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Hunt launches new Hill Climb SL Disc wheelset that weighs just 963g

Yep that's for the pair, and we weighed our test wheels at just 950g! Hunt has revived its Hill Climb SL wheels for disc brake bikes ahead of the hill climb season, and they might be the lightest disc brake wheels on the market

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. 

Hunt Hill Climb SL disc studio

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.

Weapons of mass reduction

2023 HUNT Hill Climb SL Disc Andrew Feather
The brilliantly-named Andrew Feather tries out his featherlight new rims

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).

2023 HUNT Hill Climb SL Disc spokes.JPG

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.

2023 HUNT Hill Climb SL Disc rear hub.JPG

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
Material: Carbon 
Depth: 30mm
Brake type: Disc brake
Tyres: Tubular
Rim width: 26mm (internal)
Spoke count: 18/20 front/rear
Weight: 950g (actual)
UD carbon TaperLock spokes

2023 HUNT Hill Climb SL Disc wheels pair.JPG

Pricing and availability

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. 

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62 comments

Avatar
Jack Sexty | 10 months ago
2 likes

Just to add here as well, we've got an intriguing pod discussion coming up on bearings so we can go argue about them under a new article next week... 

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Pot00000000 | 10 months ago
2 likes

Year 2000 called and it wants its wheels back.

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Off the back | 11 months ago
6 likes

Just one problem. If I were to build up another hill climbing bike - it certainly wouldn't be a disc brake bike. My old Emonda SLR Race Shop Limited tipped the scales at 4.7kg with lots of Uber light kit, Sram red mechanical with a single front ring, Mavic ksyrium SLS wheels. There is not a chance in the world you would get a disc brake bike that light without spending a whopping amount of money for some custom boutique bike and even then you'd struggle. My Emonda cost me £4600 total. 
 

So I'm not sure why Hunt are producing these for a comp where no serious contender is riding disc brakes since you can still build rim brake bikes up at around 4kg. 

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KoenM replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
2 likes

Because some people don't want to build a whole new bike for this and bikes like an Aethos are light enough for people who just want to have fun and aren't going for a podium, and these wheels are a "cheaper" way to shed a lot of weight of those kind of bikes. 

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Off the back replied to KoenM | 10 months ago
1 like

Cheaper? They cost £1300. 🤣

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KoenM replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
1 like

Cheaper than most wheelsets you can buy online at that weight, not everyone has a wheelbuilder close.

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to KoenM | 10 months ago
1 like

Cheaply made, yes. Cheap they are not. You can get much, much better for a lot less.

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KoenM replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 10 months ago
0 likes

Not online

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festina replied to KoenM | 10 months ago
0 likes

Apart from they probably won't want tubs for their general day to day bike.

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Simon E replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
2 likes

Off the back wrote:

So I'm not sure why Hunt are producing these for a comp where no serious contender is riding disc brakes since you can still build rim brake bikes up at around 4kg. 

Because they will sell.

You don't have to be at the sharp end of the national hill climb to buy some light wheels, just as you don't have to be one of the fast boys or girls to ride a Shiv in a 10 mile time trial.

Very few hill climb bikes are under 5kg and it costs a lot to get to that figure, as you know. Dan Evans's 2017 championship-winning Supersix Hi-Mod is for sale, he says it is 4.9kg with superlight tubulars, etap MCFK carbon etc. Rebecca Richardson's tricked-out Aethos (with disc brakes) for the 2022 nationals was 5.0kg.

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Off the back replied to Simon E | 10 months ago
1 like

An S-Works Aethos which would  cost £4000 just fir a Frameset , add a top end groupset and these wheels bars etc you're talking close to £10k still. Or buy a used rim brake bike on eBay for a fraction.  Guess you missed the bit where lightweight disc brake bikes would cost a whopping amount. For quite a niche sport.

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mark1a replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
4 likes

Off the back wrote:

An S-Works Aethos which would  cost £4000 just fir a Frameset , add a top end groupset and these wheels bars etc you're talking close to £10k still. Or buy a used rim brake bike on eBay for a fraction.  Guess you missed the bit where lightweight disc brake bikes would cost a whopping amount. For quite a niche sport.

