Why buy a hand built wheelset over a Hope Hoop?
A fair question. Moonglu started building wheels by identifying gaps in the wheels that Hope offered in their Hoop range. It started with Stans No Tubes rims such as the Crest, Hope originally used 355s for their first wheels and we decided to build onto Crest rims as they were a genuine disc only rim, where the 355 was an over anodized rim brake rim.
As Stans No Tubes became more mainstream and their tubeless system was embraced by the masses their range of rims grew as did the demand. Hope saw this and started offering Hoops with Crest and Flow rims and these sold really well for Hope, a great XC or all mountain wheelset.
Moonglu noticed that between the 2 rims, Stans had a rim called the Arch that was based on the 355 rim section but with an additional strengthening layer internally. The Arch offered a great mid sized rim, lighter than the Flow and stronger than the Crest. This is where we started our wheel building with Pro 2s and Stans rims.
Stans also recognised the global demand for white rims. Bike trends and colour coding made them massively popular as upgrade wheels and they started supplying all their rim options in white powdercoat also. We quickly noticed this demand and started to offer Crest's, Arch's and Flow's in white and this is where our wheel business really kicked off.
Of course, this hasn't answered the original question. What does set a Moonglu wheel set apart from a Hope Hoop?
For the money, Hope Hoops are undoubtedly a great upgrade wheelset, a great product at an achievable price. With these to compete against we've had to set ourselves apart albeit slightly. So what do we offer that Hope don't?
All Moonglu wheel sets are supplied with Stans yellow 21mm or 25mm tubeless tape depending on the chosen rim. Hope Hoops come with a self adhesive cloth tape not suitable for tubeless tyre set up.
All Moonglu wheel sets are supplied with the axle adapters as specified by the customer. There are now 6 front options and 5 rear axle options for the new Pro 4 range of hubs, we send the customer what they need for their bike. Hope supply their Hoops with 2 front options and 1 rear option. The rear option tends to be standard 10mm QR with either QR and 15mm or QR and 20mm on the front depending the type of rim. This may be fine for some customers, but there are growing numbers of frames out there with thru axle rear ends. The current price for an extra set of rear hub adapters is £12.50, you don't pay that with Moonglu wheels.
Owner Neil builds all of the Moonglu wheels, from scratch, by hand. They are laced, tensioned and trued using the same method for every wheel. Demand for Hope Hoops is huge, they have invested heavily in wheel building machines which is great but there are some niggles that we have found with their consistency. In particular, their lacing can vary from wheel to wheel, front and rear. Where we follow a set of lacing rules written by both DT Swiss in their wheel building manual and Wheelpro in their popular wheel building book, Hope are very inconsistent as they have numerous guys lacing the wheels by hand before they go into the wheelbuilding machine. I've seen numerous sets that don't follow the published lacing rules, especially where disc brake equipped wheels are concerned. Also, they almost never line up the logo and valve hole. It's a small point but all our wheels have the Evo hub logo lined up with the rim valve hole, that has become a religion.
We've now reached a point where wheels are a very important part of our business, to a point where owner Neil regularly builds wheels late at night. Where possible, to allow us to respond to orders quickly we keep all the component parts of our wheel options instock, ready to build. This has amounted to a serious amount of Hope hubs, Sapim and DT spokes and rims.
Wheel orders are addressed as a priority and we start work on them as quickly as possible. Most of the time we are working on a 3-4 day turnaround but if there's a particular issue we will inform the client and give an estimate of the dispatch and delivery time.
What specification are Moonglu wheels?
Our wheels are built from the component parts, hub, spokes, rims and rim tape. Pro 4 hubs come boxed from Hope's factory over the border in Lancashire. Our spokes are either Sapim Race or DT Swiss competition, both are stainless steel double butted and 2mm at the spoke thread. All our standard wheels are built with Sapim 12mm brass nipples unless otherwise stated or ordered. Where alloy nipples are specified, these are Sapim 14mm.
Our wheels come supplied in custom made cardboard wheel boxes with each wheel protected in an individual box. We have sourced these for convenience with packaging and extra protection for shipping.
Can Moonglu build with other spokes?
We do receive regular emails asking for builds with other types of spokes. We do feel the spokes we use on the 'stock' wheelsets are the best available at the cost. Sapim and DT Swiss are the two leading manufacturers of spokes in the world and the stainless steel double butted spokes are cost effective, reliable and average weight.