Hunt claims that its all-new £479 / $549 34 Aero Wide Disc wheelset is “the world’s fastest aero-tested alloy disc-brake wheelset”, with Hunt’s own wind-tunnel testing suggesting that when mounted with a 28mm tyre, the wheels are faster than Zipp’s £2,678 202 NSW carbon wheelset.
- Hunt releases “world’s fastest aero disc wheelset” (and actually backs it up with data)
- Hunt Sprint Aero Wide wheelset review
What makes these wheels fast?
The release of the new wheels comes hot on the heels of Hunt’s Limitless 48 Aero Disc wheelset, which is claimed to be the world’s fastest mid-depth carbon disc wheelset.
The new alloy wheels borrow much of the same tech developed for the carbon version. The heart of this development is Hunt’s Limitless technology.
Hunt published a comprehensive white paper detailing the development of this technology alongside the release of the carbon wheels but, in summary, it found that when used with modern 25mm+ tyres, wider rims perform better overall.
To be clear, by wider, we are referring to the overall external width of the rims, with these rims measuring a whopping 26mm wide at their chunkiest point.
This is a fair bit off of the 34.5mm seen on the carbon wheels but it is still very wide for an alloy rim.
Putting this profile to the test, when mounted with a 25mm Schwalbe Pro One tyre, Hunt’s 34 Aero Wide Disc wheelset is claimed to be faster than a number of popular alloy wheels, according to its own testing:
- Hunt 34 AWD — 16.67 watts
- Zipp 30 Course — 17.48 watts
- DT Swiss ER 1600 Spline 32 — 18.53 watts
- Mavic Cosmic Elite UST Disc — 19.29 watts
The more impressive figure comes when comparing the wheels to Zipp’s 202 NSW carbon wheels, which were fitted with a 28mm version of the same tyre:
- Hunt 34 AWD — 18.23 watts
- Zipp 202 NSW — 19.41 watts
And to think Hunt’s wheels don’t even have dimples!
If Hunt’s claimed weights (which are normally pretty accurate) are to believed, the alloy wheels also only carry an 88g weight penalty over the Zipp 202 NSW wheels, which we weighed at 1,460g.
As well as their claimed aero performance, the price of the wheelset is the other big talking point here, costing just £479 / $549 for a pair. Zipp’s aforementioned 30 Course wheels come in at around £800 and the 202 NSWs at £2,678, some £321 and £2,199 more expensive than Hunt’s new wheels.
£2,199 is a big premium to pay for something that may actually be (admittedly only 1.18 watts) slower.
In terms of other specs, the wheels are built around Hunt’s proven Sprint 7.5 hubs, include end caps for all common axle standards, will arrive pre-taped for tubeless setup and come with tubeless valves as standard.
Who exactly are these wheels for?
Hunt’s claim that “aerodynamic development has almost exclusively been focussed on carbon rims” holds truth — I cannot recall the last time an alloy wheelset was was claimed to be particularly aero.
This is probably because few who are shopping for alloy wheels actually care about aerodynamics. Alloy is predominantly the material of the everyday rider, with carbon wheels of greatest use to racers and those interested in performance.
With these wheels, I think Hunt is tapping into a new market (or, for the cynics among you, a market that hasn’t had clever marketing messages thrown at it), with crash-prone or fibre-fearful racers most likely to be interested.
What do you think? Does the idea of aero alloy rev your engine or does carbon make your heart sing? As always, leave your thoughts in the comments!