Product Review Hunt Trail Wide 29” boost wheelset

yuley95

Likes Dirt
Item: Hunt Trail Wide 29” boost wheels
Purchased From: Direct from Hunt
Purchase Price (approx): about $690 delivered but their prices seems to change with conversion rate
Usage: All Mountain (some general trail and some jumps etc)

Pros - Good weight, nice finish, 30mm internal rim, easy tubeless, low drag freehub, good price
Cons - Freehub not as ‘rock solid’ with its engagement as really top end, potentially undergunned for heavier or more aggressive riders

Comments: When I moved from a 26” frame a couple of months ago to a 29er I had to update a number of things including forks and wheels (would have looked pretty funny otherwise). I was on a budget but also pretty picky as the wheels i had on the 26” bike were my perfect ‘goldilocks’ set - good balance of strength, weight, width and all on high quality hubs.

I took a false step down the Zelvy path and ended up trying the Hunt Trail wheels. They get great reviews, are a very good weight (just over 1800gm for the set in 29” boost), the right width for me (30mm internal) and the freehub has just 3 degree lag. At the time they were advertised as $609 AUD. Perfect!

I soon realised that GST gets added on top and my bank charged me an international transfer fee so they ended up about $690... Still good value.

They took a little longer to arrive than expected as they had a rush on orders and ended up out of stock. Once they were dispatched, they arrived in just 3 days.

They are nicely packed, pre-taped for tubeless and fitted with tubeless valves. They claim to be hand built and come with a quality control card initialed by the builder and ticked to verify they are true, round etc. It’s a nice touch.

I mounted a 2.5 Minion DHF to the front and a 2.3 Minion SS to the rear. The tyre actually sat just a little loose in the rim bed and would not inflate with my floor pump. I spent 5 mins and used my thumb and forefinger to ‘pull’ the tyre out towards the edge of the rim a bit. I worked my way around the whole rim and then did the same on the other side. Once I did that, it blew up no trouble and has amazed me at how well it has kept air. I’ve not really had to touch them with the pump in months (using Effetto Cafelatex for those interested).

I was riding a set of spank 395 650b rims with 2.6 tyres on the frame for a couple of weeks before moving to the Hunt wheels with slightly narrower tyres. I can’t imagine there is much difference between a 2.6 minion and a 2.5 but the rim shape and width of the Hunt wheels compared the the Spank wheels combined with a small increase in width of the tyre actually makes a big different.

I’m sure its a personal thing but I prefer the slightly narrower tyre on the 30mm rim. It just has a better connection to the trail.

The Wheels are 28 spokes up front and 32 spokes out back and carry a really good feel over roots rocks etc. They are on par with the feel of my Stans Flow wheels i was running on the 26” bike.

The free hub is low drag which is great. Combined with good bearings, the wheels spin for days. It’s hard to seperate the wheels from the frame, suspension, geometry etc but these wheels on my Transition carry a lot more speed and momentum than the Bontrager Line Comp 30 wheels on the Trek Fuel Ex 7 I rode recently in QLD.

It was a really strange feeling to get on the Trek and feel like there was something pulling it back - like riding in deep grass or something. Could have been the tyres. They were 2.6 but the tread pattern was not aggressive and should have carried speed.

The flip side to ‘low drag’ freehub is that occasionally, when you are flowing through corners and go to put the power down, the free hub just misses engaging with one set of teeth and slips just slightly to the next set. It doesn’t happen often and it’s not a big problem (the next set of teeth are not far away) but I never experienced this slip with my Project 321 hub and it had the same 3 degree lag.

I think that the pawls in the Project 321 were more firmly sprung which created more drag but also achieved a Swiss watch precision that is just lacking for the Hunt wheels.

Now that it’s been almost 2 months, I grabbed the spoke tension metre and gave both wheels a good once over. The front came up fine. I only had to tweak 2 spokes and it is running smooth, straight and round.

The back wheel however was disappointingly inconsistent with it’s tension. I had to spend quite a bit of time getting the tension even and then truing one section. There is also a small flat spot that I cant get out.

I’ve definitely hit a few jumps but nothing crazy big. I only weigh 72kg kitted up and am not the most aggressive rider. I’ve ridden Eatons Cutting and around Red Hill a few times on these wheels but otherwise its been pretty mundane around Lysterfield etc. With that in mind, I reckon I’m riding within the intended purpose of the wheels so its disappointing to have them lose tension and pick up a flat spot.

I’ve contacted Hunt as they have a 60 day trial period and I am about 1 day within that (it was only by chance that I had time to check over the wheels today). I was honest with them re hitting some jumps so will be interesting to see what they say. I’ve just asked them if I have an option to change to their enduro wheels which I assume as a bit stronger. Even if it was just the rear. We’ll see.

