Problems with my Pace RC303 - slightly rubbish Hope rear hub.

Sometimes I hate not being a bike mechanic. My Pace has a funny metallic noise somewhere in the drivetrain; like a bit of metal scratching something else. Only happens in the granny ring. Now I'd adjusted the front mech to try that out, but it didn't work. Cleaned the chain and changed the lubricant; nope. So figured it may be torque based and so the rear hub - possibly some grit or damage to the freehub body. I'm not about to take it apart so popped the bike in for a look at my LBS.

They adjusted the front mech and told me to come back if the noise was still there.

How do you say "I did that but it didn't work!" without looking like a prick? I can adjust a mech!

Ah well doesn't sound terminal so I'll let it lie. They didn't charge me anything so I'm not huffed about it. However they did criticise the geometry of the frame; tips the front back too much they say. So now I'm in a quandry; I like my bike but the bike shop say it's wrong. Do I go out and buy a new frame to match the 2011 geo specs and keep the LBS boys happy, or stop and think; Hey! I like my bike just as it is. It suits me right down to the ground and I love it to bits. Each ride on the Pace is a literal blast, and I keep my riding buddy honest - his is a full suspension 2010 rig and I keep with him easy enough. How can the geometry be wrong?!

Anyways a recent trip to Snowdon resulted in a busted up rear wheel; the Stan's ZT355 rim stood up well to my abuse over two weeks, but coming 600m down rocky rubble, one misjudged water bar was too much for it and I put a big ding into a sidewall. Thankfully the tubeless system held up well - a tube would have gone easily. So once I'd finished playing in Snowdonia I had the wheel rebuilt. Guess what? The metallic creaking noise went. What a result that was. The new rim is also a Stan's, but this time a Flow. If the ZT355 was good, only failing after ridiculous abuse, then the Flow should last me out.

So really the title is unfair - the PACE RC303 has been a faultless frame; no cracks for me in two years and the bike has been abused terribly. The SLX drivetrain is also good, but the SLX front brake I binned as pants - no power at all. The rear SLX brake also proved rubbish, and I'm on my second unit. The only fault so far with my home build has been the factory Hope wheelset, which I'm a bit miffed about as all my bikes have Hope hubs and this is the first issue I've had in 20 years. Reading on the forums Hope aren't as good as they once were apparently, but I'll stick with them yet. Also looking on the forums PACE suspension frames aren't that good, with lots of cracking problems being reported. One suspects though that PACE attract the keener rider - their frames start at £600 so you'd have to be. Keen riders are more likely to report bike specific stuff. For instance if you bought a £200 from Evan's, if it broke you'd blame Evan's not the bike. With PACE there is no get out clause; they perhaps take the rap unfairly.