Back in October, I was given a set of Hunt Enduro Wide wheels on long-term test. Well, here's my thoughts on this off-the-shelf wheelset after five months of weekly use in the winter slop.
The Enduro Wide rims are made from 6069 alloy, which has almost 70% greater tensile strength over the more commonly used 6061 alloy. The front wheel has 32 spokes, the rear 36 - all of which are triple-butted pillar spokes.
The width of these rims, as the name suggests, is chunky - 33mm wide internally to be precise. I was a bit concerned about tyre fitment and how it would change the profile of my Specialized Butcher and Purgatory 2.3 tyres. How would it affect the handling and grip, and would the tread profile be massively distorted?
The finish on the rims is excellent. Everything is satin black with discreet and tasteful white graphics.
Check out my previous review if you want to see how the wheels look fresh out of the box.
I was impressed with the package that arrived from Hunt; the wheels are safely packaged, and in addition to the wheelset, the box contained a spoke key, spare spokes and tubeless valves. The wheelset comes pre-taped, and it was a doddle to fit tubeless ready tyres.
Hubs are from Novatec, with large sealed cartridge bearings, uprated seals and a special grease to deal better with UK weather conditions. They're reassuringly noisy.
I chose the non-boost variant to fit my bike, but the wheels are available in both 27.5” and 29”, with non-boost, boost and super boost fitting.
The Hunt Enduro Wide wheels cost is £359 inc. VAT and with free UK & EU shipping. Hunt also offer a generous 60 day ‘ride and return’ period.
Out on the trail
I fitted the wheels to my Production Privée Shan 27, size medium. It's a capable, enduro steel hardtail, with 150mm Rockshox Pike forks, running SRAM NX 1 x 10. This bike is my regular winter bike, as you'll be aware if you follow Broken Riders on social media.
I've been riding the Shan most weeks since October, mainly night rides at the fairly flat but pedally Bedgebury Forest, and then up in the sandy, loamy Surrey Hills or the chalk and clay covered South Downs at the weekend. As I'm sure you're aware, it's been a pretty miserable winter in terms of weather, and neither of these locations have escaped the rain, which has meant a lot of riding in wet, muddy conditions. I've been doing a lot of bike cleaning this winter.
I'm not a fast rider, nor the most technically gifted. But I'll give most things a try and I love whipping the back end of the bike out on jumps (have a look at the video below to see what I mean. While this is fun, it puts a lot of strain on the back wheel - which is ideal for a wheelset review, right?!
Out on the trail, a couple of things become apparent quickly. The first is that the width of the wheelset does change your tyre profile, but only slightly. I couldn't detect any negative effects to the level of grip on offer; in fact, I'd say that grip was improved over the Spank Oozy wheelset which the bike ran when I bought it. And because the wheels are stiff, there's no noticeable flex - even when slamming the back end around as I'm prone to doing. I reckon that Hunt are onto something here. Maybe wide rims are the way forward?
The second thing which hits you is how noisy the freehub is. If, like me you're a fan of Hope wheelsets (my previous hardtail ran a set of Hope 4 hubs), then a noisy hub is something you'll love. No need for a bell when you're running the Hunt Enduro Wides!
Pick up on the wheels is excellent, which is surprising as at 1994g per pair, they’re not the lightest wheelset out there (but lighter than other ’Enduro’ wheels). However, the weight never seemed to be a problem and the pickup was always excellent, with the rapid engagement freehub turning the wheels on demand and spinning the back wheel smoothly and instantaneously – a real bonus when it comes to slower, technical uphill as well as when you want to lay down the power on a downhill run.
Long term use
So how have the Hunt Enduro Wide wheels fared after a winter of abuse? After five months of mud, rocks, roots and two crashes (including one where I got the front wheel caught in a rooty hollow, flicking the bars 90º and throwing me over the front, twisting the tread on the front tyre), my habit of flicking the rear out on jumps hasn’t resulted in any distortion of the rear rim and both wheels are still running as well as the day they came out of the box.
I haven’t done any servicing to the wheels at all, just regular cleaning after mostly wet and muddy rides. The freehub still sounds great, and neither wheel has any play in the hubs nor any loose spokes. There isn’t a single ding or scratch on either rim, the decals still firmly in place and the satin black finish cleans up as good as new. Also, the supplied tubeless valves have worked well and I haven’t lost any sealant.
I wanted to find something wrong with the Hunt Enduro Wide wheels - the package just seemed too good to be true. Surely they’d break spokes or I’d end up with a freehub full of mud?
To be honest, I can't find anything to criticise. They offer a reliable, stiff and good-looking option with super-fast pickup for a very decent price. They’re a set of well made, impressively finished wheels that look good and which anyone should be proud to have on their bike.
Has the Enduro Wide concept improved my ride? It’s hard to tell. I don’t really ride on the edge, nor do I get involved with massive drop-offs or gap jumps which could be more of a test for the wheels. I can say though, that they feel like they’ve made my steel hardtail slightly more enjoyable to ride, adding stability and traction and a touch more comfort.
The bike does seem a little less twitchy than it was, and it is comforting to know that I can keep flicking that back end out without anything breaking. If nothing else, the Enduro Wide concept adds lateral stiffness and helps to keep these wheels straight, which is great if you want a set of wheels which will last.
So overall, would I recommend the Hunt Enduro Wide wheels? Absolutely yes! In fact, when I come to upgrading the wheels on my Specialized Stumpjumper, I’ll be heading over to the Hunt website to buy another pair of Enduro Wide wheels - but this time with a boost front hub.
- Price - £359 inc. free UK & EU shipping
- Rims - 6069 T6 welded construction, 33mm wide (internal), work-hardened shot-peened finish.
- Hubs - Large body Novatec NDRO front hub and 3 degree RapidEngage rear hub, boost (110/148) or standard (100/142) spacing hubs available. Large double sealed cartridge bearings. Rock Shox Torque Caps for Boost hubs and QR adapters for standard hubs are available. (We will fit the axles you need, just complete the simple form shown after checkout or add a comment in the notes section of the cart page).
- Spokes - 32F/36R Spoke Count, Triple Butted (2.2-1.6-2.0) PSR reinforced Pillar Spokes.
- Tyres - Optimised for 2.35"-2.6" tyres set up Tubeless, but also work very well with 2.3"-3.0". Also great with standard tyres and tubes.
- Axles - Oversized 7075-T6 heat-treated aluminium alloy axles.
- Weight - 5”/1994 - 29”/2064g
For more information, visit: huntbikewheels.com
Thanks for reading,
Tom Redfern, Founder Broken Riders