Hunt Bike Wheels have a very good reputation in the road world for their versatile and well-priced wheelsets, but they've now introduced a mountain bike range that aims to bring the same high value and attention to detail for enduro, trail and cross country riders.
There are three aluminium wheelsets in the range, with fairly self-explanatory names; the XCWide, TrailWide and EnduroWide. All of the wheelsets are available in 29", but only the latter two also come in 650b. Each wheelset gets a dedicated rim width and spoke count tailored for the intended use and all the rims are welded, rather than sleeved, for extra strength and the inner profile has been designed with input from Schwalbe so they seat tubeless tyres more easily with a custom PET rimstrip fitted as standard. Hunt also includes tubeless valves, four spare spokes and a nipple driver and spoke key as standard too.
They all use quality triple butted spokes, which Hunt say contribute around 35% of the cost of the wheelset but add strength and reduce weight over double butted or plain gauge items. Hunt reckons that this is an area where many brands try to drop costs by reducing the spoke count to lose weight and using thicker, heavier spokes to maintain strength, but this leads to a more highly stressed rim. Talking of stress, the rims are all shot-peened to help provide a durable surface finish.
All of the wheelsets use hubs made by respected manufacturer Novatec. They've got cold forged bodies and a freehub with a very rapid 4.3º engagement angle thanks to six pawls, each with two engagement points. They spin on Japanese EZO bearings too.
The EnduroWide wheelset uses a 33.5mm internal rim width, with a 32 hole rim up front and a 36 hole item at the back to boost strength, which is something of a rarity in pre-built wheelsets nowadays. It uses a slightly chunkier front hub than the rest of the range and a 6069 aluminium alloy in the rim for extra resistance to damage, along with a stronger sidewall. The EnduroWide wheelset costs £359 and the 29er wheelset only comes in Boost spacing, while the 650b wheel is available with standard spacing.
Slightly less heavy duty is the 30mm wide TrailWide wheelset which has a 28 spoke count on the front wheel and 32 at the rear. The rim is made from 6066 aluminium alloy and costs £339 and it comes in either Boost or standard spacing.
The XCWide wheelset isn't an out and out cross-country race wheelset, and the 25mm internal width means you can run pretty plump rubber if you're after doing some rapid trail riding. There are 28 spokes at either end and a wheelset will cost you £319.
We're looking forward to getting some to test soon, but in the meantime, you can take a look at the range here...
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