Hunt launches new Proven carbon wheels and we’ve (briefly) ridden them

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Today sees Hunt Wheels launch a brand new carbon wheel offering – Proven. Available in enduro and XC race guises, the Proven range is designed to offer top end performance at a more affordable price.

Read on for the full details and our initial ride impressions of the Proven Carbon Enduro Race wheels…

What is Proven?

Proven is an entirely new range of carbon fibre mountain bike wheel systems, developed in-house by HUNT engineers and tested by our sponsored athletes and talented riders over the past two racing seasons.

The Proven story began just as our original carbon fibre mountain wheelset launched. The HUNT All Mountain Carbon H_IMPACT (AMC) represented years of testing and development, but that development didn’t end when AMC hit the market. Intending to create an updated AMC V2, our engineers pushed onwards, testing new rim profiles, increased internal widths, new carbon layups and sampled various wheel tunes. Through a combination of impact testing, deflection measurements, and athlete feedback, we realised that our new rim profile could be tuned to suit specific disciplines and offer unique ride characteristics. This was when the Proven range was brought to life.

The Proven Carbon Range

Over the past few years, our engineers, designers, riders and World Class athletes have spent countless hours testing various Proven prototypes, but anyone with access to the mountain bike media will likely be aware of this.

Rather than keeping Proven under wraps, we have encouraged sponsored riders such as Isla Short, Chloe Taylor, Fergus Ryan, Hannah Shell, Shawn Neer and Daryl Brown to test Proven products in public and at races, including gruelling Enduro World Series rounds, the Leadville 100 and challenging World Cup XC races.

We’ve kept journalists and mountain bike media in the loop too, which is why it should come as no surprise that today we launch Proven Carbon Race XC and Proven Carbon Race Enduro.

Proven Carbon Race XC

Proven Carbon Race XC Specifications

  • 30mm internal rim width.
  • 22mm rim depth.
  • Tailored to cross country riding and racing.
  • Built with weight, speed and durability in mind.
  • Premium cold forged Pillar 1420 bladed spokes.
  • Lightweight, maintenance-free hubs with dual sealed Revo bearings.
  • 5-degree engagement.
  • Ships pre-taped with valves and spare spokes.
  • Boost and 29er only.
  • Just 1469g a pair.
  • £889 / $1099 USD / €1169 per wheelset
  • Pre-sale begins 30th September 2022

Proven Carbon Race XC has been tailored to offer compliance, damping, control, and strength without sacrificing weight. This race-ready wheelset rolls in at a featherweight 1469g, making it the perfect companion for a weekend of racing or a full day of Alpine exploring.

Built for lightweight XC bikes with up to 120mm of travel, Race XC utilises our updated rim profile with a modern XC tyre friendly 30mm internal width, and a rim depth of 22mm. This shallower rim depth helps reduce weight while maintaining strength with outstanding trail damping properties. Extensive testing and data analysis throughout the development of Race XC allowed our engineers to identify areas of high stress to add reinforcement while also shaving off material where it isn’t necessary. The result is a perfectly engineered balance of strength, weight and comfort.

Ensuring we didn’t add additional grams to the class-leading Proven Carbon Race XC rim, we have hand-picked premium cold forged triple-butted Pillar 1420 bladed straight pull spokes and laced them to lightweight and durable CNC machined hubs. In addition, centre lock disc mounts aid ultra fast pit stops and race travel, while dual sealed Revo bearings ensure your Proven Carbon Race XC remain smooth and maintenance-free throughout the season.

Race XC might have been born on the challenging tracks of the UCI World Cup, but their low weight, durability and rapid acceleration make them the perfect upgrade to any XC rig.

