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Hunt Proven Race XC & Race Enduro add Affordable Carbon Wheels

hunt proven race enduro carbon mtb wheelset 29 27.5 fergus ryan super morzine
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Hunt Wheels have finally dropped the Proven Carbon Race XC and Proven Carbon Race Enduro Wheelsets that have been under development for over 3 years. Both wheelsets launch today with 30mm internal width carbon rims with a discipline-specific layup tuned to balance strength and compliance where it matters most. Pick up a set at the very competitive price of £899 ($1099 USD).

Hunt Proven Carbon Race Wheelsets

hunt proven race carbon wheels for xc enduro 30mm internal width rims
Aside from the choice of spokes, the differences between the Proven Race XC and Proven Race Enduro Wheelset aren’t visible to the naked eye

Hunt has been developing the Proven Carbon Wheelsets ever since the AM Carbon H_Impact Wheels launched in 2019. The engineers pressed on, testing wider internal rim widths with a new rim profile and new carbon layups, until they saw evidence they could tune that new rim profile to meet the demands of different disciplines. 

hunt rapid engage 5 degree hub proven wheelsets

Both offer up a 30mm internal rim width to seat modern, high-volume XC and Enduro tires, and are laced via 28 spokes to the same 5-degree engagement hub used across most of Hunt’s MTB wheelsets, including the Hunt Enduro Wide V2 Alloy wheelset we tested earlier this year. That’s where the similarities end.

hunt proven carbon race xc wheels isla short les gets 2022 world cup xc
Isla Short racing the 2022 UCI XCO World Championships in Lets Gets aboard her Juliana Wilder rolling on the Hunt Proven Carbon Race XC Wheelset

Hunt put its sponsored Elite riders to work testing the new Proven Wheelsets over two seasons of World Cup XC Seasons underneath Isla Short, and a season of EWS racing underneath Fergus Ryan and Chloe Taylor. Former World Cup DH Racer, Katy Curd, also put in some hours.

hunt proven carbon race enduro testing wheels katy curd fod england
Katy Curd giving the Hunt Proven Carbon Race Enduro Wheels a thrashing on some Forest of Dean gaps

Hunt Proven Carbon Race XC Wheels

hunt proven carbon race xc wheels

We saw an early prototype of the Hunt Proven XC Wheels on Isla Short’s Orbea Oiz. That was last year when Hunt were still playing around with narrower internal rim widths (24mm and 25mm) and the possibility of running bladed carbon spokes. Neither of those features have made into the production wheelset launched today, which runs the modern 30mm internal rim width and steel bladed spokes from Pillar. The carbon spokes were too delicate for transporting bikes from race to race, apparently.

  • Wheelset: Hunt Proven Race XC
  • Internal Rim Width: 30mm
  • Rim Depth: 22mm
  • Claimed Weight: 1,469g
  • Hub: Hunt 5-Degree Engagement
  • Spoke Count: 28 Front & Rear
  • Available Sizes: 29″ (Boost)
  • Pricing: £899 / $1099 USD / €1169 per Set

hunt proven race xc carbon rim profile

Hunt isn’t proposing a super lightweight wheelset for XC Racing, but it is proposing one that offers an attractive balance between weight and price.

The brand state a claimed weight of just 1,469g for the 29″ Boost Wheelset (with valves and tape), slightly lighter than the Roval Control 29 Carbon Wheelset that comes in a fair bit more expensive at £1,150 / $1,350. It’s worth comparing the two because, according to Hunt’s in-house impact testing, the Proven XC rims are of comparable strength, failing at the same impact energy of 110 J.

hunt proven carbon race xc wheels impact testing versus competitors wheels

The in-house testing wasn’t exhaustive by any means, and no data is provided for any other named competitors’ carbon rims, only some much cheaper aluminum options from Stan’s and Hunt’s own Race XC Wide Alloy wheelset. It has not escaped our attention that Hunt included data for a Hunt Thermoplastic Prototype in there, a prototype about which they said, “we can’t say anything about it but we’re constantly testing new tech”.

