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Verdict: 
Tough, adaptable and wide as you want, these are an excellent choice for getting seriously gravelly
Weight: 
1,548g

The Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide are the UK brand's flagship gravel wheelset. The step up to 23mm internal rim width sets them up for the new breed of mega-wide-clearance allroad bikes – and the adaptable hubs mean your investment now is almost guaranteed to fit any future bike purchase.

  • Pros: Mega-wide rim bed, modular hubs, cheap retrofitting, disc adapters included, good weight for the dimensions, super-strong for off-road action
  • Cons: Apart from the price? Nothing. Unless you're north of 100kg, in which case you may be too heavy loaded

Two years back Jez fell in love with the narrower 21mm-rim-bed Carbon 30 wheelset – then £100 more at £999, for basically the same weight (OK, 59g lighter), not as much carbon beef and with a 30mm profile. Now going both wider and deeper, the new 35s up what was already some serious 5-star ante.

> Buy these online here

Out of the box the X-Wides look quite the business – jet black with subtle white branding. With an outside width of 30mm and depth of 35mm (hence the name) they look huge – but at only 1.5kg for the set, there's clearly carbon witchcraft going on inside.

Getting tyred

Being a 'tubeless-first' wheelset, the setup was child's play: pop in supplied valve, no taping needed as it's already done, add tyres, inflate using air tank. Fitting my go-to supple multi-surface rubber Rene Herse 38mm Steilacooms needed fingers only – A Good Thing especially for carbon rims. But no concerns re tubeless fit – when inflated there was a very loud snap as the tyre beads popped over the rim's internal 'H Lock' shoulder and into place. First time up, no faff, stayed sealed, the way tubeless should be. If I can slip a tyre around a rim prior to inflating it – say, to get the logo aligned with the valve – I worry that's a sign that it won't be a secure, airtight fit once inflated. However, Hunt's H-Lock rim profile ensures both ease of fitting and ultimate security/airtightness once inflated as well.

> Buyer's Guide: 18 of the best gravel & adventure tyres

At 35psi the 38mm Steilacooms measured up at the magical 40mm that Hunt says the wheels are optimised for. This widening is a consequence of the radically wide rim bed – so do pay attention to tyre purchase choice if you're close to your clearance limit.

Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide - rim bed.jpg

Sticking with tyre pressure for a sec... Hunt strongly advises: 'Maximum tyre pressure for this rim is 60psi when used with 35-40mm tyres. Maximum tyre pressures for other tyre sizes: 28mm do not exceed 90psi, 30-34mm do not exceed 70psi, 45-50mm do not exceed 45psi'.

Now these pressures may seem ridiculously low, but only in the historic 21mm 100psi-plus yesteryear view. Large tyres don't need as much pressure to retain their shape, and to have the same amount of pressure acting on the sidewall. In short: follow the instructions; harder is not faster. Or safer.

Setting up

In the box you get a bag of bits including the tubeless valves, three spare spokes/spoke tool and bladed spoke holder if you need to replace or tension them (I didn't), 8-9-10-speed freehub adapter spacers, and the axle endcap adapters. As with other Hunt wheels, these really are the X-Wides' party trick, and one of the main reasons to seriously consider them as your next set of gravelly hoops.

The beauty of the Hunt system – and the major reason for investing in its wheels, as I see it – is the plethora of axle setups open to you, now and in future.

According to Hunt, the system will: 'Fit all current axle sizes and are easy to change; Front - QR, Bolt thru 12/15/9mm, Rear - QR, Bolt thru 12x142, 12x135, 10x135.'

Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide - rear hub 2.jpg

So that's pretty much every possible option on the market today, and for the foreseeable future. And no doubt should a new 'standard' arise, Hunt will make adapters to fit. The adapters are available from Hunt for a tenner, should you need more for different bikes or to lend to a friend.

The bikes I used for the review were a mix of QR and 15mm thru-axles. I was reviewing the Mason X Hunt 4 Seasons Disc wheelset at the same time (review to come), and swapped tyres between them and the X-Wides to test out their on and off-road ability. As the more-gravelly bike uses SRAM Rival 1x11 with the XD driver hub body, I was swapping not only axles and endcaps, but the entire cassette/freehub body too. This was a perfect opportunity to live the life of a customer with multiple wheelsets, possibly multiple bikes, and who liked to mix and match wheels, tyres and drivetrains depending on the riding to hand. As Hunt's hub specifications have evolved over the years, if you are considering running an ecosystem of wheels it would be best to check with Hunt for compatibility between wheelsets.

Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide - front hub.jpg

I would bang on the thinner-tyred, lighter Mason X set for longer tarmac rides up the glens, then swap over to the hugely strong, wide Carbon Gravel set shod with the Steilacooms for oodles of chunky, rough drop-bar biking about the Perthshire hilltops.

Swapping out the axle endcaps from the other wheelset took a few seconds. You do need to remove the disc rotors to access the QR and 15mm axle endcaps, but as they are Centerlock rotor holders this is an easy, quick operation – just have a standard Shimano 16-notch bottom bracket tool and 40Nm torque wrench to hand.

As my bikes used different brake pads, I had to swap rotors as well – no major issue as removing the QR and 15mm endcaps requires removing the rotor lockring anyway. My original wheelsets were standard 6-bolt rotor hubs, not one-piece Centerlock rotors, so I had to use the provided 6-bolt adapters to hold the rotors in place. These went together easily, and held the rotors securely. If you want to make swaps really fast and faff-free, the one-piece Shimano Icetech rotor is an option that Hunt has 'extensively tested', although if you're running 15mm front thru-axles, clearance for the tool might be an issue requiring axle removal first. Hunt's UK-based helpline is very good at clarifying exactly what you need.

One issue with swapping hubs and rotors between bikes is the opportunity for miniscule variations in engineering tolerance in the hub, rotor, dropout or calliper to lead to a slight amount of rotor-pad rub, especially if you have a calliper with a minimal amount of pad travel between open and closed. Thus when swapping the wheels onto one bike (SRAM Rival) I had to perform a bit of calliper shenanigans to prevent rotor rub. Not a full re-alignment per se, but as the pads were partly worn, the setup needed just a light bit of 'encouragement' with a pad spreader lever for one piston to be a bit more retracted than the other, so as to balance out the centre point they would bite onto. Literally, remove wheel, press the pad you know is going to rub a bit inwards, squeeze the brake to get the other piston pushed out a bit further (ie fooling it into thinking the pad had worn more that side) and job done. Of course you may be running callipers that have enough pad retraction so as not to rub when swapping wheelsets.

Swapping over the freehub body/cassette was similarly easy: pop on some gloves and pull lightly outwards on the cassette – the whole thing coming off the axle without recourse to the locknut. The only thing you need to watch out for is a small red spacer shim that goes between the freehub inner bearing and hub bearing – I'm guessing that's why Hunt made it in red, so it was obvious when missing.

Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide - rear hub.jpg

A benefit not immediately obvious here is that if you break a rear driveside spoke in the middle of nowhere, say on a bikebacking tour, replacement is dead easy – no need for a cassette tool, chain whip and spanner to get the cassette off to thread a new spoke on.

Hunt specifies high-quality Japanese EZO bearings, and supplies replacement sets at £12 per hub. As the axles aren't 'shouldered' so can be removed in seconds, bearing replacement is easy with a basic bearing puller kit; just be aware Hunt inserts an alloy tube between the bearings, so it will need to be a proper 'lip-free' blind bearing puller.

On/off-road performance

The main reason for getting the X-Wides is the super-wide 23mm rim bed, backed up by a few square acres of carbon chunkiness to keep things in one piece. There's a great deal of comfort to be had from the rim profile when you're bombing about taking drop bars where no sane person would consider sensible or even possible. Everything about the X-Wides murmurs 'Find Your Limits', and it didn't take me long to trust that they were more than up to the job.

Setting up my now-40mm Steilacooms for about 32psi, no byway or gravelly road was beyond them. I sought out increasingly-lumpy mountain bike trails and footpaths (perfectly legit up here in the Bonnie Republic), the only limits to hand being my own skills and willingness to risk considerable personal pain should things go awry.

The pre- and post-gravel commutes on tarmac amply demonstrated the X-Wides' ability to hold a decent turn of speed, even in a nippy crosswind. Obviously the asymmetric profile is going to favour wind from one direction over another, but I couldn't work out which, even battling along a snaking road over a North Yorkshire moor. No doubt the aero butted spokes help out here, keeping things swishing along.

Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide - rim.jpg

After a particularly unfortunate rock sliced a gash in my rear Steilacoom I swapped to the 38mm Barlow Pass – more restricted in the mud, but even better on the roads to/from the rough stuff. The aforementioned loop of a few moors and then a restomping of my old Hampshire Highlands lanes reinforced that the X-Wides feel just as suited to the smooth as the rough.

With so much supple rubber underfoot, the idea of being able to ascribe 'comfort' to the X-Wides is kinda moot – so Hunt doesn't. What it does say is thanks to a special resin that cures at lower temperatures and retains more elasticity than other mixes, the X-Wides are less prone to vibrations and are more resilient to impacts – just the ticket for a rough-road rim.

Hunt also advises that the upper limit for the wheelset is 115kg including luggage, so if you're more at the brick-outhouse end of the weight scale you may want to have a chat with the Hunt helpline about your use case. Given it's unlikely anyone would be bikepacking with more than 15kg of kit, you're probably good up to 100kg dripping wet.

Value/rivals

Looking over the fence into the around-a-grand-chunky-carbon-disc paddock, grazing on the gravel are a few other contenders.

The £1,199 Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3Vs that Dave reviewed are very good, but for your extra £300 you get to fit your own tubeless tape, and get no QR option (granted, unlikely on a modern graveller). Critically for gravelling, there's no SRAM XD driver option for a 10T smallest-sprocket cassette, should you want to go 1x now or in future.

Then there's the equally priced Mavic Allroad Pro UST wheelset, pretty much a match for the X-Wides in every respect – until you realise they're alloy, not carbon. And are only 21mm deep.

> Buyer's Guide: Tubeless wheels from £114 to £2,400

Stu gave the £819 Parcours Grimpeurs 4.5 stars – mostly for the 1,406g weight and the fact they didn't bend. You can see where the missing 142g is, though: the Grimpeurs are only 19mm internal width, thus limiting you to less-than-the-fattest of gravelly treads.

Conclusion

All in all, for £100 less than the previous Carbon Gravel wheelset, for about the same weight, with pretty much guaranteed futureproofness baked in, the X-Wides are a very hard wheelset to go past. Yet again Hunt knocks the ball out of the park – and if you are on these wheels, you'll have no problem heading into the rough to find it.

Verdict

Tough, adaptable and wide as you want, these are an excellent choice for getting seriously gravelly

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 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide wheelset

Size tested: 35mm deep, 30mm wide ext, 23mm wide int

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?

They're for anyone wanting no-compromise rough-road performance and longevity.

Hunt says:

Introducing, the 35 Carbon Gravel X-Wide. Hit the seriously rough stuff with confidence, owing to a super-wide 700c rim optimised for tyres around 40c. Further, a 35mm depth is selected for its stiffness & burly strength for off-roading.

Featuring the same 5 degree RapidEngage 6-pawl hub as our 30 Carbon Gravel Disc (inclusive of H_CERAMIK freehub), this wheelset offers riders a more burly option for hardcore gravel/drop-bar off-road riding and racing! Benefitting further from a 24/28-spoke count (for up to 115kg riders), the result is a strong gravel/bike-packing wheelset for the heaviest of duties! The extra-wide rim is ideal for gravel and off-road tyres above 35c, with the ideal width sitting between 40-45c. The minimum tyre width for this wheelset is 28c. Hit the trails, HARD!

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

From Hunt:

SPECS OVERVIEW

GRAVEL RIDING SUPREMACY

Rims | Super-wide (30mm external, 23mm rim bed) unidirectional T24/30, with 3K weave re-enforced spoke holes. Disc-specific. 35mm deep, ultra-stiff and ready for the burliest of drop-bar off-roading.

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.

Hubs | HUNT 4 Season Disc J-bend spoke hubs with extra bearing shielding. 5 degree RapidEngage 6-pawl freehub, with H_CERAMIK coating for enhanced durability. 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 12/15, Rear - QR, Bolt thru 12x142, 12x135, 10x135.

Included | Tubeless tape & valves, spare spokes, spoke key, axle adapters (please fill in the simple form after checkout to select your required size), pair of 6bolt disc adapters.

See the full specs here

Weight | 1548g

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Flawless. Can't fault them. True as a die, still.

Rate the wheel for performance:
 
10/10

These are uber-stiff, with no variation from true over the hardest of rides.

Rate the wheel for durability:
 
10/10

They still look like new.

