This piece has been made in association with Hunt Bike Wheels.
It is perhaps a testament to the complexity and diversity now driving the gravel world that the gear we use has broadened dramatically. Hunt Wheels has reacted to that diversity and complexity by widening its range of gravel-specific wheels to keep pace with those who want to, well, keep pace.
The 25 and 40 Carbon Gravel Race Wheelsets have stature and capabilities specific to the racecourse and those that test their mettle thereupon. Perhaps more consequential, however, Hunt Wheels believes that type of performance should come at a price that leaves room left over for other must-haves, like post-ride beverages and all the burritos you can stuff into a top tube bag.
That’s a tall order to fill. Yet a quick glance at the specs of either wheelset proves Hunt has done just that. The 25 Carbon Gravel Race wheelset features a 25mm rim depth and a 26mm internal rim width, combined with a 33mm outer rim width.
To cut down on weight and increase durability, Hunt has opted for a hookless rim design. Fewer pinch flats and better aero performance are baked in.
All of that plays nicely with just about any tubeless gravel race tyre of your choice. And the total wheelset weight, just 1,380 grammes, should get the weight weenies among us palpitating excitedly.
Lest you think the 25 Carbon Gravel Race wheels are gentle souls, the asymmetric rim profile ensures plenty of impact resistance and compliance for brutal, chunky courses. Yet they maintain their climbing DNA, so get excited for these on hilly routes.
Every gravel racecourse challenges your gear with varied terrain and conditions. Hub engagement therefore matters to the gravel racer who needs immediate and reliable acceleration. Hunt’s Sprint SL 7.5 hub sticks with a tried-and-true pawl design to ensure super-quick engagement – the multi-point pawls are angled at 7.5 degrees to grab the hub shell almost instantly.
The Sprint hubs have also slimmed down thanks to 6066 aluminium CNC-machining refinements that have dropped the weight to just 95g on the front hub and 230g for the rear hub.
Those same Sprint SL 7.5 hubs provide the core of the 40 Carbon Gravel Race wheels, as well. If the 25 Carbons are the climber’s companion, the 40 Carbons keep pace with the sprint fanatics and flat course grinders.
The deeper 40mm rim profile boosts the rider with a heft of lateral responsiveness, while the aero design helps mitigate wind drag. A 25mm internal rim width and 30mm external rim width on these hookless rims make them ideally suited to just about any modern tubeless gravel race tyre.
Surprisingly, despite the deeper profile, the 40 Carbon Gravel Race wheels come in just three grammes heavier than their sibling at 1,383g.
Despite that gravel-gossamer weight, the 40 Carbon Gravel Race Wheels are built for the punishment of the harshest racecourses and those – shall we say, graceless? – moments at the end of a six-hour day when perhaps you’re not riding at your most careful.
All told, Hunt Wheels has considered the most vital gravel racing performance elements and worked them into two wheelsets prepared for the ups, downs, and in-betweens of any gravel event out there.