Hunt Wheels has been developing carbon wheelsets for mountain biking for some time now. We first set eyes on an early XC prototype last July, on the Orbea Oiz of professional cross-country racer, Isla Short. Back then, the XC rims had a 26mm internal width, laced to Hunt’s 5° Rapid Engage Hubs (with Ceramic Speed Bearings) via 24 bladed carbon spokes on the front and 28 on the rear. Having caught up with the Hunt Wheels team at EWS Tweed Valley, we are told the XC rims will move to a 30mm internal width, aligning with the 30mm Race Enduro, Race e-Enduro, and Trail rims that are also under development.
Hunt Proven Race Enduro Carbon Mountain Bike Wheels
Andi Sykes and Sam Meegan of Hunt Wheels were kind enough to give us a quick preview of the new Proven Race Enduro wheelset. For the new line of carbon wheels, Hunt are tailoring strength, stiffness and compliance specific the front and rear wheels of their complete wheelsets, optimizing the balance between those properties to cater to the different demands of each.
Hunt has successfully taken a similar tuned approach with their aluminum Enduro Wide V2 wheelset, but given that the Proven wheelsets run a carbon rim, the route to delivering those differing characteristics is, of course different. While the Enduro Wide V2 rims differ in their internal width, the Proven Race Enduro carbon rims seen here get a 30mm internal rim width, front and rear.
The differences lie in the carbon layup, something that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Specifically, the layup of carbon at the rim bed is thicker for the rim of the rear wheel than it is on the rim of the front wheel. That additional reinforcement should make the rear wheel able to withstand the bigger impacts and greater abuse that it tends to receive relative to the front.
The front and rear wheels are both laced to Hunt’s Rapid Engage hubs ( 5°) via 32 Steel J-Bend Spokes from Pillar, though they differ in terms of spoke tensions and spoke gauges, too. The idea is to deliver a stronger, stiffer rear wheel, paired with a more compliant front wheel that offers improved vibration damping and thus, comfort.
The rear rim of the Proven Race Enduro wheelset will feature on the front and rear of the Proven Race e-Enduro wheelset that is currently under development, being tested by Whyte Bikes’ freerider, Daryl Brown. That eMTB-specific wheelset will feature 36 spokes in the rear and 32 spokes in the front.
The Hunt Proven Race XC wheelset will be available at two price points; the Carbon UD model with 28 bladed carbon spokes, as seen on Isla Short’s Juliana Wilder, and a more affordable, heavier version with the same carbon rim but with 28 steel spokes.
We don’t yet have any weight or pricing information to share. Stay tuned.