The Hunt 4050 Carbon Aero Disc is a great all-round performance wheelset. They deliver a bit of an aerodynamic boost, they're very low weight and durability seems very good, all for what is a very good price. Their width also makes them compatible with a wide range of tyres.
The 4050 wheelset is based around a 40mm-deep front wheel and a 50mm rear. If your main goal is speed then going deeper gives you better aerodynamics, but the downside can be added weight and twitchy handling in blustery winds. This wheelset provides more of a balance across a load of disciplines. When tyres are fitted, even the 40mm front does enough to cheat the air, but riding past a farm gateway won't see the handlebar snatched out of your hands on windy days.
The weight of just 1,472g (including the tubeless tape that they come fitted with straight out of the box) means they are very sprightly when it comes to climbing and acceleration too. Scrubbing too many grams can cause issues, especially if you are a larger or stronger rider. I've ridden plenty of sub-1,500g wheelsets that flex a noticeable amount when I get out of the saddle and really go for it, but the Hunts aren't one of them. Hammering up climbs or away from the lights these give away nothing whatsoever. They offer a comfortable and smooth ride too.
Durability doesn't look to have been sacrificed to create such a lightweight set of wheels, either. I've been using these for about six weeks on various test bikes and they haven't had an easy life. They've seen a fair few hundred road miles but have also been pressed into a bit of lightweight gravel riding and blasts along canal paths. For peace of mind Hunt offers a three-year guarantee against material and workmanship defects.
The 4050s were true straight out of the box and that hasn't changed. Hunt says that all of its wheels go through some harsh cobbled-rolling-road tests and the only limitations the company has put on these wheels is a 109kg rider weight limit.
Testing the wheels on various terrains means they have also had plenty of different tyres fitted over the course of the review period. Everything from 25mm slick road rubber through to the 38mm Hutchinson Overide for a bit of byway blasting in a mixture of tubed and tubeless fitting.
No matter the width, each tyre went on and seated with ease (well, except the Giant Gavia Fondo 0, but that turned out to be a pain on pretty much every wheel it came into contact with).
The 4050s have a small lip inside the rim which Hunt calls H_LOCK, which sort of kicks the bead up against the sidewall; should you be running low pressures it works to keep the bead in situ when cornering and so on.
The rims themselves are made from a mixture of Toray T700/800 unidirectional carbon fibre with a 27mm outer width and a 19mm inner. Plenty of brands are going much wider internally – around 24/25mm – which works with larger gravel tyres, but there starts to be a trade-off when it comes to fitting narrower race tyres like 25mm, still a very common choice for road riders.
Inside the 7075-T6 aluminium alloy hubs, Hunt specifies EZO bearings which I find to be smooth rolling and durable. I've ridden thousands of miles on Hunt wheels in all sorts of conditions and I've never had any issues with the hubs or bearings.
One thing I like about the freehub that Hunt uses is how quickly the pawls engage to the 48-tooth ratchet ring. It's most noticeable when trackstanding at the lights or under really quick, hard accelerations – I'm not a fan of any slop found in between the movement of the pedals and the engagement of the freehub. These wheels have just 7.5 degrees of movement before the pawls lock in.
The 4050s have an aluminium freehub body; these can suffer from damage and wear as the cassette shifts and bites into the splines, so to get around this Hunt has used a steel spline insert which reduces damage to just a few small marks.
Freehubs available include Shimano/SRAM and Campagnolo, plus SRAM's XD and XDR Driver.
Moving from gears to brakes and it is good to see that Hunt has gone down the Centerlock route, which makes swapping discs over much quicker. Not a big deal if you are only using them on one bike, admittedly, but when you are constantly swapping wheels between test bikes you soon realise what a faff six-bolt systems are.
If your bike uses six-bolt rotors, though, don't worry as Hunt supplies adaptors in the box along with plenty of other spares like your selected axle adaptors, cassette spacer (to make them compatible with 8/9/10-speed cassettes), tubeless valves and a spare of each spoke length, including nipples.
When it comes to value you really can't fault the £819 price tag when you consider the warranty, the durability and all the spares you are getting.
The direct-to-consumer model that Hunt uses does allow it to be very competitive against the larger brands, but there is some tough competition out there from other smaller wheelbuilders.
Scribe continues to deliver quality, lightweight wheels at very good prices. Its Aero Wide 50-D wheelset, for instance, is a touch more expensive at £870, but lighter by a tad at 1,449g.
Just Riding Along (JRA) offers the Mahi Mahi 40, a lightweight wheelset at 1,490g which costs £850. When Matt tested them, he was very impressed with their overall ride quality and durability, which puts them right in the firing line of the Hunts.
Overall, Hunt has delivered a wheelset that works for pretty much every road discipline, but especially for those rides where you want a blend of speed and also a lack of weight for when you take to the hills. The build quality is top notch, and with all of those things taken into account I can't do anything else other than recommend them.
Lightweight, stiff and fast wheelset that delivers heaps of performance for a great price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hunt 4050 Carbon Aero Disc wheelset
Size tested: 700C, 40 & 50mm 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, "Pro road races, criteriums, and even time trials, are being won by disc-brake bikes with increasing frequency. The revolution is happening, and to capitalise you will need an aero wheelset that delivers speed in buckets. Introducing the 4050 Carbon Aero Disc."
A very versatile set of wheels that deliver on weight, performance, quality and price.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Hunt lists these features:
Rims | Features disc-specific, unidirectional T700/800 rims, offering 19mm internal and 27mm external width, and a 40/50mm mixed depth U-shape aero profile.
Tyres | Tubeless-ready for lower weight and rolling resistance, featuring H_LOCK technology for easy and secure tubeless installation. Also works excellently with clincher tyres and tubes.
Hubs | Race Season SPRINT straight-pull hubs, boasting an engagement rate of just 7.5 degrees owing to the leaf-sprung, multi-point pawls and 48 ratchets in the hub shell.
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.
Included | Tubeless tape & valves, spare spokes, axle adapters (please fill in the simple form after checkout to select your required size), pair of 6bolt disc adapters.
Considering how light they are, their stiffness under load is very impressive and also means that they are responsive, on all types of roads.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
The wheels remained true throughout testing.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
A range of tyres from 25mm and 38mm fitted securely and easily.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
There are plenty of spares in the box and they are all good quality.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are versatile wheels that work both on the flats and the hills.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Lack of weight means they are very responsive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
I can't find anything that I dislike about the wheels.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Hunt wheels are in the same sort of ballpark for price vs weight as the offerings from Scribe and JRA mentioned in the review. Zipp's 303S wheels are £985 and 1,550g.
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
With near-faultless performance, the Hunt 4050 wheelset delivers everything a carbon wheelset should, but the real clincher is the fact that it is so well priced.
About the tester
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!