Hunt’s new 32 Aerodynamicist carbon spoke disc brake wheelset is just 1,213 grams

A featherweight and high stiffness disc brake wheel without an offensive price tag.

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Regardless of price, disc brake road wheels have always carried a weight compromise to comparable rim brake hoops. Sure, it’s possible to relieve the weight away from where the brake tracks once were, but a disc brake wheel still needs to be able to hold a rotor and have enough spoke stiffness to withstand the braking forces. Those things add weight.

And while generally speaking they may still be heavier, we’re now starting to see an increasing number of disc brake road wheels that fall below the 1,300 g threshold. Many of these feathery disc-rotor-carrying-hoops are priced out of this world: examples of this include the Zipp 353 NSW (US$4,000), Cadex 36 Disc (US$3,450), and Partington 39R/44R (approx US$5,350). However, we’re also now beginning to see signs of such low weight tech trickling down to more affordable price points. Priced at US$1,549 / £1,199 / €1,619, Hunt’s brand new 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke Disc Wheels (catchy name, eh?) are a good example of just that. 

Below is a short overview of these new 32 mm depth carbon wheels.

Gone hookless 

Hunt has previously dabbled with tubeless-specific hookless rims, but many of its recent wheel releases have offered a hooked rim that Hunt proudly claimed to be widely compatible with whatever tyre you choose. With this new model, the British consumer-direct company is returning to tubeless-tyre-specific hookless. 

According to Hunt, the move to a hookless design allowed an 18 g reduction per rim, with the end result being a 374 g rim weight. All told, a pair of these wheels is claimed to weigh just 1,213 grams (without tubeless tape or valves). 

Designed by Hunt, this new carbon rim offers a 21 mm internal width that the company says is “optimised” for use with 28 mm tyres (and works with 25 mm) and is based on the new Tubeless Straight Side (TSS) standard that calls for a maximum 72 psi – the same as what the likes of Enve, Zipp and Giant request on their newest offerings. 

Hunt has seemingly calmed down a little on the graphics front – a positive change.

Despite the Aerodynamicist naming, the not-so-wide 26 mm external width surely won’t be doing a whole lot for smoothing airflow from that wider tyre, but equally, nor will the 32 rim depth. To be fair, Hunt isn’t making any specific aerodynamic claims of this new product that’s intended more as a stiff and light wheelset for use in the mountains. Still, the company does state that the blunt spoke bed profile, first used in its 48 Limitless Aero wheel, helps to smooth the transition of air. 

Carbon spokes 

As the name so subtly tells, these new 32 mm depth wheels feature carbon fibre spokes. The spokes are not bonded in place to either the rim or hub and can be adjusted or replaced, much like steel spokes but at approximately half the weight. 

The carbon spokes offer a bladed profile.

Hunt first started offering wheels with these Taper Lock carbon spokes back in 2019, and similar spokes are also found on all models from Cadex and a few select models from FarSports. 

The carbon spokes certainly play a large role in the low wheelset weight, but they should also help to produce a wheelset that’s noticeably stiffer and more reactive-feeling versus a similarly light wheel with a steel or titanium spoke. 

Lighter hubs 

Further weight is shaved off with the new Sprint SLC hub, a refined version of the hubs we’ve previously tested in Hunt’s 48 Limitless Aero and 42 Limitless Gravel wheels. Said to weigh 95 and 220 grams for the front and rear hubs respectively, these new hubs save mass through a more detailed CNC machining process and the move to a cold-forged 7000-series alloy. 

Functionally the new hubs are unchanged from the Sprint.

Internally, the three-pawl-based hubs with 48 engagement points remain unchanged from the original Sprint model. All existing spares and service parts are interchangeable. 

Hunt has historically offered the upgrade option of CeramicSpeed ceramic bearings in its performance wheelsets, however, the new 32 Aerodynamicist is currently only offered with cheaper EZO steel bearings. Future demand may, however, see Hunt offer such an upgrade here. 

What does the new 32 Aerodynamicist spell for future Hunt wheels? 

The 32 Aerodynamicist UD Carbon Spoke Disc certainly appears to pack a lot of punch for a wheel that’s priced around US$1,500. And, interestingly they also provide a fair bit of insight into what we may see from Hunt in future. 

The move to hookless rims – and the subsequent requirement to use tubeless tyres – is likely to prove a polarising one given just how many riders remain committed to clinchers and tubes. When asked if this spells a new direction for Hunt, a representative was somewhat non-committal: “we’ll be keeping an eye on how the reception of this is and make sure whatever decision we make is the best for our riders.” It’s certainly a different attitude compared to what we’ve seen from other brands who have moved to hookless.

Hunt has also teased that they’re currently looking into offering an even more affordable – albeit heavier – steel spoke version of these wheels. Meanwhile those new revised and lighter hubs seem destined to be rolled into other comparable products in the near future. 

The new wheels are available to pre-order now with the first delivery expected at the end of May.

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