A rather nice surprise turned up in the post today in the form of these Pro 3 RS-SP5.0 Carbon Hope Hoops.
Famous in off-road circles for their moving, stopping, steering and seeing components the northern brake, hub, headset, stem and light creationists are adding to their range of prebuilt MTB wheels and sneaking into the peloton with a selection of road hoops.
One down from the top-of-the-heap full-carbon-rimmed tubular wheels are these catchily named Pro 3 RS-SP5.0s which have an everyday-cyclist friendly alloy clincher braking surface built into the 50mm deep-section 3K carbon aero rim, super stiff and aerodynamic the aero section is a structural part rather than just an add-on fairing as found on some other wheels.
Angled drillings on the dedicated 20 hole front and 24 hole rear rims are used for better alignment of the Sapim CX Ray SP aero spokes allowing truer building with the internally hidden Polyax alloy nipples and promote a longer life, or so say Hope who hand lace, build and finish all the wheels in house at their Barnoldswick factory.
Spinning in the middle is the brand new Pro3 SP hub, the straight pull flange further adding to the stiff construction, and a clean low profile look. The 4 pawl 24t engagement freewheel mechanism and stainless steel bearings are the same well proven and long-lived internals that have made Hope hubs famous and favoured around the mountain bike world and the alloy freehub body is available in either Shimano or Campagnolo fit. Weights on the kitchen scales are 1079g for the rear and 936g for the front without the skewers you'll have to supply yourself, and the wallet says £900.
For those of a less spendy bent or are shy of carbon, Hope offer the Pro 3 RS-3.0 Aero, the same Pro3 SP hub and Sapim CX Ray SP spokes as their top-dollar wheelsets but laced onto a 30mm alloy aero section rim with 24 hole rear and 20 hole front drilling at £350 a pair. Or there’s the entry-level Pro 3 RS-Mono wheelset; the benchmark Mavic Open Pro rim and Sapim Sprint spokes hand laced, machine build and hand finished in house onto the Mono Pro 3 hub for 300 notes.
As soon as the Campag. freehub turns up we'll be putting these on the road bike, and then we're allowed to put the Shimano freehub back on and bolt them onto the 'cross bike. This could be fast fun.