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Verdict: 
Excellent lightweight dynamo wheels for the long haul
Weight: 
1,735g

A while back I tested the Hunt Superdura Dynamo disc wheels which were excellent. These Carbon 30 Disc Dynamo wheels are also excellent. They're a fair bit lighter and a lot more expensive, so whether they're a better option for you will depend on what your specific needs are in a wheelset. But they're certainly great performers.

  • Pros: Light for dyno wheels, great quality, new freehub treatment works like a charm
  • Cons: Double the price of the Superdura wheelset; alloy nipples aren't as sturdy as brass

These wheels, at 1,735g the pair, are certainly light for dynamo wheels. The majority of the weight is in the front wheel (940g); to give an idea of the build weight, the rear at 795g came in 65g less than the Reynolds ATR 650 I took off, and the wheelset overall is just over 100g heavier. I'd consider 1,735g reasonably light for a well-built, wide-rimmed adventure wheel even if it wasn't sporting a dynamo. These wheels are a full 300g lighter than the Superdura Dyno wheels we tested: that's a significant saving.

> Buy these online here

The rim is a 30mm deep profile, made from unidirectional T24/30 carbon fibre with the spoke holes reinforced with a 3K weave. It's a reasonably wide profile, with a 27mm external width and a 21mm internal profile. According to the ETRTO chart that would mean that you'd be fitting a minimum of a 35mm tyre but realistically most people will be using wheels like these with tyres in the 28-32mm range.

Hunt Wheels Carbon Dynamo 700c -2.jpg

The wheels came with tubeless rim tape fitted, and a hole pricked for the valve. Fitting Schwalbe G-One Speeds was, as usual, a joy: put them on, pump them up. The rim tape was well fitted and both rims sealed first time, even with my well-used tyres that didn't have perfectly clean beads. I swapped the G-Ones out later for some Panaracer Gravel King 32mm tyres and I didn't have any issues with those either, nor the crazy non-tubeless reTyre zip-on system that I'm currently trying out.

> Buyer's Guide: 16 of the best gravel and adventure tyres

Build quality is excellent throughout. The wheels came tightly built and true, and they've stayed tightly built and true. With 28 spokes front and rear they're built for bikepacking and ultra-distance rather than fully loaded touring; Hunt recommends a 115kg limit for rider and luggage. The Carbon 30s use alloy nipples as opposed to the brass ones in the heavier Superdura wheels. Personally I've found that nipples are a common point of failure on wheelsets, and alloy nipples are more prone to corrosion than their brass counterparts. If it was up to me I'd always spec brass nipples – even on a lightweight wheelset – if it was designed for long distances and rough treatment as these are. That being said, I've had no issues at all, and you get spares in the box.

Dynamo

The SON Delux dynamo is specifically designed for road riding. It weighs just 395g and when turned off generates just 0.4W of drag, barely any more than a standard front hub. The efficiency is rated at 65%, and the dynamo outputs 3W of power at 20km/h, so to power your lights or your USB charger you can expect to be putting less than 5W into the system. I've mostly been using the dynamo with a Busch & Muller IQ-X front light and a Supernova E3 rear, and the dynamo kicks out plenty enough power to light your way. On steeper sections – above about 12% – my speed would drop to the point where the beam would start to flicker a bit, but over about 10km/h I was getting a nice constant beam. For USB charging with an Igaro D1 I found about 15km/h to be the minimum for a useful charge current.

Hunt Wheels Carbon Dynamo 700c -3.jpg

The SON Delux has a clever pressure compensation system. Dynamos heat up in use, and the air inside them expands and forces itself out of the hub. When they cool they suck air back in, and usually this will be damp air being sucked through the seals, which can accelerate corrosion. The Son Delux uses a coiled tube attached to an external port. Wet air that gets sucked into the tube never reaches the inside of the hub, and it's expelled again once the dynamo heats up in use. SON claims this will increase the bearing life beyond 50,000km. SON offers a five-year warranty on the hub, and the wheels as a whole are warrantied for two years.

The SON hub is a 12mm thru-axle design, with an insert if you want to run it quick release. I was using the hub in a thru-axle fork, and for a while I struggled with the hub rotating in the dropouts – curiously, in the opposite direction to travel – which pulled the dynamo leads off the connectors. The solution is to make sure your thru-axle is done up nice and tight; I had to re-grease the cam on mine so that I could get the necessary load to stop the hub moving. Since I have, it's been absolutely fine.

