Hunt Bike Wheels is back with more light, affordable high-performance aero carbon road wheels – the new 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc. The name says it all… more of their unique TaperLock full-carbon spokes laced to either 44mm or 54mm deep tubeless-ready aero carbon rims & centerlock disc hubs, for what they call the “final word in road / all-road disc-brake performance.”

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc aero carbon road wheels

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset
c. Hunt

Built around lightweight, stiff bladed carbon spokes that can be trued or replaced and wind tunnel optimized rim shapes, Hunt’s newest 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc aero carbon disc brake wheels promise to deliver the best performance you could hope for in a road or all-road wheelset, all at the relatively affordable price level that has always made them stand out from the crowd. Hunt’s ethos has always been about building affordable & serviceable wheels, but ever since they hired their own aero carbon engineer a few years back, they’ve been stepping up their game, as fast as they’ve been expanding their wheel offerings.

TaperLock carbon spokes

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

Just like we saw with our exclusive first look at their rim brake 36 UD Carbon Spoke wheels last autumn, the trick to these new disc brake wheels is the TaperLock carbon spoke tech that allows Hunt to build a wheel they claim to be “6% more laterally responsive than identical steel spoke wheel, with significantly less weight”. Plus, the carbon spokes are also said to work like the carbon rim to better damp high frequency vibration for a smoother ride and improved control.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

TaperLock means that Hunt is working with carbon spokes that build up into wheels much like more conventional spokes thread-in, or rather more like textile spokes. Instead of being bonded (glued) into place, the full-carbon bladed aero spokes are molded with a taper on either end that can be mechanically wedged into a nipple.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

In the center of the wheel an alloy nipple (mandrel) threads directly into the special hub, then a squared-off steel nipple pulls at the rim side. The square-sided external nipple is held in place with a tool, while the spoke is tensioned in place (and trued) from inside the rim bed by tightening an internal nut. Effectively that means the wheels are serviced like a wheel with internal nipples. But for a carbon-spoked wheel it’s quite unique that a damaged carbon spoke could be tensioned or even replaced at all.

Aerodynamicist hooked tubeless-ready aero carbon rims

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

The new wheels are more than just fancy spokes, they also get two new 29mm wide external, 20mm internal aero rims, developed in depths of 44mm and 54mm by Hunt’s Aerodynamicist engineer Luisa Grappone to optimize aero performance with realistic wind conditions and the 28mm tires used by the fastest modern roadies today. (Aero performance is best with a 25-28mm tire, but 23c tires will still fit, as will wider all-road tires.)

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

Much like the team learned in the wind tunnel on their Limitless Research project (which yielded the “the world’s fastest road disc brake wheels”) these new wheels benefit from the same blunt-nosed, wide rim profile concept.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset
Wind tunnel test comparison

Resulting in more “predictable airflow” sticking to the spinning wheel both from leading & trailing edges, these two new rim profiles produce low drag results in the wind tunnel, even factoring in the extra drag that results from the side due to the wider & less aero carbon spokes.

Stiffness:Weight

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

The key rationale for the carbon spokes in the first place was to maximize stiffness and minimize weight. Hunt says increasing stiffness (or as they equate it to lateral responsiveness) improves performance by ‘helping maneuverability and efficient power transfer’. From a material perspective, choosing 2x stiffer carbon for spokes at 1/5 of the density over steel spokes meant Hunt could increase spoke stiffness on the order of 5-10x what they were used to. but to see how that really worked they wanted to accurately quantify the real differences in their built wheels.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

So, they built the new 44 Aerodynamicist rim up in two configurations – one with these 20 carbon spokes and another with 24 of the more conventional steel spokes they use in their other premium wheels. Then, put both in their stiffness testing rig to see the difference in deflection. That direct result is 6% boost Hunt claims for the new wheels, even with 4 fewer spokes.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

There’s also the claimed road buzz eating properties of carbon to contend with. Hunt claims that the frequency dependent loss coefficient of the lighter & stronger carbon is “well-tuned” to absorb high frequency vibrations, better than steel spokes can. That’s something we’ve heard and felt ourselves for years in carbon frames, forks, rims & occasionally with bonded-in carbon spoked wheels. And now Hunt says it plays an important role in absorbing vibration in their UD Carbon Spoke wheels, too.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc – Tech Details

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

So, Hunt says the wheels are stiffer and light, but how light? At a claimed 1398g for a pair of 44mm deep wheels, that’s more than 200g lighter their 48 Limitless wheels. Step it up to the 54mm deep version at a claimed weight of 1456g (still 160g lighter.) The mixed 44/54 set unsurprisingly splits the difference at 1427g for the pair.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

Those new carbon rims are constructed from a mix of Toray T700/T800 carbon fiber, with unidirectional (UD) sidewalls and 3K weave bed & spoke area reinforcement. The wheels are laced to TaperLock-specific versions of Hunt’s straight pull Sprint hubs with 18 spokes on the front wheel (2x on rotor side, radial on driveside) and 20 rear spokes (2x on both sides.)

