The Tour de France mountains have given us a sneak peek at another set of prototype wheels being tested, this time an ultralight set of low-profile Hunt Carbon Spoke, disc brake tubulars. Spotted under Colombian rider Sergio Henao of Qhubeka NextHash, the wheels combine similar lightweight, race-ready tech we’ve seen from the UK wheel company before, with a target of adding a lightweight tubeless version soon as well…

Hunt 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc lightweight tubular prototype wheels

Hunt 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc Tubular, ultra lightweight 1151g prototype road wheels, Tour de Frnce Stage 8 photos by Damian Murphy ©GettySport descnding

c. Hunt, photos by Damian Murphy ©GettySport

We squeezed Hunt for some info on the mystery tubular prototypes, and they let slip the name 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc… confirming quite a bit of key information, like their 36mm deep rim profile. Hunt already makes a 36 UD Carbon Spoke rim brake wheelset with a filament-wound tubeless rim and a separate 44/54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc brake wheels with Aerodynamicist tubeless rims, both using the same unique carbon spokes.

How light is ultralight with disc brakes?

Hunt 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc Tubular, ultra lightweight 1151g prototype road wheels, Tour de Frnce Stage 8 photos by Damian Murphy ©GettySport, actual weight

1151g actual weight

Hunt shared this photo of the wheels Sergio Henao was riding, on their scale at just 660g for the rear and 509g for the front – a complete weight of 1151g for the 12mm thru-axle, centerlock disc brake wheelset.

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

existing Hunt 44 / 54 UD Carbon Spoke TaperLock hub:spoke detail

Hunt’s TaperLock full UD carbon spokes essentially build up wheels a bit more like conventional spoke or textile spoke wheels with special nipples at both the rim & hub, that allows both truing (from inside the rim bed only) and spoke replacement in the event of external damage. The result is said to be super light and super stiff, allowing very low spoke counts and ultralight complete wheelset weights.

Hunt 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc Tubular, ultra lightweight 1151g prototype road wheels, Tour de Frnce Stage 8 photos by Damian Murphy ©GettySport

photo by Damian Murphy ©GettySport

We can see from these photos that the wheels are laced with just 20 rear and only 16 front of the unique, bladed TaperLock UD carbon spokes. The straight-pull spokes are laced with equal numbers on each side (2x in the rear, 1x on the disc side in the front), and require special hubs with threaded flanges/tabs for the inner nipple/mandrel.

Hunt 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc Tubular, ultra lightweight 1151g prototype road wheels, Tour de Frnce Stage 8 photos by Damian Murphy ©GettySport, hub detail

photo by Damian Murphy ©GettySport

Looking closely at the front, these wheels do in fact look to have a new lighter set of disc brake hubs compared to Hunt’s first Carbon Spoke Disc wheels. These look to have a smaller diameter, more cylindrical body that steps down from the bearings inside the radial spokes on the driveside, then back up to the flange on the disc-side.

Hunt 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc – Performance benefits, pricing & availability?

Hunt 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc Tubular, ultra lightweight 1151g prototype road wheels, Tour de Frnce Stage 8 photos by Damian Murphy ©GettySports close up

photo by Damian Murphy ©GettySport

Obviously, ultra-lightweight will always draw a number of road cyclists in. But Hunt also claimed the first UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels increased stiffness by 6%, even with 16% fewer spokes, and were better at absorbing high-frequency road buzz at the same time. Now, having proven themselves a bit in the big mountains of the Tour de France as tubulars, the next step will be to make a tubeless version for consumers. Hunt has even hinted that it might be hookless.

Hunt 36 UD Carbon Spoke Disc Tubular, ultra lightweight 1151g prototype road wheels, Tour de Frnce Stage 8 photos by Damian Murphy ©GettySport, attack

photo by Damian Murphy ©GettySport

No official timeline or pricing has been released, but Hunt does already list this new depth on their website when describing Sprint hub/axle compatibility – listed as “36/44/50/4454/54 UD Carbon Spoke Disc Wheelset“. Curiously, that also suggests another new deeper Hunt 50 UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheelset that we’ve not seen yet either!

In any case, all of their disc brake, carbon spoke wheelsets hover around the same +/- $1960 / £1380 / 1790€ price tag, so we’d expect the new ultralight 35 UD Carbon Spoke Disc or the deeper 50 UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheels to come in around that same cost.

HuntBikeWheels.com

14 comments

  1. O. Tan on

    Of the top of mu mind, I guess if it’s a hookless version, it’ll only be like 50-100g heavier compared to a typical hooked design which seems to generally add around 200-300g to a wheel

    Reply
  2. Thesteve4761 on

    To be raced, it’s supposed to be on the approved list. Making it not a prototype, making this not a scoop.

    How much does Hunt pay for you to “spy” on them twice in less than a week?

    Please stop with this pretense.

    Reply

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