Hope Pro II 20mm Front Hub and Notubes ZTR 355 Review

Pro Reviews

ZTR 355 rim

To keep with the weight weenie concept what better rim to go with the Hope Pro II front hub then the Stan’s Notubes ZTR 355 rim. Thanks to Mike at Notubes for helping me out for the test. The ZTR 355 is an incredible rim, it’s light, durable, and strong and the best part is the easy switch to the tubeless tire methodology. There is nothing sweeter than having a tire running tubeless! I wrote a short post on the subject called The tubeless tire world on my blog. There are some benefits to running a tubeless system such as no pinch flats, better control, feel and impact absorption plus the ability to run lower tire pressure. There are some deficits to running this system such as dealing with the messy sealant, some additional installation steps, chance of the tire burping, and that high pressure inflation is usually needed. If you jump a lot, are a hard rider or are a Clydesdale I might suggest Notubes Arch or Flow rims which are still light but are better suited for heavier use. The ZTR 355 is made from 6061-T6 aluminum and built with a welded seam and have a triangular profile for strength. The sidewalls are 2-3mm shorter then most rims and use their proprietary bead socket technology. The shorter sidewalls allow a lighter and stiffer rim and supposedly reduce pinch flats. The ZTR 355 rim retails for $75 and weigh around 355g.

The Hope’s were laced up by Notubes in a 3 cross pattern with double butted 2/1.7 spokes on the ZTR 355 rims and the rim was yellow taped so they were ready to go tubeless. I used my usual tough and bombproof Schwalbe Alberts (2.25) on my Ibis Mojo carbon steed. The tires popped on without any fuss. I usually have to go through a couple of steps to get non-tubeless tires to work as tubeless, but the Alberts were already pre-stretched so I had a pretty easy task. You can refer to Notubes detailed mounting and dismounting tire instructions at http://www.notubes.com/support_movies.php. I love it when the tire makes that distinct POP noise when the tire bead snaps into the rim socket. “Mongo only pawn… in game of life.”

My Ibis Mojo test rig.

Testing the wheel

I installed the wheel on my Manitou Minute Elite Absolute fork and went out for a trashing. Oops meant to say I went out for a ride to do a precise, thorough and scientific test and review using both quantitative and qualitative analysis to come up with a subjective outcome. “You’re flunking English. That’s your mother tongue, and stuff.”

The hub slipped nicely into the fork and the 20mm axle slid through the hub without any issues. After bolting down the axle I went out to my favorite trail, the Black Pearl on my home turf of the Mt. Herman trail system in Monument Colorado. After sucking wind on the very steep Cardiac Hill section of the Black Pearl the wheel was performing flawlessly, nary a whisper of noise was coming out of the hub. After I got to the top of the hill I took a quick rest and then pointed her downhill for the real entertainment. The downhill section of the hill has a lot of small rock gardens and slow speed technical moves and the wheel did just fine. I next twirled over to the Stupid trail which is pretty much a singletrack goat trail. It has quite a few rock gardens the worst having lots of head sized rocks which are perfect for testing out the wheel and the fork. The wheel flew through the nasty sections with flying colors on the teeth and bone jarring trail. The 20mm axle made the ZTR 355 seem slightly stiffer and I did not notice the usual flex that I feel with my normal QR setup. This is still a lightweight rim with thin double butted spoke so it minutely flexed in very stressful terrain.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • slcpunk says:

    I have the WTB laserdisc light hubs (basically same as AC, right) and I was thinking about this problem this weekend…how much of a difference is there between the hub shells on these hubs (AC vs. Hope)? If you take apart your AC hub (remove the QR caps) don’t you basically have the same thing as the HOPE hub? If the bearing sizes are different, would it be possible to just replace with bearings that made the setup match? ( just have to match the inner diameter of the HOPE hubs) Just curious on how creative you could get here, but it seemed like it might be simple for WTB or AC to made those little conversion parts and make their hubs convertible too.

  • Brian Mullin aka pastajet says:

    Let me check my AC hub when I get home tonight. I am not sure what the new AC hubs look like, perhaps at the show in 2 weeks I will have further information.

  • luke says:

    What’s with all the random quotes, they seem to almost relate to your review but not quite. Are you just another twisted bike rider? Good review by the way, but isn’t time really the test for a hub? I mean, can you tell from a couple of rides if this is the one you want to depend upon?

  • pastajet says:

    Yes I am warped. Are the quotes supposed to relate to the review or just my demented mind? I only have so much time to do a review unless it’s an extremely long term one. I have ridden the wheel for around 5 weeks now which is around 15 hard rides on abuse terrain so I have a pretty good idea of how they ride and their durability. In regards to long term longevity that I can only conjecture. It is going to be pretty rare to have many media reviews that are 6 months to a 1 year long. Check back on my blog and I will strive to keep an active long term section for all my review products. It is fun to do reviews but it is also a lot of work. You need to keep track of your testing and try and be as objective as possible and then you need to create an interesting review for the reader, which I always try my utmost to accomplish. Entertain!

  • Alan says:

    “You’re flunking English. That’s your mother tongue, and stuff.”

    Nice pull. From “The Sure Thing”. A classic Cusack 80′s movie.

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