At the rear Hunt is using its 4Season Disc hub that has extra shielding for the EZO cartridge bearings inside. Both front and rear hubs use standard J-bend spokes which should be fairly easy to find a replacement for if you pop one out on tour. The wheels come with two spares of each length to take with you too, plus a spoke key, 6-bolt adaptors for the Centerlock disc mounts, tubeless rim tape (fitted) and tubeless valves.

Hunt Wheels Carbon Dynamo 700c -4.jpg

Hunt has started using a new coating on its 6-pawl freehub called H_CERAMIK. The freehub body is alloy, but it undergoes a ceramic hardening process not unlike the one Mavic has successfully used on its rims over the years. The process makes the surface of the alloy extremely hard, and there's no need for a steel insert to stop the sprockets biting into the metal. It's excellent: even with a steel bite guard there's still normally a bit of notching on a freehub after a couple of months of use. With this freehub you can see where the sprockets have been in contact but there's no indentation at all; the cassette just slipped straight off after 1,000km of testing. HG spline, Campagnolo and SRAM XD/XDR options are available.

Conclusion

Overall these wheels are excellent. They're light and well built, the front dynamo is as good as they come for road riding and the rear hub has been great too. They're sensibly built, come with spares, and are set up for the long haul. They're £500 more than the Superduras, so is it worth you spending the extra? Well, there's a 300g weight saving to be had, which is reasonably substantial. For a £500 bigger spend that's a Hairsine Ratio of 0.6, and you can see from our article on saving weight on the cheap that there are more cost-effective weight savings to be had if shaving the grams is your primary concern.

> 221 tubeless wheelsets to choose from

The main difference here is the carbon rim, and there's certainly an argument that a well-built carbon rim is a better choice than an alloy one for something like an ultradistance race, or any event where you're likely to be riding tired. I've put a ding in many an alloy rim over the years with a careless choice of line, or just by riding into a pothole when I'm knackered and my critical faculties aren't at their sharpest. If you're running tubeless that can affect the tyre's ability to seal. I know it's possible to break a carbon rim doing the same kind of thing – and that would be a worse outcome – but my experience of good quality carbon rims thus far (and Danny MacAskill's) is that they're very hard to break, and if you slam them into a pothole by mistake when running tubeless, by far the most likely thing to happen is, well, nothing at all. With rim brakes you have the issues of inferior braking and rim wear, but with discs those are no longer downsides.

Having asked my ultradistance pals, those who are swapping to carbon seem to be doing it for aerodynamic reasons rather than weight or strength. As I found out in the wind tunnel, there are more significant savings to be had by making your bike slightly more aerodynamic than slightly lighter, and over the course of a week or more of riding 18 hours a day (if you're doing the TCR) those savings will add up to a significant chunk of time. That's why ultradistance racers all have aerobars: the aero gains far outweigh the weight penalty.

This 30mm rim is called an aero rim by Hunt but realistically these rims are a bit shallow to make a big difference to your drag; those gains generally start to stack up somewhere north of 40mm. Hunt doesn't yet offer its 50mm aero disc rim in a dynamo build; if it did it probably wouldn't be any more expensive than this wheelset, since the 50mm and 30mm standard builds are both the same price. That would seem to me to be the ideal rim in Hunt's range if you're making a carbon dynamo wheelset aimed at ultradistance riders.

These wheels are really very good, but for me they fall a bit between two stools. That's not to say they're not good wheels, because they definitely are. And many people will want to go for carbon because, well, carbon. For me the extra outlay wouldn't be justified. But it might be for you. Or you just might not be bothered whether it is or not. Who am I to judge? I like to spend money on nice things too.

Verdict

Excellent lightweight dynamo wheels for the long haul

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Hunt 30 Carbon Dynamo Disc

Size tested: 700c

Tell us what the wheel 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?

Hunt says:

THE PURPOSE

We've taken the dynamo capabilities of our SuperDura Dynamo wheelset, and combined them with the performance of our super-wide carbon rims. Created for 'Josh' types (Ultra-Distance Heros) but also enjoyed by 'us' types (a bit less super-human, but still want convenience when commuting, training and road/off-road bike-packing).

A dynamo hub is an ingenious idea, a small coil of copper wire that spins inside a group of magnets to produce electricity, effectively it is an electric motor in reverse. You can then connect up electric devices such as lights, and never need to worry about having to abandon your ride due to lack of light. Following a large number of requests for a dynamo wheelset, our HUNT began for a lightweight and durable wheelset that provides you with freedom from constant charging of lights for your on and off-road bike-pack adventures, fast commuting and daily winter training.

