Hunt Limitless wheel technology comes to gravel

The Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheelset promises premier performance and a possible watt saving of over fifteen percent

Hunt has launched a set of 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheels, developed by leading aerodynamicist Luisa Grappone. The wheels are said to offer the lowest aerodynamic drag on test among gravel specific wheels under 50mm deep, capable of providing the rider up to a 16.8 watt saving over non-aero gravel wheels.

>>> Best gravel bikes: top models reviewed 

Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc

Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc are optimised for 38-42c gravel tyres, but will accommodate any tire up to 54c, tubeless or standard clinchers.

The release of the Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheelset adds a third offering to the Hunt Limitless wheel range.

The UK based brand says the premier performance gravel wheels apply optimised gravel-specific aerodynamics to it’s existing patented Limitless width technology, balancing aerodynamic gains with crosswind stability to enable riders to move faster than ever over inconsistent surfaces.

>>> Best gravel bike wheels: options for your gravel or adventure bike 

With a huge increase in gravel racing around the globe, attracting world class cyclists, the need for world class performance focused kit has grown rapidly.

Hunt says it was this increase in demand for specific gravel optimised equipment, coupled with pioneering aerodynamic disc wheel technology that has enabled it to create the highest performance wheels possible in the Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheelset.

Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc

Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wind tunnel testing data.

To begin the process of improving on wheel aerodynamics in gravel racing, Hunt says it’s engineers went to the wind tunnel with several leading gravel tyres and top wheelsets (including the Hunt 48 Limitless Aero Disc), to better understand how aero wheels compare to alloy gravel wheels designed with no focus on cutting through the air.

The team discovered that when considering the speed, power, and distance of a rider at the sharp end of a top-tier race, the use of an aerodynamically optimised wheelset could  save seven to nine minutes across the course of a 200-mile race. In the context of top-level racing, the difference between the winning time at the 2019 SBT GRVL (Steamboat Springs gravel race, USA) and the fifth-best time was 10 minutes and 50 seconds.

>>> Best gravel bike tyres: grip and volume for your off-road rides 

The team at Hunt also undertook in-depth analysis into the preferred tyre width and wheel depth from professional riders at a myriad of gravel races in the US, such as the above mentioned SBT GRVL, Mid South and Rebecca’s Private Idaho.

The findings lead to the development of the Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheels, which come with an extra-wide, aerodynamically optimised 42mm profile with what it calls outstanding crosswind performance for a relatively low weight.

The Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheelset feature disc-specific, unidirectional T24/30 rims, offering a 25mm internal and 36mm external widths, and a 42mm u-shape aero profile.

Hunt say the extra-wide 25mm rim bed has been optimised for 38-42c gravel tyres, but will accommodate any tire up to 54c. Tubeless-ready, the wheels are also compatible with clincher tyres and tubes.

Equipped with FastEngage 7.5 Hubs and Hunt Sprint straight-pull centerlock hubs, which boast an engagement rate of just 7.5° owing to the leaf-sprung, multi-point pawls and 48 ratchets in the hub shell.

Hunt has also selected CeramicSpeed’s new coated bearings, which claim to be 75% tougher than their standard hardened steel races, and last an average lifetime of seven and a half times longer than other non-coated solutions. Renowned for their low rolling resistance, these are chosen by the top international athletes and teams and are also backed by a 6-year warranty.

Prices per pair are £1289/ $1619/ €1489 and the wheels are available to pre-order on the Hunt website for delivery in February 2021.