Today seemed like a great day to hide in my basement and work on bikes. In doing a drivetrain swap a couple months ago, I discovered that my hub bearings were gritty. I’m probably a little gun shy over reports of freehub bearings on the Hope fatbike hubs imploding, so maybe I replaced them earlier than absolutely necessary. The new ones are definitely smoother, though. My post isn’t meant to be a step-by-step tutorial on the process. There are plenty of excellent resources available for that. Speaking of which, I found this video to be top notch.
One major reason I’m writing this post, however, is to document some issues I came across and to post my solutions.
First: the Hope tools. They’re not all that easy to get in the US. I work at a shop. You’d think that would simplify things. But no, none of the distributors my shop works with carry Hope’s tools. Sure, I can get most of their components, but for some reason, they don’t carry Hope’s full line.
The only places I found Hope’s hub tools was at European online dealers, and the only one that had all of the tools I needed for my Pro 2 EVO Fatsno hubs (well, except the big hub support tool with the plastic end shown in the video – I didn’t buy that one) was bike24, one of the German dealers. You see, the EVO rear hub uses bigger bearings than the non-EVO Pro 2 rear hub, so the EVO-specific tools come in a different kit from the rest. So I needed two bags of parts.
If you haven’t ordered from a German dealer from the US before, it’s not exactly the easiest online ordering process. Bike24 first e-mailed me after my order was submitted telling me that they needed to verify my credit card, so they were going to put a small deposit into my account and I would have to verify it. That process took about a week. And then the shipping took another few weeks. Pretty sure that the parts were sitting in customs for most of that time.
The bearings took me a few days to get. But oh! It’s surprisingly hard to find the sizes you need without first disassembling your hubs. And the sources I found online were not correct. So here is what I actually needed for the Pro 2 EVO Fatsno hubs. Thankfully, a run to my local shop was fruitful to pick up the bearings I still needed.
Rear Hub Shell:
Shimano Freehub Body:
From reading other websites, I was 2x 6903 and 1x 6803 bearings short and I bought 2x 6804 bearings that I don’t need. I didn’t buy Hope’s bearing kit because I wanted a bit of an upgrade. So I went with Enduro bearings this time around. Some folks recommend SKF bearings and I checked them out, but they are a very large margin more expensive than the Enduro bearings, which cost more than the Hope bearing kits.
Hope’s tools do make it easier to ensure you’re getting everything done right. You could use a generic bearing drift set, but it seems that a big advantage of the Hope specific tools is the height or depth of them to fit down inside the hub shell, or to fit the length of the axle on the drive side. Since I didn’t use the hub support tool, I was basically using the edge of the work bench, so I had parts dropping on the floor when I hammered them out. It’s a bit of a minor irritation in the grand scheme of things, but it did mean I had to fish underneath my workbench for parts. Next time I need to do this, I’ll probably add the hub support tool, too.
Another note. The rubber mallet shown in my first picture was pretty much useless. In the video, a harder plastic mallet is shown, but I don’t have one. I had to make do with a framing hammer, and be extra careful I wasn’t destroying the aluminum I was hitting with it.
So apparently while I was having fun working on my bike, some stuff happened. Maybe I ought to check my social media feed. Or, on second thought, maybe not.