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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
About the tester
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!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.