At $480 a Pair, the Alloy Hunt Trail Wide Wheels are Hard to Beat

I’ve been running the first-generation of Hunt’s $1,000 All Mountain Carbon H_Impact wheels since the fall of 2019 on one bike or another. They were priced under $800 when I tested them, but have been revised since and show a still-reasonable increase in price. Other than some scratches, the carbon hoops run true despite hundreds and hundreds of miles and countless slams against pointy rocks.

This summer, I swapped them out for a set of Hunt’s $480 Trail Wide wheels. The Trail Wides are an alloy wheel with a 30mm internal rim width front and rear, and are available in pretty much any axle width. The wheels can be purchased in 27.5″ and 29″ diameter pairs or as a mixed-wheel combination. The aluminum rims are paired with Hunt’s 5° RapidEngage hub.

Considering that Hunt sells their wheels at nearly half the price of some competitors, this of course draws some curiosity in what you actually get. Since Hunt is a direct-to-consumer wheel brand and they are sold exclusively through the Hunt website, they can strip several layers of cost that are usually added on through distribution. The result after riding a few sets of Hunt wheels is a great wheel set at a great price, aluminum or carbon.

Specs and deets

  • Sold as 27.5″, 29″, and mixed wheel pairs with 6-bolt rotor mounts.
  • 30mm internal rim width, optimized for 2.3-2.5″ tires.
  • 28 hole spoke count with triple butted Pillar spokes.
  • Available with SRAM XD, Shimano Microspline, and HG freehubs.
  • Hubs are 5° RapidEngage, in either Boost, QR, SuperBoost, or standard 142mm axle spacing.
  • Weight for tested 29″ wheelset: 1,868g
  • MSRP: $479

On the trail

Hunt’s wheels have always come neatly boxed and include two tubeless valves and a few extra spokes. The rims look wide and have a shallow depth, for a more square profile, though they’re about as wide as most other wheel sets these days, with the 30mm internal width.

They’re recommended for tires between 2.3″ and 2.5″ wide. I mounted a 2.4″ in the rear and a 2.6″ up front and both sealed up with the ever-satisfying pop of the tire beads snapping into place. I ran the wheels with a SRAM XDR freehub, and it’s nice that Hunt makes freehub and axle swaps really accessible on their site. I’ve ordered new freehubs and end caps for frame swaps before and they have always shipped quickly and worked great.

Sedona is always a good place for wheel testing.

As I mentioned, I ran the Hunt carbon wheels prior to the set of Trail Wides and was curious to see if the alloy wheels felt like a downgrade. Surprisingly, the answer is not so much. There is a distinctly different feel between the Trail Wides and the Carbon H_Impacts, but it feels like more of a lateral move than a downgrade or upgrade.

The Trail Wides are another reminder that carbon isn’t necessarily a superior material for good mountain bike products, and that they both have their advantages and disadvantages. The Trail Wides are a taut wheelset, and they don’t spin up quite as hastily as a set of carbon wheels, but they are about as stiff as most people need and the difference at times isn’t very discernible. Both the carbon-rimmed wheels and the Trail Wides are nearly the same weight.

One advantage the alloy wheels might have over the carbons is the added flex. I’ve been running the carbon wheels on an enduro bike lately and punctured two tires in two back-to-back rides since the carbon rims don’t have much give after bottoming out a tire on a rock. I’ve smacked the Trail Wides on a few rocks and so far they haven’t dented. The alloy Trail Wides track well and feel great over rock-riddled trails, and actually feel a little more confidence inspiring carrying speed over chunk.

Closing thoughts

All of this is to say that the Hunt Trail Wides have been a great wheel set and an easy upgrade for a lot of folks. If the carbon wheels are in reach, I’d wholly recommend them, but I’d also easily recommend saving $500 and going with these Trail Wides. These have seen about six months of riding, but the carbon Hunts I have had, have run true for two years now, and I have no reason to assume that any other wheel set wouldn’t carry the same quality.

Party laps

  • Comparable weight to carbon wheels
  • Great wheelset for the money
  • Tight engagement on hubs

Pros and cons of the Hunt Trail Wide wheels.

Dirt naps

  • None noted

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