Hunt Releases New “Proven” XC And Enduro Carbon Wheels – Pinkbike

Hunt Releases New "Proven" XC And Enduro Carbon Wheels - Pinkbike
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Hunt must have been busy. The wheel maker has in recent years transitioned into bike sales with the Privateer brand, sponsoring world tour road teams and now bringing out its trusted models – their premier off-road wheels with carbon rims.

The wheels have been developed over the past two seasons among Hunt-sponsored athletes, namely in XC and Enduro. This isn’t their first carbon wheelset – the Hunt All Mountain Carbon’s are already in their range. According to Hunt, the Proven Carbon Range is an extension and continuation of all the lessons learned from the All Mountain model. Through these lessons, combined with impact testing, ride and deflection measurements, they realized that it would be beneficial to offer a rim better suited to specific disciplines.

There will be two models: the Proven Carbon Race XC and the Proven Carbon Race Enduro.

Proven Carbon Race XC

For any XC wheelset, light weight is at the top of the list of requirements. It’s certainly relatively light at 1469 g. There are lighter wheels, such as the Roval Control range. While the SL weighs just 1240g and features a 29mm wide rim, it also costs a not inconsiderable $2650. The Control wheelset, the lower-priced model in the line-up and essentially the same weight as Hunt’s tried-and-true XC wheelset, is cheaper at $1350.

Proven Carbon Race XC details
• 30 mm inner rim width
• 22 mm rim depth
• For off-road driving and racing
• 5 degree hub engagement
• 1469g per pair
• £899 / $1099 USD / €1169 per wheelset
• Pre-sale starts on September 30, 2022

Another comparison could be the E13 XCX Race carbon wheels with 24mm rim width, which weigh 1350g. However, the rim of the Hunt is wider. Much wider even. The 30 mm inner width makes the specified weight look even better.

Before we get to the benefits that a Rider rim profile can have, a wider rim can also result in the tire deflecting less under high cornering loads. This becomes even more relevant when running lightweight tires that may not offer as much sidewall support to begin with. Hunt also makes the usual claims of compliance, cushioning, control and strength. Compliance and cushioning are the two that I personally care about the most, if only because new product releases are usually celebrated with fanfare Stiffness, Stiffness, Stiffness. Whether these wheels offer a good level of these qualities has yet to be decided, but it’s great to see the industry moving away from the fascination that carbon wheels need to be as stiff as possible.

The stripped down hubs are centerlock only, which probably won’t put off the dedicated XC crowd too much.

Despite being referred to as XC, there seems to be an acknowledgment from Hunt that what XC is is changing, although our attitude may be slower at times. In 2022 XC will be changed. Full suspension bikes are more common if not universally accepted and we are seeing longer travel bikes. 120mm for a World Cup race bike would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but now with more travel and decent geometry there are plenty of lighter, faster, and fun bikes out there. The Carbon Race XCs appear to have been built with this new wave in mind, and Hunt says the wheels were built for “lightweight XC bikes up to 120mm of travel.” Somebody, yank Levy off his gravel bike and tell him to turn off the Tom DeLonge — he’s got some downcountry to do.

As previously mentioned, the rims use an internal width of 30mm which is combined with a rim depth of 22mm. While the claimed benefits are harder to perceive than rim width or measuring actual impact on the trail, flatter rims are can offer a higher degree of flex and therefore compliance than rims with a deeper profile. It also plays into the light weight. However, it’s something of a balancing act with shock resistance.

The kitchen scale is a welcome addition to a press release.

The wheels use Pillar 1420 straight pull triple butted spokes and are laced to CNC machined hubs that use Revo double sealed bearings and feature 5 degree hub engagement. Centerlock disc mounts will also satisfy those who want to detach their rotors on the fly.

Proven Carbon Race XC competitor impact test

Regarding their internal testing, Hunt said, “We take testing very seriously here at HUNT and having 24/7 access to our new engineering facility and custom crash test rig ensures we are 100% confident that every new one HUNT wheelset meets our high standards. The graph below shows the impact test results from Proven Carbon Race XC and leading competitors. The graph below shows the impact energy (J) recorded at the first sign of failure.”

They also include a note that further explains: “If we were constrained in our budgets, ideally we would have tested 3-5 of each competitor bike. So please note that this result may not be repeated with other rims of this make/model.” They released similar data for their Trail and Enduro Wide wheels. For more information on their impact tester, see pictures from a field test they had me perform at their facility. While their data is useful, it’s probably worth taking it with a pinch of salt if only because other brands don’t publish their own results. That’s not to say that Hunt shouldn’t, but it would be nice if everyone did.

Proven carbon race enduro
While the XC wheels have the same rim at the front and rear, the Proven Carbon Race Enduro wheels have different rims and spoke thicknesses at the front and rear. I know this might seem a little intimidating if you’re someone worried about cross-compatibility or simply finding spare parts, but this approach makes some sense. I imagine we’ll see more brands doing this in the future – some are already doing it.

Proven carbon race enduro details
• 30 mm inner rim width
• Front and rear specific layups
• Oversized 7075 T6 rear axle
• 5 degree hub engagement
• 1920 g per pair (29 inch)
• £899 / $1099 USD / €1169 per wheelset
• Pre-sale starts on September 30, 2022

The Enduro wheels weigh less than 2000g, which is impressive for a wheelset that can withstand EWS loads. Hunt also claims that their wheels aim to deliver “accuracy, comfort and strength”. Accuracy and comfort suggest something that has compliance at its core. Of course, stiffness is something of a balancing act. While high levels of stiffness can easily be balanced with precision, a wheel with a little more stiffness will sometimes give less, reducing the likelihood that high-frequency compression will push the rider off their line.

I can imagine that different carbon tunings come into play here. My personal preference would be to have a bit more complaint and resilience up front where less of my mass sits, and at the rear something that’s stiffer both laterally and vertically to prevent unwanted flex when riding through the rear of the bike. Of course we don’t want anything too flexible at the back and it will always be a compromise. Hunt references this, saying they wanted to make a front wheel that’s accurate for last-minute directional changes, but also a wheel that tracks well. They also claim that this approach can reduce fatigue and improve comfort.

30 mm rims and an oversized rear axle should keep enduro riders happy.

Both front and rear race enduro rims feature the same 23mm depth and 30mm internal rim width, with Hunt claiming his engineering team “manipulated the construction and carbon layup of each to offer tailored ride characteristics “. The stiffer rear triangle construction increases the overall rim weight by 61 g and offers more strength.

Again, the wheels use triple butted Pillar spokes. There are TB2016 spokes in the front and Pillar TB2018 in the rear. The more extreme butt on the front wheel’s spokes should offer more compliance, and the thicker 1.8mm butt on the rear wheel should offer more stiffness. It may seem relatively insignificant, but how the hub gets information from the rim is entirely dependent on the spokes, and small changes like spoke gauge can make a real and noticeable difference.

Again, the hubs feature Hunt’s own CNC machined hubs with heat treated axles, double sealed, replaceable Revo bearings and your choice of freewheel. Race Enduro will be available in Boost and Super Boost hub spacing and offered in 29″, 27.5″ and mixed options.

Proven Carbon Race Enduro competitor impact test

The graph above shows the impact energy (J) recorded at the first sign of failure. Hunt claims their Proven Race Enduro has 12J more impact resistance than the Hunt All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact wheelset.

All Proven carbon wheelsets are backed by Hunt’s Lifetime Crash Replacement Warranty to the original purchaser, protecting you from accidents and breakdowns. Pre-orders possible from September 30th. Visit for more information

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