HUNT All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact Wheelsets

Vital Rating:
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free U.S. shipping on orders over $45.
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Tested: Hunt All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact Wheelset
High-end features at a mid-range price point.
Rating:
Vital Review
Hunt All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact Wheelset Review

Founded by a team of passionate cyclists looking to “make a product they felt wasn’t available on the market,” Hunt Wheels has been around since 2015. Initially focused on the road bike segment the brand has broadened its scope to cover other disciplines and has gained a good reputation as a manufacturer of affordable quality wheels. The Hunt team has also expanded into other market segments, with Privateer Bikes (MTB frames and whole bikes), Cairn (e-adventure bikes), and Dissent 133 (gloves) all part of the same family under The Rider Firm umbrella. Curious to put their goods to the test, we’ve had a pair of All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact wheels out on the trails for a few months now. Keep reading to find out how we’ve been getting along!

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Tuned front/rear feel
  • Strength/weight/price ratio
  • Fast and direct hub engagement
  • Good durability
  • Value
  • Might be a bit narrow for some riders/tires
  • Bead not wide enough to be fully snake-bite-proof

Hunt All-Mountain Carbon-H Impact Highlights

  • Rims: H_IMPACT Unidirectional T24/30 with 3K weave reinforced spoke holes, 28mm wide (internal), extra thick sidewalls for impact protection and V:Absorb resin to reduce vibration
  • Hubs: Large body NDRO front hub and 5 degree RapidEngage rear hub, boost (110/148 ) spacing. Large double sealed cartridge bearings. Rock Shox Torque Caps for Boost hubs are available
  • Spokes: 28F/32R spoke count, triple butted (2.2-1.6-2.0) PSR reinforced Pillar Spokes
  • Optimized for 2.3"-2.5" tires set up tubeless, will accept 2.25"-2.6"
  • Axles: Extra thick 17mm 7075-T6 axles for increased strength and stiffness and prolonged bearing life (due to reduced axle flex)
  • Included: Tubeless tape, valve & spokes
  • H_Care: Free lifetime crash replacement
  • Rider wight limit: 120 kgs (including gear)
  • Weight: 1873g (verified, MX set-up with SRAM XD driver and boost axles)
  • MSRP: $949 USD

Initial Impressions

We’ve had some mediocre experiences in the past when it comes to “more affordable” carbon wheels, so we were prepared to take a close, critical look at Hunt’s All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact wheels when they showed up for testing. $1000 USD isn’t chump change, but it’s close to half of what some brands will charge for their top-end hoops so we were definitely curious to see how these would hold up. We should point out that Hunt sells direct, which means less margin built into the final price, so in theory they could be spending as much as the aforementioned competitors at the cost level. Be that as it may, time to pop the hood and dive in.

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Understated yet convincing is how we’d describe our first impressions of these Hunt wheels. The finish is deep and uniform, and the graphics are subtle yet present. The rim profile is not very tall, giving these wheels a svelte look. On the scales, the 29-inch front wheel and the 27.5-inch rear wheel weighed in at 854 grams and 1019 grams respectively (both were weighed with rim tape). 1873 grams for the set is more or less standard fare for a carbon wheelset built to take some abuse, but Hunt has some tricks up their sleeve when it comes to how the front and rear wheels are put together.

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The rims are laid up differently for the front and the rear, and the spoke count differs too, with 28 spokes used up front and 32 out back. The idea is to put a premium on strength and stiffness in the rear, while the front remains more compliant to promote comfort and grip where it matters the most. Hunt is far from the only brand doing this, but it’s nice to find it at this price point. High-quality, triple-butted Pillar spokes are used to lace up the wheels, and they are delivered with strong and sturdy rimtape already applied and a pair of tubeless valves included in the box. You also get four spare spokes which is always nice to have, saving you the trouble of searching for a spare of the correct length should you ever need one – although the use of classic J-bend spokes means that you’ll probably be able to find spares in any bike shop you walk into anyway.

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The hubs are Hunt’s own, with the rear serving up 5 degrees of engagement via six offset pawls that engage three at a time. This is a good solution for providing rapid engagement without negatively impacting durability. The hub body is fairly imposing with conical profiles giving off a solid vibe both up front and out back. You have the choice of traditional Shimano HG, new Shimano Microspline or SRAM XD for the driver, and you can get RockShox Torque Caps for the front hub as well if you want to.

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Investing in carbon wheels often seems like a scary prospect, with potentially high costs related to replacing a cracked rim. More and more brands are now offering lifetime warranties that include “Just Riding Along” damage, and Hunt has followed suite with their “H_Care” program – free lifetime crash replacement or repair for the first owner. That means they will replace or repair your wheel even if you ran into a rock or cased a jump (running your wheels over with your car is NOT covered) – you’ll just have to take on the cost of shipping them the wheel. H_Care for this all-mountain wheelset specifically excludes use with dual-crown forks, so bear that in mind if you are looking for wheels for your downhill bike.