I think you're missing the point regarding one of the reasons Hunt decided to launch these wheels. If you read the article:

road.cc wrote:

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.

So, the target market is not people who are building the ultimate climbing machines, it's people who are already running something like an Aethos or Ultimate CFR and want a convenient, quick & easy way (add to basket, pay, wait for delivery) to drop 300-400g. Money doesn't really come into it in this case. 

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Off the back replied to mark1a | 10 months ago
0 likes

I wouldn't really call the market for ultra light road bikes for hill climbing only large enough. £1300 on top of the cost of an ultra light bike? 
 

mentioned before, people could buy a TT bike. But you can ride a TT bike anytime really. There are lots of club 10s etc always happening. But hills climbing is a seasonal thing that still quite niche. And do bear in mind these are tubular only, they are not likely to be used on the pot hole strewn British roads week in week out. Sure there are money is no object people who could build any bike they wanted. But I still maintain that we're that the case, a rim brake bike with the lightest of everything wouod still be much much lighter than anything disc brake bikes can get to. 

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Simon E replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
3 likes

People who buy an Aethos don't care that they could buy something even lighter for a fraction of the price. They may even own a lightweight bike already.

Off the back wrote:

I still maintain that we're that the case, a rim brake bike with the lightest of everything wouod still be much much lighter than anything disc brake bikes can get to.

Maybe but Hunt are providing these for people who ride with disc brakes. I doubt they will sell bucketloads because they're for tubs but so what? There are lots of niche, low-volume products around, I don't know why you are so bothered about this one.

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KoenM replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
1 like

And you didn't read my comment dude, I said for people who already have an Aethos.

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festina replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
1 like

I wondered same thing reading this; hill climb disc brake wheels is like an oxymoron.

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Rik Mayals unde... | 10 months ago
3 likes

From experience of a riding buddy who has just had new bearings fitted to some very little used Hunts, in his words Hunt wheel bearings are crap. They look very nice, have fantastic marketing but use cheap and nasty bearings.

£1299??? For that you could get a very light handbuilt set of wheels from an expert local wheelbuilder which would be better built, more reliable and easy to replace a broken spoke.

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jaymack replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 11 months ago
0 likes

In my limited experience these people make fantastic wheels,  www.stradawheels.co.uk

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Nagai74 replied to jaymack | 10 months ago
0 likes

Yep, the set I've had from them are great, but I found their service to be pretty shocking. Maybe that's part of their buiness plan so that I don't keep returning them to make use of their free truing for life?

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Off the back replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 11 months ago
1 like

I will admit to owning a set of Hunt Aero Disc 50 which are very good. But they are not amazing. I more often than not have my Roval Alpinist CLX II rims on. And even though they are only 33mm they outperform the Hunts on everything. Climbing you'd expect but even on the flat they hold their speed so much better. Hunt are great if your after a budget carbon wheelset but they are not top end. Even the Aerodynamicist are overhyped. And if you're prepared to buy limitless then there are so many better wheel sets for the money. Namely Roval Rapide which are probably best value wheelset on the market. 

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to Off the back | 11 months ago
0 likes

The best wheels I have ever had bar none, are those built by Paul Hewitt at Leyland. He supplied wheels to the Linda McCartney squad, and has built wheels for many olympic champions, including Wiggins, who used his wheels in the 2012 Dauphine and took them to the tour but was prevented from using them by the sponsors. 

Very light wheels, incredibly strong, in buying wheels from Paul for over 25 years I have yet to break a spoke.

He could build a better, lighter, faster set of wheels than these Hunts for less, I am sure.

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Cugel replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 10 months ago
0 likes

Biker Phil wrote:

The best wheels I have ever had bar none, are those built by Paul Hewitt at Leyland. He supplied wheels to the Linda McCartney squad, and has built wheels for many olympic champions, including Wiggins, who used his wheels in the 2012 Dauphine and took them to the tour but was prevented from using them by the sponsors. 

Very light wheels, incredibly strong, in buying wheels from Paul for over 25 years I have yet to break a spoke.

