Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Carbon spokes that are bonded to the hub make wheel truing difficult, or in some cases impossible. Hunt’s 44 and 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels eliminate this common problem with a unique spoke interface.
These racing wheels can be used for road, gravel, or cyclocross and utilize Hunt’s TaperLock technology: When wheels come out of true, the carbon spokes with a steel mandrel at the nipple-end allow you to true just as you would with a traditional wheel/spoke system.
At the hub end of the of the spoke, an aluminum mandrel is placed around the spoke during the curing process, and is pulled tight against the tapered head of the spoke. The rim end of the spoke is fitted in the same way, with a threaded steel mandrel, and can be trued using a spoke key on a nut from within the rim bed accessible through the internal spoke holes. The steel mandrel has a standard square outer shape that allows the spoke to be held straight while any adjustments are made to the internal nipple.
The upside: you can true these carbon-spoked wheels like any other wheel. The downside: for truing service, the tire and any internal rim treatment must be removed for servicing and truing.
Hunt claims that because of the strength and weight, as well as the vibration-reducing nature of carbon fiber, the wheels offer an unmatched strength to weight ratio, and are more forgiving than traditionally-spoked wheels, with six percent greater compliance.
The rims accept hooked ETRTO-compliant tubeless tires, as well as standard clincher tires. Both the Hunt 44 and the Hunt 54 have 26mm external width at the spoke bed; the Hunt 44 bulges to 28.7mm at the widest mark, while the Hunt 54 swell to 29.5mm at the widest. The new wheelsets are optimized for tires between 25mm and 28mm wide, but can accommodate tire widths from 23mm to 50mm. Hunt advises a 240-pound rider weight limit for its wheels.
The $1,299 Hunt 44 is laced with 18 spokes in front and 20 spokes in the rear, and weighs a claimed 1,398g. The $1,319 Hunt 54 is laced with the same spoke count, and tips the scales at 1,456g. For comparison, Zipp 404 Firecrest tubeless-ready disc brake carbon clinchers tip the scales at 1,715g/set, for $2,500.
Hunt’s 44 and 54 wheels are available with all existing disc brake road bike axle adapter sizes. Hunt will even swap the adapter for you — you just need to specify your exact need (after checkout). Hunt will even change out axle adapters at a later time at its cost, if the fit is not quite right.
Both wheelsets ship with tubeless valves, and 6-bolt disc brake rotor adapters.
Hunt also extends a lifetime crash replacement program for the wheels’ original owner.