The Hunt 60 Limitless Aero Disc wheels show what's possible when you use the latest technology to do something outside the box. Deep wheels can make crosswinds and descents a real issue and Hunt solves this problem. The 60 Limitless is a predictable all-around wheelset
- Wide externally with a U profile
- High-quality hubs
- Laterally stiff
- Exceptionally stable when descending
- Great pricing
- Could be lighter
- No wheel bags
Wheels are one of the first and best upgrades that get made to a bike. They can transform the ride and flashy looks don't hurt either. A set of deep wheels was at one time something you might add to a bike for a flat road race, a time trial, or the bike leg of a triathlon. More and more modern technology allows deep rims to be part of the new everyday wheels, and Hunt has an option in this realm.
The Hunt 60 Limitless wheels do things a little differently. There's no longer a need to keep the rim narrow enough to fit into a rim brake caliper. It's a new, exciting world where wheel designs revolve around aerodynamics, stability, and comfort. Hunt is at the forefront of these new possibilities with its Limitless wheel designs, but the question still remains, does it work and how does it stack up against the best road bike wheels? Furthermore, how well do they perform when paired with the best road bike tyres?
Design and aesthetics
Explaining the design of the Hunt 60 Limitless is as much about the backstory as it is the wheels. Hunt is an exceptionally open company though, and the white paper on the design is easily accessible.
What makes these wheels unique is that they've been designed without any preconceived notions around best practices. That's not to say that every supposition throws out old ideas, but there are some important places where that's the case. A big one is tyre size. Numerous companies, groups and individuals have been testing the effects of using larger tyres with lower tyre pressures, and how riders can benefit from it. Not everyone completely agrees, but you can start to understand where Hunt began this design.
Hunt looks at the research done by others and takes that which aligns with its philosophy. The white paper states that "the benefits gained in grip and handling are widely accepted, but recent testing has also shown that wider tyres with lower pressures can also reduce rolling resistance." In addition, in certain cases, the best tubeless road tyres offer lower rolling resistance than tubular tyres that have been traditionally favoured by professional road racers.
What it comes down to is that the Hunt 60 Limitless wheels have a design "optimised for the best aerodynamic performance, with wider [...] 28mm tyres." From that point the design then works to balance weight and aerodynamics.
From a buyer's perspective, this design emphasis leads to the two most unique aspects of the Hunt 60 Limitless design. The first thing that most people will notice is the external width. The 34mm external width isn't a starting place. Instead, it's a result of the system. Think about the wheel and tyre as a single unit with a 28mm tyre as the leading edge.
The wheel itself represents the middle and rear section of a truncated NACA airfoil design. NACA airfoil designs are the most aerodynamic solution, and by truncating the shape, it's lighter and less affected by side winds. Think about the system in this way and you can see that the width isn't a specific design decision, but rather the necessary width to create the desired shape.
The next unique piece is another symptom of the larger design. A wheel that's 60mm deep and 34mm wide requires a lot of material. It's a bigger wheel so it's heavier. Weight is perhaps less important than once thought, but it still matters and that means you need a solution that's lighter than a pure carbon design. The innovation behind the Limitless design is the use of a low-density expanded polymer. It's a foam that's about half the density of the carbon-fibre/epoxy resin composite used in the rest of the rim structure. This allows a wider rim that isn't overly heavy.
Once you get past the most innovative and unique aspects of the design, attributes such as hubs and spokes seem a little pedestrian in comparison. The spokes are an elliptical wing shape "to provide an aerodynamic advantage over flat or bladed options." While the hubs have an engagement rate of 7.5-degrees through the use of "leaf-sprung, multi-point pawls and 48 ratchets in the hub shell." Topping everything off is a visual style that manages to stand out while not being flashy.
The first part of any modern wheel test is always the setup. Hunt uses a hooked tyre retention design. In practice, the difference between hooked and hookless is more about what it allows in terms of design, but there is one practical result as well. A hooked design means there are lots of tyre options available. The wheels come taped and I was able to install the valves then inflate the tyres with a burst pump and some soapy water. The fit between Cadex tyres and the Hunt wheels did not allow for simply pumping them up, but inflation did not require any drastic measures.
Once everything was set up and tested on several shakedown rides, I put together a route that was a bit over a century and included a climb close to 11-miles long. The ride started along a river with a fast, flat section that rewards team time trial tactics. Ride with a group and rotate regularly and you can fly. This section was a given. A failure here would have been a headline but the Hunt 60 Limitless performed flawlessly. They are loud wheels that sound and feel fast when riding on the flats. The graphics are also a lot of fun to see paired with a fast bike at a coffee shop.
The next part of the test was climbing. The 60 Limitless aren't the lightest wheels around. At 1,669g for a 60mm deep wheel with a 21mm internal width they are competitive but not featherlight. Again, there was no headline here. They climb just fine and the fast engagement of the hubs was the most notable feature on this section.
I was going back and forth between standing and sitting while also pacing to support a slower rider. Each time I would let off the power then pick it up again a moment later. If the engagement wasn't quick each time the power picked back up again, it would have jarred the drivetrain. Instead, even under a demanding scenario, the Hunt wheels felt smooth.
At the top of the climb is where the real test of these wheels started for me. Long descents are often hard with deep wheels because switchbacks mean a tailwind can quickly become a side wind as you corner at speed. This descent in particular is one that I despise as it moves in and out of shadows making for difficult visibility and features potholes and rough pavement that you don't want to hit at speed. Do it right, and you could stay off the brakes completely, but I never have. On the Hunt wheels, I set a new PR with an average speed of 29.2mph over 10.6-miles.
This descent behaviour is what makes the Hunt 60 Limitless wheels special. I did not experience any scary moments as I descended - it all felt very controlled. The wheels felt stable and confidence-inspiring. When I did manage to hit some rough pavement, I heard the chain hit the chainstay but experienced no scary behaviour from the wheels. Coming around the turns, the changing winds were never an issue. As a light rider who struggles with feeling confident while descending, these wheels are a dream.
Deep wheels are the new everyday wheels. Without a drastic weight penalty, the only downside becomes stability. Hunt solves this problem with a blunt trailing edge that is far less likely to experience a push from crosswinds or passing traffic. At the same time, an emphasis on a 28mm-wide tyre means you don't have to choose between optimal aerodynamics and a comfortable ride.
If you want one set of wheels that covers the most situations the Hunt 60 Limitless is a solid choice. The pricing is better than many, you aren't limited to a small list of compatible tyre options, and they are stable enough for even the lightest riders. The only reason you might choose a different option is if your pocketbook allows for a lighter wheelset and the price that will come with it.
Tech Specs: Hunt 60 Limitless Aero Disc wheels
- Price: (EZO): $1,689/£1,189 / (CeramicSpeed) $2,119/£1,489
- Axles: Front - QR, Bolt thru 12/9mm, Rear - QR, Bolt thru 12x142, 12x135, 10x135
- External Width: 34mm
- Internal Width: 21mm
- Wheel Depth: 60mm
- Weight: 1,669g
- Hubs: FastEngage 7.5 Hub SPRINT, with an engagement rate of 7.5 degrees. 20/24-hole. Multi-point pawls, with 48 ratchets within the hub shell. Center-Lock Disc.
- Spokes: Pillar Elliptical Spokes, PSR Wing 20 14g Straight Pull Black
- Freehub: Shimano/SRAM 8/9/10/11 speed, SRAM XD/XDR, Campagnolo 8/9/10/11/12 speed
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