Hope Pro 3 RS-SP full carbon clincher wheelset – exclusive first look

We’re the first to get our sticky mitts on Hope’s PRO3 RS-SP full carbon clincher wheelset.

It’s comprised of a 30mm unidirectional carbon fibre rim, laced in-house with Sapim CX Ray SP spokes to Hope’s own, made-in-Barnoldswick, Pro 3 Aero hub. The rear wheel costs £530; the front wheel costs £465.

The unidirectional carbon of the rim has been laid up to improve stiffness and the aero profile is all part of the structural integrity of the rim.

The full carbon clincher rim of the Hope PRO3 RS-SP

The front tipped our digital scale at 735 grams, while the rear weighed in at 935 grams, a near 350 gram saving from the previous version – not bad at all.

A note on their predecessors (a 50mm, carbon-alloy offering): it’s likely you’ll have seen them given a thorough workout from Martyn Ashton in his Road Bike Party edit.

To return to the PRO3 RS-SP.

The aluminium nipples are internal, and the rims are front and rear specific, with spoke holes angled for alignment with the respective hubs.

We measured the rims at 22mm wide and with a softer rounding to the spoke bed they look like they will perform well in windy conditions. We’ll find out. A reinforced section around the valve hole shows attention to detail.

We’ll begin testing with high expectations. Our previous experience of Hope Hoops came on an off-road adventure to Canada where we rode Pro 3’s with Stans lightweight ZTR 355 rims. They were light, tough enough, and cheap: pretty much the best of all worlds. Additionally, we’ve always been impressed by the general reliability of Hope components and serviceability of their hubs.

We’re hoping for a solid set of all-rounders, able to look the part on a racy road thoroughbred, but equally able to hack it in a cross race.

We’ll be putting them to the test over the Christmas break, and will report back in the New Year.

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