In days gone by riders faced a choice: shallow climbing wheels that were light as a feather but caused more drag, or a set of deep-section aero wheels that weren’t so sprightly when the roads tipped upwards. With the new Hunt Aerodynamicist 32 wheelset, or to give it its full title the Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist UD carbon spoke disc, Hunt has released a set of wheels that are lighter than all but the Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayers in our best lightweight wheels guide, but with some concessions to pace on the flat too.
As the long-form name suggests, the Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist are a disc-specific wheelset and feature unidirectional carbon spokes. They are also hookless and tubeless, but presumably, those monikers weren't added to the name for fear of being ridiculous.
At 32mm deep they’re at the shallower end of the spectrum for a modern lightweight wheel, but they’re by no means the shallowest out there. It’s in the right ballpark for most riders looking for a do-it-all wheelset. The width, both externally and internally (25mm and 21mm respectively) follows the industry trend for wider rims so as to better support the trend for wider rubber.
The rims are, notably, hookless. This, Hunt claims, saves between 10-15g per rim, and allows for a more aerodynamic transition between rim and tyre. This is good news for watt fiends, but hookless rims are still far from becoming the standard, and while there are more tyre choices out there than there used to be, the choice is still more limited than with traditional hooked tubeless tyres.
Like the best lightweight bikes, these rims feature a healthy amount of carbon fibre in both the rims and the spokes, though the hubs are a notable exception in that they are the Sprint SLC set found on other wheels in the Aerodynamicist range and made of aluminium.
Carbon spokes traditionally strike fear into many consumers, as they are usually bonded to the rim meaning spoke replacement is expensive and wheel truing more or less impossible. In this case though, Hunt has utilised unidirectional carbon spokes that, in basic terms, have a standard spoke nipple. There’s more to it than that, and it goes by TaperLock technology, but in essence it means the spokes can be easily replaced and the rim trued with a standard spoke wrench, all the while reaping the benefits in lateral stiffness and low weight that come with using carbon over steel.
Development and pricing
The Hunt 32 Aerodynamicist is the shallowest wheelset in the range from Hunt, and as such, they were placed under climbers including Fabio Aru and Sergio Henao from Qhubeka-NextHash for extensive testing prior to the team folding at the end of 2021. If you want to get a set of these for yourself they’ll set you back £1,199/$1,549/€1,619, which plonks them very nearly - but not quite - at the top of Hunt’s range.
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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