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review

Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke Wheelset

9
£1,199.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Light, stiff and well priced – these fly up the climbs and are well worth the money
Very light
Very stiff
Easy tubeless setup
Brilliant for the climbs
Relatively sensible price
You won't get a spare spoke from the local bike shop
Hookless, so max pressure is 72psi
Weight: 
1,240g
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The Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheelset brings World Tour climbing performance – and interesting tech – to a relatively sensible price. The climbing performance is brilliant and the handling is spot on. There's a lot to like.

We first saw glimpses of this wheelset at the 2021 Tour de France, under Qhubeka rider Sergio Henao. While the Qhubeka team folded before the 2022 season and Hunt lost its place in top-flight bike racing, those wheels did eventually make it to market.

> Buy now: Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheelset for £1,199 from Hunt

Riding them, at 1,240g with valves and tape, doesn't present too many surprises; picking them up out of the box suggests they're going to be reactive and well suited to the climbs and, funnily enough, those assumptions are well placed.

We'll come to climbing in a moment, but first I want to cover how well these wheels handle. The low weight makes them incredibly nimble and, while the ride might be on the twitchy side for some, I absolutely loved riding these wheels.

With such a low weight and high stiffness, it wouldn't have been a surprise to find them a bit jittery in rough corners, but the Aerodynamicists seem to absorb those little shocks well. They left me able to sail through turns.

The 32mm-deep rims offer a little bit of an aero advantage over shallow alloy wheels, but you're not getting the hyper-fast ride of a deep wheel. That said, I was happy to jump into a few races on these; they weren't the thing that was holding me back. I can blame a lack of training and poor tactics for that.

2022 Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke - rim detail 1.jpg

Where these wheels really shine is when you get away from the ultra-competitive world of road racing and head instead for the ultra-competitive world of Strava KOMs up silly hills. Here the 32 Aerodynamicist UDs deliver exactly what you need. They accelerate quickly and never leave you feeling like your precious watts are going into anything other than forward momentum. You're still going to need a strong set of legs to nab a KOM, but these wheels will match the effort of even the strongest rider.

The build here is really good. The rim is a hookless design, so you're going to need to pick something that is ETRTO compliant. The 28mm Goodyear tyres I fitted were very tight to mount, but then went up easily.

2022 Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke - rim detail 2.jpg

While we're on the subject of tyres, you have a maximum pressure of 72psi to play with. For me, at 63kg, that's plenty. But if you're nearing the weight limit of 109kg, it might be an issue.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best road bike and gravel bike wheels

Hunt not only committed to hookless with these wheels, but introduced new hubs too. The Sprint SLC hub has been updated with a move to 7000-series aluminium, and the result is a claimed weight of 95g front and 220g rear. The three-pawl design in the freehub has 48 points of engagement, and the hubs are on the loud side.

2022 Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke - rear hub.jpg

Carbon spokes

One thing I'm not overly sure about is the use of carbon spokes. Yes, they seem to work well – I've had no issues with them and they are sure to be a good conversation starter on the club run – but I haven't found them to add anything in terms of ride feel over a steel spoke.

2022 Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke - spoke detail.jpg

Hunt says they allow the system weight to be reduced because it takes fewer carbon spokes to achieve the same lateral stiffness figures as regular ones, and certainly the overall weight can't be argued with. I was extra cautious when installing the tyres as I didn't want to snap a spoke against my thigh; I don't actually know how strong they are against those kind of side loads.

2022 Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke - spoke nipple.jpg

The Taper Lock spokes are at least replaceable, and you're able to true the wheels just as you would with a standard spoke.

Taking all of that into consideration, I am certainly impressed by the price of £1,199. I've just finished reviewing the Roval Alpinist CLX II wheelset (£2,500) and the difference isn't worth crossing the £1,300 gulf. The Rovals are great wheels, don't get me wrong, but you can have a brilliant wheelset with fancy features at a much lower price.

