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Hunt Sustain: Affordable Carbon & Alloy Wheels Made in Europe, More Sustainably

Hunt Sustain 42 Carbon Disc affordable recycled carbon wheels made more sustainable in Europe
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A new Hunt Sustain series of wheelsets hopes to lessen the environmental impact of upgrading your bike. Hunt admittedly aren’t going to save the world by slightly tweaking how they build wheels, but they have found a few ways to make 3 of their most popular wheelsets easier on the environment. The result is recycled content in both carbon and aluminum rims made in Europe – the first carbon rims I’ve seen made with recycled carbon fibers. Plus, silver stainless spokes & raw brass nipples that I think look better without unnecessary coatings. Then, all laced into EU-made hubs in Europe, and surprisingly not much more expensive than their Asian-made wheels…

Hunt Sustain affordable wheels, but easier on the environment

Hunt Sustain 42 Carbon Disc affordable recycled carbon wheels made more sustainable in Europe, rim detail
(Photos/Hunt)

Hunt calls this Sustain Phase One, a first step to building affordable carbon and aluminum wheels in a more environmentally sustainable way. A project to lessen the environmental impact of them building wheels to upgrade your bike, but without sacrificing quality, performance, or value for the end consumer. Hunt describes the 3 new Sustain wheelsets as “developed leveraging recycled materials, less resource-intensive manufacturing processes, sustainability-focused specification choices, and shorter transportation distances to reduce [their] environmental impact“.

So what’s new?

Recycled carbon road rim!

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled carbon aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, road bike build

Recycled materials are usually an easy one to look at. And all three new Hunt Sustain wheelsets feature rims with recycled content. But that’s a bit complicated when it comes to carbon rims. Carbon doesn’t typically recycle well – once the thermoplastic resin is applied, there’s no separating it from the actual carbon fibers.

Hunt Sustain 42 Carbon Disc affordable recycled carbon wheels made more sustainable in Europe, rim weave detail

But the new Hunt Sustain 42 Carbon Disc Ti rim takes advantage of a unique carbon recycling process.10% of the carbon in the rim is made up of a mix of EU-sourced pre-consumer aerospace & automotive carbon scraps, as well as a mix of off-cuts from carbon bicycle rim production. That reclaimed carbon seems to be shredded and “processed into a dense fleece” that Hunt uses in the outer portion of the rim to reinforce the bead for extra impact resistance, while virgin raw fibers are used for the bulk of the rim’s structure. They manufacture the carbon rims via Resin Transfer Molding over a wax core. That means no resin is added until the final step, so scrap carbon can easily be recycled. And the melted wax can be reused more than 20x instead of using disposable foam, silicone, or plastic to form the inner rim cavity.

Hunt Sustain 42 Carbon Disc affordable recycled carbon wheels made more sustainable in Europe, rim profile

The Sustain 42 Carbon rim features a blunt aero shape with a 22mm internal hooked tubeless bead, 42mm deep and 29mm wide outside. Hunt describes it as an all-rounder road rim for 25-35mm tires.

Hunt Sustain 42 Carbon Disc affordable recycled carbon wheels made more sustainable in Europe, hub

The Sustain 42 Carbon wheels are built with triple-butted Sapim CX-Ray blade spokes, laced to 10° engagement Hunt Europa H_Ratchet Ti alloy hubs CNC-machined in Belgium. They of course get a 36T ratchet freehub mechanism and one-piece titanium freehub body.

Recycled alloy rims, too.

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, Trail Wide rim

Recycling aluminum is a bit more straightforward. And both new Sustain 6000 series alloy rims are made from 75% recycled aluminum. Overall 45% of the total is pre-consumer content including industrial scrap like shavings left after CNC-machining, but a full 30% is post-consumer – think recycled Coke & beer cans.

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, Europa Boost hub

Hunt builds up the two alloy wheels in Europe with Sapim spokes and EU-machined hubs, too. This time the 23mm internal (27mm external x 22mm deep) Sustain 4 Season wheels feature double-butted D-Light spokes and Hunt Europa 48T / 7.5° hubs CNC-machined in France. While the 30mm internal (34mm external x 20mm deep) Sustain Trail Wide wheels combine D-Light spokes and French-made Europa Boost 48T hubs.

More eco-friendly spokes & nipples

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled carbon aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, silver spokes

Looking at most modern wheels, it’s a fairly obvious step in my mind to stop making spokes & nipples black. Hunt calls them ‘Zero Coated’ for all of the Sustain wheels. But spokes are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel anyway. So style is the only reason to use a ‘electrical chemical coating process’ to make them black. And silver spokes feel faster anyway, right? As for nipples, it’s the same thing. Raw brass is also naturally corrosion-resistant and effectively self-lubricating, so no functional reason to electro-plate them. And yes, classic brass nipples look better in my book, too.

