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review

Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset

9
£949.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Impressively light for performance gains, while tough enough for plenty of gravel abuse
Impressive low weight
Great price
Full offering of freehubs
Weight: 
1,388g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race wheelset is designed for performance, focusing on low weight without sacrificing durability and versatility. During the last few months the wheels have definitely delivered on those promises, showing themselves to be massively reliable and responsive through consistently wet and muddy conditions.

For more options, check out the guide to the best gravel wheelsets on our sister site, off.road.cc.

> Buy now: Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race wheelset for £711.75 from Hunt

The 25 Carbon Gravel Race (25CGR from here on in) weighed in at 1,388g on our scales, which is impressive, especially when you consider that includes the tubeless rim tapes already installed.

2024 Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset - rim detail.jpg

Even with wide gravel tyres fitted that still means you can achieve a lightweight setup, which is very noticeable on the bike. Acceleration feels brisk, with no lag at all from a standing start. They spin up quickly, and, as you'd expect, it's the same when you hit the climbs, though it's not only from their lack of weight, but also the stiffness on offer. When you're out of the saddle sprinting or climbing, the 25CGRs feel as tight as a drum laterally. The build creates a firm wheelset without being harsh.

All of this adds up to achieve what Hunt has said in its brief about creating a race-focused wheelset. They bring a certain level of nimbleness and responsive to your bike compared with wheels a few hundred grams heavier – not a huge amount, but when riding them side by side you do feel how much more 'eager' the Hunts make your bike feel.

2024 Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset - rim detail 2.jpg

A low weight can sometimes make you wary about a wheelset's reliability, and I'll admit I was a little tentative when hitting the pothole-strewn surface of my favourite gravel trails, especially those deep ones hidden under the surface water that have become commonplace over the last couple of wet months.

I hit the edges of some of them, and while there were some horrible impact noises a couple of times, the 25CGRs remained perfectly true and tight throughout the review period. Should the worst happen, you do get some extra spokes included in the box when your wheels are delivered.

2024 Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset - spoke nipple.jpg

Most gravel tracks in the UK are more like mud trails this time of year, so the Hunts have seen very little dry and dusty conditions, more like mountain bike routes. They have stood up well, considering all of the wet mud, grit and flood water they have been ridden through. A few months is hard to gauge any long-term effects of winter riding, but a removal of the freehub showed that things were looking pretty dry and uncontaminated considering what they'd seen out on the trails.

Build

In terms of the build, the 25CGRs are based around a 25mm-deep carbon fibre rim with a 33mm external width, 26mm internally.

2024 Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset - rim bed 2.jpg

The rim is asymmetrical, as in the spoke bed is offset to one side. On the rear the holes are positioned closer to the rotor side of the hub, which means you can increase the dishing so the spokes travel at more of an angle to the freehub side, increasing strength.

2024 Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset - valve hole.jpg

Hunt has focused on tubeless designs since it was a relatively new concept for road bikes, and the rims are set up for this. Tubeless rim tape is included, as are tubeless valves, and the rim is hookless, which means the rim doesn't have the small lip running around the circumference of the outer edge for the bead of a clincher tyre to pop underneath. Only tubeless tyres are designed to be run on hookless rims, though you can still run them with a tube inside if you so desire. You can read more on this in our feature, What’s the difference between hooked and hookless bike wheels?.

2024 Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset - rim bed.jpg

Hunt recommends a 40mm tyre for best performance on these wheels, while 35mm to 64mm are also safe to use. I tried them with 40mm and 45mm wide tyres from various brands and found fitting each of them easy and straightforward. Check out our guide to the best gravel tyres if you're looking for some new rubber.

The Sprint SL hubs have a black anodised aluminium alloy body and are compatible with a range of axle options – you just need to say which adaptors you need when ordering the wheels. Hunt has specced EZO sealed cartridge bearings to keep the wheels rolling smoothly.

Freehub-wise, Hunt caters for every offering including SRAM/Shimano HG Spline, SRAM XD/XDR, Shimano Microspline and Campagnolo N3W which Ekar uses.

The HG version we had fitted includes a steel strip to stop the cassette from digging in under pedalling load. Drive is applied swiftly thanks to the pawls engaging in just 7.5 degrees, and if you like a bit of noise from your freehub then you are well catered for here – a pleasant 'tick-tick-tick' without things being too loud or buzzy.

