The Hunt Trail Wide 29 wheelset is a well-designed, well-made, and well-priced wheelset. Tubeless-ready out of the box, these wheels are reliable and tough for all-around trail use. For the money, you'd be hard pushed to find much else as good.
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Hunt Trail Wide Boost 29 Wheelset - the details
This wheelset is built with a 6069 T6 alloy rim in a 30mm internal width, with 28 triple-butted J-bend spokes front and rear, and own branded hubs. Inside, replaceable sealed cartridge Ezo Precision bearings have remained smooth and happy from late winter into dusty spring. Taped and supplied with valves as standard, the Hunts are ready for tubeless tyres from the go and come with a couple of spare spokes in case of any breaks - though I had no problems during my test time.
Setting up several tyres on the wheels was easy with a track pump, using a pressure bottle for just one particularly stubborn tyre. The finish is excellent and adds to the feeling of a well-built wheel. The spoke tension was consistent and even, remaining so throughout the test.
The hubs can be stripped down quickly and easily, and when I needed to swap a freehub to test on another bike, it was simply done with two spanners. The wheels sat easily in the frame, and all tolerances on the axles were good. The older Shimano hyper glide freehub and the 12-speed micro spline ones I used were quick and reliable, with no popping or let downs.
The rim design uses what Hunt call 'H lock', and their design seated the tyre easily and kept it in place. It worked well, with only a couple of slight burps on some stepped rock trails that every other wheelset has burped slightly on.
I feel the lower weight and 28-spoke count position the wheel more for trail and all-around riding. Although it's happy with more challenging riding conditions, as the name suggests, the trail is the focus. The Hunts certainly aren't gravity focussed like the Halo Gravitas wheel, which I have on test at the moment, as the Hunts are a little cheaper and lighter – and they aren't as robust as something like the Pacenti PI30-END wheelset either.
Hunt Trail Wide Boost 29 Wheelset – How they ride
Riding the Hunt Trail Wide Boost 29 Wheelset is a good reliable experience. The wheels feel quick to get up to speed, with their very reasonable weight of 810g front and 1,040g rear (including tape and valves). They've proven strong enough for most riding. They are definitely a trail-focused wheelset. Although they can handle harder, rockier terrain, I found the lower weight and the knocks and scrapes they've taken suggest a more cross-country/trail focus.
The width of the rims supports the tyres well and makes a tyre sit squarely, which I find adds more cushioning and better grip. The wheels have felt consistently positive and very much a fit-and-ride product - I like that. The wider rim type does at times catch more loose rock, which shows up in the scuffs and scratches – especially on the back wheel – but this isn't exclusive to this wheelset.
I have managed to ding the rims in a couple of places, which isn't a negative to the Hunt rims but more to my riding lines. Even so, other, evidently less strong rims have taken more damage in similar terrain. Despite the dings and a flat spot, they've remained true with the frame and from the side too. Certainly not enough for any concerns or issues. Most of my riding is rocky terrain, so as a trail wheelset, it has fared well.
Hunt Trail Wide Boost 29 Wheelset - the verdict
For the money, the Hunt Trail Wide Boost 29 Wheelset is pretty much a benchmark wheelset. Well designed, well made, reliable and tough for its intended use. There's little to fault, and the issues with dings would be the same for other wheels as well. The fact these rims are a fit-and-forget product speaks volumes for me. That reliability, excellent performance, understated and stealthy look makes them comparable to higher-priced wheels, with a function and design that perform well. However, suppose you are tough on wheels, you may want to consider the Hunt Enduro or similar as a better option for longer-term resilience.
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