Review Chris King vs Industry Nine vs Hope Evo - Mountain Bike Comparo

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
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I own 3 sets of CK hubs.
I own 3 sets of i9 hubs.
I own 1 set of Hope Evo 4 hubs (and previously owned multiple Evo2).

Synopsys -
Hope is value bling. You get absolute value on the dollar. When compared to CK or i9, yes at times you feel the engagement difference, however on the trail, this feeling is mostly non existent. They roll great (*dare I say better than the CK). They are easy to service and just keep on going no matter how much you abuse them.

Chris King is indestructible bling. These things are bullet proof. I had one set of MTB hubs pre-disc that I bought from a coworker at a shop. He put over 3000 km on them. I added another 8000 km to them and then sold them to another buddy who is still on them with an additional 1000 km. They have yet to be serviced - ever. They are the loudest Kings I have ever heard, but they work to perfection. I on occasion ride the bike they are on when I am back in the states. My other 2 MTB sets on Kings are disc and have been flawless. The only knock on them is they have a little freehub drag. I also have CK R45 hubs on my road bike. The oscillating sound of CK is intoxicating! :D

Industry Nine is simple engineering done right. I have several i9 torch hubs. The engagement is as instant as the CK, but service is easier. I even went so far as to by an i9 system wheelset for my Stanton 29+ build. I have yet to have a hub issue with any i9s. They look great. The Machine gun sound of the freehub is just a reminder of precision.

I would never feel the Hope hubs are why I didn't clear something or why I finished where I did in a race. Just like having i9 or CK isn't the reason I did as well as I did. All three do their job well. 2 are overkill, but amazing to listen to while riding. All three come in great finishes and can make any bike look good.

If you want some quality bling, but don't want to break the bank... Hope.
If you want to buy the last hubs you will ever buy for your build - i9 or CK.
 
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OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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How do they compare to DT Swiss hubs? I know they are way less bling, but do they last less long or require more frequent maintenance?
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
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I have not owned a set of DT swiss 240 or 350. A buddy just recently purchased a wheelset with 350s and I have yet to play with them. Being a little less than 1 month old, he doesn't have a definitive opinion on them yet. He likes them, but he has kind of talked up his new CKs a bit more. Time will tell. He has mentioned they look great and unlike the internet report, they are far from silent.

Unfounded opinion:
Internet chatter on DT is overly fanboi-ish to be able to discern how good they really are. Seriously - if in your review of DT you reference i9 as garbage and ck as trash - your opinion is no longer valid. Based off of my research on them - I would rank them on the low side of A grade with CK and i9 firmly in the middle of A. With Hope being a solid B. Due to maintenance ease, I might even put i9 as my #1.
 

OreoCookie

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To me the only thing of note with Chris King that I have absorbed from the reviews is the fact that servicing the hub apparently requires special Chris King tools. I am not much of a snob when it comes to hubs, even my run-of-the-mill Shimano XT hubs still work perfectly after 6 years. Clearly, they don't compete with “nice” hubs when it comes to friction and engagement, but they have been perfectly reliable. I was only asking about DT Swiss, because I have entry-level DT Swiss wheels at the moment, and have had no prior experience with the.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
1,908
1,946
433
Miura, Japan
CK does require special tools. But in my experience - you may never need them.
I have run all kinds of DT rims, but just never the hubs.
As for XT, I have a set I use on the commuter - and flawless as far as reliability. Relatively cheap as well.
BUT they are still ball bearing. Easy to service and work on. But - you better own a cone wrench and expect some service.
I have worked on Shimano hubs more than any other brand. The service requirements are for the most part the reason I don't mind spending more on "Set it and forget it" more expensive hubs.