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

Those hubs use 15mm 7075-T6 alloy axles, high-end sealed Japanese steel EZO bearings, and are compatible with all modern road thru-axle standards. Hub engagement is quick at 7.5° with 3x triple pawls, and feature steel spline insert reinforced cassette bodies, available for Shimano, Campagnolo, SRAM XD & XDR.

The Hunt UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels are cobble-tested and rated for rider+bike weights up to 100kg (220lb).

Hunt’s new H_Care: Lifetime Crash Replacement

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

And besides being a serviceable, aerodynamic, lightweight & stiff wheelset… Hunt is giving even an extra bit of security with a new Lifetime Crash Replacement warranty for the original owners of these wheels, their other UD Carbon Spoke wheels and all of their other Aerodynamicist wheels. Their H_Care policy recognizes that even though Hunt designs their wheels to take a lot of everyday abuse, accidents happen. And Hunt wants to get riders rolling again. Hunt has a lot of faith in the quality of their product, and is backing it up now with an official policy.

This new replacement warranty “extends to any HUNT-branded/made parts of your wheels, and we’ll even perform the labour of rebuilding your beloved wheels free of charge”. All you would have to do is pay to ship the damage wheel back to their office for service. And as of March 23 (two days ago), that means either to West Sussex in the UK, or to the new office they just opened officially this week in Boulder, CO. They promise more info on their USA setup in the near future, but Americans can now rest assured that Hunt will look after you on home soil now, too.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc – Pricing & Availability

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

The new Hunt UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels come in three variants: a 44mm deep pair, a 54mm deep pair, or a mixed 44mm deep front & 54mm deep rear combo. Anyway you choose it, the price is the same: £1069 / $1299 / 1229€. Hunt will also set your new wheels up tubeless for you before they ship them out so you don’t have to deal with the hassle, for less than the retail price of the pair of tires alone.

Hunt 44 & 54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels, ultralight lightweight aero carbon-spoked, hooked tubeless carbon road bike wheelset

As consumer-direct Hunt tend to do to drum up interest for their newest wheels, the UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels go on pre-order today, with real consumer deliveries slated for the end of July 2020. You get the option to pay the full price of the wheels now, or you can also just put down a refundable £99 deposit if you want to secure a set from the first shipment. Then pay the remainder before they ship later this summer.

HuntBikeWheels.com

20 COMMENTS

  1. Lets see, they still refuse to comment on german magazine Tour’s test and the catastrophicly faling carbon rims

    – and you refer to it on Cylingnews’s discus forum Hunt will make sure your profile is banned for eternaty,

    • Hi Morten. Great to see you popping up once more. I’ll just copy & paste the response I gave to you a month ago when you last brought this up. Many thanks for your feedback.

      “Hi Morten, thanks ever so much for coming back, and you’re quite right that TOUR Magazin’s findings were quite alarming to us.

      We tried to contact TOUR Magazin immediately after finding out about this test, as of course it was very important to us to understand how this failure had happened. Ourselves, thousands of customers, our Continental level pro cycling team Canyon DHB (for 3 full years 2017, 18, 19 and now into 2020) have all been riding this wheelset for many hundreds of thousands of kilometres (possibly millions of kms), so it is in use by thousands of riders of all shapes, sizes and abilities worldwide. Looking through our warranty logs, we do not have a single instance on record of a rim failure associated with braking heat. Not one, on any carbon rim-brake rim we have ever made.

      So, of course, it would be really good for us to understand the testing methodology and get a better idea of what happened there ☺

      One potential cause that we might consider possible, is that it was unclear whether or not the test accounted for the differences in braking heat/energy in virtue of different brake pad compounds and/or textured braking surfaces. If you apply the same braking mass/force but a brake pad is more efficient, then it will generate more heat over a fixed period of time. Naturally, with real world riding then this would be counterbalanced by the simple fact you would brake less often (as the pads are slowing you down more). Conversely, if a carbon rim was supplied with a cork pad then it would no doubt pass the TOUR test with flying colours – except also have the unfortunate downside of perhaps not stopping a rider in time.

      However, of course we await TOUR Magazin’s response to our emails ongoing, as we only wish to form conclusions once we have all the information required to do so.

      We welcome any of TOUR Magazin’s readers to contact us directly if they wish to discuss any of the above in more detail.

      In the meantime, we continue to offer that incredibly popular wheelset for sale, as we deem there to be absolutely 0 safety concerns with braking on them.

