Hunt have just announced some new hoops with Ceramic Speed bearings, UD carbon spokes, and a very competitive price tag.
High-performance wheels have long been the dream upgrade for us roadies and while you can get brilliant carbon hoops for well under a grand these days, fancy carbon spokes and ceramic bearings usually require you to part with over £2,000.
Now, for just £1,379, you can have a set of 36mm-deep carbon tubeless-ready wheels with mechanically-held UD carbon spokes and Ceramic Speed bearings. That's a whole lot of fancy tech for the money.
We've seen carbon spokes before, but usually, they are bonded to the hub flanges, rim and even to each other. This is great for stiffness, but a bit of a nightmare should you break a spoke.
Hunt has used a method that they call Taper Lock. This essentially means that their carbon spoke behaves and can be tuned just like standard steel spokes. That's much simpler for truing wheels and also means that should you break a spoke, they're easier to replace.
The new spokes have, Hunt claims, much greater tensile strength "achieving over 450kgf (kilograms force per spoke) maximum tensile strength" compared to leading steel spokes which only reach 300 kgf. This results in a "31% increase in stiffness over equivalent steel spoked wheelsets".
Talking about the manufacturing process, Hunt said "at the hub end of the spoke an aluminium mandrel is placed around the spoke during the curing process, and is pulled tight against the (tapered) head of the spoke. The rim end of the spoke is fitted in the same way with a threaded steel mandrel, and can be trued using a spoke key on a nut from within the rim bed (accessible through the internal spoke holes). The steel mandrel has a standard square outer shape allowing the spoke to be held straight whilst any adjustments are made to the internal nipple."
The rims are made using adaptive filament winding which varies the layup thickness and fibre orientation around the rim. "The layup pattern places fibres aligned in a series of increasing angles radiating from the spoke hole up to the tyre bed. This technology optimises the transmission of force from the spoke to the rest of the rim, and provides additional material to create high strength at the spoke area while minimising unnecessary weight between the spokes."
Those rims are tubeless-ready and 26mm wide externally so they should sit well with 25-28mm road tyres. Availability is currently down as the 2nd week of November and we'll be asking very nicely for a set to test.
Rims | Adaptive filament wound rim structure. Smart spoke hole reinforcement. Toray T700/T800 carbon-fibre. Griptec friction brake-track with 3K re-enforcement for excellent braking and durability.
Spokes | Ultra-high strength TaperLock UD carbon spokes, offering up to a 31% increase in stiffness against the 36 Carbon Wide Aero.
Hubs | Carbon Spoke optimised TaperLock SPRINT hubs, 15mm diameter 7075-T6 axle. Circular dropout interface steps for added stiffness. 3x treble-tooth pawl engagement for instant acceleration. Engagement angle of just 7.5 degrees. Steel spline insert to protect cassette body.
Bearings | CeramicSpeed
QR | Hunt Race Season super-light with heat-treated alloy/brass cam plate actuation and stainless steel springs.
Included | QRs, Pads, Tubeless tape & valves, spokes w/key & aero spoke holder
Weight | 1295g
For more info, head over to huntbikewheels.com
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.