I’ve attached some photos below but its hard to see the finish. They are a really nice and subtle matt black. I’ve managed to pick up one scratch but no dinted that I can see.

Not sure if that review actually sounds a bit negative but the truth is I’m quite impressed with the wheels. If I can sort a stronger rear rim then I reckon they’ll be golden.

Pictures/Videos:
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yuley95

Likes Dirt
Quick update on this...

Customer service at Hunt is awesome and they definitely stand by their products and honour their 60 ride trial.

After sending an email yesterday outlining my experience with losing tension and picking up a small flat spot, Hunt got straight back to me and have offered an ‘Enduro’ spec rear as a replacement.

I was as open and honest as possible about my riding but still expected I might have to argue the point or somehow prove I wasn’t slamming the wheels through double diamond black runs with death coming at me from every side.

No questions asked though - they accepted my description and already have a replacement in the post. Brilliant.

If you have any reservations about ordering Hunt wheels - don’t. They now have a fan for life in me.
 

northvanguy

Likes Dirt
I just bought new wheels and purely went a known brand via MTBDirect as I've had some annoying issues with other parts from overseas and warranty and decided I couldn't be bothered.

I was tossing up between the Hunt Enduro wides and what I ended up buying... hope I don't regret!!
 

yuley95

Likes Dirt
I just bought new wheels and purely went a known brand via MTBDirect as I've had some annoying issues with other parts from overseas and warranty and decided I couldn't be bothered.

I was tossing up between the Hunt Enduro wides and what I ended up buying... hope I don't regret!!
What did you get? I hear MTB Direct are great with support so I'm sure you'll be fine. I wanted to post my update for anyone in your situation - wondering what support will be like when buying from an online retailer overseas.

It was a coincidence of timing that I had a chance yesterday to do check over the wheels and was just a day or so within the 60 day trial period. Having said that, there was no mention of the trial period in Hunt's response to me. It may be they simply see it as a warranty issue.

Either way, it should make anyone considering buying from them feel confident in being supported.
 

moorey

Pagophagic
I didn’t think carbon wheels could buckle or get flat spots? (Other then due to the building or spoke tensions?)
 

yuley95

Likes Dirt
I read good. :oops:

I swear I though I remembered Pete telling me he’d bought more carbon (after the Zelvy). My bad.
Nah, no carbon for me - don’t think I’ll ever do carbon wheels, cranks or handlebars.

the Zelvy’s I was looking at were alloy too. He does alloy now. Though having said that, I’m pretty sure he still hasn’t delivered on the pre orders he took in May and his website seems to be down.

I wouldn’t be too confident of getting wheels delivered or money back at this stage if I had gone through with my order.
 

moorey

Pagophagic
Right with you on the carbon cranks and bars. Not ruling out wheels, but no plans to move from alloy.
 

yuley95

Likes Dirt
The hub engagement sounds a bit scary to me, surely that would be increased wear on the pawls.
I don't mean to overplay it. It's happened a few times in total over a couple of months of riding and it's a subtle slip. I've never heard it mentioned in other reviews so could be isolated.

Given my recent experience with their customer service I would be confident they would offer support if anything was to fail.
 

Oddjob

Eats Squid
What's the mechanism for the pawl engagement, leaf or wound springs?

Skipping pawls on an I9 or a P321 G2 are a sure sign that the pawl springs are toast and need to be replaced. Otherwise you might strip out the drive ring.



Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
the Zelvy’s I was looking at were alloy too. He does alloy now. Though having said that, I’m pretty sure he still hasn’t delivered on the pre orders he took in May and his website seems to be down.

I wouldn’t be too confident of getting wheels delivered or money back at this stage if I had gone through with my order.
Just imagine my surprise!!!

More related to the Hunt stuff, I was going to go with them for the wheels on my G13, but got caught in the middle of them reviewing their ratchet mechanism and then taking delivery on their new rim design, which ended up slapping the deadline back further than I was expecting and impatience to ride the bike got the better of me.

That being said, they were really polite on the refund, fantastic communicators on when and where the delays were happinging and why, and even offered me a discount voucher to come be part of the team as an apology for the and eventual refund. They kind of understood that I had a full bike with no wheels...which is blue balls at its worst.
 
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yuley95

Likes Dirt
What's the mechanism for the pawl engagement, leaf or wound springs?

Skipping pawls on an I9 or a P321 G2 are a sure sign that the pawl springs are toast and need to be replaced. Otherwise you might strip out the drive ring.



Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
Haven’t cracked them open but I believe leaf spring.

