The guys from Hunt Bike Wheels called in at road.cc last week with three sets of new wheels spanning a wide range of prices. Here are all the details you need.
Hunt reckons that its new 55 Carbon Wide Aero wheelset (£999) is its fastest yet. It’s notable for the absence of a rim hook which allows the brand to reduce the overall weight.
The vast majority of bike wheels have a ridge on the inner edge of the rim, opposite the top of the brake track, to help retain a clincher tyre’s bead, but some mountain bike wheel manufacturers have dispensed with hooks over the past couple of years and Hunt is doing the same here. The brand argues that a hook is primarily used as a means of compensating for a lack of accuracy in wheel and, especially, tyre manufacture. It adds security when the rim and tyre don’t marry up as well as they should.
Hunt is a strong advocate of tubeless tyre systems and these have to be made to accurate sizes with non-stretchy beads otherwise they won’t seal. With that in mind, Hunt believes that a hookless rim and a tubeless tyre make an excellent partnership.
Hunt says that getting rid of the bead allows a stronger structure to be produced that can better handle braking forces, so less material can be used to keep the weight down.
The rims used for these wheels are 55mm deep and 26mm wide (21mm internal) yet they weigh just 480g. The complete wheelset weighs a claimed 1,549g.
The wheels are built up with Pillar PSRXTRA Aero straight pull spokes (20 front, 24 rear) and Hunt’s Race Season Sprint 6061 alloy hubs with a 15mm diameter 7075-T6 alloy axle. You also get quick release skewers, brake pads, tubeless tape and valves, spare spokes and a spoke key.
Hunt reckons that these are its fastest wheels, especially if you go for the option with Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres (the rims will work fine with other tubeless tyres). A 25mm tyre width is recommended although you can opt for 23mm or 28mm if you prefer. You get sealant as part of the £1,099 package.
Our man Dave Atkinson took the Hunt 55 Carbon Wide Aero wheels for a quick ride on Friday – just half an hour or so.
“First impressions were good,” he said. “For a start, the tyres didn’t fall off, bead hook or no bead hook. They felt eager under power and even when properly sprinting there was no brake rub, and because I’d swapped the Hunts in from some slightly narrower wheels the brakes were running pretty close.”
“It wasn’t an especially windy day and I didn’t go very far, so making any judgement on whether they were faster than a standard wheelset – or another aero wheelset, for that matter – would be conjecture. But they certainly roll well and the ease of getting the tubeless tyres on looks like it’ll be a real boon.”
Incidentally, the guys at Hunt say that the growing trend towards wider rims and tyres is helping avoid issues resulting from carbon rims overheating on long descents. With more surface area on the rim and tyre, and a larger air chamber, the heat doesn’t build up to the same degree.
The Hunt 55 Carbon Wide Aero wheels will be available from January. You can pre-order now at www.huntbikewheels.com.
As the name suggests, the 4Season Dura wheels are designed for year-round use and durability, although they’re still pretty lightweight at a claimed 1,698g.
The hubs are 4Season 6061-T6 alloy with large, double sealed bearings from EZO that are designed to keep water and gunk out, and a steel spline insert is designed to prevent sprockets digging in to the alloy freehub body.
The rims are 23mm wide and come with a deeply grooved brake track to maintain performance in wet conditions. Hunt says that it has kept that brake track thick for extra durability.
Like all Hunt wheels, they 4Season Duras are tubeless ready so you can run lower pressures for more grip without the worry of pinch flats.
You get Pillar spokes with reinforced heads – 24 at the front, 28 at the rear – and they come fitted with 14mm long brass (and so corrosion resistant) taper-grip nipples.
The rim brake 4Season Duras are £229 while the disc brake wheelset is £239.
Hunt reckons that these are the fastest disc brake wheels out there at this price. The Aero Lights are built with aluminium rims – 6061-T6 heat treated – with a 28mm deep profile and a micro-peened finish. They’re 22mm wide (17mm internal) and Hunt say that they work well with tyres from 23mm right up to 45mm.
The hub is Hunt’s Race Season Disc that’s adaptable to take all axle standards, with EZO and S&S bearings. The butted and bladed spokes are straight pull and slightly stronger than standard J-bend spokes.
Hunt claim just 1,449g for the wheelset, which is very light.
These are £459 the pair and will be available from January. You can pre-order now. Pay £99 more and you can have them fitted with Schwalbe One Pro tubeless tyres.
For more info on the entire range go to www.huntbikewheels.com.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.