He could build a better, lighter, faster set of wheels than these Hunts for less, I am sure.

Is that just a fan-gush or have you got any meaningful data describing how what you like are "the best"?

Personally I find Hunt wheels to be better than those generally supplied with a whole bike; or at least as good as those coming with expensive bikes. The bearings aren't "crap" but not the very best in the world either. They're produced to a decent standard by a Japanese producer at the bottom end of the Japanese bearing hierarchy .... but still far better than the cheesey bearings found in many other brands of wheels.

Best of all, replacement bearings can be had for all Hunt wheels at a mere £6 each. (Don't bother with the ceramic ones - the very teeniest margin of a marginal gain at not a marginal price increase). 

I bought a set for their 4-season wheels some 7 years ago when I bought the wheels (£350 with lots of spares such as spokes, end caps for different axle diameters and even a pair of centrelock-to-sixbolt adaptors) but still haven't needed to put them in as the originals are still smoof. (I check them and regrease them, see).

*******

Personally I think any and all carbon-rimmed wheels are a waste of money for 99% of cyclists who don't need no steenkin' marginal gains.   1 These hill climber wheels are of this ilk - for dafties with to much money and not enough sense. Another item used to transform bike races into technology spend-fests instead of sporting events for the humans.

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to Cugel | 10 months ago
4 likes

Fan Gush? What bollocks. I have been using Hewitt Cycles for hand built wheels for over 25 years with not a single issue. One of my bikes has done 70,000 miles now without a single broken spoke or wheel gone out of true. I would say that's pretty impressive, hence why I recommended them. So, that is why I said they are the best wheels I have owned. Because they are.

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Cugel replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 10 months ago
2 likes

Biker Phil wrote:

Fan Gush? What bollocks. I have been using Hewitt Cycles for hand built wheels for over 25 years with not a single issue. One of my bikes has done 70,000 miles now without a single broken spoke or wheel gone out of true. I would say that's pretty impressive, hence why I recommended them. So, that is why I said they are the best wheels I have owned. Because they are.

You can't claim the Hewitt wheels "are the best" if you haven't tested all the other wheels available in comparison. The Hewitt wheels may be very good indeed but if that's all you use then you have no grounds to diss other brands via anecdote, do 'ee? Heresay from a friend (aka gossip) doesn't count at all as evidence of summick, by the way.

I once had a pair of Shimano 600 hubs with Mavic ceramic rims and double butted stainless spokes.  I got them in 1987 and they're still going today. Should I diss all the other sorts of wheels on this basis? 

Personally I try to avoid being a fan in favour of trying alternatives, whilst tending over time to buy more of a brand that's proved worthy. If one gets all fanny about a brand, it automatically excludes other possibilities that may have functions you never even discover.

I might try some o' them Hewitts though.  1

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mark1a replied to Cugel | 10 months ago
6 likes

I would have though that somebody with your eye for fine detail would have noticed that in both of the posts (quoted by you in your replies) where Biker Phil endorses these wheels, at no point do they say they're "the best", it's stated that they're the "best wheels I've owned" and "best wheels I have ever had bar none". Also states an opinion that Hewitt "could build a better, lighter, faster set of wheels than these Hunts for less, I am sure". Therefore no need for evidence of testing against all other wheels, Biker Phil is simply stating an opinion from wheels previously owned and used, and we all have opinions on stuff, sometimes they get posted on road.cc. Sometimes it's about tools, rather than wheels. 

Finally, it's a bit rich coming from you slating somebody else's opinion based on what they have, when most of your product/service related posts here are all about whatever you use/have used is the best.

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Cugel replied to mark1a | 10 months ago
1 like

mark1a wrote:

I would have though that somebody with your eye for fine detail would have noticed that in both of the posts (quoted by you in your replies) where Biker Phil endorses these wheels, at no point do they say they're "the best", it's stated that they're the "best wheels I've owned" and "best wheels I have ever had bar none". Also states an opinion that Hewitt "could build a better, lighter, faster set of wheels than these Hunts for less, I am sure". Therefore no need for evidence of testing against all other wheels, Biker Phil is simply stating an opinion from wheels previously owned and used, and we all have opinions on stuff, sometimes they get posted on road.cc. Sometimes it's about tools, rather than wheels. 

