Hunt is no stranger to developing super-light wheelsets, having introduced the 991g Hill Climb SL rim brake wheels back in 2018. To keep up with contemporary trends as well as the standardisation of disc brake actuation across all new road bikes, the British brand has today launched the Hunt Hill Climb SL Disc – a tubular wheelset designed exclusively for the British hill climb aficionado weighing a mere 963g per pair and priced at £1,299.
While rim brake-specific bikes are still the popular choice among ardent hill climb specialists owing to their feathery frames, there’s been an increase in disc brake bikes at events thanks to lightweight models such as the Specialized Aethos and Canyon Ultimate CFR. These new hoops from Hunt will allow riders to make their bike lighter by as much as 300g (dependent on tyre choice and current wheel setup), bringing disc brake bikes closer to the hill climb rim brake median weight.
Let’s take a closer look at the details.
The development of the Hunt Hill Climb SL Disc wheelset was inspired by the passionate hill climb community and brought to life through the involvement of the current British Hill Climb champion, Andrew Feather. The result is one of the lightest disc-brake wheelsets currently available, tipping the scales at a claimed 963g for the set. Weighed independently on our Park Tool scale, we returned an even lighter 950g (420g front/530g rear).
The secret comes from the special unidirectional carbon-fibre recipe, which utilises a 30mm-deep profile paired with a 26mm internal rim width. According to Hunt, the wheels have been optimised around the tubular tyre format and will play nicely with widths ranging from 23-28mm. Of course, the employment of Hunt’s UD carbon TaperLock spokes was crucial in further culling the weight. The kicker here, however, is the ease of maintenance and ability to true and replace individual spokes, thanks to the introduction of aluminium steel mandrils placed at each end of the carbon spoke attachment points – no bonded resin needed here.
Other tech highlights include the H_Ratchet UD SL hubs, which feature a lightweight CMC-machined heat-treated 6066-T6 aluminium body. The freehub uses a 40T ratchet drive with nine degrees of engagement. It can be optioned with most of the current freehub body standards including Shimano/SRAM 8/9/10/11 speed, SRAM XD/XDR, Campagnolo 8/9/10/11/12 speed and Campagnolo EKAR. Shimano’s new 12-speed cassettes are backwards compatible with 11-speed hubs, so no problems here.
Here are the full tech specs:
Price: £1,299 / $1,699 / €1,699
Brake type: Disc brake
Rim width: 26mm (internal)
Spoke count: 18/20 front/rear
Weight: 950g (actual)
UD carbon TaperLock spokes
The Hunt Hill Climb SL Disc are available for pre-order on Hunt's website with the first deliveries expected in the second week of September. In terms of pricing, the wheelset will set you back £1,299 / $1,699 / €1,699, which is neither particularly cheap nor too expensive and, to our knowledge, there isn't an off-the-peg disc brake wheelset this light for anywhere near this price point, or any price point for that matter.
The only drawback with the Hill Climb SL Disc appears to be tubular-tyre-only functionality, which isn’t as popular as it was before. Apart from the preparation and glueing process which can take a day or two, the wheels are easy to set up from the box. We will be assessing them as the hill climb season kicks off in the UK in the coming weeks so be sure to look out for the full review soon.
Aaron is the editor of off-road.cc. He completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former tech editor of Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect, digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's travelled the world writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 17 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic, raced nearly every mountain bike stage race in South Africa and completed the Haute Route Alps. He's also a national-level time triallist and eSports racer, too - having captained South Africa at both the 2022 and 2023 UCI Cycling eSports World Championships.