Proven Carbon Race Enduro

Proven Carbon Race Enduro Specifications

  • 30mm internal rim width.
  • Front rim tuned for comfort and accuracy.
  • Rear wheel tuned for strength and durability.
  • Reinforced spoke bed.
  • CNC machined alloy hubs featuring precision Revo dual seal bearings.
  • 5-degree engagement.
  • Oversized 7075 T6 rear axle reduces flex and increases bearing life.
  • Triple butted Pillar spokes.
  • Pillar TB2016 front spokes use a narrow 1.6mm central gauge for comfort.
  • Pillar TB2018 rear spokes use a wider 1.8mm central gauge for added strength.
  • Ships pre-taped with valves and spare spokes.
  • Raced during the 2022 Enduro World Series.
  • Boost and Superboost.
  • 27.5in, 29in, and Mullet.
  • 1920g a pair (29er wheelset)
  • £889 / $1099 USD / €1169 per wheelset (£949 / $1149 / €1239 Superboost)
  • Pre-sale begins 30th September 2022

Proven Carbon Race Enduro builds on Race XC’s tuned carbon layup but expands on this concept by offering front, and rear-specific rims and spoke gauges. The result is an EWS-ready wheelset that delivers accuracy, comfort and strength in a wheelset weighing less than 2000g!

Enduro riders might have more suspension travel to soak up the hits, but repeated hard hits, long descents and even longer days in the saddle can lead to fatigue and arm pump on an overly stiff wheelset, which is why we approached the development of Race Enduro from a new direction.

While both front and rear Race Enduro rims feature the same 23mm depth and 30mm internal rim width, our engineering team has manipulated the construction and carbon layup of each to offer tailored handling characteristics.

Up front, we have a rim that counters fatigue by absorbing shocks and vibrations before they reach the rider. Comfortable in the rough, Race Enduro retains point and shoot accuracy for last-minute direction changes and line hugging control. In addition, the tougher rear construction adds 61g to the overall rim weight and offers greater strength and boosts high-speed stability.

Strict control of carbon reinforcement maintains a competitive low weight, while our use of triple-butted Pillar spokes front and rear further enhances Race Enduro’s ride traits. Pillar triple butted TB2016 spokes upfront work with our tailored construction for compliance, and Pillar TB2018 rear spokes provide the optimal amount of precision thanks to the slightly wider gauge.

Completing this EWS-ready wheel system are our own durable CNC machined hubs featuring flex-resistant heat-treated axles, dual-sealed, replaceable Revo bearings and your choice of freehub. Race Enduro will be available in Boost and Super Boost hub spacings, and we offer 29in, 27.5in and mullet options.

Engineered to be comfortable when the trail gets rough, Proven Carbon Race Enduro has been constructed to the same standards of strength and impact resistance as the HUNT All Mountain Carbon H_Impact that came before it. With a wider internal width and tailored front and rear tunes, however, Race Enduro represents the next generation of HUNT carbon products

Hunt H_Care – Lifetime crash replacement

For peace of mind, all Proven carbon wheelsets ship with Hunt’s lifetime crash replacement warranty. H_Care is offered to the original purchaser only and covers you against accidents and mishaps. For more information about H_Care visit our website.

Proven Carbon Race Enduro Initial Impressions

I was lucky enough to escape the office and get a few hours of riding on the as-then-unreleased Proven wheels last week. While this by no means a full-on review, it certainly gave me a chance to get an idea of their general performance.

The wheels came set up with a Schwalbe Magic Mary and Big Betty combo (both in Super Trail Addix Soft). This is probably my current favourite tyre set up. Which was nice. The tyres were run at 25psi in the rear and 23psi in the front. 

I didn’t get a chance to weigh them, mainly because the wheels came fitted with the aforementioned tyres – but for what it’s worth, Hunt’s claimed weight is 1920g. I can believe these figures. They felt about right; not heavy and then spinned up to speed well.

The hub engaged quickly and the wheels pedalled along nicely without issue. Spinning gentle tracks, putting the power down, techy, rooty, awkward climbs. All fine with no issues and good hub engagement.

I rode the wheels on a mix of flowy, jumpy, rooty tracks with a few rocks thrown in for good measure. All in all, the trails gave me a chance to try the Proven wheels on some decently varied terrain.

There’s no doubt that the Proven wheels have plenty of stiffness. They offer a direct, precise feel but without the harshness that you can find in some carbon wheels.

You can push them hard into turns with no noticeable flex, take the high line across a carpet of off-camber, chunky roots and they hold a line well. There’s no pinging around and they don’t transmit every minute detail into your hands. 

While a couple of hours is no time to form a proper opinion, the early signs of the Proven wheels are good. We aim get a set for a longer term test in soon so we can really put them through their paces. 

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