Verdict

Light, stiff and well priced – these fly up the climbs and are well worth the money

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke Wheelset

Size tested: 700C

Tell us what the wheel is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From Hunt: "We created the 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheelset for riders who seek out the high mountains. The result of extensive research and development, and years of experience progressing proprietary HUNT Aerodynamicist designs, we paired lightweight, hookless rims with UD Carbon Spokes for added lateral stiffness, as well as further weight reduction. Laced to our new cold-forged Sprint SLC hubs with rapid 7.5-degree engagement and enhanced power transfer, this wheelset is exceedingly lightweight at 1213 grams, while still offering the responsiveness, reliability and serviceability that HUNT riders have come to expect."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?

From Hunt:

Rims | Hookless/Straight-Sidewall Design | A hookless rim design allows for the lightest possible rim while still maintaining strength and reliability.

Tyres | 21mm internal rim width, optimized for superior aerodynamic performance with a 28mm tubeless tyre. Please note, clincher tyres must not be used on hookless rims. Always consult the tyre manufacturer's guidance for compatibility with hookless rims.

FastEngage 7.5 Hubs | New Sprint SLC straight-pull hubs, designed for carbon spokes. 15mm diameter 7075-T6 body and axle for supreme strength-to-weight. Circular dropout interface steps for added security in fitment. 3x treble-tooth pawls, resulting in rapid 7.5˚ engagement. Steel spline inserts to protect the cassette body.

EZO Stainless Steel Bearings | High-grade Japanese EZO bearings. Rear hub upgraded to even faster rolling LU/LB low-friction sealed internal face, dual sealed external face bearings.

Spokes | TaperLock UD carbon spokes offer up to a 30% increase in lateral responsiveness against steel equivalents. Only 2.7g per spoke and yet can handle tightening forces of ~450kgf per spoke.

Axles | Easily adaptable & we fit them for you. Fit all current axle sizes and are easy to change; Front - QR, Bolt thru 12/9mm, Rear - QR, Bolt thru 12x142, 12x135, 10x135.

Included | Tubeless tape & valves, axle adapters

Weight | 1213g

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the wheel for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for weight
 
10/10
Rate the wheel for value:
 
7/10

Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?

True out of the box and no adjustments needed.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Getting Goodyear tyres on was a struggle, but then they inflated incredibly easily.

How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?

Tape and valves are both no-fuss designs.

Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose

These are solid wheels at a great price. They improve the feel of a lightweight road bike, and will match you as you stamp on the pedals.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

These absolutely fly uphill.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

The hookless design has likely saved a bit of weight, but it makes tyre choice a bit limited and holds you down to under 72psi.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Very competitive. You get a few sets of wheels around this price, but it is great to see that you don't have to spend double to get pro-level hoops.

Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes

Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes

Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

These are brilliant for those of you who like to climb or favour handling over aero. The carbon spokes are a fancy feature and are executed well. The hubs are nice and the build is solid too. They're excellent.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Add new comment

11 comments

Avatar
jimt | 1 year ago
0 likes

I think the carbon spokes do make a difference.

I have a set of the 50mm, the additional spoke tension or lack of elasticity is what in part makes the wheel feel “snappy”

As mentioned in the review, the directness in cornering can be felt which along with the light weight will be very noticeable to anyone changing from some average wheels and will make your steering feel quicker. Shifting of weight mid corner has a much bigger impact on the bike and depending on skill/preference some will love/hate it!

Avatar
Sevenfold | 1 year ago
0 likes

Question here for the more enlightened to answer:

'Please note, clincher tyres must not be used on hookless rims. Always consult the tyre manufacturer's guidance for compatibility with hookless rims'.

So can you put a tube into a tubeless tyre on a hookless rim in the event sealant won't fix a puncture? Or is it a non-starter & a taxi is the only solution?

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to Sevenfold | 1 year ago
0 likes

I believe its fine.  Its when you have a beaded tyre looking for a rimhook to connect to you are in trouble.

