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Verdict: 
Very well made racing and training wheels. Light, wide and tubeless-ready
Weight: 
1,480g

Wheels are one of the most common upgrades to a stock bike, and at the sub-£500 mark there are a lot of good wheels to choose from. Now there's one more: the Hunt Race Season Aero Wide wheelset, an excellent choice. These wheels are light, stiff and well made.

Tipping the road.cc scales at 1,480g – exactly what the Hunt website claims they should be – the Race Season Aero Wide is a wheelset that's designed to be a good all-rounder for training and racing.

Buy these online here

They feature a 31mm section Niobium aluminium alloy-T10 rim which has a 19mm internal width and is tubeless compatible. In theory (according to ISO 5575, anyway) that 19mm width means you shouldn't fit anything narrower than a 28mm tyre to these wheels. In practice the tubeless hook profile and the tighter tolerances of tubeless tyres mean that 25mm tyres – Bontrager R3s in my case – are absolutely fine, and I doubt you'd have any issues with 23s either. In fact, the opposite problem is the one I've experienced: fitting 23mm tyres to a wide-channel rim (21mm Reynolds ATRs) resulted in such a tight fit that I had to cut the tyres off. No danger of them rolling off in a corner, then.

Hunt Race Season Aero Wide wheelset - rim bed

Hunt reckons these wheels will be fine for 'cross tyres too, and the ISO standard suggests anything up to a 47mm tyre should be fine. If you have room for it.

Hunt offers the wheels fitted with Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres in 23mm, 25mm or 28mm widths for an extra £99; that's £20 off RRP and you don't have the faff of fitting them yourselves. If you want to go tubeless, it's a good option. The wheels come with tubeless valves if you want to fit your own.

The rims are deeper than a standard 24-28mm box section and that might – or might not – afford you some aero advantage at speed. Certainly in strong crosswinds you get a bit of feedback, although it's nothing alarming.

Hunt Race Season Aero Wide wheelset - rim

The Race Season Aero Wides get up to speed quickly and are happy barrelling along at race pace. I've raced them a couple of times and in the cut and thrust of a bunch they always felt well behaved, with good lateral stiffness when cornering. The lack of tubes means you can be a bit more adventurous over rough surfaces, and also means you can knock a few psi out of your tyres for a bit more comfort if you want it.

The wider rim bed means the tyres fold in on themselves a bit less as they approach the bead, and so the sidewalls are flatter, leading to a bigger profile. My 25mm tyres measured up as more like a 26mm, and most of the time I ran them at 90psi. Once they were sealed they were very well behaved, needing just the occasional top up once or twice a week.

Both the front and rear spokes are straight-pull. There are 20 radial spokes at the front, and 24 at the back laced in a two-cross pattern. The Pillar spokes have a 2.2mm end section for extra strength, and Hunt uses a long nipple that has both a square section for truing on the go and a hex head inside the rim for more precise truing if the wheels are off the bike. I had one spoke loosen on me during about four months of testing, but it was a simple fix to tighten it back up, and it's been well behaved since. You get a Pillar spoke key included with the wheelset.

Hunt Race Season Aero Wide wheelset - spoke nipple

The hubs the spokes sit in are Hunt branded and they contain good quality EZO bearings front and rear, with uprated seals to reduce friction. The freehub has 4 pawls and 28 teeth, and is nice and clicky without being too loud. These things are important, you know. More importantly, the Shimano/SRAM freehub has a steel spline insert into the alloy body, which stops the sprockets biting into the soft metal over time.

Hunt Race Season Aero Wide wheelset - rear hub 2

The supplied quick releases are an external cam design with a self-lubricating brass cam insert and stainless springs. They're nicely made and not over-light; QRs aren't a place you want to be saving weight.

Hunt Race Season Aero Wide wheelset - front hub

The wheel package as a whole is very good. These are well-put-together wheels with quality components. The ride is good too. They're an immediate and noticeable improvement over the sort of stock wheels you'll likely be swapping out. The low weight makes the bike feel a bit more lively when you're out of the saddle, but they don't lack lateral stiffness; I've not had any issues with brake rub in normal use and they never make the bike feel vague when cornering. Whether or not they have any meaningful aero benefit over a standard box rim is difficult to say – I'd expect them to be marginally better but it's not really a reason to buy. More likely you're just looking for some good all-condition wheels for a mix of faster riding, and they're a very good option for that.

