Hope updates a classic wheel with faster engagement, improved sealing and a host of other improvements

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Hope Fortus 30 SC Pro 5


  • Fast engagement, Solid ride feel with good zip, Rebuildable and repairable hubs, Hope’s colour options


  • Still not the lightest, More expensive than direct-sales wheels


Hope Fortus 30 SC Pro 5 wheels


Price as reviewed:

£500.00 (pair (£190 front and £310 rear))

Hope has been making hubs in Lancashire long enough that it will only mess about with a winning formula if significant improvements are on the table. Well the venerable Pro 4 has finally become the Pro 5, where the biggest shift is to a much faster engagement. The points of engagement  have gone up to 102 from 44, thanks to a new offset six-pawl freehub design with a 54t ratchet, which gives a maximum 3.5º pick-up.

There’s also improved sealing including a new flexy labyrinth seal behind the freehub body that really snaps into place, and a reduced axle diameter to accommodate larger, stronger bearings. Pawl return springs have also had tension reduced to significantly decrease rolling drag. The most obvious element of all this is not the much faster pick up and free speed, but the very different freehub sound – now quieter and higher pitched.

Flying under the radar somewhat are the improvements to Hope’s Fortus rim line-up, including this SC (single cavity) version here. This has a slimmer profile, omits some reinforcing bridges inside the rim and is a lot lighter than the regular 30mm internal Fortus rim – all ensuring it’s a far more sensible weight for a UK trail/enduro rim.

Hope Fortus 30SC Pro 5 

These Centrelock SC wheels use 32 Sapim race J-bend spokes with silver brass nipples and weigh a significant 375g less a pair than Hope’s chunky, double-walled Fortus 30 Pro 4 six-bolt wheels that we’ve tested before. Machine built and hand finished, spoke tension was good and didn’t loosen during testing, which has happened with Hope wheels previously. But the main improvement is that these SCs ride a lot better.

The lack of a double cavity inside the rim means there’s less outright rigidity, but you can’t feel any downside while riding, and the 6061 aluminium welded rim has the same wall, which we’ve always found pretty tough and dent-resistant.

Hope Fortus 30SC Pro 5 

Lighter, yet just as solid, these are the best Hope mountain bike wheels we’ve tested. They feel stiff and direct, but with a comfortable and smooth ride quality that offers a great balance between rolling speed, reasonable weight for acceleration and climbing, and sufficient toughness and impact resistance. And with that really snappy engagement, the SCs feel world’s apart from the heavy, slow, wooden old Pro 4 Fortus 30s. 

If you’re in the market for new wheels, you should also take a look at our guide to the best mountain bike wheels… and don’t forget you’ll probably want the best mountain bike tyres to go on them. 


Whether this new-found liveliness is thanks to the Pro 5 reduced freehub drag helping them spin faster, or the lower rim weight, or a combination of both is hard to tell, but the result is what matters. Having to tape the rims yourself and add valves is about our only gripe. This annoying step is time consuming and needs care to ensure you don’t create bubbles or wrinkles, which can affect tubeless sealing. That aside, this is a solid, flex-free package that doesn’t ever feel like you’re dragging around a lump, like the old Fortus did. Even the price is fair considering the overall quality. 


Weight:950g front, 1120 rear = 2,070g total
Internal rim width:30mm
Colours:Black rims, black, silver, blue, orange, purple, red
Hub options :Centrelock or 6-bolt