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British wheel company develops carbon tubular wheels for BIKE Channel Canyon Pro Team, and you can buy them too

Hunt is best-known for its range of keenly priced aluminium and carbon fibre tubeless compatible wheelsets, but following its sponsorship of the new BIKE Channel Canyon Pro Team, it has added a tubular option to its range.

Professional riders still prefer tubular wheels and tyres. They’re the lightest setup and the tyre won't roll off the rim following a puncture, meaning the rider can keep riding on a flat tyre until the support car arrives with a spare. But when Hunt announced it was sponsoring a professional cycling team we thought that it might supply tubeless wheels and the team could break with tradition and ride tubeless. That wasn’t to be the case and Hunt has duly delivered two brand new tubular wheelsets for the team. 

- The pros and cons of carbon fibre wheels

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“The BIKE Channel Canyon Team are training and racing on our tubeless-ready clincher wheelsets but for the biggest races in the calendar tubular rims were needed as they provide the ability for the riders to keep rolling whilst waiting for their service car in the event of a puncture,” says the British company. 

Hunt is offering two wheelsets, one with a 45mm rim and another with a 55/80mm front/rear combination, the former for as a lightweight all-round wheel, and the latter for flat races, sprinters and time trials.

Hunt has been pushing the benefits of wide rims since it launched a few years ago, and these new tubular carbon rims have a 25mm wide profile so they should play well with the wider tyres that are popular in the pro ranks. 

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While they’ve been developed primarily for road racing, Hunt does say they are suitable for cyclocross. Tubular wheels are popular with serious ‘cross racers because you can run tyres at very low pressures with little worry about the tyre rolling off the rim or pinch flatting. The wide rim profile should work well with a 33mm cyclocross tyre.

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It’s rim brakes only, naturally, and Hunt has developed a brake track using Basalt Ceramic Fibre to provide a high Tg (glass transition temperature) point. In combination with its Griptec brake blocks, Hunt claims the wheels offer excellent braking even on the longest descents. 

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The rims will be laced with 20/24 aero straight pull spokes to Hunt Race Season Sprint hubs with beefed up internals to cope with the demands of the high power output the pros generate, so there’s upgraded 48 tooth ratchet and multi-point pawls in the freehub to deliver a 7.5- degree engagement.

The Hunt Team 45Carbon Aero Tubular wheelset weighs a claimed 1,379g and will cost £849. The Hunt Team 55/80Carbon Aero Tubular wheels come in at 1,498 and costs £949. 

Both wheelsets are available to preorder now with delivery expected in July. Check out the wheels here 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.