>> Check out our guide to road bike wheels here

Obvious competitors are wheels like Shimano's RS81 C24 or C35, Fulcrum's Racing 3, Campagnolo's Zonda and Stan's Notubes ZTR Alpha 340. Of those, the last three are available in tubeless-ready builds. Only the Stan's are lighter; the RRP is over £100 more but they can be found online for a comparable price to these Hunts. All of those wheels are good buys. The Shimano, Campag and Fulcrum options are a bit heavier but you can find them a good deal cheaper than the Hunts. The Race Season Aero Wides are the only ones with a 19mm internal width, though, and they certainly hold their own in what is a very competitive section of the wheel market. They're a good upgrade and definitely worth a look if you're swapping out stock wheels for something a bit more sprightly.

Verdict

Very well made racing and training wheels. Light, wide and tubeless-ready

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Hunt Race Season Aero Wide wheelset

Size tested: 31mm deep, 24mm wide

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The super-wide, seriously-light, aero-beating 31mm deep road wheelset

Stretch the gaps and burn the legs of your riding compatriots with incredible fast riding performance. You will take the corners faster and tighter than ever before due to the 24mm rim width opening out your tyre profile and providing incredible grip. The super wide rim working with a 25 or 28 tyre will eat up rough roads allowing you to hold your line and carry your speed. The upgraded straight pull hubs and spokes reduce weight, add strength and respond instantly to your accelerations. Float up the climbs too thanks to a sub 1500g bench-mark weight, is this even fair?

Rims | Niobium aluminium alloy-T10 Heat treated. 31mm deep. 19mm internal and 24mm external width, creates excellent tyre profile for wide road tyres and cross tyres up to 45c

Tyres | Designed with a wide 19mm rim bed to create a wider tyre profile. Great with 700x23mm tyres but ideal for 25, 28 and cross tyres. Tyres not included.

Hubs | Race Season straight-pull super-light QR 6061-T6, 7075-T6 axle and freehub. Steel spline insert.

Spokes | 20F/24R Pillar PSRXTRA Aero super-light straight pull

Nipples | 14mm alloy hex-head, square body.

QR | Hunt Race Season super-light with heat-treated alloy/brass cam plate actuation and stainless steel springs.

Weight | 1480g (rims, hubs spokes and nipples)

Schwalbe One Pro Tubeless Road Tyres 23, 25 or 28mm can be fitted for £99. SRP per tyre is £59.99, we fit them and include the sealant saving you the effort and more than £20. If you would like tyres fitting please add a note to your order and we will contact you to confirm.

We've pushed the boundaries here and added even more width and depth for extra grip, low aero drag and low rolling resistance advantage. Yes this is a 24mm wide outer and 31mm deep rounded profile rim made from Niobium enriched alloy that builds into an head-turning sub 1500g wheelset. Niobium aluminium alloy is a proprietary material developed by our rim supplier and uses an advanced T10 heat-treatment process. The process delivers outstanding weight, stiffness and durability meaning rims can be wider for 25 and 28mm tyres, deeper for better aero performance and yet remain super-light for excellent climbing and acceleration.

Precision machined straight pull hubs and spokes add strength and enhance power transfer meaning all your force pushes you forwards.

Spokes are a very important part of the equation and we have gone to town choosing the top-of-the-range Pillar Spoke Re-enforcement (PSR) XTRA models. These butted blade spokes are lighter but also provide a greater degree of elasticity to maintain spoke tensions longer and add fatigue resistance. PSR spokes feature the wider 2.2 width at the spoke head providing more material in this high stress area. To accompany these high-end spokes we selected aluminium anodized nipples which are lightweight and yet are long at 14mm for strength. As well as the standard square body we chose nipples with a hex head so you can achieve precise tensioning. Combining these components well is key and all Hunt wheels are hand-built and then tensioned by craftspeople who work in pairs to check and finish each other's work.

Bearings are the heart of any wheel and investing in them makes huge sense. We use high-grade precision smooth rolling sealed cartridge bearings by Japanese bearing experts EZO and this wheelset even has three of the rear hub bearings upgraded to S&S LU/LB seals which are low-friction sealed on the internal bearing face to further reduce rolling resistance and increase your speed whilst maintaining excellent sealing on the exposed faces. As a result all our freehub bodies have Steel Spline Insert re-enforcements to provide excellent durability against cassette sprocket damage often seen on standard alloy freehub bodies.

At Hunt we enjoy the puncture resistance and grip benefits of tubeless on our every-day rides so we wanted to allow our customers the same option, but of course all our tubeless-ready wheels are also designed to work perfectly with clincher tyres and inner tubes.