      Many thanks,
      Ollie”

      • Why is that ? It just proves that Hunt is vigoursly trying to defend bad press an apperantly has th e money to mussle certain websites to delete user commonts (censoring)

        • Hunt did respond with rational statements/arguments. You however have nothing but guesses and assumptions, especially re: your alleged “censoring”.

          • Just coming a tiny bit back on topic (after it is also clear we aren’t actually blocking or ‘censoring’ commenters, but do have an official Comment Policy for anyone interested)… But just to be clear, these are disc brake wheels. Not gonna get any rim braking heat build up in the rims here…

        • Dear Morten, it seems that Hunt has been very open with the public about acknowledging the findings of TOUR Magazin and asking for more information from the magazine and from any affected customers. Your dogged pursuit of this matter on our website and others is too much. The information is out there, customers can contact Hunt and are encouraged to do so if they have problems. Please stop. Your comments are now to be held in “moderation” – if you continue we will block you permanently.

  2. Hi Morten, thanks for coming here and we always love to discuss things openly with people. In fact we did reply in detail to you when you posted the same comment on a previous article here:

    https://bikerumor.com/2019/09/24/hunt-laces-lightweight-threaded-bladed-36-ud-carbon-spoke-road-wheels/

    I’ve reposted that reply here:

    Tom Marchment – HUNT Wheels September 28, 2019 At 5:06 am

    Hi Morten, Thank you for your 2nd comment on this topic on two different websites. As devoted bike riders ourselves, here at HUNT we always appreciate the opportunity to learn more and make better wheels all the time. We all want to see independent testing that pushes this forwards. To provide some other sides of the balance regards the Tour Magazine results is also important to make the best of the independent testing process. My brother Peter is somewhat of a physics geek (having Graduated Science at Cambridge with a speciality in materials) and oversees, along with Luisa (Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering, HUNT Engineering Manager), all our internal testing procedures. Pete would have liked to learn a lot more about the Tour test protocols, but from the limited information they share we identified there did not appear to be an adaptation in their testing to take into account differing levels of friction at the brake surface and the resulting differing heat transfer to each rim. So, a low friction brake pad = a much higher likelihood of passing their test. Our email to Tour magazine enquiring about these details remains unanswered (it was definitely friendly and polite, our Mother brought us up proper .) We of course have tested our braking surface extensively and the wheels tested by Tour have been in use around the world by many thousands of riders, including our sponsored Canyon DHB Continental team who have been racing on the wheels for three years. We have never witnessed the kind of failure that Tour managed to generate in their lab test.

    Some replies from a rider and a journalists to your previous comment:


    @ThatBrainiac “Tour Magazine… I love those guys for their dedication to objective testing, and I wish there was more of it in the industry…but sometimes their results don’t seem to square with real world reports. For example, they are the only source I have ever seen of a melted Shimano Ice-Tech disc rotor, which caused them to rate Shimano disc brakes quite low due to the complete failure in their test. Undoubtedly, a braking system failure is serious business, and we’d all do well to steer clear of putting ourselves at risk of one, but those rotors seem to hold up fine in the real world under riders of all weights, on even the most serious of alpine descents (both on and off road). It is also frustrating how often German companies soundly win their tests, when, in the real world, ride reports of the same products are considerably more average. Maybe German companies like Magura, Schwalbe, and Conti are just using similar tests to what Tour uses, so their products have been designed to excel in those conditions, but the results could also be an indication of nationalistic bias, which really sucks, as the whole promise of objective testing is to avoid biases (of all sorts).”

    Dave Rome Mod (Technical Writer for Cycling Tips) ThatBrainiac • 3 months ago • edited
    “I’ll take it a step further than that. I know on good authority that a number of bike brands were previously (5-10 years ago) designing bikes specifically to excel in Tour’s former stiffness-to-weight frame tests. The outcome was terribly stiff riding bikes that would chatter you to pieces and quickly break traction – but a winning score in Tour mag would produce sales within the world’s largest cycling market.”

    We definitely see the need for more independent testing and want to congratulate Tour for trying to push these things forwards and all bike components will benefit from this. We are all bike geeks here at HUNT, so we really do want to keep pushing bike parts forwards and so we would love to hear from anyone who can help or wants to chat bike.

    Kindest Regards and enjoy your riding,

    Tom Marchment – HUNT Wheels.

    • Hi guys at Hunt. A carbon rim failure is not new to those who are involved in the wheel industry especially if your carbon rims are open/closed molded from China (Asia). Stop being overly sensitive on this issue.
      Looking at your wheels they appear to be pretty standard mass produced and assembled China/Taiwan issue products.
      The rims are manufactured in Asia (cost approx $100 USD each), the hub and axle system is an off-the-shelf Taiwanese (cost approx $200 USD a set), carbon spoke system is Sapim (cost approx $100 USD a set) and assemble cost approx $30 USD per wheel.
      If you guys are really serious about fast wheels maybe invest in using xtreme carbon AERO hub and axle system from Australia for that real innovative and AERO difference.

