The Hunt 50 Carbon Aero Wide wheels match the performance of hoops almost twice the price – highly recommended.
Very good rolling speed
Wide internal rim width
Susceptible to cross-winds
Slow to accelerate
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The Hunt 50 Carbon Aero Disc offers top level performance at a far lower price tag than many competitors. Add in disc brakes for increased control and we simply had to give them a spot on our Editor’s Choice list for 2019.
I leapt at the opportunity to ride the Hunt Carbon Aero Disc wheels having spent a very enjoyable amount of time on the excellent Hunt Carbon Wide Aero rim-braking wheelset last year.
Testing took place on my Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc SL6 and they certainly didn't feel out of place on such a high-end frame. They have a chunky but good looking 50mm rim profile and Hunt's name is tastefully placed on the rim in white.
I put them through about 750km in their first week on a trip to Calpe in Spain, and the stiff Tarmac frame failed to bring to light any flex in the wheels. At 1487g for the wheelset they're a competitive weight for wheels of this depth.
While some of my riding mates did question the sense of taking a set of 50mm wheels on a climbing holiday, it wasn't the climbs that posed a problem, but rather the descents. On the multiple kilometre downs their 50mm depth caught the wind, knocking my confidence on some of the faster downhills.
Watch: Tour of Flanders recon – suffering the hardest climbs
Their depth was always going to make susceptible to crosswinds, and I'd have probably been better off taking a set of the 30mm Carbon Aero Disc wheels that Hunt also make. However, on one 200km, pan-flat ride to Valencia and back these wheels came into their own. Chain-ganging the final 100km saw us riding at 40km/h and the wheelset's rolling speed really came into its own; allowing me to recover in the bunch and then making my stints on the front a lot easier.
As was the case with its rim brake counterparts these aren't the fastest wheels to accelerate, but their rolling speed is very good. I found it was easy to ride at 34 or 35km/h with these on my bike, whereas usually my pace is closer to 30-32km/h.
Stopping pedalling doesn't result in a slowing of the pace, instead the wheels keep buzzing along, accompanied by one of the loudest free hubs I've heard. This is probably caused by the leaf-sprung, multi-point pawls and 48 ratchets in the hub shell. These enable an engagement rate of 7.5 degrees, which in real life is very fast indeed.
As with all of Hunt's wheel options, these are tubeless ready as standard and Hunt will even send them to you set up and ready to go. A wide, 21mm internal rim width sat my tubeless ready Continental GP5000 tyres flush to the rim. In general, I found they leaked about 10psi a day, suggesting a good seal between the tyre and the rim.
As has become the norm from Hunt, the Carbon Aero Disc wheels are very competitively priced at £899, and I'd highly recommend them for anyone seeking a deep-section upgrade wheelset. Hunt will even spec the axles that you require for your bike.
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