The little details matter, the Hunt Race Season quick-release skewers use brass for the cam which has self lubricating properties and we have even have upgraded to stainless steel springs so they don't rust.

The consequence of the fanatic attention to detail is a very low 1480 gram wheelset weight especially for this aero depth and width combination. These wheels deliver your potential and then some,. Go on push even harder, they will reward you.

60 Day Ride & Return Period. We are certain you'll be impressed by the acceleration, low-weight, speed and durability of our wheels. We are cyclists and as such strive to offer class leading service and support. Buy with confidence, if for any reason you wish to return the wheels for a full refund of your order you can do so up to a full 60 days after you received them whether they have been ridden or not. Please note we cannot offer refunds on wheels that have suffered from crash damage but do offer a crash replacement discount.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Rim

Tubeless-ready – designed to work excellently with normal clincher tyres and tubes or tubeless tyres. Two layers of Hunt Bronze Shield tubeless rim tape fitted.

Niobium – T10 heat-treated aluminium alloy.

24mm outer and 19mm inner width ideal for 23-34mm tyre widths

31mm deep rounded aero section

Precision machined rim brake track

Matt black anodized finish with matt white heated decals for excellent durability

Spokes

Front: 20 spokes laced radially - Aero triple-butted profile

Butted 2.0-2.0/0.95-2.0 then PSR section is 2.2.

Rear: 24 spokes laced 2 cross.

Asymmetric spoke gauges on rear wheel creates a more stable wheel build.

Drive side - butted 2.0-2.2/0.95-2.0 then PSR section is 2.2.

Non-drive side - butted 2.0-2.0/0.95-2.0 then PSR section is 2.2.

Straight-pull for excellent torsional strength and direct power transfer

Cold drawn from high grade T302 (18/10) stainless steel wire by Sandvik Sweden

Patented Pillar Spoke Re-enforcement, butted again just before the spoke head providing more durability in high stress area.

Black stainless treatment

Nipples

Alloy square body for external adjustment and hex head for easy internal adjustment/tensioning. Hex/square spoke key included.

14mm length for a strong connection to the spoke.

14 gauge

Black anodized finish

Hubs

Forged and CNC'd 6061-T6 heat treated aluminium alloy body

7075-T6 aluminium alloy axles

Polished anodized black finish with laser graphics

7075-T6 heat-treated aluminium alloy freehub body

4 pawl, 28 tooth engagement

9/10/11 speed Shimano/SRAM compatible freehub with Steel Spline Insert freehub body re-enforcement provide excellent durability against cassette sprocket damage to the freehub often seen on standard alloy freehub bodies.

or Campagnolo 9/10/11 speed, no Steel Spline Insert required as Campagnolo design has deeper grooves.

Bearings

High-grade by EZO Japan and S&S

Sealed cartridge replaceable units.

Rear hub upgraded to even faster rolling S&S LU/LB low-friction sealed internal face, dual sealed external face bearings.

Incredibly fast rolling

Quick-Releases

Hunt Super-light Race Season design, only 33g front and 37g rear

7075-T6 heat-treated alloy lever, head and nut

Brass cam plate actuation.

1000kgf tested high-strength cro-moly spindles

Corrosion resistant stainless steel springs

Polished anodized black finish with laser graphics

Wheelset Contents

Front wheel and Rear Wheels with 2 layers Bronze Shield tubeless tape fitted

Pair quick-releases

Tubeless valves

Cassette spacer for 8/9/10 speed

Pillar spoke key for hex and square fitment

Hunt aero spoke holder - anti-scuff coated steel

Spare of each spoke plus nipples

Quality control card signed by your wheel builder

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well put together from quality bits.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Very good all-round wheels suitable for training and racing.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Wearing well. One loose spoke so far but no other issues.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Sub-1500g weight at this price is pretty competitive.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

The 19mm rim width allows a wider tyre to be fitted and also increases the size of the chamber of a 23mm or 25mm tyre.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Well priced, but you can get the nearest competitor wheels a bit cheaper online.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Really well. A great set of all-rounders.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Well built, component choice well considered.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Braking can be a bit noisy.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Very good overall performance from a quality wheelset.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

8 comments

Avatar
Crumpets101 [9 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Hi Dave,

 

I'm curious that you say the Dura Ace C24s (and the other wheels you list) are heavier than these. The c24s are listed as 1395g here: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-dura-ace-9000-c24-clincher-wheelset/?lan...

