Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD carbon spoke wheels are ultra-light, not ultra-pricey

Shallow-depth, hook bead, carbon spokes, and no outrageous price tag for this tubeless-ready wheelset.

Photo: Greg Kaplan

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After being race-tested by for Qhubeka’s Sergio Henao and Fabio Aru at the 2021 Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD carbon-spoke wheels are finally ready to roll out of the assembly line to the public.

The shallow and wide wheels are claimed to weigh just 1,213g per set, making them even lighter than the 1,336g Cadex 36 carbon wheels.

What’s more, at $1,549, the Hunt 32 wheels cost a fraction of the offerings from its competitors: $3,450 for Cadex 36, $3,200 for Zipp 202NSW, and $2,500 for Roval Alpinist CLX.

Also read: Hunt 60 Limitless Aero Disc wheels review

Hunt saved some weight when designing these wheels with serviceable, unidirectional carbon fiber spokes with TaperLock design.

“A UD carbon spoke mimics steel spoke and is achieved using TaperLock technology where during manufacture a steel mandrel serving as the ‘head’ and ‘threaded end’ of the spoke is pulled from the middle onto the tapered end of the UD fiber rod,” said Hunt development engineer Chris Colenso. “This results in a strong mechanical hold and results in the ability for these UD Carbon Spokes to be truable and replaceable, should the need arise.”

Hunt 32 UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels rear hub
The Hunt 32 UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels are laced around a hub of Hunt’s own design. (Photo: Greg Kaplan )
Hunt 32 UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels with Vittoria tire
The Hunt 32 UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels are Hunt’s reentry to hookless-bead tubeless wheels. (Photo: Greg Kaplan )

The spokes not only keep the overall rotating mass low, but if the ride is anything like other, similarly-spoked wheels, will also help provide a smoother ride when compared with steel spokes. At this time, Hunt has not determined if a steel-spoke option will be available.

“The brief for this project was to craft a climbing wheel that could float up the mountains yet maintain the stiffness and command of a deeper carbon wheel when leaning hard on descents,” said Hunt North American brand manager Kenneth Rodriguez-Clisham.

Eschewing a sinusoidal (scalloped) rim profile — like those seen on Princeton CarbonWorks and Zipp NSW — which may improve handling in crosswinds, the Hunt 32 wheels have a relatively straightforward, smooth shape that’s 25mm wide (21mm internal) optimized for 28mm width tubeless-ready tires.

And, also unlike recent releases from other wheel manufacturers which have employed a ratchet hub, the Hunt 32 rims are laced to Sprint SLC hubs that rely on a leaf spring and pawl system with a 7.5-degree angle of engagement for 48 ratchets. Hunt boasts the hubs, with centerlock rotor mounting points, weigh 95g and 220g for front and rear, respectively. The hubs are available in Shimano, SRAM XD/XDR, and Campagnolo versions.

All wheels in the Hunt Aerodynamicist line were designed, at least in part, by engineering manager Luisa Grappone.

The Hunt hoops feature a hookless rim design that complies with the ETRTO tubeless road standards for 25-28mm+ road tires. Hunt indicates that the maximum tire pressure for these wheels should not exceed 72psi (5bar) and that only hookless bead tires should be used.

Hunt offers H_CARE lifetime crash replacement for these wheels, which are available from the Hunt website.

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