At A Glance
Hunts ever-expanding wheel range now includes an Enduro focused carbon wheelset for the gravity rider looking for strength combined with carbon precision. Front and rear-specific, the All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact claims to be responsive, compliant and incredibly strong, all at the same time! What it doesn't claim to have is a particularly snappy moniker.Buy Wheels on
Getting right to the point, the crucial selling point of this pair of hoops is the £789 and a lifetime crash replacement policy. That's right; you break them, Hunt will fix or replace them. There are a couple of caveats, that it needs to be the original owner and only used on single crown forks, but other than that it's pretty simple. Their confidence is based on extensive testing and settling on a rim that their test team couldn't break.
The Wheelset in 29er weighs 1878g and has a 28mm internal width which is perhaps a couple of mm narrow from the trend but will hold tyres up to 2.5 inches. The wheels come delivered with an individually signed off swing tag with the name of the wheel builder and have a high quality feel to them despite being significantly cheaper than most other carbon wheelsets. They come with a bunch of spare spokes, a spoke key and are taped ready for tubeless with tubeless valves.
Durability is front and centre for Hunt, and they use a unidirectional T24/30 carbon with reinforced spoke holes and extra-thick sidewalls. There is also the addition of 'V: Absorb' resin which is claimed to reduce vibrations in the wheel.
Hunts Rapid Engage hubs have a 3-degree engagement and large double-sealed bearings to keep things running smoothly. These are built onto the rims with classic J bend spokes, which are triple butted and number 28 upfront and 32 outback.
Wheels are offered in 29 and 27.5 options, both of which are boost only. Freehub options include Sram XD driver or Shimano (including MicroSpline), and 6 bolt rotors are the only option.
On The Trail
As with any modern wheelset, I would expect tubeless set up to be easy, and the Hunt All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact's follow this trend. Tyres popped on quickly with a track pump, but one wheel leaked a little through the tape and needed an extra wrap of tape to make it happy. Other than sliding on some rotors and a cassette, the wheel swap was simple and easy to achieve.
For the test, I swapped out some stock wheels from a great bike that needed a little extra spark. I presumed the spark was there, but the bike's wheels were just letting it down a little. Wheels can sometimes have a transformational effect on a bike, and this was most certainly one of those times.
Most notably, the wheels are stiff, well built and precise. The change from a heavy, slack built wheelset is night and day; the increase in power transfer feels like you've just powered up Mario-Kart-style. Despite being an all-mountain wheelset aiming to be highly robust, my first impressions were mostly centred around the better acceleration and precision they offered me.
Comparing them against a poor set of wheels was illuminating, but beyond that, they hold up against more expensive high-performance wheels. The freehub engagement is fast at 3 degrees which brings them in line with Industry Nine's crazy quick Torch hub (but not Hydra). This means there is very little 'dead' spot when pedalling and cranking through techy terrain when a half-pedal stroke is needed; the power is always on tap.
The precision continues to be apparent in descent, where the stiff rim on the front certainly helps with accuracy through the turns and picking a line through rough ground. They are stiff though, and I imagine on an already rigid bike, things could get a bit harsh when pushed hard. On a trail bike, they kept the playful, fast style alive and simply made the bike feel faster and a touch lighter (both literally and figuratively).
Is terms of strength, try as I might, they held up to al the abuse they've been pointed at. The rear has run on an EXO casing Maxxis tyre with no insert and has no battle scars to speak of.
During the test period, I've checked the spoke tensions repeatedly, expecting them to need a tweak, but they've not had a single turn on the nipples and are still running true. Very impressive, indeed. Hubs are also still running smoothly despite plenty of poor weather and some jet wash action.
Although not needed for the test, the Lifetime crash replacement is a great touch to an already great wheelset, but I doubt many riders would be needing to use it.
A truly great set of carbon wheels at a ridiculously good price. Hunt has nailed it with these hoops, and the crash replacement policy is the icing on the cake. All they need to do now is work on the name.
This review was in Issue 62 of IMB.For more information visit Hunt
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.