2024 Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset - rear hub.jpg

The freehub body is easy to change should the need arise, and while the wheels come set up for Center Lock disc rotors, Hunt offers six-bolt adaptors if you need them.

Value

Priced at £949, and currently discounted to £711.75, these offer a lot of bang for your buck, especially when you consider that Hunt is also giving you the option to select a set of tyres from Schwalbe's G-One range for free.

The 21mm-deep Enve AG25s that were rated very highly over on off.road.cc are £1,800, for example. Their width dimensions are very similar, but came in a bit weightier at 1,498g including rim tapes and tubeless valves.

At full price they're not quite as good value as the Just Riding Along (JRA) Monitor Carbon wheels that impressed me when I reviewed them last year, which start at £845 for a set. At 1,360g on our scales they were just as sprightly as the 25CGRs on the bike, and their dimensions are fairly similar too.

Conclusion

For everything other than an aero boost, the Hunts have you covered. Their low weight means they could transform your bike in terms of acceleration and climbing, and you'll be impressed by their overall stiffness too.

On top of that, their sub-grand price point is also very impressive too considering what you are getting for the money.

Verdict

Impressively light for performance gains, while tough enough for plenty of gravel abuse

road.cc test report

Make and model: Hunt 25 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelset

Size tested: 700C, 25mm deep

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, "A race-focused hookless gravel wheelset built to offer versatility for the harshest and steepest days."

Their low weight means they definitely make your bike feel quick, plus they are durable so ideal for long, tough days on the gravel.

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

From Hunt:

RIMS:

Disc-specific hookless/straight-sidewall design.

33mm external and 26mm internal.

H_LOCK bead-seat up-kicks, for easy and secure tubeless installation.

Matt black base finished with matt white contrasting graphics.

SPOKES:

24 front and 24 rear, laced 2-cross.

Aero Butted 2.0-2.2/0.95-2.0 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 finish.

NIPPLES:

Alloy square body for external adjustment and square head for easy internal adjustment/tensioning.

16mm length with washer for a strong connection to the spoke added durability.

14 gauge.

Black anodized finish.

FRONT HUB:

Forged and CNC'd 6066-T6 heat treated aluminum alloy body.

6066-T6 aluminum alloy axles.

Center-lock disc mount. If you require a 6 bolt adapter you can purchase separately here.

HUNT SPRINT SL Disc straight-pull super-light alloy.

Polished anodized black finish with laser graphics.

REAR HUB:

6066-T6 heat-treated aluminum alloy freehub body.

Steel Spline Insert freehub body reinforcement provides excellent durability against cassette sprocket damage to the Shimano freehub often seen on standard alloy freehub bodies.

3x treble-tooth individually leaf sprung pawls with 48 teeth on the ratchet ring for fast 7.5-degree engagement and instant acceleration.

All freehub standards accounted for.

Hunt Race Season Disc straight-pull super-light alloy.

Forged and CNC'd 6066-T6 heat treated aluminium alloy body.

Center-lock disc mount. If you require a 6 bolt adapter you can purchase separately here

Polished anodized black finish with laser graphics.

Intended use: Fast and light gravel riding. For loaded gravel riding and bikepacking, please consider wheelsets featuring HUNT 4 Season hubsets.

BEARINGS:

High-grade Japanese EZO bearings.

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

Incredibly fast rolling.

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheel for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for weight
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for value:
 
6/10

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

The wheels stayed true and tight throughout the review period.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Fitting a range of tyres showed no issues whatsoever.

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

All of the extras worked well. It's good to see spare spokes included.

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

For gravel riding they are tough and reliable, plus their low weight helps on the climbs.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

Low weight makes them feel responsive.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

Nothing.

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

They are slightly more than the JRA Monitor wheels mentioned in the review, but nearly half the price of something like the Enves.

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

Stunning performance and build quality, especially for this kind of money – an excellent wheelset.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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1 comments

Avatar
footflaps | 4 months ago
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Just received this email after ordering a set a few days ago..

"Unfortunately, the 25 Carbon Gravel wheelset you have ordered has been discontinued and there will be no future shipments of this wheel type. We are very sorry to advise you of this and would like to deeply apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."

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