Hunt makes some of the best, expensive wheels in the cycling world. Hunt has been honored and used in the World Tour, Enduro World Series and the most difficult American gravel races.
Carbon Gravel Race, Hunt’s newest gravel and all-road wheel, launched at the Unbound gravel race in Emporia, Kansas. The wheels come in two depth options and use a hookless rim design.
The wheelset features a 26mm internal width designed to provide more support for larger volume tires, while remaining more impact resistant. And the 40mm version uses a narrower 25mm internal width.
The wheels come surprisingly close in weight despite their differing rim depths; with the 25mm deep wheel coming in at 1380 grams, while the 40mm variant is only 3 grams heavier.
In addition to racing on my gravel bike at Unbound this past September, I was able to test out and race with these carbon wheels over a month before making my purchase decision.
The 25mm wheelset has been designed for riders who love more technical courses, where tire clearance is important. It recommends at least a 35mm wide tire for the 25mm wheelset. As many gravel bikes now use 42mm or wider tires, these riders prioritize having strong rims and better compliance.
The 40mm depth, competitive weight, and narrow internal width (roughed down to 25mm) make the Q-Bars a popular choice for riders looking for one wheel for use on and off-road.
- Lightweight (1400g with lockrings and valves)
- Wide profile compliments 30-40mm tires well
- External nipples
- Value to weight ratio
- Comes with spare spokes, lockrings and valve stems
- Hookless won’t work with all tires
- Stock 3 year warranty not as robust as other brands
The 40 CGR wheels check all the right boxes on the list of what you might be looking for in a gravel wheelset. The 40mm depth has an aerodynamic profile that wouldn’t look out of place on a road bike.
Hunt makes no specific aerodynamic claims about these wheels but does want to optimize “the smooth ride and lateral responsiveness” with this deep rim design.
The 25mm internal width and hookless rim design seem to be where many wheel manufacturers are heading for their gravel offerings.
Notably, Zipp and Enve are two other wheel manufacturers who have gone entirely hookless with their wheel lines up, so this trend is likely to continue.
In our testing, the Hunt disc wheelset came in at 1,400 grams or 2.83 pounds. Other than having a similar weight and price as other road products on the market, they also had a strong performance riding off-road in gravel.
Hunt has recently upgraded its Sprint SL hubs to 7.5 degrees of engagement with EZO cartridge bearings. These hubs are much faster than that on most stock bikes.
Although, they’re not quiet and some people might be put off by this element.
With a wide variety of compatibility, the ETRTO-compliant hookless interface with Hunt wheels is optimal for riders who use tubeless-compatible tires.
The manufacturer recommends that riders do not exceed 72.5 psi when inflating their tires on these rims (like other manufacturers who make hookless wheels).
If you plan to use these wheels with big off-road tires, you may encounter a situation where the stock tire pressure is too low.
It’s up to you if you want to ride with higher tire pressure than the stock setting, since riders have now been given the option of using hookless rims.
I tested these wheels on various terrain and tire types. When set up with 40mm Challenge cotton slick tires, the bike felt smooth on a mix of bad quality Pennsylvania driveline while riding across different gravel surfaces.
I eventually took these wheels off-road and put them through extreme conditions such as doubletrack, washboard, and cracked pavement. The wheels came out unscathed from both trips