I realise this conversation is really old, but I couldn't help noticing there are very few reviews of hope road wheels anywhere online. I'd like to do my bit for the boys at hope and give them my recommendation. Also few of these posts are actually written by people with experience of hope road wheels.
I build a winter road bike for myself 12 months ago, I made it up out of a mix of old bits of eBay (frame, saddle, bars etc) and new bits (chain cassette etc) and there was only one thing when starting this is was sure of, I was buying a set of hope road wheels.
There are a few bits of any bike that get totally distroyed with hardcore winter use. Both MTb and road; drive train (buy a good chain and keep on cleaning it and replacing it), and wheels!! There are few wheels that can take constant winter use.
I've distroyed loads of shimano cup and ball hubs, I think the best one was a new 2004 orange patriot MTb, which came with deore hubs, these stripped and checked after two muddy months were totally wet, rusty, pitted and dead. The other shimano hubs I've had last little longer.
I've killed a set of dt Swiss hubs 370's I remember, but they did take two years of hard abuse! Very good.
I abused a dt Swiss 240 rear hub for two years and it loved it! Was still like new afterwards with no servicing. Soldnthat bike. Great rear hub that was.
Mavic; killed a bottom of the range set of mavic road wheels aksiums or something like that, rubbish, and heavy, lasted one winter.
Killed a set of krysium elite's in two years.
Hope. I've had probably 6,7 sets of hope wheels in various forms. All have lasted well.
I love hope hubs, you can build up either killer wheels with 36 plane gauge spokes and never damage them, I had a free ride bike with hope xc hubs and halo rims and did some massive drop offs and they loved it! Three years and no servicing required.
I've bought really old hope wheels off eBay before and following the hilarious YouTube video of the two welsh dudes bashing the bearings out of them on an old workmate I've brought them back to life for under £30. Great!
I even rang hope once to ask for advice expecting them to give the "go to your dealer" line, but was met with; "yeah man, do it yourself! This is how to do it!" great attitude.
So onto the hope road wheels; I bought the hope hoops, pro III 32 spoke mavic open pro. £250-£300 I remember. All black which is great for a understated winter bike. They weigh about 1600g which is amazing, I bought a 2008 trek madone with 1600g race lites which were totally dead after one winter, spokes snapped, nipples snapped, they flexed like hell, the hubs died, I put it down to their light weight, but these hope wheels are that kind of weight, so spin up well, climb well etc, but are rock solid, like a good set of MTb wheels. My wheels have covered about 2000 miles in nothing but bad weather, if it's nice, the summer bike comes out, they've seen mud, rain, snow, rain, more rain, salt, more rain. They are still like new. End off.
I really welcome hope getting stuck into the road Market, I see they have a few road wheel builds now. I think mixing this robust, no messing about approach to light weight, or aero rims very exciting. Ok so they are not super light, but the weight penalty in in the middle of the wheel (hub) so not so bad.
The only potential problem for some people people will be the clicking sound, it is rather loud. I actually really like it for some reason. But I can totally understand why some don't.
I hope this helps.
If you want a set of wheels for your road bike or MTb and you want the hubs to simply last forever, get bits very easily, buy from people you can call on the phone and get to speak to a normal bloke, and if you feel slightly warm inside spinning along with your loud clicking sound knowing you've helped a small Uk business through this recession just a little bit, then buy hope.