Now, if they’ll just roll that out across the rest of the Hunt wheelset line-up!

Tech specs

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled carbon wheels made more sustainable in Europe, 42 Carbon Disc

Hunt Sustain Phase One – 42 Carbon Disc Ti

  • Weight: 1497g per pair
  • Rim Material: Carbon Fiber, using 10% recycled carbon fleece in outer rim surface to increase impact resistance
  • Internal Rim Width: 22mm 
  • External Rim Width: 29mm
  • Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray triple butted aero blade with Zero Coat stainless steel finish
  • Spoke Count: 24 front / 24 Rear
  • Hubs: HUNT Europa H_Ratchet Ti, 10-degree engagement with one-piece, machined grade 5 titanium freehub body
  • Hubset CNC machined and assembled in Belgium
  • Bearings: Sealed Precision Cartridge 
Hunt Sustain affordable recycled aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, 4 Season All-Road

Sustain Phase One – 4 Season All-Road Disc

  • Weight: 1718g per pair
  • Rim Material: Lightweight 6000 series heat-treated alloy, made with 75% recycled alloy content
  • Internal Rim Width: 23mm 
  • External Rim Width: 27mm
  • Spokes: Sapim D-Light double butted with Zero Coat stainless steel finish
  • Spoke Count: 24 Front / 28 Rear
  • Hubs: HUNT Europa 4 Season Hub set, 7.5-degree engagement, CNC’d 6000 series heat-treated aluminum alloy body with 7075-T6 alloy axle and freehub
  • Hubset CNC machined and assembled in France
  • Bearings: Sealed Precision Cartridge 

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, Trail Wide

Hunt Sustain Phase One – Trail Wide

  • Weight: 1878g per pair
  • Rim Material: Lightweight 6000 series heat-treated alloy, made with 75% recycled alloy content
  • Internal Rim Width: 30mm
  • External Rim Width: 34mm
  • Spokes: Sapim D-Light double butted with Zero Coat stainless steel finish
  • Spoke Count: 28 Front / 32 Rear
  • Hubs: HUNT EUROPA Boost 48T hub set, 7.5-degree engagement, CNC’d 6000 series heat-treated aluminum alloy body with 7075-T6 alloy axle and freehub
  • Hubset CNC machined and assembled in France
  • Bearings: Sealed Precision Cartridge 

Hunt Sustain wheels – Options, pricing & availability

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled carbon aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, rims lined up

The new three wheelset range of Hunt Sustain Phase One range of wheels are available for pre-order now Limited quantities of the new wheels pre-ordered now will make it into customer hands from August 2024.

The most expensive is the Hunt Sustain Phase One 42 Carbon Disc Ti wheelset, selling for $1449 / 1349€. That’s maybe a 40% premium over Hunt’s cheapest carbon wheels, but about the same price as their other mid-tier carbon wheels with aero rims and higher-spec hubs.

On the alloy front, the Hunt Sustain 4 Season All-Road Disc wheelset sells for $549 / 489€. That’s technically cheaper than the regular version when it isn’t on sale. Then, the Hunt Sustain Trail Wide mountain bike wheels sell for $589 / 549€, just a bit more than their regular counterpart (also now on sale.)

Next sustainability steps for the brand…

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled carbon aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, next steps

Hunt’s been working for years on ways to make everything they do a bit more sustainable. Since their start in 2015, they’ve made sure to keep service parts & spares available so your Hunt wheels can last as long as possible. Hunt also started a RE:NEW program two years ago. There, they offer refurbished used wheels to consumers, that might otherwise be scrapped.

They are also now sharing details of “a company-wide carbon emissions measurement and reduction plan” base on the Science Based Targets Initiative framework that will see them reduce direct & indirect emissions from their business by 50% over the next five years. Hunt will publically share company-wide emissions and progress data annually from the end of this year.

Hunt Sustain affordable recycled carbon aluminum alloy wheels made more sustainable in Europe, future development

Hunt says Sustain Phase One is just the start, “Further sustainability-focused product development updates will roll out in the coming months.”

We’re curious to hear more about their next steps…

HuntBikeWheels.com

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Larry Falk
Larry Falk
30 days ago

Black spokes looked good when they first came out, but all-black-everything-bikes are now oppressive. Free The Spokes! Long Live Silver!

tertius_decimus
tertius_decimus
27 days ago
Reply to  Larry Falk

Indeed. Gimme shiny stainless steel spokes and mirror polished aluminum rims every day any day.

Brad
Brad
27 days ago
Reply to  Larry Falk

I’ve been using silver spokes for years. I like the look and they don’t show scratches. “Zero coat” finish is pretty funny IMO- They should call the carbon rims “zero aluminum” too hahah

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