With gravel racing exploding in popularity in recent years, led by the US and followed by the birth of new events in Europe and beyond, companies like HUNT Bike Wheels are turning their focus to performance driven gravel kit. Enter stage left, the Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheels.
42mm deep with a chunky 25mm internal diameter, these new gravel-specific wheels from HUNT have been engineered with aerodynamic performance in mind.
If you run tyres between 38 and 42mm you’re in luck, as these are the tyre widths that the rims have been optimised to take. Having said that, they’ll take up to 54mm on the hooked rim that’s compatible with either tubed or tubeless set ups.
The wheelset weighs in at 1,548g (pretty decent for a deep, wide rim) and will set you back £1,289 – $1,619 – €1,489.
Wind tunnel testing
HUNT didn’t leave their new ideas down to theory, but rather put the 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheels through a rigorous series of testing in the wind tunnel, led by their in-house team of engineers. Besides reducing aerodynamic drag at speed, HUNT aimed to deliver good crosswind stability.
Tested with either a 38mm Schwalbe G-One or a 42mm Teravail Cannonball, the wind tunnel analysis showed that the new wheels offer the lowest aerodynamic drag of gravel-specific wheels on the market (under 50mm depth), which translates to a 16.8 Watt saving compared to non-aero gravel wheels (at 32 km/h).
Compared to other aero gravel wheels on the market, the 42 Limitless wheelset offers a slim 5.57 second advantage over a 200 mile course (38mm Schwalbe G-Ones vs ZIPP 303 NSW) or a 6.07 second advantage using 42mm Teravail Cannonballs on ENVE 3.4 AR SES.
When it came to stability in crosswinds, the usual compromise when it comes to selecting rim depth, wind tunnel testing showed that the HUNT 42 Limitless Gravel Disc gave a reduced amount of steering movement (effect of crosswinds) compared to other wheels on test, including the Zipp 303 NSW and Enve 3.4 AR SES.
For the full white paper on the wind tunnel testing, click here.
HUNT have teamed up with CeramicSpeed for their low friction coated bearings (just as with their 48 Limitless Aero Disc road cycling wheelset), a manufacturer well-known for targeting marginal gains in performance.
Proprietary HUNT FastEngage 7.5 hubs are specced, made for centre-lock discs with an impressive engagement rate of 7.5 degrees.
Hunt also offer a lifetime crash replacement for first owners, which might come in pretty handy!
Check out more about Hunt’s new 42 Limited Gravel Disc wheels here. Preorder is open now, for delivery in February 2021.
Last modified: 20th October 2020