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

From Hunt:

OVERVIEW

THE WHEELSET THAT WILL BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY AND NIGHT

Rims | Unidirectional T24/30 with 3K weave re-enforced spoke holes. Disc specific. 30mm deep, Super-wide 27mm aero U-profile.

Tyres | Tubeless-ready for lower weight & rolling resistance, featuring H-lock bead-seat for easy and secure tubeless installation. Also works excellently with clincher tyres and tubes.

Dynamo Front Hub | SONdelux 12mm with QR adaptor supplied. 3 watt / 6 volt output at 18-19kmh tested to German standard K687 for output requirement. See SonDynamo Information Here.

Hubs | HUNT 4Season Disc J-bend spoke hubs with extra bearing shielding. H_CERAMIK freehub coating. SRAM XD Driver available. Centre-lock disc mount, 6 bolt disc adaptors included.

Axles | Easily adaptable & we fit them for you. Fit all current axle sizes and are easy to change; Front - QR, Bolt thru 12/9mm, Rear - QR, Bolt thru 12x142, 12x135, 10x135. Please click here for more info on how to select your axles.

Included | Dynamo universal spade connectors and heat shrink, Tubeless tape & valves, spare spokes, spoke key, axle adaptors (please fill in the simple form after checkout to select your required size), pair of 6bolt disc adps.

1759g

Maximum tyre pressure for this rim is 110psi when used with 25-28mm tyres. Maximum tyre pressures for other tyre sizes: 30mm do not exceed 80psi, 33mm do not exceed 60psi, 35-45mm do not exceed 40psi, 46mm+ do not exceed 35psi. 100psi is more than enough for any rider on road. Please do not exceed the maximum pressure stated on your tyre. Click here to listen to a podcast exploring the science of why lower pressures were found to be faster by pro teams.

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Came true, stayed true, well finished, all the spares in the box.

Rate the wheel for performance:
 
9/10

Light, reliable, good dyno performance.

Rate the wheel for durability:
 
8/10

No issues during testing.

Rate the wheel for weight
 
9/10

Sub-1800g is decent for a wide gravel wheel even without a dynamo.

Rate the wheel for value:
 
6/10

At just over a grand they're not especially expensive, but they look dear compared to the Superdura version.

Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?

No issues during testing.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

All three sets went on fine, tubeless was easy.

How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?

Rim tape pre-fitted and well sealed. Valves good. Spare spokes, nipples and tool included. No skewers.

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

Light, dyno is excellent, new freehub treatment works really well.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

Expensive, alloy nipples seem an odd choice on an endurance wheelset.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Superdura wheels are about £500 less, alloy rims and 300g heavier. We haven't tested anything directly comparable with a dynamo.

Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes

Would you consider buying the wheel? I couldn't justify the extra spend over the Superduras.

Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

These are very good wheels. They don't rate quite as highly as the Superduras in my opinion but if you want something lighter and more blingy and you have the pockets for it, knock yourself out.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

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

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, touring, 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.

2 comments

Avatar
daccordimark [89 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

For the life of me I can't understand why they've used the SON Delux dynamo. You get more output (needed for charging devices) from the SON 28. The miniscule weight difference in favour of the Delux is too insignificant to matter when you're bikepacking or even unloaded riding.

Avatar
OllieTheWizard [7 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
daccordimark wrote:

For the life of me I can't understand why they've used the SON Delux dynamo. You get more output (needed for charging devices) from the SON 28. The miniscule weight difference in favour of the Delux is too insignificant to matter when you're bikepacking or even unloaded riding.

Hi Mark. Thanks ever so much for your feedback and you definitely raise a good point. The SON28 is definitely more capable when it comes to charging devices as well as running lights at lower speeds - and you're right the weight difference alone is probably not enough to warrant using the Delux.

However, what the Delux does offer is much less rolling resistance, and is better equipped for simply running LEDs/lights at higher speeds. As many of our customers for our Dynamo range are using them for rides/races like the TCR or Silk Road, where travelling quickly is important, this seemed like the right choice for that kind of riding. But you're totally right, for general touring/bikepacking recreationally, the SON28 does provide a good argument as being the right one for the job.

It was something we discussed a lot here and it wasn't a quick decision, but I think one that is justified based on the kinds of riding our customers do on these wheels. I hope that offers some clarity and helps a little. Thanks once again for your feedback, it'll certainly figure in future discussions we have about our dynamos and the specs we choose for them.

Best regards, Ollie @ HUNT  1