Got your eye on the hill climbing season later this year? You’ll need some lightweight wheels then, and as it would happen, Hunt has just launched its new Hill Climb SL Tubular wheels which weigh a paltry 991g yet cost just £1,098 - you’re looking at double or triple that price for any other sub-1kg wheels.
Hunt says it wanted to develop a wheel for the most intense hill climb races, beloved off by cyclists who enjoy pummelling their bodies up the steepest climbs on bikes stripped of any unnecessary component to get the weight as low as possible. Sawn-off handlebars, bar tape removed and redundant left in the toolbox help in the battle against gravity. But light wheels are the easiest way to drop a lot of weight.
Combining a 280g carbon fibre tubular rim measuring 23mm wide and 30mm deep with Pillar Megalite bladed spokes, just 3.4g each, with 16 front and 20 rear, and CNC-machined aluminium hubs, the wheels weigh a claimed 991g. That's the claimed weight, they haven't been near the road.cc Scales of Truth yet, though these two photos do show their weight.
So they're super light, but here's the thing, they're not crazy money. Hunt is asking just £1,089 for these wheels, which you can pre-order through its website with a £99 deposit for delivery in the first week of September. Yes, they are still over a grand but it’s a lot cheaper than any of the similar weight wheels we could find.
Such as the Tune Skyliner Tubular wheels which weigh a claimed 930g weight but cost €2,809. Another lightweight option is Lightweight’s Gipfelsturm wheels. They weigh 1,015g but the price - are you ready for this - is £4,298. The Hunt wheels look like good value for money then.
Due to their low weight, the Hunt Hill Climb SL Tubular wheels do come with a 78kg rider weight limit. These are not wheels designed for normal road racing and riding, and it is keen to remind us that its Carbon Wide Aero tubeless wheels are a more reliable choice for long mountain descents.
Reigning hill climb champion Dan Evans has been riding the new wheels already and had this to say about them. Obviously, it’s all very positive…
"First ride on the new tubulars last night and they’re seriously impressive. Obviously they’re lovely and light but the main thing that comes across is how stiff and solid they feel, nothing like other climbing wheelsets on the market that’s for sure.”
He’ll be racing the new wheels at the Hill Climb World Champs in Santa Barbara, California later this year, taking on ex-pro Phil Gaimon on the 25-minute climb used in the Tour of California.
Here’s the bike Dan Evans will be riding, a Cannondale SuperSix Evo with SRAM eTap and Cannondale Hollowgram chainset.
Check out the new wheels at www.huntbikewheels.com/products/hunt-hill-climb-tubular-wheelset
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.