HOPE FORTUS 30 PRO 5 E WHEEL REVIEW
DEPENDABLE HOPE HOOPS
Words & Photos by Robert Johnston
Hope hubs have been synonymous with durability and no-nonsense performance for many years at this point. However, their Pro 4 hubs had begun to be a little long in the tooth, lacking the quick pick up that many riders are demanding these days. The Pro 5 hubs aim to change that, offering considerably faster engagement but still packing what Hope intends to be some bombproof reliability. I was excited to give the Ebike version of the Hope Fortus 30 Pro 5 wheels a real durability test, and they’ve come out the other side begging for more abuse.
Hope offers a variety of wheelsets to cater to the needs of different styles of riders, from burly mountain bike wheels to carbon cyclocross and road wheels. All of these wheelsets are machine built and hand finished in Barnoldswick, United Kingdom, and feature Hope’s latest and greatest hubs at the center. The Fortus 30 Pro 5 Ebike wheelset tested uses their Fortus 30 alloy rim and Pro 5 Ebike hubs, which are laced together with 32 black J-bend Sapim Race double butted stainless steel spokes with brass nipples. These 29” wheels with the steel freehub body tipped the scales at 1188g/2.62lbs (f) and 1428g/3.15lbs (r), giving a total wheelset weight of 2616g/5.77lbs excluding rim tape and valves. Retail prices are £190.00 / $240.27 (ex tax) and £310.00 / $392.00 (ex tax) respectively, totaling £500 / $632.27 (ex tax).
Fortus 30 Rim | The Fortus 30 is a 30mm internal width rim made with 6061 T6 aluminum. To boost durability, the joint is welded and there are eyelets in the spoke holes, with a triple cavity extrusion to boost stiffness and strength. The 30mm internal diameter is best suited to a 2.4” to 2.8” tire, with a 35mm external width and 23mm profile depth. The rims are tubeless compatible with the supplied valves and tubeless tape. The Hope Fortus 30 rims are available in 26”, 27.5” or 29”, with the 29” rim tipping the scales at a burly 720g.
Pro 5 Rear Hub | The Hope Pro 5 hubs received a major redesign from the outgoing Pro 4 hubs, aiming to boost both durability and engagement. The standard Pro 5 rear hub features a quick 3.3° engagement thanks to the 54T ratchet ring and 6 offset pawls (with two sets of three pawls engaging at any one time); whereas the Steel freehub bodies used on the Pro 5 Ebike uses 6 pawls which engage simultaneously on the 54T ratchet ring to give 6.7° engagement.
Other than the steel freehub body on the Pro 5 Ebike, these hubs are identical, with an updated labyrinth seal on the freehub that is said to produce zero drag; new wire cut pawls; updated springs, and a new hub body profile designed to increase stiffness without adding weight. Hope prides themselves on ease of service, and uses interchangeable end spacers to swap between different frame and axle standards. The Pro 5 hubs can be had in 6 bolt or centerlock brake fittings with 24 to 36 hole drillings in J-bend or straight pull; and with any style of common freehub body. The Pro 5 Ebike hub is 32h J-bend and 6 bolt only as standard, with steel freehub bodies available in any common standard. The Hope Pro 5 is available in a choice of six colors, with a retail price of £220.00 or $278.21 (ex tax).
Pro 5 Front Hub | The Pro 5 front hub has received a larger spoke flange over the Pro 4 to increase wheel stiffness with minimal weight increase. Machined from a forged 2014 T6 aluminum billet and fitted with sealed stainless steel cartridge bearings, the Pro 5 front hub is designed to offer pure reliability. All major options are catered for, with the Boost 110 hub featuring widened flange spacing to maximize stiffness and strength from the available space. The same color and spoke hole offerings are present as in the Pro 5 rear hub, with a retail price of £95.00 or $120.12 (ex tax).
There’s no mistaking the no-nonsense durability on offer with the Hope Fortus 30 Pro 5 Ebike wheelset. The weight gives this notion away out of the box, and the sentiments continue through mounting up the tires, with the beads popping into place with minimal fuss and a slightly damped tone. Replacing a set of Mavic E-Deemax wheels, the Hope wheels immediately stood out for their reassuring feeling both when stamping on the gas and when pushing the bike hard.
Pickup on the hub is reasonably quick, but certainly not groundbreaking in terms of speed. However, the standout notion is the lack of complaint as the wheels pick up – with some lesser wheels on an eBike, you get a resonance or even some wind-up flex as you unleash the full torque of an eMTB motor, but the Hopes don’t flinch as the freehub engages. Because the pickup is fairly quick, it also feels smoother than a lower POE hub since the cassette has less time to accelerate and the pawls then hit the ratchet ring at a lower speed. This means you start accelerating forward slightly quicker too. Thanks to 85Nm of torque, acceleration in the high power modes of full power eBike systems isn’t notably affected by the increased weight of the wheels, however you can certainly feel it down in your Eco mode, so it’s worthwhile considering your typical usage and where your values are.
If you can get on with the slightly decreased acceleration in lower power modes, then you’re sure to enjoy the descending experience – Hope has put together a reassuringly sturdy feeling wheelset without any harshness creeping in. Instead, they’re simply predictable and durable, surviving a high degree of punishment without denting or coming out of true over the test. Of course, there’s always the possibility that you’ll manage to hit a rock in the right way to create damage, but so far these have shrugged off some wince-inducing impacts without showing any signs. There’s not been a hint of a skip, a reduction in rolling speed or a need to get out the spoke key, and for that I’ve been very thankful. Pulling the freehub off revealed an impressively clean inside, so much so that I didn’t bother replacing the grease and instead simply stuck it back together. Hope has put together a stellar burly eBike wheelset in the Fortus 30 Pro 5 Ebike wheels, and though I wouldn’t likely recommend a regular mountain biker to add this level of weight to their wheels, it’s a no brainer to have a sturdy wheelset equipped on a burly full power eMTB. Considering their potential lifespan and the money that could be saved on replacement parts in the long run, the price tag seems quite reasonable too.
The Wolf’s Last Word
On a full power eMTB, a burly wheelset is nigh-on essential to support hard charging, and Hope has put together a stellar offering that is very heavy but similarly durable to match with a great blend of handling characteristics. Overall the Hope Fortus 30 Pro 5 Ebike wheelset is an aggressive e-mountain biker’s friend, and I can safely recommend it.
Front – £190.00 // $240.27 (ex tax)
Rear – £310.00 // $392.00 (ex tax)