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There once was a time when strapping climbing wheels to your bike meant embracing sacrifices to reach low weights, whether that was exorbitant costs, non-aerodynamic shallow section rim profiles or unserviceable designs. That moment in time is luckily disappearing in the rearview mirror thanks to new wheel designs. And maybe no wheel better exemplifies this exciting time than the new HUNT 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke Disc.
This intriguing new wheelset introduces the first hookless rim to the brand’s Aerodynamicist line of wheels (though not its first ever hookless rims), helping the wheels hit a low weight that climbers expect. Going hookless saves about 2 grams over a hooked design, bringing the total rim weight to 374g and 377g front and rear. Fully built up, the wheels weigh an incredibly minimal 1,213 grams.
But beyond weight savings, there are numerous other benefits to hookless rims. They create a smoother transition between the rim and tire, meaning more watts saved, even if it’s a marginal amount. And because they can be made with less waste, meaning less materials needed overall, hookless rims are also cheaper to manufacture, says HUNT, helping the brand continue its reputation for great-value wheels.
It’s important to note that the use of hookless rims mean that these wheels need tubeless tires, and have a max tire pressure of 72 psi.
Like its name implies, the 32 Aerodynamicist is optimized for speed, not just weight savings. Working off of years of research and development that have gone into the other Aerodynamicist wheels, HUNT arrived at a truncated airfoil shape and rounded U-shaped profile measuring 32mm deep and 25mm wide externally, with a 21mm internal rim width. The design is optimized around a 28mm tire and helps airflow stay attached longer as it passes over the rim. It’s nice to have light wheels, but it’s even nicer to have light wheels that will give you an advantage leading up to your climbs, and on the descents back down as well.
New Hubs Laced to Carbon Spokes
The rims are laced to HUNT’s own all-new Sprint SLC hubs that feature 7.5-degree engagement for quick acceleration. They’re made from a cold-forged 7075 aluminum alloy which offers a high strength-to-weight ratio. The hubs come in at 220 grams and 95 grams rear and front.
Connecting the hubs and rims are serviceable carbon spokes that take advantage of HUNT’s UD Carbon Spoke technology. Carbon spokes have a higher stiffness-to-weight ratio, helping these wheels reach a low weight while still providing a responsive ride. Some historic drawbacks with carbon spokes have been an inability to true them or fix them if even one spoke fails. These wheels suffer from none of those drawbacks. They can be trued, and HUNT will replace any broken spokes at its UK or US facilities for free. Likewise, if anything goes wrong in another part of the wheel, HUNT backs them up with its H_CARE lifetime crash replacement.
Pricing and Availability
We’re seeing more and more climbing wheels hit weights well below 1,300 grams. However, so far, those have all come with premium price tags. While we’re not saying these HUNTs are cheap, they do manage to deliver a lot of performance (on paper at least) with their $1,549 price tag, continuing the trend of HUNT delivering high value wheelsets.
We hope to have a set in soon to put to the test.
Pre-order is available now, with wheels shipping in late May. More info: us.huntbikewheels.com
Correction: A previous version of this article stated going hookless saved 18 grams. The actual weight savings is closer to 2 grams.