Shimano hubs are cup and cone bearings. That means you can service them easily provided you know how to adjust bearings properly.
Originally Posted by StanTheMan
Hopes have cartridge bearings. When they get icky, you replace the bearings. I've had Hope hubs for years and they've had the odd swim, bearings still feel fine.
It's up to you whether you prefer cup'n'cone or cartridge bearings. Some people are zealots either way, but basically it all comes down to understanding your gear and maintaining it accordingly. Both have pros and cons.
Shimano freehubs are throw away items. They're not able to be pulled apart and reassembled unless you want to drive yourself mad.
Hope freehubs are easy-as to pull down and maintain.
Hope hubs come in a range of colours.
Nobody says "wow, XT hubs" despite them being excellent, reliable and if looked after of course, a hub you could have forever.
Hope hubs are cool to look at and are excellent, reliable and if looked after of course, a hub you could have forever.
Hope stuff is beautifully made. Shimano stuff is made with precision too.
Not sure about weights.