Hunt Race Aero SuperDura wheels: test ridden by a 116kg rugby player over Roubaix cobbles

New wheels are designed to handle a 130kg rider weight limit

When Hunt Bike Wheels wanted someone to test its new Race Aero SuperDura wheelset, it turned to ex-Leicester Tigers pro rugby player Will Johnson. Weighing 116kg, he was just the man to put the new wheels through their paces, and where better than the cobbles of the Paris-Roubaix sportive?

Johnson is a member of Hunt’s OpenDev programme which it set up to test its prototype products prior to their release. He roped in another ex-rugby man who weighed 125kg to help out too.

Ex rugby pro Will Johnson weighs 116kg

Ex-rugby pro Will Johnson weighs 116kg

Of course, the Race Aero SuperDura wheelset coped just fine with its day out, but at close to the recommended rider weight limit of 130kg (that’s 20 stone) it was a proper test of the wheels’ robustness.

>>> Should you worry about a wheelset's weight limit?

Hunt has beefed up the wheels' free hub to cope with high loads

Hunt has beefed up the wheels' freehub ratchet to cope with high loads

The Race Aero SuperDura is rim braked and has Hunt’s strongest niobium-aluminium alloy heat treated rims that are 31mm deep and 24mm wide externally, 19mm internally. Wider rims mean more air volume in the tyre – an advantage for heavier riders. They’re tubeless ready and Hunt says they’ll take tyres up to 45mm.

>>> "Beware body weight obsession"

The rims are laced with wider gauge J-bend stainless steel spokes, 32 three cross at the rear and 28 radial at the front.

Watch: Wheel buyer's guide

Hunt has beefed up its hubs too, with three pawl 7.5 degree engagement and wide 12mm front and 15mm rear axles to cope with high torque loads. There are steel spline anti-gouge plates incorporated into the freehub body. They run on high quality sealed bearings.

>>> Fabian Cancellara: "Once you're no longer a sportsman the kilos come very quickly"

Despite their build, Hunt (opens in new tab) quotes a 1595g weight for the new wheelset, which will retail at £469. It’s taking pre-orders for delivery towards the end of January.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.