Hunt goes hookless with two new gravel race wheelsets
The pair of race focussed wheels opt for hookless rims over the hooked design of the rest of the range
British wheel brand Hunt has a pretty sizeable range of wheels now, encompassing road, through CX and gravel to MTB, but now it’s bringing to market a race-specific pair of wheels for its gravel range to compliment the generalist Carbon Gravel, and the racy top end Limitless Gravel.
With gravel racing evolving into its own distinct discipline, away from general gravel riding and bikepacking, brands have been playing catch up to offer options to suit the performance needs of the most demanding races like Unbound. The new 40 Carbon Gravel Race and 25 Carbon Gravel Race bring aero benefits to a lower price point, along with hookless rims. Do they belong in our list of the best gravel wheelsets? Only time and some thorough testing will tell, but for now, we can bring you up to speed on the details.
The biggest talking point is the fact the rims, both the 25mm and 40mm deep options have gone hookless. The brand has already dabbled in hookless rims on the road, but reverted back to hooked in 2018 to allow customers to use a wider range of tyres. Now that, especially in gravel, the range of tyres available hookless is no longer a drawback, Hunt is having a second stab at hookless, and notes the rims can be made stronger, about 15g lighter, and more aero too.
The 40mm option features a 30mm wide exterior and a 25mm internal width, making it a smidge narrower and a smidge shallower than the range-topping 42 Limitless Gravel wheelset. The 25mm option is slightly wider at 33mm external and 26mm internal, and its depth would suggest it as the climbing wheel of the two, but that wouldn't necessarily be true.
The fact that the 25 is 3mm wider externally and only 1mm wider internally leads to the conclusion that it has thicker sidewalls, at least at the tyre-rim interface, to the tune of 1mm. Hunt notes this rim is designed more with impact resistance and compliance in mind over the aerodynamic efficiency of the 40. The more burly construction of the 25 over the 40 means that, despite being 15mm shallower, it's only three grams lighter (1383g vs 1380g). The rougher ambitions of the 25 are also clear in the recommended tyre widths: 35-65mm, vs 28-65mm for the 40.
Other than the rim differences these wheelsets are ostensibly the same, sharing the Hunt Sprint SL 7.5 hubs, centre-lock disc arrangement and Pillar PSR XTRA spokes, so it’s very much a case of choose your weapon. There is also notably no 650b provision, as is becoming increasingly common.
Pricing and availability
Both are available now for pre-order, with the 40 due in the third week of August and the 25 due the second week of July. The 40 will set you back £899 (approx $1,125) and the 25 £879 (approx $1,100). Head to Hunt for more.
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Will joined the Cyclingnews team as a reviews writer in 2022, having previously written for Cyclist, BikeRadar and Advntr. There are very few types of cycling he's not dabbled in, and he has a particular affection for older bikes and long lasting components. Road riding was his first love, before graduating to racing CX in Yorkshire. He's been touring on a vintage tandem all the way through to fixed gear gravel riding and MTB too. When he's not out riding one of his many bikes he can usually be found in the garage making his own frames and components as a part time framebuilder, restoring old mountain bikes, or walking his collie in the Lake District.
Rides: Custom Zetland Audax, Bowman Palace:R, Peugeot Grand Tourisme Tandem, 1988 Specialized Rockhopper, Stooge Mk4, Falcon Explorer Tracklocross