  3. Anything that has been done by Tour has to be taken with a pinch of salt. The Shimano rotor thing alone really bugged me. It’s like you have nine engineers dedicated to hard numbers and realistic tests and one sales dork looking for something to sensationalize.
    Proof one way or another is by simple Google search. If there are Hunt rims failing, there will be pics on the internet.
    To suggest that Hunt is such a “big and powerful corporation” that it can take down user posts n such is bonkers. They’re on here, I’m sure they can tell us exactly how few employees they have.

  4. Having owned several sets of Hunt wheels and sold quite a few more, I have had zero complaints. By and large their offerings punch well above their price point without ever feeling cheap. They’re consistently rated well by the outlets that (ride and) review them, including publications and individuals I trust not to sugarcoat things.

    It’ll be interesting to hear how third parties rate the carbon-spoked models and their ride quality. On paper they look like a whole lot of wheel for the money.

  5. Hi guys @Hunt. Quick question RE tubeless fitting on these rims.

    Are these rims designed to any particular tubeless standard (if there is such a thing)? E.g. Mavic and (so I have read) others seem to be going towards UST and my own pair of recent Mavics are really easy to get their own tyres on and off again. As are Hutchinson, Schwalbe. Both options on your website, so could you give a view of how easy they are to fit and remove, please?

    Easy = Fit / remove by hand
    Moderate = Require tyre levers
    Hard = Require Herculean strength + patience of saint

    Hope you can help – really keen on these wheels based on the spec / price / performance claims.

    • Hi CP, thanks for your question.

      These wheels, like all we make, are developed to full ETRTO standards & guidelines. Fortunately, in addition to manufacturing to independent standards, we also pre-fit thousands of tubeless tyres for customers each year, from a number of different tyre manufacturers. So, it’s safe to say we know pretty quickly if there are ever fitment issues or difficulties.

      Often, the difficulty (or ease) of both the initial fit of the tyre as well as the subsequent removal, is in large part down to the material used in the tyre bead. Hutchinson (so also Mavic and Pirelli) use a softer aramid compound for the tubeless bead. The benefits are that it’s easier to fit, as well as removed roadside, often just by hand. The downsides are that you’ll need to do a more or less constant job of maintaining your tyre pressure (historically when I’ve used aramid tyres I’ve needed to set my pressure each day). It’s not the end of the world, but certainly something to consider. Conversely, Schwalbes have a much firmer bead that you’ll hear ‘click’ into place during fitting.The seat is far more secure and thus the tyres will hold pressure a lot better, but they can be tricky to remove (mostly just the first time). It’s just a sliding scale.

      I personally fitted new 28c Pro Ones to the above wheels for fitting to the Cannondales in the above pictures, and they were no different in difficulty to our regular wheels. I’ve since taken all tyres off, and could easily unseat the tyre beads on all 4 wheels with a quick push of the thumbs.

      In our experience, no tyre should require Herculean strength or the patience of our saint, but we understand that there’s often a knack to tyre fitting/removal which just comes over time. I’ve certainly done my fair share of road tubeless fitting!

      Hope some of the above helps, but please don’t hesitate to either respond here or email us at support@huntbikewheels.com if you’ve any further questions.

      Cheers,
      Ollie @ HUNT

  6. unless my browser is not loading an image, I am not seeing any stiffness result. unless I miss something, 6% that would be 2N/mm improvement, leaving the wheel in the low 40s N/mm so really not spectacular and far from Mavic, Corima’s or certain Lightweight that exceed the 50N/mm. it’s a similar disapointing result from Cadex that measured @ 44n/mm, was expecting much more from carbon spokes potential (or can’t compensate any other design flaw – geometry or too few spokes).

    • Hi Brent, thanks for your comment and you raise a really good point.

      You’re right in identifying the potential for increasing stiffness exponentially with carbon spokes. Indeed, if we used 24 carbon spokes instead of 24 steel spokes, you’d be looking at rather significant increases in lateral responsiveness. However, we’d contest that would make for an incredibly harsh wheel. The way we think about stiffness is always in relation to weight (or, in other words, stiffness-to-weight ratio is more important than stiffness above all else).

      That’s why we have designed the wheel to have that 6% increase in responsiveness whilst at the same time shedding a fairly significant amount of weight. We’ll certainly look into the opportunities to use more spokes and much stiffer wheels in the future, but ultimately if you’re looking at adding 20-30% stiffness vs our steel-spoked wheels, then you’re not making a wheel people are going to want to spend long days on at all. It’s important to remember the benefit of comfort on performance over longer time periods.

      Hope this helps, but always happy to chat things through!

      Cheers,
      Ollie @ HUNT

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