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Hunt Wheels Announce New 42mm Gravel Race and High Performance Wheelset

Hunt Wheels Announce New 42mm Gravel Race and High Performance Wheelset

The HUNT 42 Limitless Gravel Disc is now available and designed for gravel racing, high performance and tested for real world conditions including crosswind stability and rough surface conditions. The recent explosion of gravel races across the globe means riders are now rethinking their equipment selections and employing aerodynamically designed skinsuits, helmets, aero bars, frames and wheels.

Now available for pre-order and shipping early 2021! The new wheelset will retail for $1619 | £1289  | €1489. You learn more at Huntbikewheels.com or read more below. Looking for something a little less race oriented? Check out the Hunt 30 Carbon gravel wheels.

HUNT 42 Limitless Gravel Disc
The new HUNT 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheelset will retail for $1619.00 and is availble for pre-order.

The Purpose

With the 42 Limitless Gravel Disc, HUNT set out to develop a premier performance gravel wheelset, optimizing gravel-specific aerodynamics through patented Limitless Width Technology, and balancing those aerodynamic gains with another critically important attribute for riders moving fast over inconsistent surfaces: crosswind stability (steering moment). The need was driven by the increased level of gravel riding and racing, with top-tier events all over the world gaining the attention and participation of some of the most talented cyclists on the planet. Gravel riding began as a means to escape vehicle traffic and pavement, unlock new routes and destinations, and add new adventure into our riding experiences.

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The new HUNT 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheelset sports a 42mm depth, 36mm wide exterior and a generous 25mm internal width. This all comes in at a claimed weight of 1548 grams for the pair.

While all of that still rings true in 2020, more riders are heading off-road and looking to maximize their performance. What began on adapted road or cyclocross bikes, now has its own rapidly growing category of bikes and equipment optimized for speed and efficiency across rugged terrain. As with road racing technology several years ago, the fastest gravel riders are now rethinking their equipment selections and employing aerodynamically designed skinsuits, helmets, frames, and wheels. With industry-leading engineering and design talent in-house, HUNT endeavored to set a new standard for gravel-specific wheel performance. 

Read the white paper: Gravel, Does Aero Really Matter?

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Key Details on the HUNT 42 Limitless Gravel Disc

  • Limitless Technology delivers industry-leading crosswind stability verified by smooth steering moment data proven in wind tunnel testing
  • Wind tunnel-proven to offer the lowest aerodynamic drag among tested gravel-specific wheelsets under 50mm depth, offering the rider up to 16.8 Watt savings over non-aero gravel wheels 
  • 36mm-wide rim, exclusively engineered and wind tunnel tested for 38-42mm tires 
  • Project led by Luisa Grappone (MSc Aerospace Engineering), HUNT Product Engineering Manager
  • Features CeramicSpeed’s world-renowned low-friction Coated Bearings, designed for off-road use 
  • Hooked ETRTO-compliant tubeless-ready rim design, for full clincher & tubeless tire compatibility
  • H_CARE lifetime crash replacement included for first owners

Introduction and Process

The all-new HUNT 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheelset was designed for riders seeking maximum aerodynamic benefit, category-leading steering moment (crosswind stability), and low weight relative to depth. Patented Limitless Technology, developed by Luisa Grappone (MSc Aerospace Engineering) along with Tom (Co-founder & Product Development Manager) and Pete Marchment (Co-Founder & Materials Scientist), utilizes co-molded low-density polymer (density of 0.7g/cm3 vs. carbon fiber pre-preg of 1.6g/cm3) in the outer rim construction, designed to keep the overall rim weight low whilst allowing for extra width in the rim profile. 

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The task of developing an aero-optimized gravel wheelset presents unique challenges. From an aerodynamics perspective, the tire is the first object affected by wind. Aggressively treaded tires almost immediately turn the wind into “dirty air,” making aerodynamic optimization much harder to achieve, particularly given the vast differences from one tire to another.  

To begin the process of improving on wheel aerodynamics in gravel racing, HUNT engineers went to the wind tunnel with several leading gravel tires and top wheelsets (including the HUNT 48 Limitless Aero Disc), to better understand how aero wheels compare to alloy gravel wheels designed with no focus on cutting through the air.  Once the team extrapolated the power data yielded from this,  we were able to determine that when considering the speed, power, and distance of a rider at the sharp end of a top-tier race, the use of an aerodynamically optimized wheelset could save seven to nine minutes across the course of a 200-mile race. In the context of top-level racing, the difference between the winning time at the 2019 SBT GRVL and the fifth-best time was 10 minutes and 50 seconds. (To read the white paper on these findings, and for an explanation of “dirty air,” please click through below).  

Luisa and HUNT development engineer Chris Colenso (MEng Mechanical Engineering) designed a completely new rim profile with an effective aerofoil shape optimized for a wider tire. With consideration for the differences in widths and tread patterns of different tires, the 42 Limitless Gravel Disc is optimized to provide world-leading aerodynamics with most 38-42c tires.  

While designing 3D CAD models and new rim shapes for rapid prototyping and CFD analysis, HUNT gathered tire preference data from a myriad of gravel races in the US such as SBT GRVL, Mid South, and Rebecca’s Private Idaho. It was determined that 38mm tires were by far the most common among professionals and those participating in the most competitive endurance events. From there, Luisa and Chris began to develop models and 3D-printed samples for initial wind tunnel sessions. 

Hubs feature CeramicSpeed: The Coated Advantage

CeramicSpeed’s new coated bearings are 75% tougher than their standard hardened steel races, boasting an average lifetime seven and a half times longer than other non-coated solutions. While longevity is of paramount importance off-road, so too is resistance to corrosion. Off-road conditions involve  increased presence of contaminants like moisture, dust, and mud. CeramicSpeed’s coated bearing solutions are designed and tested extensively to ensure that failure due to corrosion and contamination is negligible. 

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Easily adaptable & we fit them for you. Fit all current axle sizes and are easy to change; Front – QR, Bolt thru 12/9mm, Rear – QR, Bolt thru 12×142, 12×135, 10×135.
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SPRINT straight-pull centre-lock hubs, boasting an engagement rate of just 7.5° owing to the leaf-sprung, multi-point pawls and 48 ratchets in the hub shell.

In addition to increased longevity, the even and smooth surface of CeramicSpeed coated bearings dramatically reduces friction, contributing to a faster overall system.

Thanks to a comprehensive R&D program, CeramicSpeed’s resilient solutions are backed by a 6-year warranty. This offers riders the freedom to put the 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheelset through its paces in the most challenging training and racing conditions without fear of failure. 

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