Hunt Bike Wheels releases lightest ever mountain bike wheelset

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Hunt Bike Wheels introduces new sub-1600g Race XC Wide wheelset

It’s been barely a year since Hunt Bike Wheels first entered the mountain bike game, but the British-based company hasn’t taken long to establish itself as one of the go-to names in the world of complete wheelsets.

Having already produced numerous carbon and alloy wheelsets for both rim and disc brake road bikes, Hunt launched three alloy mountain bike wheelsets in 2018; the Enduro Wide (reviewed here), the Trail Wide (reviewed here), and the XC Wide.

For 2019, the UK brand launches its newest, and lightest mountain bike offering; the Hunt Race XC Wide wheelset.

hunt xc race xc wide 29er wheelset
The Race XC Wide is Hunt’s brand new mountain bike wheelset.

How Light?

Available only in a 29in diameter, the Race XC Wide slots in alongside the XC Wide the lightest off-road option from Hunt.

By using lighter rims, hubs and straight-pull spokes, Hunt has been able to shave 100g off the existing XC Wide wheelset, which was already pretty light at 1647g.

Confirmed weight for the new Race XC Wide wheelset is just 1542g (702g front & 840g rear on our scales, with tubeless tape and valves).

To put it in perspective, that’s lighter than a comparable Stan’s No Tubes Crest MK3 wheelset (1579g claimed weight) or the Mavic Crossmax Pro (1580g claimed weight). It’s also a helluva lot lighter than Hope’s Fortus 23 wheelset (1845g claimed weight).

hunt xc race xc wide 29er wheelset
Confirmed weight for the set is just 1542g – with tape and valves.

New Alloy Rims

To get the weight down, Hunt has created a brand new rim for the Race XC Wide. They’re made from 6069-T6 alloy, which Hunt says offers 69% greater tensile strength over a comparable 6061-T6 rim. Being a stronger material, this means Hunt can use less of it to get the weight down – a standalone rim is said to weigh just 380g (compared to 440g for an XC Wide rim).

That isn’t quite as light as a Stan’s No Tubes Crest MK3 rim (364g), but the Hunt rims are slightly broader with a 24mm internal rim width. Because of this, Hunt says the Race XC Wide is ideally suited to 2.0-2.3in wide tyres. Of course they’re also tubeless compatible, with hookless sidewalls and a gently curved rim bed that’s designed to ease inflation.

The complete wheels come from the factory pre-wrapped with tubeless tape, and lightweight alloy tubeless valves are also included in the box with the wheels.

Also of note is that the welded rims get a work-hardened shot-peened finish for durability, and the graphics are etched on with freakin’ lasers.

hunt xc race xc wide 29er wheelset tubeless valve
The tubeless compatible rims are taped from the factory.
hunt xc race xc wide 29er wheelset
24mm internal width is suited to XC-width rubber.
hunt xc race wide xc 29er wheelset
The shallow depth and blunt profile is designed to maximise forgiveness.

Straight-Pull Hubs & Spokes

Compared to the XC Wide wheels, the Race XC Wide moves to a straight-pull spoke design. They’re built with 28 x Pillar PSR spokes per wheel, and these thread into 14mm long hard-anodized alloy nipples that have a square body for normal external adjustment, as well as a hex-shaped head for internal tensioning.

Using CNC machined 6061-T6 heat treated alloy shells, the straight-pull hubs also carry over many of the same features as the existing XC Wide hoops. You get large double sealed cartridge bearings, 7075-T6 heat treated alloy axles, and a 6-pawl freehub mechanism that offers just 5° between every click.

The hubs only come in Boost spacing, so that’s 110x15mm front and 148x12mm rear. However, because ‘quick-release Boost’ is apparently a thing, QR adapters can be used to fit such forks and frames. Torque Caps can also be fitted to the front hub to suit modern RockShox forks.

hunt xc race wide 29er wheelset hub
Machined alloy hub shells anchor the straight-pull Pillar spokes.
hunt xc race wide 29er wheelset sram xd freehub driver body
You can get the Race XC Wide wheels with a SRAM XD or Shimano HG freehub body.
6-pawl freehub hunt bike wheel
The six pawls operate in a dual phase to deliver 72 engagement points.

What’s In The Box?

Included with each set of Race XC Wide wheels is a spoke key, four spare spokes and nipples, and RockShox Torque Cap adapters for the front hub. A nice touch is that you also get some paperwork to let you know which chap built your wheels, and to with what spoke tensions.

At the time of ordering, you’ll need to select whether you need a SRAM XD or a Shimano HG freehub body, and Hunt will get the wheels setup for you accordingly. If you change groupsets down the line, spare freehub bodies are available separately for £29.99. Hunt also sells spare hub bearings, axle kits, spokes, nipples, tubeless valves and tape via its website.

tools spoke key hunt bike wheels
Nice touch – the complete wheels come with spare spokes and a tool.

As with the rest of the Hunt wheel range, the Race XC Wide will be available as a pre-order type dealio with delivery slated for the end of August. The complete wheels will sell for a very competitive £359, which includes shipping to your door. Of note for those who roam beyond the UK, is that Hunt includes free international shipping on its wheels too.

For those after a set of the Race XC Wides, you can get more info via the Hunt Bike Wheels website.

Hunt Race XC Wide Wheelset Specs

  • New lightweight 29er XC race wheelset
  • 6069-T6 welded alloy rims w/work-hardened shot-peened finish & laser-etched graphics
  • 24mm internal rim width
  • Suited to a 2.0-2.3in tyre width
  • Tubeless compatible w/tape fitted from factory
  • CNC machined 6061-T6 heat treated alloy hub shells w/anodized & polished finish
  • 6-bolt brake rotor mount
  • Large double sealed cartridge bearings
  • Oversized 7075-T6 heat-treated aluminium alloy axles
  • 6-pawl RapidEngage freehub mechanism w/72 points of engagement
  • H_CERAMIK freehub body coating for increased durability and strength
  • Boost hub spacing to suit thru-axle (110×148) & quick-release (110/141)
  • 28 x stainless steel straight pull Pillar PSR spokes per wheel
  • 28 x 14mm hard-anodized alloy nipples per wheel
  • Shimano & SRAM XD freehubs available
  • Included in box: four spare spokes, spoke key, Torque Cap front hub adapters
  • Confirmed weight: 1542g (including tape & valves)
  • Rider weight limit: 120kg
  • RRP: £359
hunt xc xc wide 29er wheelset
At just £359 for the set, the Hunt Race XC Wide looks to be a very competitive set of hoops.

Comments (8)

    @TheGingerOne & @tdog – Yup, Boost-only for these hoops.

    If you’re after a non-Boost option though, check out the XC Wide wheelset. Alternatively, Stan’s No Tubes has a pretty broad range of hub options with most of their wheelsets.

    ST Wil.

    ENVE M525 is a lighter wheel… but was left from the comparisons. Plus it has built in anti-pinch flat protection.

    @wasatchrider – It might be because the ENVE M525 is both carbon and costs over £1000 for a single rim…

    Going back to comparisons with similar alloy wheelsets, I did come across the Newmen Evolution X.A.25, which gets a 25mm wide alloy rim, a 28 spoke build and DT Swiss hub internals. That means you’ll have the option of a Microspline freehub for running new 12-speed Shimano. At 1480g for a 29er set, its claimed weight is lighter than the Hunts (the claimed weight won’t include tape and valves though), but it is a lot pricier at €700 for the pair. Worth noting for @tdog & @TheGingerOne – you can get those Newmen wheels in a non-Boost option too.

    ST Wil

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