Unboxed: Carbon Spokes! Hunt 54 UD Wheels

Hunt's new 54 UD carbon-spoked wheelset is cheap, light, aero, and will definitely turn heads in transition. Check out the new category killer from the UK.

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Carbon spokes. Yes, that’s right, carbon freaking spokes. While Hunt isn’t the first brand to make a wheelset with carbon spokes, they’re doing it in a very exciting (and accessible) way. Weighing in right at 1,500 grams, Hunt’s new 54 UD is a disc-only tubeless-ready 54mm-deep wheelset that shockingly comes in under $1,400 per pair. Not for just the front or just the rear—for both. Not only are these wheels light, but they’re also super fat at 29mm for the outside (21mm inside rim width) and Hunt claims that they’re aerodynamically superior to wheels that are literally twice the price. Hunt also says these unicorns are laterally stiffer than steel spokes, while being more vertically compliant. While the latter seems possible, given carbon’s more flexible properties, the former it almost unbelievable. If you thought Enve’s new Foundation wheels were a good deal, Hunt may have just one-upped them.

Check out our video above for the full unboxing, or scroll down for some quick takeaways.

First Impressions

Hunt 54 UD Carbon Spoked Wheels: $1,320; us.huntbikewheels.com

What I Like About Hunt’s 54 UD Wheels

  1. The price is almost silly. I had to quadruple check to make sure I wasn’t looking at a per-wheel cost.
  2. The weight is truly impressive, even price aside. Obviously carbon spokes helps a ton here, as they’re probably much much lighter than steel.
  3. The fact that these spokes can not only be adjusted with a standard spoke wrench, but from the outside of the rim is pretty amazing.

What Makes Me Worried With Hunt’s 54 UD Wheels

  1. There’s a reason very few wheels have carbon spokes—they’re not traditionally very stiff, laterally. But if Hunt’s claims are true, this isn’t an issue.
  2. Durability worries me just a bit, as I’m probably not the only one who has accidentally smooshed a wheel’s spokes sideways. And what about packing a bike tightly in a case?
  3. The whole thing seems to be too good to true, but that’s just the cynic in me.

Final Thoughts

  1. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to carbon-spoked wheels, so I’m very excited to get these out on the road. Even a little bit of lateral stiffness loss would still be acceptable for triathletes at this price, aerodynamic profile, and weight.
  2. If this wheelset does even three quarters of what it claims, it’s still an absolute category killer. If it’s everything Hunt makes it out to be, it could be one of the best wheels released this year.

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