 

 

Avatar
n8udd [48 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Crumpets101 wrote:

Hi Dave,

 

I'm curious that you say the Dura Ace C24s (and the other wheels you list) are heavier than these. The c24s are listed as 1395g here: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-dura-ace-9000-c24-clincher-wheelset/?lan...

He's talking about the RS81 C24's: 

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-wh-rs81-c24-carbon-laminate-clincher-whe...

 

Avatar
Crumpets101 [9 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Ah yes - so he is! Thinking of purchasing the c24s so clearly have them on the mind...

 

n8udd wrote:
Crumpets101 wrote:

Hi Dave,

 

I'm curious that you say the Dura Ace C24s (and the other wheels you list) are heavier than these. The c24s are listed as 1395g here: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-dura-ace-9000-c24-clincher-wheelset/?lan...

He's talking about the RS81 C24's: 

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-wh-rs81-c24-carbon-laminate-clincher-whe...

 

Avatar
dave atkinson [6496 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Yeah, Dura Ace C24s are lighter but a fair bit pricier

Avatar
robthehungrymonkey [180 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I've got the 4 season Dura wheels from Hunt. Very impressed so far. I'm happy to find you struggled to get the 23mm tyres off, I installed 23mm on mine temporarily (I'd ordered 28mm Schwalbe one's, but they don't expect stock for another couple of weeks, 23mm was the only size i had spare) and discovered that the repaired inner tube hadn't been repaired... about ten solid minutes of swearing later and I got the tyre off! I just assumed it was my bad technique

Avatar
Gstar [23 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I bought a set of the slightly lighter, slightly cheaper race 28mm depth, same wide profile , as I wanted a lightweight wheel set with an ally brake track for the alps/Provence . They have been excellent and have covered a couple of thousand kilometers and a lot of climbing /descending without issue.I also ride enve's , Reynolds & zipp wheels and the build quality is easily comparible ) . I'm also looking forward to running them tubeless over the winter. A great wheel set that you could race, climb and still use in the winter months.

Avatar
Anthony.C [276 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

No doubt these have KinLin XR31T rims and budget hubs, so not exactly great value. You could have them built with CX-Ray spokes for a lot less.

Avatar
HuntBikeWheels [9 posts] 3 years ago
5 likes

Hi Anthony.C,

Thank you ever so much for your comment and feedback. Listening to riders is key to us making better wheels, so we really do appreciate your help.

You're right it is the Kinlin XR-31 rim, it's a pretty high end rim actually using their niobium aluminium alloy.  Kinlin have made rims for many large name wheels brands and this alloy has been chosen for it's high-strength to weight ratio. This rim costs us nearly twice the price of a normal alloy road clincher performance 6061-T6 rim. However since Kinlin rims are available through places like ebay with very few layers of distribution the perceived value is not as high even though the cost to make it is.

Regards the price; It may be possible but I'm not sure you could get that wheel package as a wheelset for a better price than we sell it for. A few things to note:

We upgrade the already high spec straight pull (not standard j-bend) hubs considerably with better bearings and the steel spline insert. We include high end lightweight brass cam actuation QRs, full tubeless tape and valves are included, and spare spokes.

The triple butted bladed PSR spokes from Pillar are a very high end spoke and made to a very similar spec to those used on Campag Bora Ultra/Fulcrum Racing Speed Carbon wheels, these are not a budget spoke.

We also managed to make that wheelset price £419 as of a few weeks ago so it's even more competitive.

 

The Kinlin XR-31 rim is not actually available from any places that I can find easily in the UK. However, if purchased from one of the American firms that does list it such as http://www.hoopswheels.com/wheels2431e.html  then a wheelset with CX ray spokes but missing the following specs of our wheel:

Missing straight pull, these are j-bend

Missing QRs

Missing bearing upgrade

Missing steel spline insert

Missing tubeless accessories

Would be $525 + VAT = £434 plus they may charge shipping vs the Hunt wheel at £419 with vat included and free shipping world-wide

 

Obviously it may be possible to arrange a custom build of these rims in the UK but hopefully we make it fast and easy for customers who value their time as well, which hopefully means they can ride more.

 

Something that is not always obvious is that many wheel brands, large and small, work with rim suppliers and use their standard rims where they are suitable. Some of our rims are open mold and some are specific to our design where rims were not available. Uniqueness does not improve performance. The most important thing is that the rims are the best spec for the intended use.

 

All in, I think we offer a very competitive package but we are always looking to improve so of course we do appreciate knowing this feedback as it can only help us make better wheels.

 

Thank you again and enjoy your riding,

 

Tom Marchment

HuntBikeWheels