mm bolt-through conversion kit available. On the rear the Pro III gets the proven Pro 2 ratchet system, where the old blue lip seal has been replaced by a labyrinth seal to reduce drag.
High spring pressure on the pawls gives the Hope freehub a reassuring bite, but it’s by far the noisiest on test. So, if you poach illegal trails or ride on footpaths and like to go undetected, you may want to look elsewhere. The flipside is that no one can use the excuse that they didn’t hear you coming.
Hope has combined straight-pull DT triple-butted Super Comp spokes with DT XR4.2d rims to come up with a package that weighs almost 200g less than the old Hope Pro2/4.2d combination. Ditching the brass nipples for alloy ones would have reduced the weight of the Pro III wheelset by a further 25g per wheel (at the rim) without driving up the price or compromising reliability. But Hope stuck with brass, as it wanted a package that was easy to service.
The only issue with the straight-pull spokes is that they have a tendency to rotate when you try to tension them, so you’ll have to get yourself a spoke grabber. We had no problems getting tyres on or off the XR4.2d rims, and because they have a 19mm internal width you can easily run fatter tyres without them rolling on the rim. What we love about the Hope Pro III wheelset is that if anything goes wrong replacement parts are easily sourced and you’re not locked in to one rim. In fact the Pro IIIs come supplied with four spare spokes, rim tape and fresh decals. Ding a rim and the chances are most shops will have a DT XR4.2d rim in stock. The Pro IIIs are bombproof and offer a very rigid ride both laterally and radially, so if it’s comfort you’re after, try something with fewer spokes.
MBR RATING: 9/10