Rate the wheel for weight
 
10/10

For a profile this wide and deep, with a good spoke count, the weight is admirable.

Rate the wheel for value:
 
7/10

DT Swiss's GRC 1400 42mm-deep carbon wheelset is heavier, and £872 more expensive. That's a lot more cash for another 7mm of aeroness.

Stu really liked the JRA Geckos, which are £49 cheaper and lighter, but they are narrower.

Yes, £899 is a lot of cash, but look at what you get.

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

True as a die.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Fingers-only. Couldn't be easier.

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

Exactly as expected. No issues.

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

Fabulous. Fast as anything over the rough or smooth.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

The hubs – I love the future-proofness.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes

Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes

Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Given Jez's verdict two years ago, and the fact they've only gotten better in pretty much every respect including price and width, nothing less than 5 stars will do. I just can't fault them. These are serious wheels for the toughest of rides – you're buying certainty. Well, as much as you can.

Overall rating: 10/10

About the tester

Age: 46  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is: Velocite Selene

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling.

22 comments

Avatar
mylesrants [503 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Mighty work by Hunt.

Avatar
Xenophon2 [112 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I'm sure it's a very good wheelset for those who require it.  Just to qualify some of the praise with usage experience of their Hunt 30 carbon wheelset which essentially is the same design as far as the tire retaining mechanism and concept are concerned:

- I don't know about 35 mm+ tyres run at low pressure but what I do know is that on the Hunt 30 mounted with 28mm tyres inflated to 5.5 bar, the seal by itself is not the faffless  perfection portayed above:  they required a healthy dose of sealant and initial regular top ups with air.  After that, one weekly air topup to maintain pressure is sufficient.

- The following greatly depends on the tyre but while I found mounting and seating easy, the same cannot be said for removing the tyre from the rim.  If disaster strikes despite the sealant then you could be in for a long walk, depending on the tyre mounted.

- So far the Novatec hubs work fine but after taking a very close look I'm not totally comfortable with their resistance to winter conditions.  Too early to tell.

- Not convinced about the wisdom of mounting a 28 mm tyre on this setup.  Hunt says it's possible but if you get these hoops, I sure hope you're not thinking about anything less than 32 mm.

 

Other than the relatively minor issues above, I'm totally happy with the Hunt 30 and can only welcome this addition to their range.

Avatar
oceansoul [11 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

too bad those rebrand chinese hubs are pure trash, the hub sealing is nonexistant, bearing goes out after a few wet rides

Avatar
Jez Ash [252 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
oceansoul wrote:

too bad those rebrand chinese hubs are pure trash, the hub sealing is nonexistant, bearing goes out after a few wet rides

Based, I'm sure, on your own experience, right? I've commuted in all conditions, toured in Cuba and gone a *long* way off road on the Carbon 30s and have had zero issues with the hubs in probably 10000km. YMMV I guess. Or maybe you haven't actually tested them?

Avatar
oceansoul [11 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Jez Ash wrote:
oceansoul wrote:

too bad those rebrand chinese hubs are pure trash, the hub sealing is nonexistant, bearing goes out after a few wet rides

Based, I'm sure, on your own experience, right? I've commuted in all conditions, toured in Cuba and gone a *long* way off road on the Carbon 30s and have had zero issues with the hubs in probably 10000km. YMMV I guess. Or maybe you haven't actually tested them?

 

and we should believe you? why?

Avatar
Chris Hayes [459 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

When you review this rims and hubs, could you do us all a favour and tell us who really makes them please?  You write about the rivals, but you would be doing your readers and subscribers a service if you revealed the manufacturer:  then your readers can make an informed decision as to whether to buy the rim/hub directly for an appropriate price, or the branded rim/hub for the mark-up and build.

Avatar
grmtylr [8 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
oceansoul wrote:

too bad those rebrand chinese hubs are pure trash, the hub sealing is nonexistant, bearing goes out after a few wet rides

You obviously got a bad hub, if you've actually used them at all, as the hubs on my sets of Hunt wheels still have lovely smooth bearings.
Obviously the christ knows how many thousand miles including winter commuting on the Carbon 30 Aero wheels can't be considered as wet rides.
I've got Hunt wheels on two road/gravel bikes and a set on my MTB. They've all been absolutely solid. Can't fault them at all.

