Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X Wide Hookless Wheels: Checkpoint – by Grannygear
Mounted onto the Lynskey GR250, the Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X Wide Hookless wheels (pause to take a breath…) with the WTB 42mm Resolutes looked really good. Really good. Dare I say, sexy? I dare, I dare. Yeah, that slightly deeper rim and the black wall Resolutes looked ready to conduct business. I set them at 30psi just to begin with, which, in the past, is where I would typically run the Resolutes for a mixed surface ride. By the way, if you missed my introduction to this wheel set, you can check that out here.
Ride Impressions: My initial impression upon rolling out was a fast responding wheel that brightened up the Lynskey, even with the heavier tires than I had been running (36mm WTB Vulpines) on a comparable weight wheel. So if it felt jumpy and quick to respond when pedaled, it must be the wheels helping out.
My first ride was a very familiar loop of 20 miles. It has quite a bit of climbing in it, beginning with 10 miles of rolling climbs on the road before you dive into a winding, one lane, paved road, cutting through a narrow canyon. That part of the ride with its higher speeds and heavy braking going into decreasing radius corners can point out a noodley wheel.
Soon we come to a dirt climb with double digit grades followed by 5 miles or so of short, grinding, climbs, and off the saddle descents across rutted and loose dirt surfaces. The last few miles are a fast cruise down an open fireroad with easy singletrack options. It’s a good test bed ride, offering a little of everything that is typical So Cal gravel riding.
Other than the quick response, I also felt like the wheels held speed very well and rolled out nicely. My other impression was of a very accurate steering response. Diving into the tight and fast corners on that connector road, you absolutely get what you ask for when you point the Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X Wide Hookless wheels into a turn.
I had a sneaking suspicion that I was going to find this to be a firm riding set-up, and once I got into the dirt, I was right. It is a very direct and firm riding wheel. Now, I am not surprised by this because when you read things like this from the Hunt website: “The 35mm depth was selected for stiffness and burly strength…”, you have to realize this wheel has a certain bullseye in mind. The question becomes, is that the target I am wanting to aim for?
But not so fast! Before I judge the wheels as riding a certain way, I have two other things in play that need to be factored in. The rim is wider internally than anything else I have in ‘da house. That affects how a tire responds to tire pressures and impacts. It is my opinion that when the sidewalls of a tire are more ‘vertical’, so to speak, that the tire is less compliant as compared to an equal pressure on a narrower rim.
Also, the SG2 casing on the WTB Resolutes, being a ‘tough’ casing, will likely require a bit less air pressure to ride the way I expect it to ride. That is what Guitar Ted found when he tested the SG2 casings on some WTB tires, although he also found that they did not feel wooden like some other brand’s tires of that ilk. So I will be experimenting with pressures to see where the sweet spot is for this combo. Regardless of the other factors here, this is undeniably a stout wheel. Is that a bad thing? Not really, as long as you know that going in and whether or not it matches your expectations and priorities.
For instance, at 30 psi in the 42mm tire, I was seeing the rear wheel skip over rocks in the trail and hop sideways on sharp hits. The front end was thumping me more than I would expect. On the flip side, the steering was very responsive and accurate and the bike just drove forward when I pedaled hard.
I stopped twice to ‘blip’ air out of both tires (in the dirt sections) until I was seeing a much smoother ride. Once I got home I measured the tire pressures and found that I was down into the low 20s. That is too low for me, as I was just beginning to feel some drag on the paved section back home and at some point I will be kissing rocks with the rim. I will be using an accurate inflation device and will be experimenting with what is the best compromises, air pressure-wise. I expect I can find a decent all-round setting. Once I find that number, I plan on moving back to another wheelset that I am very familiar with to see how that changes things.
For instance I found that 28psi F/R was enough to smooth things out quite a bit from the initial 30psi setting, and I completed a 40 mile mixed surface ride with nearly 5000’ of climbing with generally good results. I will be going down from there to see where it ends.
I have some big rides planned for the gravel bike this month as the heat of summer rolls in. By the time I am done, I think I will have the Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X Wide Hookless wheels pretty well summed up, performance wise, although this will not be a long term test…….. More to come.
Learn more about the wheels on test here by visiting the Hunt website for this model: https://us.huntbikewheels.com/products/hunt-35-carbon-gravel-x-wide-hookless-wheelset
Note: Hunt sent the wheels in this post to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We were not bribed, nor paid for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.