I was thinking about it more today and realised that it happened in the first few weeks (only a few times) and I don’t recall it happening since. Might be that they packed in a little too much grease. They are certainly quieter than my old Project 321’s and that could also be due to extra grease.

I guess I should crack open the new freehub when I get it and check.
 

yuley95

Likes Dirt
Just imagine my surprise!!!

More related to the Hunt stuff, I was going to go with them for the wheels on my G13, but got caught in the middle of them reviewing their ratchet mechanism and then taking delivery on their new rim design, which ended up slapping the deadline back further than I was expecting and impatience to ride the bike got the better of me.

That being said, they were really polite on the refund, fantastic communicators on when and where the delays were happinging and why, and even offered me a discount voucher to come be part of the team as an apology for the and eventual refund. They kind of understood that I had a full bike with no wheels...which is blue balls at its worst.
You’re experience is what made me start doubting they would ever arrive and then push for a refund. So glad I did.

The customer service at Hunt is ridiculously good.
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
The customer service at Hunt is ridiculously good.
They have mastered the rare skill of simply communicating with their customers! I felt disappointed cancelling on them, because they seem to be really nice people with a solid looking product that they believe in.

Other buZinEss' that Lack this skill are VexinglY difficult to deal with.
 

yuley95

Likes Dirt
Replacement wheel turned up yesterday. So within a week of me raising an issues, a solution was sorted and replacement wheel delivered to my door. :)

I took some time to throw the wheel on the trueing stand and it’s spot on - round, true, dished and even tension all round.

The ‘Enduro’ wide wheel they sent as a replacement for my ‘Trail’ wide wheel is 33mm internal and rolls on 36 spokes (compared to 30mm on 32 spokes).

A little heavier than the Trail wheel and squares off the Minion SS a little due to the width.

Will get some K’s on it next weekend and will see how it feels.

In the meantime, I’ve still got the old wheel and will re-build it with a new rim. If I can get a rim with the same ERD then it will be a cheap build.

Problem is, I can’t find ERD info for the current Hunt Trail wide rim... Anyone know where I can source the info?
 

Oddjob

Eats Squid
Replacement wheel turned up yesterday. So within a week of me raising an issues, a solution was sorted and replacement wheel delivered to my door. :)

I took some time to throw the wheel on the trueing stand and it’s spot on - round, true, dished and even tension all round.

The ‘Enduro’ wide wheel they sent as a replacement for my ‘Trail’ wide wheel is 33mm internal and rolls on 36 spokes (compared to 30mm on 32 spokes).

A little heavier than the Trail wheel and squares off the Minion SS a little due to the width.

Will get some K’s on it next weekend and will see how it feels.

In the meantime, I’ve still got the old wheel and will re-build it with a new rim. If I can get a rim with the same ERD then it will be a cheap build.

Problem is, I can’t find ERD info for the current Hunt Trail wide rim... Anyone know where I can source the info?
Why not just measure it up yourself? See Sheldon Brown.

If the wheel is disassembled you can just use a tape measure and a spoke to get a good measure.

If the wheel is still assembled measure the rims inner diameter and then add 2x 3-4mm to get a rough measure.

For an alloy 29er they often fall around the 600mm mark.

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

yuley95

Likes Dirt
Why not just measure it up yourself? See Sheldon Brown.

If the wheel is disassembled you can just use a tape measure and a spoke to get a good measure.

If the wheel is still assembled measure the rims inner diameter and then add 2x 3-4mm to get a rough measure.

For an alloy 29er they often fall around the 600mm mark.

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
I figured I might end up disassembling and measuring myself but I alway like to have an official figure to support my ‘back-of-the-envelope‘ fumblings.

I like your second option of the internal measurement plus 2x 3-4mm as a way to confirm the other method of using a spoke and nipple so I’ll do both and hope they come out within a mm or 2 of each other. Thanks!
 

yuley95

Likes Dirt
Couple of updates on this. Threw the Enduro wide back wheel down some gnarly trails and it held up like a champ (better than my shoulder and elbow when I ate shit off a jump at Eatons Cutting... twice). Actually seems like a good pairing with the Trail front wheel.

I feel like i should mention that the freehub has not slipped once. It’s been rock solid.

I’ve still got the hub from the old ‘Trail wide’ wheel and i pulled the freehub out to have a look. It’s individual leaf springs and there was quite a bit of grease in there rather than oil. I’m convinced the couple ‘slips’ i felt were due to the thick grease and as things wore in, it was fine.

Just wanted to clear that up in case any one had reservations - wheels are great and support is top notch.

Will dole out some more abuse tomorrow and hopefully my elbow and shoulder can match the wheels for durability...
 
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