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Hunt Wheels teased shallow-depth, hookless-bead, carbon-rim wheels with carbon spokes at the 2021 Philly Bike Expo.
The new wheels from the British-based manufacturer are set to compete with Roval Alpinist CLX and Cadex 36 Wheelsystem with a claimed weight of 1,200 grams per set — but at roughly half the price of those wheels from Specialized’s and Giant’s brands.
Also read: Review — Hunt 60 Limitless Aero Disc wheels
The inner width is said to be 21mm and the outer width is 25mm, which should allow for a growing range of tire choice, as well as running a relatively lower tire pressure.
While Hunt had previously experimented with hookless bead rims, the lack of choice of tires which strictly conform to the ERTRO standard preempted this design feature. However, with more tire options being made available, Hunt wheel design has returned to hookless technology.
“We used to do it on the road side a few years ago, but now with a majority of tire brands on board with tubeless and hookless technology, we’re dipping our toe back in,” said Hunt North America brand manager Kenneth Rodriguez-Clisham.
The rim profile matches other wheels in the Aerodynamicist range. All wheels in the Aerodynamicist range have been designed by Luisa Grappone, Hunt’s engineer and product manager.
“These rims follow a similar U-shaped design as pretty much all our rims with a blunt spoke bed to help wind stay attached longer as opposed to the v-shape profile of the past,” Rodriguez-Clisham added.
The carbon spokes are trueable — after removing tires and rim strips, and using a special tool — and can be replaced by Hunt should one break. Hunt started working with a spoke manufacturer about eighteen months ago to create strong, light, and serviceable spokes.
“The spokes we started working with a manufacturer about a year and a half ago to produce trueable carbon spokes. So what it is, is essentially is just unidirectional carbon that stretched on both ends,” said Rodriguez-Clisham. “And then, with the hubs, we just reworked the hubs. They’ll be called our SLC road hubs.”
Hunt designed the hubs in-house, but sources manufacturing. Initially, at launch, only a single, steel bearing option will be available. If Hunt experiences a demand for ceramic bearings, a CeramicSpeed bearing option may be made available in the future.
“We’re only looking at launching them with steel bearings. So we have all of our steel bearings are from this supplier who makes extremely great quality bearings,” Rodriguez-Clisham said. “But if there’s enough demand, we will supply it with CeramicSpeed varieties like a couple of our other wheelsets.”
Hunt plans on making these wheels available in the spring of 2022, with a suggested MSRP near $1,400.