Van Bikeradar: Hunt teases new wheels with carbon spokes and “perfect tubeless tape”

Hunt’s new 48 and 60 Limitless UD Carbon Spoke road bike wheels use the same rims as the brand’s existing Limitless range but add carbon spokes to the mix, saving approximately 100g in weight.

The same carbon spokes have been introduced to a number of the brand’s wheelsets in recent years, including the Hunt UD Carbon Spoke Disc.

But this is the first time they have been specced on Hunt’s flagship aero wheels, which were revealed as an early preview at Eurobike 2022.

Both the 48 and 60mm versions of Hunt’s Limitless wheels will be available with a carbon spoke option.
Jack Luke / Our Media

The spokes resemble conventional steel spokes, and can also be trued like steel spokes as the nipples are held in place mechanically, rather than bonded.

While lighter, a Hunt spokesperson told BikeRadar the spokes are approximately half-a-watt slower aerodynamically than the steel spokes used on the existing wheelsets.

The carbon spokes have now been used on a number of Hunt wheels.
Jack Luke / Our Media

The spokes are laced to Hunt’s new Sprint SLC hubs.

These are constructed from 7075-series alloy, which has a slightly higher strength-to-weight ratio than the 6066 alloy used in Hunt’s Sprint SL hubs, which debuted on the brand’s recently-released 25 Carbon Gravel Disc and the 40 Carbon Gravel Disc wheelsets.

The rims use Hunt’s existing Limitless shape, which features a channel between the bead and the outside face of the rim. This gap is then filled with a non-structural co-molded low-density polymer.

Hunt says this approach enables a wide and aerodynamic rim without adding excessive weight.

An official launch date and pricing for the new wheels is still to be confirmed by the brand.

“The perfect tubeless tape”

Hunt’s new tubeless rim tape has apparently been in development for 18 months.
Jack Luke / Our Media

Hunt is also releasing a new tubeless tape that has been in development for over 18 months.

The brand decided to develop a new tubeless tape based on feedback from buyers, who found that the ends of pre-installed tape would have often peeled from the rim bed in transit.

Hunt claims this is caused by the large swings in environmental conditions experienced by a wheelset in shipping.

In particular, Hunt claims it’s not uncommon for wheels to spend long periods of time inside a shipping container at 55c, at close to 100 per cent humidity.

These high temperatures would cause any small bubbles beneath the tape to expand, causing the tape to peel.

A Hunt engineer also explained that the brand’s existing tape had been designed during a time when rim brakes were still commonly used.

Braking on carbon wheels causes the air inside the tyre to increase in temperature.

According to Hunt, the temperature within a tyre could increase by as much as 30 per cent during extended braking with rim brakes. This would increase tyre pressure, pushing the tape into the well of a rim.

This is, in part, why most rim tapes are made from a fairly stiff and plasticky material – a more malleable tape runs the risk of expanding too far into the spoke holes, with the potential for a sudden loss of air pressure.

With the widespread adoption of road disc brakes – which have no impact on tyre or rim temperature – Hunt says it is now possible to use a more malleable material for tubeless tape.

This helps the tape to adopt the form of a rim – making tubeless setups more consistent – but also helps the tape stick to itself, meaning it is apparently less likely to peel in transit.

Hunt says a new adhesive that is more resistant to ammonia attack (ammonia is a common additive in many tubeless sealants) has also been used on the new tape. The new adhesive is also said to adhere to the tape better than before.

The tape will roll out with all new Hunt wheelsets going forward. It will also be available to buy as a standalone product in a variety of widths.

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