Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X Wide Hookless Wheels: Getting Rolling – by Grannygear
On the Hunt for a fast gravel wheel? (See what I did there?)
I have had three sets of Hunt branded wheels over the years. The first set was for Mrs. Grannygear’s road bike, a Trek Emonda SLR. I bought her the Hunt CAD 30s, a carbon road wheel 30mms deep and internally wide. I do not recall the weight exactly, but I think they were under 1400g with a somewhat low suggested rider weight limit of, if I recall correctly, 220lbs. These are not the same as the current CAD 30 All-Road wheels that Hunt offers.
They came with spare spokes and nipples, a spoke wrench, two 6-bolt to Centerlock adapters, valve stems, and could be had in pretty much any current axle configuration. Tubeless of course. Pre-taped. And they had Hunt’s H Lock bead seat that helped keep the tire bead in place if you suffered a flat tire. And they were about $1200.00 retail.
Now that is not so dramatically low a price nowadays, but back then it was revolutionary. Most decent carbon wheels were closer to two-grand. The only catch was that Hunt was UK based so returning them might be a costly deal. But I bit in and ordered them and they are still on her bike, doing really well, with only a refresh of the main rear hub bearings. Mrs Grannygear rides about 100 miles a week average all year round, so no complaints there. I upgraded to Enduro Bearing XD-15 ceramics.
After that I tried a set of Carbon 50s for my road bike, and while they were okay wheels, I discovered that deep wheels are not my gig. I sold them on a bike I moved down the road. The new owner was stoked. Then I tried a set of carbon gravel wheels from Hunt. I went with the gravel ones over the CAD 30s as I felt the CAD 30s (like my wife rides) were a bit less than my 180+lbs riding weight would like to have under them. I bought them for a new disc brake road bike running 30mm tires, not for a gravel application. What I found was that the gravel carbon wheels shot forward like crazy and were a stiff, responsive, wheel. Maybe too stiff. Those were sold on a bike that I needed to move down the road.
I was impressed by the support I received from Hunt when I had questions on the bearing replacement process for my wife’s rear hub. I was able to get on a chat window or email for support. Very nice. Oh yeah. They have a US distributor now and US based support.
Later on I had a strange thing happen with my wife’s rear CAD30 wheel where it developed an internal rattle, like something was rolling around inside the rim cavity. It ended up being little balls of sealant and dirt so no biggy, but the support from Hunt in the process was very good. They even sent me some nipple washers and replacement tape in case I found broken things inside. No charge. And I bought those wheels a long time ago.
So now here we are with a set of Hunt wheels to review for the gravel environment, the 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X Wide Hookless. Whew! Here’s a bit from the Hunt website about them:
Introducing the Carbon Gravel X-Wide Hookless: Carry speed over the seriously rough stuff with confidence on these super-wide rims optimised for wide tires. The 35mm depth was selected for stiffness and burly strength, knowing that you’ll likely be spending plenty of miles off-road. New for 2021, the Carbon Gravel X-Wide is now available with the option of hooked or hookless versions to better suit the preferences of devoted riders.
Featuring the same 5 degree RapidEngage 6-pawl hub as our 30 Carbon Gravel Disc (inclusive of H_CERAMIK freehub) this wheelset offers riders a more burly option for hardcore gravel/drop-bar off-road riding and racing! Benefitting further from a 24 front and 28 rear spoke count (for up to 253lbs riders), the result is a strong gravel/bike-packing wheelset for the heaviest of duties! Hit the trails, HARD!
GRAVEL RIDING SUPREMACY
- Rims | 31mm external, 25mm internal. Unidirectional T24/30, with 3K weave reinforced spoke holes. Hookless (what does this mean?).
- Tires | Tubeless-ready for lower weight & rolling resistance, featuring H_LOCK bead-seat for easy and secure tubeless installation. Hookless rims require the use of tubeless tires. (Please always refer to your tires manufacturer’s guidelines on pressure, rim width, and hookless compatibility).
- Hubs | HUNT 4 Season Disc J-bend spoke hubs with extra bearing shielding. 5 degree RapidEngage 6-pawl freehub, with H_CERAMIK coating for enhanced durability. Centre-lock disc mount.
- Spokes | Pillar PSR reinforced spokes with Black for increased wear and corrosion resistance.
- Axles | Easily adaptable & we fit them for you. Fit all current axle sizes and are easy to change; (Front – QR, 12mm, 15mm) (Rear – QR, 12×142, 12×135, 10×135).
- Included | Tubeless tape & valves, spare spokes, axle adapters (please fill in the simple form after checkout to select your required size).
- See the full specs here
- Weight | 1465g
Wow. Opening the box and looking at a 25mm internal rim, they sure look wide, especially with the hookless rim design. The rim is also asymmetrical with an offset spoke bed. I have no issue with hookless for gravel and or MTB set-ups as the tire pressures are low and tubeless tire tech has come up a notch. But they do require you to run a tubeless type tire where a hooked bead rim can use both tube type and tubeless tires.
The hubs do not have an anti-bite goodie on them to keep the cassette from digging into the freehub body, but Hunt says there is what they call H_CERAMIK coating on the surface of the aluminum free hub body which is designed to prevent that from happening.
In the box along with a build tag and the wheels was an accessory kit: Spokes/nips/nipple washers, valve stems. No spoke wrench or 6 bolt rotor adapters as before (can be purchased separately now). The weight? I weighed them with tape and valve stems as 827g rear and 690F. So 1517g total. Hunt lists 1465g but that likely does not include valve stems and maybe not even tape. Either way, for a 35mm deep and 30mm wide wheel, 1517g ready to roll is quite good. Especially for the cost. Oh did I mention they are under a grand for the set? Yep. Well under. Like $769.00 well under. Mercy!
I mounted a set of new WTB 42mm Resolutes using the Light casing with SG2 in blackwall (ohhhhh, that looks really good on those wheels!) and used the new WTB Tubeless Tire Sealant inside to see how that is. Those are big chunks of grit in that sealant. Interesting.
Installation took a set of strong thumbs (as it should) but the Resolutes set and inflated with a tire pump, giving me a reassuring double SNAP as they popped onto the H Lock bead seat. Now Hunt has some new tape that is supposed to resist deforming into the spoke holes over time. If that works out, then that will make re-inflating a dis-mounted tire on this wheel much easier. Time will tell.
I have it all on the Lynskey and it’s ready for action. Just for fun, I compared the rolling weights of each Hunt wheel against the old wheels I was using, a set of FSA gravel wheels in aluminum. They are good, solid wheels, not fancy. 21mms internal. Shallow-ish. Same size Resolutes, but not the SG2 version. Same size rotors. I dropped a total of 1/2 pound swapping to the new combo. Not bad.
Now, to the hills I go. It’s time to get riding
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.