I've bought a set of the 35 wide gravel wheels for my Bokeh and so far they've been great. Can't give any long term review yet as I've only had them on a few weeks.
In fairness, I did have an issue with them but that was just that Hunt sent me thr wheels with the incorrect freehub fitted. They were, however, very helpful in sorting the issue.

Avatar
philhubbard [204 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Chris Hayes wrote:

When you review this rims and hubs, could you do us all a favour and tell us who really makes them please?  You write about the rivals, but you would be doing your readers and subscribers a service if you revealed the manufacturer:  then your readers can make an informed decision as to whether to buy the rim/hub directly for an appropriate price, or the branded rim/hub for the mark-up and build.

 

Most brands won't give away their suppliers or alternatively will have their own molds or styles of rims as obviously it would make the whole game a bit obvious.

 

We all know Hunt gets there hubs from Novatec but the rims are a bit more secret. Most people accept the fact that you pay a bit more for branded carbon wheels but justify that with the customer service and warranty that you receive

Avatar
Master Bean [57 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

The alloy rims are Kinlin XR31T. My hubs are also made of cheese. Got through two rears last winter. Cheap Chinese rubbish.

Avatar
gazzaputt [241 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
oceansoul wrote:

too bad those rebrand chinese hubs are pure trash, the hub sealing is nonexistant, bearing goes out after a few wet rides

 

Commute on Aero Light discs and had no such in issues with the hubs through rain and shine.

Novatechs are good value for money.

Avatar
KiwiMike [1427 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
oceansoul wrote:

and we should believe you? why?

Hey Oceansoul - your mum may be reading. She wouldn't be impressed with you joining in the picnic, then shitting on the blanket because you don't believe the hummous is home-made. 

Avatar
dave atkinson [6529 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
oceansoul wrote:

Jez Ash wrote:
oceansoul wrote:

too bad those rebrand chinese hubs are pure trash, the hub sealing is nonexistant, bearing goes out after a few wet rides

Based, I'm sure, on your own experience, right? I've commuted in all conditions, toured in Cuba and gone a *long* way off road on the Carbon 30s and have had zero issues with the hubs in probably 10000km. YMMV I guess. Or maybe you haven't actually tested them?

 

and we should believe you? why?

Obviously you don't have to believe the people that write the reviews on road.cc. Equally obviously, there's scant point you coming here to read them if you don't.

I've had a good number of Hunt wheelsets, six or seven, which have come and gone over the last few years. All of them have behaved impeccably for thousands of kilometres in all conditions. I can't guarantee yours will.

Avatar
Xenophon2 [112 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I do believe that Hunt sell good products at a good price point, else I wouldn't have gotten myself a set.  Yes, the rims are made in Taiwan but if I can believe someone in the sector whom i think knows what he's talking about they're produced by the same manufacturer who also does rims for some high end brands and has tighter quality controls than most mainland China manufacturers. 

The only thing that I'd personally like to see is that they'd offer them with a choice of hubs, I'd be willing to pay up for a Chris King.  But that would complicate things and requires a higher sales volume to make it realistic.

 

Avatar
MrB123 [102 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Xenophon2 wrote:

I do believe that Hunt sell good products at a good price point, else I wouldn't have gotten myself a set.  Yes, the rims are made in Taiwan but if I can believe someone in the sector whom i think knows what he's talking about they're produced by the same manufacturer who also does rims for some high end brands and has tighter quality controls than most mainland China manufacturers. 

The only thing that I'd personally like to see is that they'd offer them with a choice of hubs, I'd be willing to pay up for a Chris King.  But that would complicate things and requires a higher sales volume to make it realistic.

 

Why not just get a wheel builder to build you some up with Chris King hubs and the same rims?

Avatar
Chris Hayes [459 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Not entirely sure I'd bother with the Chris Kings.  I have a couple of sets and they require regular (and sometimes expensive) maintenance.  Last time cost me over £250 courtesy of Bespoke in London.  Certainly convinced me that it is probably better to get some decent DT Swiss / Dura Ace or Record equivalents: fit and forget is my new motto  1

Avatar
rjfrussell [527 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

tend to agree-  CK's are a bit of a faff with the amount of servicing reqd

Avatar
Chris Hayes [459 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Thanks for your detailed response, Tom: it is very much appreciated.  My earlier email overlooked the value companies like Hunt bring to the market by co-designing, sourcing, testing, quality controlling and hallmarking new product when bringing it to the market - so we can trust it.  I tend to get my wheels built professionally, but when he hangs up his spoke tensioner I'll check yours out. 