Looking elsewhere, the Hunt Proven Race XC also compares favorably to the Bontrager Kovee Elite 30 TLR, a comparable carbon wheelset that retails at £849.98, but comes in over 100g heavier than the Hunt Proven Race XC Wheelset at 1,585g.

Hunt Proven Carbon Race Enduro Wheels

hunt proven race enduro carbon wheelset
The Hunt Proven Race Enduro Wheels feature an over-sized 7075 T6 rear axle meant to reduce flex and increase life of the Revo dual-sealed bearings
  • Wheelset: Hunt Proven Race Enduro
  • Internal Rim Width: 30mm
  • Rim Depth: 23mm
  • Claimed Weight: 1,920g (29″ Boost Wheelset)
  • Hub: Hunt 5-Degree Engagement
  • Spoke Count: 28 Front & Rear
  • Available Sizes: 29″, 27.5″, and 29″/27.5″ wheelsets (Boost and Super Boost available)
  • Pricing: £899 / $1099 USD / €1169 (Boost) – £949 / $1149 / €1239 Super Boost
hunt proven race enduro wheels front rear specific tune carbon rim spokes
The Proven Race Enduro front wheel is laced with 28 Pillar TB2016 spokes with a narrow 1.6mm central gauge, while the Race Enduro rear is laced with 28 Pillar TB2018 spokes with a wider 1.8mm central gauge. Wheelsets are shipped with spare spokes for both.

Unlike the Proven Race XC wheelset, the Hunt Proven Race Enduro Wheels get front and rear-specific tunes, delivered in part through varying the carbon layup in the rims, but also through the use of different spokes. Though the internal rim width remains constant at 30mm, the layup is tailored to deliver a stronger, stiffer rear rim, and a more compliant and comfortable front wheel rim that is able to absorb more vibration from the trail to fend off hand and arm fatigue. The tougher rear rim is heavier, with an additional 61g worth of carbon as compared to the front.

hunt proven race enduro carbon wheel impact testing versus competitors rim

In Hunt’s in-house impact testing, their Proven Carbon Race Enduro rims were shown to be stronger than their All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact Wheels, and stronger than Roval’s Traverse Carbon rims, another all-mountain option with a 30mm internal width that retail at the comparably elevated price point of £1,000 ($1,200 USD) and are considerably heavier at 1,800g.

hunt proven race enduro carbon rim

On the other side of the coin, a Proven Race Enduro Wheel was shown to be weaker than a Reserve 30 HD Carbon Wheel, failing at a lower impact energy. Given the fact that the Reserve 30 HD rim alone (£649) isn’t all that far off the price of the Hunt Proven Race Enduro Wheelset (£899), you may well expect that to be the case.

Hunt Proven Carbon eBike Wheels

The story doesn’t end there for the Proven range. Hunt intends to add an eBike-specific Proven Carbon Wheelset in the coming months, as revealed to us at the Tweed Valley EWS back in June. The Race e-Enduro wheels are currently being tested by Whyte Bikes’ freerider, Daryl Brown. It will feature 36 spokes in the rear and 32 spokes in the front.

Pricing & Availability

The Hunt Proven Race CX and Race Enduro Carbon Wheelsets both retail at £899 / $1099 USD / €1169. Only the Super Boost version of the Proven Race Enduro Wheelset costs more, priced at £949 / $1149 / €1239 Super Boost. All wheels ship with rims pre-taped and tubeless valves installed, and some spare spokes, too.

All Hunt Proven wheelsets are sold with the Hunt H_Care Lifetime Crash Replacement Policy. Details on that are as follows:

“H_Care aims to protect your investment in HUNT technology by enabling first owners of eligible HUNT wheels free access to any HUNT branded replacement parts and labour to repair in the event of damage through intended-use. We will cover the reasonable cost of the labour to repair your wheels at a local bike shop or professional bike mechanic or perform the work free of charge at our nearest office. If a repair is unrealistic, we will replace your damaged wheel” – Hunt Bike Wheels.

chloe taylor testing hunt proven carbon race enduro wheels
Credit: Pete Scullion


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