Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

10 Hope Pro2 and XC hub service tips

Posted by Matt | October 27, 2010 | 16 comments so far

Ruined Hope Pro2 hub bearings
Over the past month I’ve broadened my bike servicing skills to now include replacing the bearings on Hope XC and Pro2 hubs. For anyone who rides hard, or in particular rides the trails through winter, it’s become apparent to me that Hope are some of the best hubs available.

I thought you might like to hear some tips on the process if you run the same hubs and plan to do the work too. Having seen the inside of my hubs I strongly recommend you do so regularly and would say it’s one of the key things to making your bike feel like new again.

The benefits I’ve found from replacing the bearings have been much smoother tracking at the rear and significantly improved steering at the front of my Five, where I’d recently been progressively winding down the fork thinking the steering was rather woolly. After 3000 miles it now feels as good as new with the bearings replaced.

Worn Hope XC3 hub bearings

  1. Check out the videos on Hope’s own website for a clear demonstration of what you need to do. Also, YouTube has plenty of demos showing various ways to remove/replace the freehub/bearings etc.
  2. I found the information on servicing Hope Pro2 hubs at Cyclist No.1 to be very helpful.
  3. Invest in the proper Hope drifts for replacing the bearings; or, if you’re like me ponce them off a friend (thanks Colin!).
  4. If you haven’t taken the end-caps and freehub off for a long time (or never in my case with the XC3), this will likely be the hardest part of the exercise. They should just pull off but this turned into a two-man job.
  5. The end-caps can be very hard to get off. For the XC3 it ended up with three flat bladed screwdrivers levering against spare screws threaded onto the disc rotor mounts on one side and against the freehub body on the other. It’s easy to cause a lot of damage and hurt yourself so tread carefully.
  6. For freehubs that have welded themselves to the axle, also be very careful as you’ll need to knock out the axle against the friction from four or five bearings. You will need to potentially use a lot of force and this also runs the risk of permanently damaging the hubs.Make sure everything is properly supported and don’t hit anything directly metal-to-metal. An old bolt-on Halo skewer seemed to work very well as protection to the soft axle end once the ‘final solution’ of a 4lb club hammer was brought into play. Think every move through very carefully!
  7. Check your pawl springs too. I had a broken one on my Pro2 freehub, which had admittedly done a lot of miles.
  8. A bit of extra grease on the ratchet helps cut down the legendary Hope noise but don’t go mad – those pawls need to bite in after all.
  9. Once everything is back and working, make sure you regularly replace the bearings – once a year would make sense as it’s so cheap to do and the bearings and freehub will be that much easier to remove.
  10. Regularly pull the freehub off to clean inside and regrease anyway. This shouldn’t take longer than 15 mins really and I was surprised at the amount of dirt ingress after a traumatic D2D.

Hope that helps people. It’s not exactly for the novice bike mechanic but the key lesson is that preventative maintenance will make your life significantly easier long term. Based on the evidence I’ve seen, there’s no reason my Hope hubs shouldn’t last me 20 years if they’re properly looked after.

If anyone is interested I might be ‘persuaded’ to service other moles Hope hubs…

Filed under Tips in October 2010


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 16 comments on ‘10 Hope Pro2 and XC hub service tips’

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  1. John R says:

    Matt – how often should I pull off my free hubs – for a quick clean and regrease?

  2. Dave says:

    Well John, once every 6 years appears to be insufficient!

    I’m guessing once a year is good although after D2D this years I think it would also be recommended!

  3. Matt says:

    Yes, every six years is waay too long a time.

    I’d say at least once a year but certainly after the winter weather at least. I’ll probably look at mine on six monthly intervals now but only expect to change bearings once a year max as I said in the article, maybe even every two years if I’m lucky.

  4. Jem says:

    Good advice Matt.

    We ride and ride, not thinking how long we expect these items to last in such hostile conditions.

    I’m sure I would’nt work too well if i got some grit under my freehub! OUCH!!

    This is something I need to carry out myself.

    Where do you suggest for buying replacement bearings.

  5. Matt says:

    Jem, you can get the bearing part numbers from the Hope website as they have exploded diagrams of the hubs.

    After that, I just did a search on eBay and bought the cartridge bearings from one of the many, many suppliers (I happened to use ParkIndustrial Supplies). Average cost was well under £2 a bearing so very, very cheap.

    Since these are industry standard bearings I can’t see they won’t last any more or less that the original items. Possibly SKF cartridge bearings might last longer – judging from their reputation – but then they are more expensive.

  6. Muddymoles says:

    A week on the Surrey trails

    Riding to work with a fixed route along the North Downs in Surrey means you need different bikes to provide you with some contrast!

  7. Muddymoles says:

    Hope Pro2 on Stans Flow rims, or American Classic 26 Disc wheels?

    It’s a tough choice between some Hope Pro2 hubs on Stans Flow rims or an American Classic 26 Disc wheelset

  8. Muddymoles says:

    Mechanical problems

    More worn bearings, a dodgy drivetrain and worn brake pads. That’s mountain biking for you.

  9. ian says:

    I had the same problem with a freehub that was stuck to the axle (as per step 6). I removed mine by placing a 2p coin in the freehub against the axle and then screwed the cassette bolt on to the freehub to jack it off. I then unscrewed the cassette and bunged in another 2p and repeated the process. I ended up with a couple of domed 2p coins but the freehub came off without much difficulty. I needed to use a chain whip to back off the cassette – if you don’t undoing the cassette bolt will be tricky.

  10. Geoff says:

    Removing bearings from Hope XC freehub
    Hi, I’m refurbishing a well-used XC hub. I’ve got the freehub off, but am struggling to get the bearings out of it. I can’t get any proper purchase on the outer bearing so as to push it out. Can you offer any tips please? Thanks.

  11. MuddyDave says:

    Hi Geoff,
    Long time since I looked to one of these but from memory it’s 2 bearings with a spacer tube between. I like to use a set of parallel drifts for this. First you use a fairly hefty on to push the “tube” to one side then knock the bearing it reveal out gently from the inside using a drift. I hope that’s the bearing you mean! In the past the biggest problem I’ve had is getting the damn freehub off the hub in the first place so well done for that!

    • Geoff says:

      Many thanks Muddydave for your tips on getting the freehub bearings out of a Hope XC; they worked a treat! Brill!
      Another question, if you don’t mind: When I examine the ratchet ring in the hub shell, some of the teeth are badly worn. I’d like to try and find a new ring – or one in good condition. Hope don’t have any, unfortunately. Any clues at all who might have one? I’d love to get this hub back into working order.

      • MuddyDave says:

        Tricky one Geoff, my guess is to try some of the more popular forums such as Singletrackworld and see if anyone has another hub to use as a donor. Ebay might be another option but I think you’ll struggle to get a new one as that hub is some years old now. Good luck.

  12. Related: A week on the Surrey trails | Mutterings, Lifestyle | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  13. Related: Hope Pro2 on Stans Flow rims, or American Classic 26 Disc wheels? | Mutterings, Stuff & nonsense | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  14. Related: Mechanical problems | Mutterings, Lifestyle | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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