Hope Bottom Bracket Review - Purchased Jan 2009The Hope Bottom Bracket is a work of art with beautifully machined aluminium cups, sealed cartridge bearings and aluminium tube. There are two options with his bottom bracket the ceramic bearings or the stainless steel ones. The ceramic bearings are more expensive. However the steel bearings have a two year guarantee on them. I paid £60 for this bottom bracket in January 2009. This certainly is not a cheap option but after not even getting one year out of an XTR bottom bracket I decided it was worth paying for a decent one.
I did bemoan the demise of the good old cartridge bearing square taper crank but I have to say that these external bottom brackets are so easy to fit and dissemble when needed. I guess I'm converted, well certainly to the principle, but I'm not sure about the longevity of this type of system.
The hope bearings are butter smooth when new, which is what one would expect from a unit at this price.
Out on the trailSo okay the bottom bracket looks cool but how does it perform. Well its a bottom bracket for crying out loud, it goes round and round! And as long as it goes round and round then I'm happy! After my last ride (24th Oct 2009), which was incredibly muddy and gritty I noticed some strange noises coming from the bottom bracket. I located it to the non-drive side, which was surprising as the most likely bearing to go is always on the drive side. I stripped it down and found it to be contaminated with grit. Removal of the cartridge bearing was simple and straightforward. I prised off the seals and flushed out the contaminated grease and grit with WD-40. The bearing itself was undamaged and ran smooth. I left this to dry for a couple of days and then packed it full of grease (Bullshot - its the best grease out there) and reinstalled it. It seems okay.
The question still remains, why should it go on the non-drive side and why should I be experiencing problems with this quality of bottom bracket after only nine months? I will be keeping a close watch on this to see how it holds up.
Watch for updates!
22nd Oct 2010 UpdateNo problems to report. The cranks keep on turning very smoothly. I have done a lot of very muddy rides which do not seem to have affected the buttery smoothness of the bearings. All good. Well worth the money.
27th March 2011I must report the BB status. Sort of item which you don't really think about until it goes wrong!! Well this is still going strong. Took it out the other day and the bearings are running nice and smooth. The grit in the non drive side must have been a one off. No probs to report. Worth the money? Yep I think so!
I do like these external bearings, I have to say. Wasn't sure before. They are so easy to get out and the Hope has the advantage that you can replace the bearing, if you need to, without removing the whole BB. Was talikng to the LBS the other day and they say that they have had nil returns of the Hope BB. Now that's a good recommendation!