Ah ha - here we must examine the syntax of a statement such as "the best I ever had bar none". If this is so, which are the other wheels against which "the best" ones are compared to make the descriptor "best" mean anything? 

If the Hewitt wheels are the only kind ever owned by Biker Phil then "best" is no use in dissing other wheels he hasn't owned, such as the Hunts he's taken agin'. He has no basis of comparison. Which of all the wheel brands he has actually owned and used is he comparing the Hewitts against?

Put another way, if Biker Phil had only owned and used the worst wheels ever made anywhere by anyone, they would still be "the best he ever owned".

mark1a wrote:

Finally, it's a bit rich coming from you slating somebody else's opinion based on what they have, when most of your product/service related posts here are all about whatever you use/have used is the best.

I didn't slate Biker Phil's opinion on what he has (his Hewitts) but his opinion on what he doesn't have (Hunt wheels) and so has no basis to have an opinion about (apart from some scuttlebut he heard somewhere then repeated). I'm sure Hewitt wheels are very good and Biker Phil's opinion of them seems justified. I did mention to him that I might buy some meself.   1

***********

Which products that I have and offered a good opinion about here did I claim to be "the best"? Generally I say, "I like these aspects of it because and I dislike these other aspects because ...." Sometimes I say, "I have this similar thing and its not as good because ....."

Others folk make hierarchies of worth about similar products of different brands based on extensive tests and emergent data whilst others arrange their hierarchies of worth based on advert claims, fashion or fanboy attachments. I prefer the test & data folk, me.

PS Why not let Biker Phil make his own defense? He'll proably do a better job than thee.  1

 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Cugel | 10 months ago
3 likes

Cugel wrote:

I didn't slate Biker Phil's opinion on what he has (his Hewitts) 

Yes you did:

here:

Cugel wrote:

Is that just a fan-gush or have you got any meaningful data describing how what you like are "the best"?

and here:

Cugel wrote:

You can't claim the Hewitt wheels "are the best" if you haven't tested all the other wheels available in comparison. The Hewitt wheels may be very good indeed but if that's all you use then you have no grounds to diss other brands via anecdote, do 'ee? Heresay from a friend (aka gossip) doesn't count at all as evidence of summick, by the way.

The point is, Biker Phil did not say they were "the best"", just that they were "the best I've had."

Cugel wrote:

Which products that I have and offered a good opinion about here did I claim to be "the best"?

No need to go into specifics, you've previously been described by other(s) as "solipsistic" (what a word) after one of your many "fan gush" posts.

Finally, FWIW, regarding Hunt wheels, I also like them, I've had four sets of Mason X Hunt 4 Seasons, (three sets still on bikes in my fleet, one set I've moved on to my brother's bike). They're not as good as the Rovals on two of my other bikes, but they're 4x the price, The Hunts however (as you say) are a great easy upgrade for the money from stock wheels. Only problem I've had is short life on the standard bearings, but again as you say, cheap and easy to replace with better ones.

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to mark1a | 10 months ago
4 likes

Solipsistic. Wow. I like that. Narcissist also springs to mind. Thanks for the defence, at least someone has the sense to actually read what I put, rather than post a haughty reply whilst ignoring what I actually put.

And that is what I put, that the bearings are cheap and don't last.

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Cugel replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 10 months ago
0 likes

Biker Phil wrote:

Solipsistic. Wow. I like that. Narcissist also springs to mind. Thanks for the defence, at least someone has the sense to actually read what I put, rather than post a haughty reply whilst ignoring what I actually put.

And that is what I put, that the bearings are cheap and don't last.

A solipsistic haughty narcissist!  I'll get a T-shirt made and possibly a cap! Where did you get your "All wheels are crap except the ones I like" T-shirt?

PS Can you point me at the place selling magic bearings that last forever?

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to Cugel | 10 months ago
0 likes

And there you go again making things up. I recall never saying all wheels are crap except the ones I like. There's absolutely no need to be such a knob with people. 

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