Avatar
HuntBikeWheels [14 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Hi Everyone,

Thank you ever so much for your comments and suggestions. We hugely appreciate it when riders, some who have tried our wheels and others who have experience of wheels from other companies, take their time to provide us hugely valuable understanding. We’re all riders here at HUNT https://www.huntbikewheels.cc/pages/meet-the-people-behind-hunt and obviously we started HUNT because we loved being geeky about bike wheels and got excited by making them as good as they can be to the best of our abilities so riders and ourselves could enjoy using them. So thank you again to anyone who has ever tried our wheels, or helps us get better with feedback, we will always strive to serve you.

@mylesrants thanks ever so much.

@Xenophon2 you’re absolutely right, variations in tyres definitely make a difference. As the first wheel company in the world to offer tubeless wheels with tyres fitted supplied, and we think we're one of the most experienced tubeless road wheel companies (we fit thousands of tubeless tyres per year by hand in the UK for riders) we have been working hard with the engineers at tyre companies including Continental, Hutchinson, with special thanks to Felix @ Schwalbe, and are pleased by the developments in the new ETRTO Tubeless road standard which all our rims comply with, as this has already been instrumental in creating excellent tubeless tyre fit and sealing. I would also say different sealants can have a massive effect as some seal more easily than others.

Avatar
HuntBikeWheels [14 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

@Xenophon2 (continued) As you say the Novatec hubs we previously used in your wheels have proved very durable over the 5 years since we started using them, with my own wheels still using the original bearings. Hub and bearing durability is generally down to a few main points, accuracy of machining, double contact bearings sealing (bearing spec), ball bearing size and spec, grease type and application on bearing seals, rigidity of axles and bodies, hub design to provide coverage of the bearing so they are not easily exposed to water (this has proven extremely important) and this can include o-rings on bearings caps (but that adds some drag). The Novatec JBend Disc hubs, bearings we specced and the waterproof grease we independently tested and selected have all proven themselves and there are a lot of independent online reviews of these hubs and they are also chosen by a huge number of wheels and bike companies for their durability. One thing to please note is that the 35 Carbon Gravel wheels in this review use hubs by a different manufacturer rather than Novatec, which of course have all of the same considerations during our testing but provided a 6 pawl 5 degree engagement angle (upgraded from 13 degree on the Novatec) and easier push-fit rather than threaded rear axle caps to make set up easier for you the rider.

Very interesting point about the different hub options and thank you for your feedback. We hugely welcome these kinds of ideas and are always considering how best to serve riders so these definitely go into our considerations for what we can achieve in the future.

@oceansoul These hubs are made in Taiwan, the same country DT Swiss manufacturer the vast majority of their hubs. We use this hub maker as they have proved themselves extremely reliable in our testing and from their track record with 2 of the largest US wheel companies. The rims are made in Taiwan too. I know that DT Swiss have their own factory in Taiwan for hub production so they will, of course, have incredible levels of control of their hub production that other wheel companies will not have, their rims, both carbon and alloy, plus much of their wheel building are outsourced.  Please do note that even the largest brands outsource much of their production mostly to third party Asian manufacturers (with obvious exceptions such as Enve rims), but I know many people including yourself are well aware of that. You will not be surprised that we are approached regularly by pretty much all of these producers to visit their factories and have our rims, hubs or wheel building provided by them. Peter, Luisa, Patrick and I https://www.huntbikewheels.cc/pages/meet-the-people-behind-hunt have personally visited most of them and use much of our time evaluating who will provide riders with the best rims, hubs, and wheels.

Avatar
HuntBikeWheels [14 posts] 1 month ago
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@Master Bean I’m ever so sorry you had an issue with your hubs. I would personally be very keen to see if we can help you with any issues as we never want a rider to feel like this, and as many other riders testament with their comments we really care, it hurts us if we don’t get something right for you so please contact us and give us a chance to make this better. The Race Aero Wide, that as you correctly say use the Kinlin XR-31T (Luisa and Chris our Aero engineers are currently designing an Aerodynamicist wind tunnel tested alloy rim brake profile so watch this space), used to use a very lightweight straight pull road hub, we have recently upgraded it to the H_CERAMIK freehub. We would be more than happy to arrange an upgrade to the new system for you to try. Please give us another chance and thank you again for this and any further feedback you can provide.

