Hunt has unveiled two new XC mountain bike wheels, both with ultra-wide 30mm rims (internal), but one’s for riders on a budget, and the other is for weight-weenie racers looking for the ultimate wheelset (and a little more to spend).
Both are 29er only, but the top-level Hunt Proven Carbon Race XC UD brings more than a long model name along with it’s UD carbon fiber spokes. There’s a new hub, front- and rear-specific layups, and a lifetime crash replacement warranty, too. We’ll start with those…
Hunt Proven Carbon Race XC UD
Available in 29er only, the new 1254g XC Race wheelset hits its ultra-low weight without giving up a really wide rim. Both front and rear have a modern 30mm internal rim width, but a shallow 22mm depth.
Weight savings come from using UD carbon fiber spokes that weigh just 2.7g each, but Hunt says they’re 30% stronger than a comparable steel spoke, which allowed them to reduce the spoke count to just 20 in the front and 24 in the rear. Front wheel weight is just 552g, rear is 702g with XD Driver Body.
Yet they’re user friendly, using the same replaceable, true-able design as standard spokes thanks to a “Taperlock” design that places an alloy sleeve around the hub end and a threaded steel mandrel at the rim’s end that has a square shape so you can hold it in place (preventing rotation) while truing it like normal with standard nipples.
The front rim is tuned for compliance and traction, while the rear is a bit stiffer for better impact durability and responsive acceleration. There’s a 21g difference between rims thanks to those different layups.
The new S_RapidEngage hubs have a snappy 2-degree engagement angle, and with 30% less “stretch” from the carbon spokes, they say the wheels accelerate very quickly.
They’ve been racing them in prototype form on the UCI World Cup circuit for two full seasons, garnering a podium spot and proving the lightweight design was up to the task. All that, and the MSRP is just $1,699 (€1749 / £1349). They’re available for pre-order now, shipping in late August.
Hunt XC Wide Alloy MTB Wheels
At the other end of the spectrum and retailing for just $479 (€499 / £379) are the all-new Hunt XC Wide Alloy wheels. These, too, get front and rear specific rims, but instead of layup, it’s in the width and shape.
Both use a new FEA-optimized 6069-T6 alloy that’s been hardened and shot-peened to improve durability, and they tested them against other popular alloy wheels to ensure they’d hold up equally well or better against impacts.
The front rim has a 28mm interior width and is designed to maximize the tire’s traction and remain compliant over the bumps. The rear is 26mm wide inside, and stiffer to handle the torque and impacts.
Spokes are 28-count front and rear, using triple-butted (2.2-1.6-2.0) black anodized Pillar spokes that expand to 2.2mm at the head for increased strength.
The hubs come with EZO stainless steel bearings, oversized alloy axles, and their H_Ceramik treatment on the freehub bodies to resist scratching and marring from the cassette. Inside is a 6-pawl (3×2 arrangement) setup with 36 teeth for a 5º engagement.
They’re designed with 2.2-2.4″ tires in mind but work with anything from 1.6″ to 2.6″. Claimed weight is 1,693g, available in Boost and Non-Boost hub spacing.