On The Trail

We mounted up our test wheels to a long-travel enduro bike, even though it says “all-mountain” on the label. Fitting tires was easy, the center channel of the rim is deep enough to help the tire slip over the bead, but tight enough to seat the tire with a floorpump. The tubeless rim strip and valves are of good quality and we got a good seal even before adding the sealant. Hub tolerances are to spec and everything came together nicely.

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The first thing we noticed when rolling out was the quick and crisp engagement of the rear hub. 5 degrees is a good number, fast enough to always feel good under the pedals yet tough enough to deal with the torque thanks to the 3 pairs of offset pawls. The hubs are not particularly loud but they provide a satisfying buzz when coasting, probably enough for those of you who like that kind of thing but not overbearing to the point of getting you banned from your riding group.

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The next thing we noticed was that these wheels are plenty robust. They may be labelled all-mountain and excluded from use with a dual-crown fork under the terms of the lifetime warranty program, but they certainly seem like they are up for almost anything. We’ve had them out on plenty of demanding rides over the course of several months, and they have taken it all in stride. Low tire pressures in rock gardens, cased gaps and sideways landings have done little to upset the status quo.

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The rim bead is not very wide, but the rounded shape does seem to help in warding off snake bite punctures. We would still like to see brands pay more attention to this aspect as we’ve found wider beads to be a bit of a game-changer when it comes to snake bite, but all-in-all the Hunts have done a decent job of keeping us rolling even when rocks and rims have gotten a bit closer than intended.

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The sturdy nature of the build also translates to a stiff and responsive ride. No vagueness detected in turns, even though the front wheel does provide a certain degree of extra compliance thanks to the lighter carbon lay-up and the reduced spoke count. We did take one particularly sideways landing on said front wheel and we found it held its line and helped us keep the rubber side where it’s supposed to be, so we have no hesitation in recommending these for fairly aggressive riding too.

Things That Could Be Improved

As mentioned in the previous section, we’d love to see a little bit more material used in the bead, to give it a wider profile which would help ward off snake bite punctures even more. Also, the 28-millimeter internal width may not be wide enough for everybody, although we actually really like it. It’s still wide enough to not round off your tire profile too much, and we didn’t detect any adverse effects on grip or confidence. Do note that Hunt’s recently released “Proven” range features wider rims across the board, so look there if 30 is your magic number.

Long Term Durability

We’ve been testing these wheels for 4 months now, under two riders, and they are still spinning true and holding their spoke tension. The hub bearings are solid and the wheelset is still set-and-forget at this point. We’ll keep it all rolling and will come back to this article if anything untoward should happen down the line, but as of writing these words we foresee many happy rides to come.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Carbon mountain bike wheelsets are available to buy at almost any budget, from $500 to $2500. The Hunt All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact wheels sit in the lower tier of the price spectrum but they deliver features and reliability worthy of many of their higher-priced competitors. The hubs offer fast engagement and the different rims and spoke counts used for the front and rear wheels is definitely an unexpected bonus at this price point. Throw in plenty of stiffness and good reliability and you’re looking at a contender!

More information at: huntbikewheels.cc.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 49 // Years Riding MTB: 17 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord and Nils Hjord

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Specifications

Product
HUNT All-Mountain Carbon H_Impact Wheelsets
Riding Type
Enduro / All-Mountain
Trail
Wheel Size
27.5" (650b)
29"
Rim Material
Carbon
Rim
H_IMPACT Unidirectional T24/30 with 3K weave reinforced spoke holes, 28mm wide (internal), extra thick sidewalls for impact protection and V:Absorb resin to reduce vibration
Inner Rim Width
28mm
Hole Count
28/32
Tubeless Compatible
Yes
Rear Hub
Large body NDRO 5 degree RapidEngage rear hub
Rear Axle
12mm x 148mm (Boost)
Front Hub
Large body NDRO front hub (Rock Shox Torque Caps for Boost option available)
Front Axle
15mm x 110mm (Boost)
Disc Mount Type
6 Bolt
Spokes
Pillar, triple butted
Nipples
Hard-anodized alloy
Colors
Black rims, black or oilslick Ti-Nitride spokes
Weight
4 lb 2.1 oz (1,873 g)
Miscellaneous
Weight verified 27.5/29 MX set-up: 1873 grams with rimtape
Price
$949.00
More Info
What do you think?
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free U.S. shipping on orders over $45.
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
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