@Chris Hayes Thank you for your interesting question. Like most companies we don’t tend to share all our supplier names outside HUNT unless it is beneficial to riders to know that information otherwise we would be risking our capabilities to continue to serve riders in the future as well as the hard work and livelihoods of all the riders who work here. However, those in the know such as yourself often realise which high spec manufacturers supply to which large wheel companies anyway. Obviously Novatec is a good example where we do share this as they have very well proven MTB hubs from their years of DH and Enduro race testing with top pros including world champions and we use their hubs in the Trailwide, Enduro Wide and the £299 4Season Gravel Disc wheelset, but as I say most of our hubs are now made by 2 other suppliers. Most people would not expect DT Swiss or Stans (with whom we share a 1 hub supplier and 2 rim suppliers) to list their supplier names or for Road.cc to know them all. The truth is it’s actually a pretty complicated list anyway as I’ve just had a quick count up in my head of our supplier number and it was over 25 companies when you consider all the different elements of the wheelsets/building for all our different models and these are relationships we have built over decades in previous roles in the bike industry and through usually dozens of meetings and visits to their factories. We are very open about how we select some products and develop others to our own design, all are lab tested, ride test and for example, we put rims through a multitude of different ISO+ tests to make sure they are safe. Something else worth noting is that currently 13 HUNT wheelsets use rims that are developed to our designs and all our road straight pull hubs are a closed (with an open freehub) as Pete (my brother) managed to work with the hub manufacturer to shave 30 grams from their previous design. Plus pretty much all the hubs and many of the rims we use are to our specification even if based on an original open design so are not available through other companies. Clearly the level of engineering by Luisa and Pete that goes into something like the Limitless and 34 Aerodynamicist wheels over 2 years is a huge investment for a small company like ours and we thank all the riders who have supported us to bring wheels with this level of innovation to them.

https://road.cc/content/feature/236203-reinventing-aero-disc-specific-wh...

https://road.cc/content/feature/238045-reinventing-aero-disc-specific-wh...

https://road.cc/content/tech-news/262519-hunt-reveals-worlds-fastest-roa...

https://road.cc/content/tech-news/264307-hunt-unveils-worlds-fastest-aer...

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HuntBikeWheels [14 posts] 1 month ago
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However even with all this work, we do not think you should pay more for wheels from us than you do for similar wheels from any other company and we will always strive to achieve this to the best of our abilities, that is our job, so please do provide examples to us with links and calculations (we obviously run these regularly too to make sure we keep serving riders), as this will help us do a better job. Please do bear in mind VAT, import duty (in the UK = 4.9% on total including shipping) and shipping costs, all of which are included in the pricing you see on our website, are often not included but still charged at checkout/due at UK customs on other companies websites especially those based outside the EU, plus you do not have EU based product liability insurance and all the safety testing that we would carry out anyway but is not required of those outside the EU or other countries with advanced consumer protection laws.

I would like to say a huge thank you again for all comments and feedback and for the huge support we get from riders who give us the chance to serve them. It is hugely appreciated how the riders who have real experience of our wheels and service levels so readily and kindly provide their positive views and hugely constructive feedback for where we can improve, this really does help us make better wheels for all riders and we are riders ourselves so we always get excited by the new better wheels too.

Thank you again from the whole HUNT | TheRiderFirm team.

Tom Marchment

Co-Founder HUNT | TheRiderFirm.

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HuntBikeWheels [14 posts] 1 month ago
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Chris Hayes wrote:

Thanks for your detailed response, Tom: it is very much appreciated.  My earlier email overlooked the value companies like Hunt bring to the market by co-designing, sourcing, testing, quality controlling and hallmarking new product when bringing it to the market - so we can trust it.  I tend to get my wheels built professionally, but when he hangs up his spoke tensioner I'll check yours out. 

Thanks ever so much Chris for your reply and questions. Sounds like you have a darn good wheel builder serving you. Your comments and understanding are really appreciated and please do let us know if there's anything we can do to be better. We're all bike geeks so love a bike or wheel chat anytime,

Thanks again and I hope you get a chance to ride on this sunny Saturday morning,

Tom Marchment - HUNT Wheels.