$1,000 Hunt Carbon H_Impact Wheels Keep Rolling with Hub Update

The Hunt Carbon H_Impact wheels have a 28mm internal width, reinforced spoke holes, "extra thick sidewalls" for enhanced protection, and V:Absorb resin to reduce vibration.

Hunt’s first version of the All Mountain Carbon H_Impact wheels quickly moved the brand high on my radar after I tried them. Hunt was fairly new to the US at that point and they’ve been making more and more killer wheelsets like their alloy Trail and Enduro Wides, ever since.

The first version of the H_Impacts retailed for a shockingly low $780. Since then, the carbon H_Impact wheels have climbed to $1,000 — still a reasonable price for a strong set of carbon hoops.

The rims themselves have stayed the same aside from a decal change. They have a 28mm internal width, reinforced spoke holes, “extra thick sidewalls” for enhanced protection, and V:Absorb resin to reduce vibration. On the front wheel, there are 28 spokes triple butted, and in the rear there are 32 to balance compliance and strength.

The hub on the H_Impact wheels has been revised with a larger 17mm axle, increased from 15mm. The new axle utilizes a different heat treatment process that Hunt says makes it more durable, lighter, and more resistant to flex, which also increases the bearing life. The hub also gets some new seals.

With a different drive ring inside, the hub in the H_Impact wheels drops 2° of engagement to 5°. This may sound like a loss, but Hunt says that it’s all part of making the wheel and hub longer-lasting.

The hubs are still available in an HG, SRAM XD, or Shimano Microspline freehub driver option, and for an extra $80, buyers can get Ti-Nitride or “oil slick” colored spokes. The wheels come in 27.5″, 29″, or a mixed-wheel setup. A set weighs 1,876g.

On the trail with the Hunt Carbon H_Impact wheels

riding the Hunt carbon Impact_H wheels
Photo: Hannah Morvay

Before swapping for the Carbon H_Impact wheels, I had been running a set of $469 alloy Trail Wide wheels and enjoying them thoroughly. The Trail Wides have an excellent balance of stiffness and compliance with a high-engagement hub at a great price.

Swapping the alloy wheels for the carbon set had me paying close attention to really try and notice the difference between the two, and I think a lot of people would be happy with the sub-$500 alloy wheels. I sure am.

Hunt carbon Impact_H valve

The Carbon H_Impacts are a little quicker to spin and more responsive to power and steering than the alloy Trail Wides. These are areas where the material itself makes a pronounced difference in comparison to alloy and I don’t want to say the difference is negligible, but I had to pay close attention to feel the ride quality differences between the Trail Wides and H-Impacts.

The difference is more noticeable on chattery trails — the hardpacked trails with little half-buried rocks, similar to speed bump strips in some countries. The H_Impacts don’t feel like the most vertically compliant rims out there. They do track well, but tire pressure makes a big difference in comfort. I’ve also managed to snake bite my tires with these rims at least twice with decent tire pressure, and the rims themselves remained unscathed. My guess is that the outright stiffness in the rim makes it easier to puncture.

I will also use the word negligible to describe the differences between the 3° engagement on the previous hubs and the 5° engagement on the new hubs. You can feel a slight difference by turning the hub driver on both, but the increase in engagement isn’t noticeable on the trail. The sound is a little crisper than the previous hub. Swapping the freehub or servicing it feels like a simpler process on the new version as well.

Closing thoughts

Hunt carbon Impact_H wheel

The revision of the Hunt All Mountain Carbon H_Impact wheels feels like a sensible move. My experience with the rim is that it’s strong enough to survive square-edged rock hits but doesn’t always have the most vertically compliant feel. The change inside the hub isn’t very noticeable and if it errs on the side of long-term durability, I’m all for it.

Hunt’s alloy wheels have served me remarkably well and have made me question what kind of riding truly necessitates a carbon rim. The alloy wheels may call for more servicing, truing, and potential dents over time, but the ride feel has been great and often times I prefer it.

For $1,000, the H_Impact Carbon wheels are still a great value and have fended off rock impacts and made a noticeable difference in handling and responsiveness. When it comes to carbon wheels, the Hunts are still high on my list to recommend to a friend or anyone reading this.

Party laps

  • Price
  • Stiff, responsive
  • Solid hub engagement
  • Overall a great wheel

Pros and cons of the Hunt Carbon H_Impact Wheels.

Dirt naps

  • Can feel a little too stiff at times