Most Canadians won’t be familiar with Hunt, but the small British firm has quickly become a force in the insanely competitive wheel market, offering extremely aerodynamic products at a very competitive price point. Today they’ve announced the new Aerodynamicist line, which promises to shake up the high-end aero wheel market thanks to an impressive combination of performance and price.
Peter and Tom Marchmant started Hunt a little over five years ago. In 2017 they hired Italy’s Luisa Grappone to develop aero wheels. Grappone, who had worked for 3T and Campagnolo before Hunt enticed her to move to the UK, is a competitive cyclist with a masters in aerospace engineering. She worked in the aviation industry before turning her sites on her passion.
I got to meet Grappone in Kona last year, where she showed me the first versions of the Aerodynamicist wheels. Mine was the last meeting of an insanely long Kona week, and she still nearly bowled me over with the enthusiasm she has for the new wheels.
The Aerodynamicist line is an extension of Grappone’s first project with Hunt – the disc-brake-only Limitless line, which feature a wide profile below the edge of the rim that ensures both aerodynamics and stability in a variety of wind conditions. The wheels announced today aren’t available in a disc version – they’re designed for bikes with rim brakes.
There are three different rim depths available: 52, 62 and 82 mm. According to Hunt’s own testing, the 82 mm version with a 23 mm tire tests faster than Zipp’s 808 NSW wheelset, Enve’s SES 7.8 and the DT Swiss ARC 1400 Dicut 80, all for less than $2,300. (Pricing for the Aerodynamicist line starts at US$1,549 for a set – the company ships internationally, so if you check out the site it will provide Canadian pricing.)
Hunt has released a White Paper outlining the testing procedure and results, so they’re not afraid to back up their claims. Even though the shallower versions of the Aerodynamicist don’t top the tables against the competition, they’re certainly very competitive.
Regardless of which version you opt for (and the wheels are available singly, so you can combine, say, a 52 front and an 82 rear), you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck – the hubs use CeramicSpeed bearing balls that are extremely smooth, adding to the performance quality of the wheels.
Tech Specs (information provided by Hunt)
- Rims | Aerodynamicist rim-profiles, developed from the ground up. Toray T700/T800 carbon-fibre with a higher ratio of T800 (T40) fibres to achieve greater strength-to-weight ratio. Unidirectional sidewalls with 3K weave bed and spoke areas, Griptec basalt ceramic fibre brake-track for excellent braking and durability. Tubeless-ready for lower weight, rolling resistance and better puncture protection.
- Tyres | 19mm rim bed optimised for superior aerodynamic performance with a 25-28c tubeless tyre, but also very capable with a 23c. Tubeless-Ready.
- Hubs | Race Season Sprint straight-pull super-light, 15mm diameter 7075-T6 axle. Circular dropout interface steps for added stiffness. 3x treble tooth pawls resulting in just 7.5˚ of engagement for instant acceleration. Steel spline insert to protect the cassette body.
- QR | Hunt Race Season super-light with heat-treated alloy/brass cam plate actuation and stainless steel springs.
- Included | QRs, Pads, Tubeless tape & valves, spokes w/key & aero spoke holder
- Weights | 1518g (52) | 1575g (62) | 1738g (82)
Triathletes are acutely aware that once their position is dialed in on their bike, the next step to improving aero performance is with their wheels. Hunt’s new offering promises to make high-end aero performance more affordable. We’re hoping to get a test set to review and will provide more details on these exciting new wheels later this spring.