We’ve just got our hands on a brand new wheelset from Hunt Bike Wheels, which is due to be available to the public very soon.
Up until now, Hunt has only offered wheels for road, cyclocross and gravel applications, but that changes as of today thanks to its new line of off-road wheels. There will be three models in the line, which includes the XCWide (25mm internal width), the TrailWide (29mm internal width), and the EnduroWide (33.4mm internal width).
The wheels will be available in 27.5in and 29in diameters (except for the XCWide wheelset, which is 29er only) and will share a similar design ethos to Hunt’s existing line of road and CX wheels with a tubeless compatible rim design, regular J-bend spokes, external nipples and serviceable hubs.
However, there are some key differences that Hunt has implemented with its new mountain bike wheels, so let’s have a closer look at those differences on the TrailWide wheelset we’ve got on test.
Hunt TrailWide Specifications
- Lightweight alloy wheelset designed for trail riding
- Available in 27.5in and 29in diameters
- Asymmetric 6069-T6 welded alloy rim w/peened finish
- 29mm internal rim width
- Designed for tyres from 2.35in to 2.5in wide
- Tubeless compatible design w/hookless sidewalls
- Forged and CNC machined 6061-T6 heat treated alloy hub shells
- Boost and non-Boost widths available
- Oversized 7075-T6 aluminium alloy axles
- EZO Japan sealed cartridge bearings
- 6-pawl freehub mechanism with 52 points of engagement
- Available with Shimano or SRAM freehub bodies
- Pillar stainless steel J-bend spokes & hard anodized alloy nipples
- 28x front & 32x rear 3-cross lacing pattern
- Includes: tubeless tape, tubeless valves, 4x spare spokes & nipples, spoke tool
- Claimed weight: 1726 grams
- RRP: £339
For the mountain bikers who are unfamiliar with the name, the Hunt brand was launched back in 2015 by brothers Peter & Tom Marchment. The company’s initial focus was to specialise in tubeless wheels for disc brake road bikes, at a time when the concept was still relatively new amongst the road cycling scene. Since then, the range has expanded to include deep-section carbon race wheels, tough all-season alloy hoops, and wide 650B wheels pitched at the burgeoning gravel/adventure market.
Based out of the UK, Hunt Wheels designs and tests and its wheelset components locally, with production coming from a series of partners in Taiwan. For example, Hunt specs its wheels with high quality spokes from Pillar and sealed bearing hubs from Novatec. Every single wheel is handbuilt via a two person build and finishing process, and included with each wheelset is an inspection card that checks off the tensioning and truing process with an individualised serial number.
We’ve previously tested Hunt’s tough 4Season Gravel Disc Wheelset for our sister website Grit.cx, and were particularly impressed with the quality of the wheel build for the price. Many of the same features are shared with the new TrailWide mountain bike wheels, though there are some key differences.
Firstly, the TrailWide uses a much wider rim. Built from higher quality 6069-T6 alloy, the rim gets a fairly blunt and shallow profile that features hookless sidewalls and a tubeless compatible rim bed. The 29mm internal width is pitched as being suitable for tyres between 2.35-2.6in wide. If you want to go wider than that, then consider the tougher and heavier EnduroWide wheelset with its 33.4mm internal rim width.
Out of the box the rims come strapped with Hunt’s own tubeless rim tape, which is claimed to be much stronger than other popular tubeless tapes on the market.
The wheels are built with high quality hard anodized alloy spoke nipples from Pillar, and stainless steel J-bend spokes from Pillar. Hunt has spec’d the wheels with 28 spokes on the front, and 32 spokes on the rear, since the back wheel typically gets a much harder time than the front. The spokes themselves are triple butted with a slender 1.6mm diameter in the middle that tapers to 2.0mm at the thread, and 2.2mm at the head of the spoke where it sits inside the hub flange. This 2.2mm diameter is bigger than most standard spokes (and it’s patented too!), and that apparently makes them quite a bit stronger at the traditional weak point of a J-bend spoke – the elbow.
In the middle of each wheel is a Novatec hub that features forged & CNC machined alloy hub shells, along with EZO sealed cartridge bearings and 7075-T6 alloy axles. The rear hub uses a 6-pawl freehub mechanism to deliver 52 engagement points, and both Shimano and SRAM XD freehub bodies are available from Hunt. Our test wheelset came with a SRAM XD freehub, along with tubeless valves, four spare spokes and a spoke key in the box.
We’ll be putting these new wheels to the test over the coming months to find out how tough and durable they really are. In the meantime, you can get more info on the HuntBikeWheels website.