Avatar
Liam Cahill replied to Sevenfold | 1 year ago
4 likes

I've just spoken with Hunt to confirm, but yeah you’re allowed to run a tube in a tubeless tyre on a hookless rim

Avatar
Sevenfold replied to Liam Cahill | 1 year ago
0 likes

Thanks for the response. Having had numerous problems with tubeless, I'm currently running GP5000 (generation 1 not the latest version) & Michelin Power tubeless tyres with tubes & just wondered what the situation was regarding running tubeless tyres with tubes on hookless rims.

Avatar
peted76 replied to Sevenfold | 1 year ago
0 likes
Sevenfold wrote:

Thanks for the response. Having had numerous problems with tubeless, I'm currently running GP5000 (generation 1 not the latest version) & Michelin Power tubeless tyres with tubes & just wondered what the situation was regarding running tubeless tyres with tubes on hookless rims.

Probably be fine as long as you can run them at low enough pressures.

I'm not sure I'm sold on 'hookless' yet.. I run pressures between 75 and 85 and all the hookless rims I've seen seem to have a max pressure of 75psi listed. I'd be interested to know the limits of hookless road rims/tyres on rough roads and or single track (aka English NCN routes). 

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to peted76 | 1 year ago
0 likes

85 is probably too high for tubeless unless your running 25's and built like a rugby player.

I'm running 30's at 65 or lower with nothing but positives.  YMMV of course.

Avatar
OnYerBike replied to Sevenfold | 1 year ago
1 like

My understanding is that a tyre sold as a "clincher" (and not "tubeless" or "tubeless ready" or similar) isn't required to conform to quite the same standars regarding bead seat diameter and retention, and so a "clincher" tyre might blow off a hookless rim.

But a "tubless"-type tyre should be fine regardless of whether or not you're actually running it tubless or with an inner tube, because the tyre design and manufacturing tolerances ensure a secure fit with the rim. The use of an inner tube doesn't affect that. Zipp mention that in the important notices at the bottom of this page: "Zipp hookless rims are designed for tubeless or tubeless-ready tires only. Inner tubes are ok, but the tire must have tubeless beads for safe retention."

Obviously would be good to get confirmation from Hunt that this is true for their wheels too, but I don't see why it wouldn't be (I know there has been some discussion about the difference in forces that use of inner tubes applies, but I don't see that as relevant).

Avatar
check12 replied to OnYerBike | 1 year ago
0 likes

Clinchers will be built as clinchers and tubeless tyres as tubeless tyres neither is better or meets tolerance more than the other they are just designed differently.

Avatar
Miller replied to Sevenfold | 1 year ago
0 likes
Sevenfold wrote:

So can you put a tube into a tubeless tyre on a hookless rim in the event sealant won't fix a puncture? Or is it a non-starter & a taxi is the only solution?

I would do it as a get-me-home option and without pumping in stupid pressures. I am on board with hookless in general but I've also moved to wider lower-pressure TLR tyres which makes it very easy. Current fave tyre is the Swallow Pro One 34mm which I run at 50psi at the most. 

 

Avatar
joules1975 replied to Sevenfold | 1 year ago
3 likes

There are some potentially misleading/confusing responses to your question. So, to be clear...

  1. Yes, you can run any tyre designed to be tubeless with a tube. No problem doing that.
  2. You can not just run any clincher (tubed or tubless design) on a hookless rim. You must use a tyre that the manufacturer clearly states is compatible with hookless rims
  3. You need to be careful with the pressures you are running with hookless rims, as you can't run anything like the same pressures as with hooked rims.

Running a tyre that is not stated by the manufacturer as compatible with hookless rims, or running at pressure above the rim or tyre manufacturers (whichever is lower) maximum pressure, is potentially very dangerous, as the tyre is more likely to blow off without warning.

It's worth listening to the Nerd Alert Podcast with Josh Poertner from Silca, where they go into detail about tubeless, hookless, etc.

https://cyclingtips.com/2022/03/nerd-alert-podcast-confused-about-tubeless-and-tire-pressures-youre-not-alone/

 

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