Hunt has launched a disc brake version of its UD carbon spoke wheels.
The brand’s TaperLock carbon spoke technology has been utilised to create a fully serviceable system, whilst also significantly increasing the lateral stiffness as proven by internal tests at Hunt’s Sussex facility.
Using carbon spokes of course drops the weight, and these hoops come in at 1398g for a set of the 44mm rims.
The design expertise comes from Hunt’s engineering manager, Luisa Grappone, the trained aerospace engineer who joined the brand in 2017 having previously worked on products at Campagnolo and 3T.
The wheels, available with 44 or 54mm rims, use a seating method where the carbon spokes are held purely mechanically, with no bonding required – this means they can be trued and maintained as per a steel spoke.
The spokes boast a 450 kilogram per force per stroke (kgf) maximum tensile strength – a vast increase on the 300 kgf offered by steel alternatives.
The rim brake version of the UD carbon spoke wheels was raced by Rory Townsend at the UCI World Championships in Harrogate, and the rims have been tested by the brand's sponsored Canyon dhb team.
Hunt’s facility in Partridge Green, Sussex, hosts an array of test rigs as well as now owning CFD technology used alongside wind tunnel testing carried out at other sites.
To test lateral responsiveness, and thus manoeuvrability of the wheel, engineers fitted a set of Hunt’s 44 Aerodynamicist rims with 20 carbon spokes and another set with 24 steel spokes.
Measuring deflection via a Dial Test Indicator clock, Hunt confirmed a six per cent stiffness increase in the carbon laced version, despite having fewer spokes.
Further tests examining the vibration absorption of both versions showed that the carbon material was more capable of soaking up ‘road buzz’ when compared with steel.
Hunt has worked with aerospace engineer Grappone since 2017, and the UD carbon spoke disc boasts the technology developed as part of Hunt’s Aerodynamicist rim profile designs.
Two years in the making, the rim design features a wider rim profile and a blunted spoke bed area. Testing concluded that the broader, carbon spokes create an overall package that is less aerodynamic when compared to a steel spoke, but the brand is still happy with performance against competitors.
The Aerodynamicist disc-specific rim are constructed from Toray T700/T800 carbon-fibre, with unidirectional sidewalls.
A set of 44s weighs in at 1398g, whilst a set of 54s come in at 1456g. Riders can also choose to opt for a 44/54 mix - this comes in at 1437g.
As per all of Hunt's wheels, these are tubeless ready and the brand can set them up pre delivery and service them as as when required.
The wheels feature a 20mm rim bed, that's been optimised to cheat the wind. They can be run with a tubeless tyre from 25 to 28mm, or a 23mm clincher.
The hubs are Hunt's Taper Lock Sprint straight pull design, with a 15mm diameter 7075-T6 axle, 3x treble tooth pawls resulting in just 7.5˚ engagement and a steel spline insert to protect the cassette body.
You can see the wheels at huntbikewheels.com.
All wheels come with a lifetime crash replacement guarantee, for the first owner.
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.
A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly.
When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 190rt.
She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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