Last June I finally picked up a new external bottom bracket from Hope Components.
What can I say. This BB has impressed me to no end since it was installed. Other then a couple of tightening the crank bolt to remove a little play. This BB has been rock solid since it was installed.
The first thing while installing I noticed was that the plastic piece was simply a cover for the bearings. Unlike Shimano's or Race Face BB's where the cover also acts as a shim between the bearing inner race and the crank axle. Hope went a different route. They went with a bearing that when you install the crank actually is in direct contact with the inner race of the bearing. No plastic shim that can crack or start creaking after a while. It's a good tight fit.
The other change is that tube piece that one installs between the 2 BB cups that one installs in the BB Shell of the frame. Again no plastic here. This comes as a tube made of metal. A much better alternative to the plastic pieces that others use. It is also has O ring seals to help seal the unit even more from the crud and moisture of the world. And Hope offers this piece seperate from the BB. Even in different lengths depending upon you BB being either 68, 73, or 83 in size.
As I mentioned already about the seals. This BB is built to deal with crud, nud, and nasty winter. Should be no surprise as Hope comes from the land of filth riding. And have learned what it will take to increase the longevity of bearings. So far the seals on the Hope have exceeded those on Race Face and Shimano BB's by a huge margin.
As a former mechanic and a coach, I would be installing this BB on anyone's bike who was either doing and adventure race or a off road triathlon. Simply because I know it can take the abuse. Which even in Canada faced with our Canadian muck and grime plus add winter crud. Well, only something good and sealed can fit the bill.