The Hunt 44 Aerodynamicist Carbon Disc wheelset represents a brilliant deal that offers all the performance you need. The wide rim is stable in crosswinds and fast on mixed terrain, they set up tubeless very easily and just float over harsh roads. There's a lot to love here.
At £879, the 44 Aerodynamicists are an upgrade offering performance that easily justifies the price – much of the competition, after all, costs more. The hubs, while appearing basic, stood up to a huge amount of abuse during testing, and we've seen nothing which suggests longevity would be an issue. Tubeless setup is super simple too, and the build is solid. It's an easy wheelset to recommend.
> Buy now: Hunt 44 Aerodynamicist Carbon Disc wheelset from Hunt for £799
For general road riding, 44mm deep carbon wheels are the choice I'd make. With them on my bike still feels nippy up hills, fast on the flat and it doesn't feel like a crosswind is going to send me into a hedge. I'd also say that it is the depth that looks right on most road bikes, but that's rather subjective.
This particular set strikes a balance between flat land speed, handling and climbing ability very well. As all-rounders they're very capable, and with a quick tyre swap they can handle cyclocross and light gravel duties too.
What surprised me most was their smoothness over broken surfaces. As a smaller, lighter rider I really notice when the tarmac is broken, and I especially hate it on climbs. These wheels noticeably smooth any imperfections, and made me a much happier cyclist when the group headed down the back lanes.
The 20mm internal width (29mm external) surely helps with this floaty ride, and I even saw a few PBs on local climbs for very similar power numbers. This was with my usual Vittoria Corsa G2.0 28mm tyres (tubeless) and pressures around the 60psi mark.
That floaty ride won't suit everyone, of course, though if you're like our Stu and really want to feel the road beneath you, you could always run higher pressures.
There's aero in the name here, so you'll be expecting a relatively speedy set of hoops. Hunt does like a good wind tunnel test and, to be fair, they happily admit when their wheels don't quite come out on top. My personal opinion is that drag tests in a wind tunnel are a little moot. We can't verify claims and, given the changeable conditions of a normal road ride, the key thing is how the wheels actually feel.
Acceleration is plenty fast enough from low speed, and I was happily climbing on these for the early part of the hillclimb season. Once up to speed they roll well enough I could happily sit around 30-33kph while not pushing too many Watts.
Yes, they lose out slightly to a properly deep wheel on fully flat rides, but if you're looking to cover a range of riding, this is an excellent option.
Hunt is one of an increasing number of brands that will set everything up for you if you buy the tyres at the same time. I recommend it (if you need tyres) as it'll save you a job, though as long as you get a good tubeless-ready tyre, it's not actually a difficult one.
The wheels arrive with tubeless tape installed and a set of very good valves in the box. You need to add sealant and, while everyone seems to be producing sealant these days, you won't get me to change from the Stans stuff I know works. Using this and a pair of Vittoria Corsa G2.0 TLR 28mm tyres, I got it all easily inflated with a track pump.
Interestingly, Hunt has chosen a hooked rim which complies to ETRTO standards (we like that). The hooked design gives you more tyres to choose from, and also means you can pump them to higher pressures. As a climber who hovers around 60kg I'm not often going over 65psi, but if you're heavier this could be something to consider.
It'd help if there was more to talk about here, but I've simply had one of those lovely occasions where the tyres inflated easily and then held air without fuss. If only it was always so simple.
Drilling down into the wheelset (not literally) you find a tubeless-ready Toray T700/T800 carbon rim that is, as mentioned above, 29mm wide externally and 20mm wide internally. The width means that they are optimised for 25-28mm tyres, but you can run your 23s if you're still clinging to them – and I've fitted 33mm cyclocross tyres too.
> road.cc's Best Cycling Wheels of the Year 2020/21
The Hunt Sprint straight-pull hubs are a familiar sight now. Inside the freehub live three treble-tooth pawls which Hunt says results in a 7.5° engagement. The pickup at the pedals is quick, but I've used faster. That said, the Sprint hubs help to keep the cost down and to be honest, it's a tradeoff worth making.
Joining everything together are a bunch of Pillar PSR XTRA spokes – 20 in the front in a 2x pattern (both sides), and 24 in the rear. Again they're a 2x pattern on both sides. It's a no-nonsense, effective build.
I have put plenty of miles into these wheels over a longer-than-usual test period. Most of those miles have been harsh, with winter conditions and quite a bit of cyclocross use – and the pressure washing that comes with it. They've smacked into plenty of tree roots and potholes, yet still spin smoothly and still run true.
£879 isn't silly money in the world of carbon wheels, and I'd say the 44 Aerodynamicists offers very good value. The Scribe Aero Wide+ 50 - D wheels are a very close rival at £9 less though, and those are slightly wider internally and externally. You'd be really well served by either.
You can go cheaper. The VEL 50 RL Carbon Tubeless wheels we recently tested are £699, though they are a little bit heavier than the Hunts.
The main thing, though, is that Hunt brings the Aerodynamicist 44s in well under the price of any comparative wheelset from the big brands. Zipp's 303S springs to mind, for instance, at a 2022 price of £1,031.
With the Hunts you're getting a fast wheelset that is lovely to ride and it won't cost you a silly amount of money. Well, in relative terms, anyway. You can always discuss that in the comments...
Fast, stable, easy to live with and a great price
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Make and model: Hunt 44 Aerodynamicist Carbon Disc wheelset
Size tested: 44mm deep, 29mm wide
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: "The 44 Aerodynamicist Carbon Disc benefits from the further trickle-down effect of Luisa Grappone's Aerodynamicist rim profiles, as first seen on the 48 Limitless Aero Disc. The rim used is the same as in the 44 UD Carbon Spoke Disc, but paired with conventional steel spokes.
"Aerodynamicist 29mm-wide rim exclusively engineered and wind tunnel tested by Luisa Grappone, HUNT Engineering Manager, featuring a hooked & ETRTO-compliant tubeless-ready rim, designed for full clincher & tubeless tyre compatibility."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Rims | Aerodynamicist disc-specific rim profiles, designed from the ground up. Toray T700/T800 carbon-fibre with a stronger ratio of T800 (T40) fibres to achieve greater strength-to-weight ratio. Unidirectional sidewalls with 3K weave bed and spoke areas. Drainage hole to prevent water ingress.
Tyres | 20mm rim bed optimised for superior aerodynamic performance with a 25-28c tubeless tyre, but also very capable with a 23c. Tubeless-Ready. Also works excellently with clincher tyres and tubes.
Hubs | Sprint straight-pull hubs, with a 15mm diameter 7075-T6 axle. Circular dropout interface steps for added stiffness. 3x treble tooth pawls resulting in just 7.5˚ engagement. Steel spline insert to protect the cassette body.
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
Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
Rate the wheel for performance:
Rate the wheel for durability:
Rate the wheel for weight
Rate the wheel for value:
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
True as the day they came out of the box. And that's after using them off-road, too.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Tubeless setup is very easy.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
Rim tape and tubeless valves do their job.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Fast, stable and comfortable while still being stiff for big efforts. They're brilliant.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
The comfort is brilliant and kept me a little bit fresher over the course of a ride.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
The freehub pickup is a bit quicker on high-end hubs... but that's being picky.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can get cheaper wheels. The Vel hoops we just tested are £699, but the majority, such as Zipp's 303S (£985) are more expensive.
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
They do the stuff that the more expensive wheels do, but you'll have money left over for a lot of coffee and cake.
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
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