Hunt’s 4 Season Aero road wheelset is the brand’s cheapest rim brake wheelset and is designed for dependable year-round, hassle-free riding. The wheels are built around a 19mm wide (internal) rim that measures 28mm deep.
Included within the box is a pair of external cam quick releases, a cassette spacer and three replacement spokes.
The latter is a most notable inclusion. Although the wheelset is built with standard bladed J-bend spokes – which are far easier (or, at least, much quicker) to source replacements for than a funky proprietary spoke design – it’s still nice to have spares included as stock. More complete wheelsets should include this.
(If you want to take spare spokes with you on your bike, I recommend affixing them to the inside of your seatpost.)
The wheelset is built with triple-butted Pillar spokes – 24 laced radially on the front and 28 in a two-cross pattern at the rear – and the tension on them measured evenly out of the box.
The Hunt 4 Season Aero wheelset uses brass nipples. This is essential on any wheelset designed for all-season use. Alloy nipples can save a small amount of weight but are far more prone to corroding and seizing in the long run.
As an interesting note (interesting if, like me, you’re a nipple tweaking enthusiast), Hunt uses a locking compound on its spoke threads.
According to the brand, this is “a two-stage process, with a different compound used for each – one during building and then another to finish”. This acts as a lubricant during construction and, once dry, it helps stop the wheels from losing tension over time.
If you have to true the wheel, the locking compound makes the nipples feel as though they have seized at first. This is not the case – you simply have to break the bond of the locking compound to get things moving. This doesn’t take a great deal of force, but is worth bearing in mind.
In any case, I haven’t had to touch the spokes after a winter of fairly demanding testing, and the wheels are still running round and true.
The rims have a wide-ish-but-not-too-wide 19mm internal width (24mm external). This gives the 25 or 28mm tyres these wheels will most likely be used with a nice round profile.
The rims are tubeless-ready and ship with tubeless-ready tape pre-installed. I tested them with a pair of 28mm-wide Pirelli Cinturato tyres. The tyres had already been fitted to another wheelset and, once I had cleaned the bead, these seated with a track pump and the valve core removed – no dramas here.
Disassembling the hubs is very easy. With a 5mm hex key in each end cap, you can remove the driveside end cap, which allows you to remove the full cassette and freehub assembly.
With that removed, you insert a 10mm hex key into the driveside end of the axle. You can then remove the non-driveside end cap.
The sealing around the freehub engagement ring is fairly rudimentary, with only a single O-ring keeping out water and dirt.
During testing, the lube on the pawls got fairly contaminated, but there was no corrosion, stickiness or obvious wear – it was just a bit grotty.
I should add that I am not particularly delicate with my bike washing (read: I am quite lazy), so this will have been subjected to plenty of careless jetwash blasts.
Regardless of any grot ingress, pickup remained fast and consistent throughout testing. Cleaning and re-lubing the pawls is also only a five-minute job.
The bearings are said to be an up-specced option, with upgraded seals on the outside exposed face with low-friction seals used on the internal face.
I popped the seals off these and the grease still looks brand new, so I expect no abnormal wear in the long term.
The wheelset’s matching pair of standard external cam skewers are perfectly inoffensive – they feel well made, with none of the flop of a cheaper or excessively lightweight skewer, so no complaints.
(Note some of the photos in the review show a Shimano internal cam skewer. That’s because I am an idiot and misplaced the original skewers when I first unboxed the wheels and couldn’t find them for a week.)
I think the differences in braking performance between any standard alloy rim brake wheelset are massively overstated, if not non-existent. However, for the sake of completeness, I used two different sets of brake blocks in testing – a pair of standard Shimano Dura-Ace inserts and a pair of generic triple-compound Clarks inserts. Both provided absolutely adequate braking power in the wet.
If you want the best possible wet-weather alloy rim brake performance, I highly rate KoolStop’s Salmon compound brake pads.
Hunt’s 4 Season Aero wheelset is utterly unremarkable in the absolutely best way possible: tubeless setup was easy, I haven’t had to touch the spokes once since fitting, the hubs are still in fine fettle and, when the time does come to service them, disassembly is super easy.
Better still, you also get spare spokes if you do snap one down the line. Hunt also maintains a stock of replacement rims if you wear out or damage the original rims.
The freehub will benefit from a skoosh out and re-lube every now and then, but that’s not unusual.
All of this is exactly what you want out of a £369 wheelset that is designed for winter riding – totally dependable and hassle-free running, and Hunt delivers fully here.
|Price||EUR €469.00GBP £369.00USD $499.00|
|Weight||1,627g – Front 745g, rear 927g|
|Brand||Hunt bike wheels|
|Rim internal width||19|
|Spoke count||24 front, 28 rear|
|Spokes||Pillar PSR XTRA|
|Tubeless compatibility||Tubeless compatible|
|Tyre type||Clincher and tubeless|