By Rupert Radley published
Hunt has revealed a new 48mm deep wheelset which, using a new patented technology, it is claiming to be the fastest in the world.
The new wheels came about because of the brand's desire to develop the fastest disc-brake wheelset on the market. The brand says that the wheelset is meant for mass-start road races, designed for use with wider (28mm) tubeless tyres but that it needed to have a hooked rim design so it could also be used with clinchers.
According to the brand, the 48mm depth was chosen because it provided a compromise between aerodynamic performance whilst maintaining handling, stability and a low mass. The internal rim width of 22.5mm was chosen because it provides a stable tyre profile and a secure fit.
Extra rim width equals extra speed
For a long period of time, cycling brands assumed that the addition of a rotor must cause extra drag, but it was quickly realised that by removing the rim caliper as well as the limit that it imposed on the rim width, they were able to make a wheel far more aerodynamic. The fact that rim braking tracks must be flat or parallel and they must be built to withstand significant heat buildup also posed significant issues for aerodynamics.
According to the British brand, the optimum aerodynamic shape would require widening this specific area of the wheel, the added weight of which would be unacceptable to road bike riders.
Its new 'Limitless' technology, however, addressed issues of weight and tyre compatibility by adding a co-moulded, low density polymer into the rim without adding excess weight or increasing the internal rim width.
The polymer had to have the desired density, water resistance, strength and compliance to perform well when moulded into the side of a carbon fibre rim. According to Hunt, the result is a 34.5mm external rim width which maintains a 22.5mm internal rim width and a low claimed weight of 1582g for the pair.
Hunt's says its own wind tunnel testing from -20 to +20 degrees of yaw has shown that the new 48 LAD wheel is faster than a range of aero wheels including the Zipp 303 NSW, DT Swiss ERC 1100 Dicut 48, DT Swiss ARC 1450 as well as ENVE 3.4s. According to Hunt, all testing was completed using a Schwalbe Pro One 28mm and 25mm tyre.
Clearly every wheel brand on the market claims to have the fastest wheelset, but Hunt has added a degree of transparency by releasing its data in the form of a white paper. It's well worth a read.
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Fast wheels, fast parts
The Hunt 48 Limitless wheels will use CeramicSpeed bearings inside the Hunt Fastgage 7.5 degree hubs. The wheels also use elliptical wing spokes from Pillar, which the brand claims will give the wheels an additional aerodynamic edge.
The wheels will also benefit from the additional tubeless speed, with multiple tests showing, and different brands confirming, that a race-spec tubeless tyre will roll faster than a tubular tyre. The new Limitless wheel will be compliant with 23, 25 and 28+mm tubeless tyres as well as clincher tyres.
Prices and availability
The new wheelset comes in at £1,289, and pre-orders are available right now from Huntbikewheels.com.
On paper at least, that is some exceptional value for money especially when you consider the wheelset uses CeramicSpeed bearings and claims to be the fastest in the world.
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