By James Bracey
UK wheel specialists Hunt has released a range of wind cheating aero wheels specifically designed to bring its Limitless technology to rim-brake users.
Called the Carbon Aerodynamicist, the range consists of three distinct models with 52, 62 and 82mm depth carbon rims. It's the 'Aerodynamicist' in the name that's the key to these wheels, as they use specific rim shaping developed in conjunction with research garnered from the development of Hunt's Limitless wheels last year.
While this might sound an easy transfer, developing a design that follows the Limitless' principle of widening the rim below the edge of the rim whilst working within the confines on a standard rim brake calliper was a feat in itself.
The advancement has all been made possible by Hunt's very own resident aerodynamicist, Luisa Grappone. Luisa comes from a background spanning more than a decade of wind tunnel testing, primarily developing the very fastest wheels for World Tour teams. Luisa's expertise combined with Hunt's ability to build highly competitive wheels from both performance and price standpoints has led to a range of wheels that are amongst the fastest ever tested.
The three rim profiles all offer exceptional aerodynamic performance, with the 82 coming in as the very fastest against tested competitors. The 52 and 62 are both incredibly competitive, in an area of bicycle aerodynamics that has been hotly contested and innovated within for over 15 years.
The science is relatively simple to explain when it comes to the new rim design. The benefits of blunted spoke bed areas revolve primarily around the predictable airflow, with the wind ‘hugging’ the rim as it passes across it (as opposed to older style V-shaped rims, which would create turbulence in the form of stalls).
The wider profile ensures the flow stays attached to the surface as long as possible before the point of separation, which is key as yaw angles increase.
Hunt has released data, comparing its wheels with brand leaders Zipp, Enve and DT Swiss, with the Aerodynamicist 82 its crowning glory.
Hunt Carbon Aerodynamicist Need to Know
- Toray T700/T800 carbon-fibre rims with a stronger ratio of T800 (T40) fibres to achieve greater strength-to-weight ratio. Unidirectional sidewalls with 3K weave bed and spoke areas, Griptec basalt ceramic fibre brake-track for excellent braking and durability. Tubeless-ready for lower weight, rolling resistance and better puncture protection.
- 19mm internal rim width designed for superior aerodynamic performance with a 25-28c tubeless tyre, but also very capable with a 23c. Tubeless-Ready.
- Race Season Sprint straight-pull super-light hubs with 15mm diameter 7075-T6 aluminium axle. Circular dropout interface steps for added stiffness. 3x treble tooth pawls resulting in just 7.5˚ of engagement for instant acceleration. Steel spline insert to protect the cassette body.
- CeramicSpeed ceramic bearings as standard.
- Weight (not confirmed by Cycling Weekly): 1518g (52), 1575g (62), 1738g (82)
- Wheels will be available as pairs or individuals allowing mixing and matching of depths for specific uses.
- Price per wheelset: £1189 (52), £1249 (62), £1329 (82). Single wheels from £539.
- Available to pre-order now, delivery due end of March 2020.
If you want to read the research white paper and find out more on the development and testing of the Carbon Aerodynamicist wheels you can do it here.
We'll be testing these out later in the year, so stay tuned.
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