Team Qhubeka Assos – the 2021 guise for the NTT Pro Cycling Team – will swap their Enve wheel sponsor for Hunt in the coming season.
The move marks the first foray into the WorldTour for Sussex-based British brand Hunt, which sponsored Continental team Canyon-dhb and women’s team Bianchi Dama in 2020.
The brand has a dedicated testing lab in Sussex, and its wheel development team is lead by resident aerodynamicist, Luisa Grappone. Grappone began her career in aerospace engineering before transitioning to design wheels for the likes of Campagnolo, then moving to the UK to take the role at Hunt.
Hunt also carries out its own Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) testing, led by Development Engineer Chris Colenso.
So far, three sets of its wheels have gained the excellent 10/10 review score from a number of Cycling Weekly tech testers.
Hunt’s technologies include the use of its ‘Limitless’ tech, which was developed via consistent wind tunnel time spanning two years. In short, it means widening the rim profile to allow for a blunted spoke bed, increasing aerodynamic performance across a wider range of yaw angles.
Hunt optimises its rims for wider tyres – which paired with a lower pressure means more grip and typically more speed in the corners, though it is currently bucking a growing trend by avoiding the hookless systems and making wheels for clincher and tubeless tyres.
It also developed UD Carbon Spoke tech, which allows for fully serviceable and replaceable carbon spokes – making a stiffer, lighter wheel more practical for racers who can’t (unlike pro teams) just call in a replacement.
The brand has an array of rim and disc brake wheels to offer. Currently, NTT Pro Cycling rides BMC bikes though the 2021 bike sponsor for Team Qhubeka Assos remains unconfirmed.
Commenting on the pairing, Hunt’s brand manager Ollie Gray said: “On behalf of our team at Hunt, we’re honored to provide technical support for Team Qhubeka Assos. The Rider Firm is made up of passionate cyclists, and so there is a palpable buzz of excitement inside the company. We embrace the challenge of delivering wheels to deliver at the highest level of the sport we love so dearly.”
Team Qhubeka Assos, NTT Pro Cycling and Dimension Data before that has always partnered with Qhubeka, a South African charity that supplies bicycles which support children in their education, or health workers to provide assistance throughout communities.
Gray added: “Beyond the program’s incredible racing success over the years, we were drawn to the core purpose of the team; promoting the Qhubeka organization’s mission to change lives through bicycles. To have the opportunity to partner with a team who exist to provide a tangible positive social impact, is humbling.”
Team Princeipal Doug Ryder added: “I am really excited about this partnership with Hunt wheels as they emerge into the WorldTour of cycling through our team. Their wheels have had excellent reviews and as a company they do everything they can to hunt for the best products to give us all the best riding experience possible.”