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Hunt Trail Wide MTB Review

A great set of alloy wheels with a comfortable ride quality and well-rounded performance at a very reasonable price
hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review
Credit: Hunt
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $449 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, stable, compliant, reasonably light weight,
Cons:  Slower freehub engagement, a little flexy under load
Manufacturer:   Hunt Bike Wheels
By Joshua Hutchens, Jeremy Benson  ⋅  Nov 8, 2022
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 9
  • Ride Quality - 35% 8.0
  • Freehub Engagement - 20% 7.0
  • Weight - 25% 8.0
  • Durability - 20% 7.0

Our Verdict

The new Hunt Trail Wide wheels perform exactly as they should, they're not flashy but there are no real distractions from their ride quality. They have an attractive price point, a compliant feel, and performance across our rating metrics that did not disappoint. They're lightweight, offer a smooth and comfortable ride, and have proved to be pretty durable. While the freehub could engage a little faster, or they could be slightly stiffer, those things don't distract from the overall package of this wheelset. These would be great, cost-effective upgrades to many people's trail bikes.

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hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review
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Price $449 List$679.99 at Evo
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Pros Inexpensive, stable, compliant, reasonably light weight,3-degree freehub engagement, 2-year no fault guarantee, Vault hubs, lightweightLightweight, affordable for carbon, 35mm rim width, outrageous tractionIndustry-leading 0.52-degree freehub engagement, less expensive than carbon, great ride qualityQuick, efficient, precise, durable
Cons Slower freehub engagement, a little flexy under loadDecals peel easily, not sold as a pair, you need to purchase both the front and rear wheels10-degree freehub engagementExpensive for alloy, heavier than carbonStiff for lighter riders, expensive for alloy
Bottom Line A great set of alloy wheels with a comfortable ride quality and well-rounded performance at a very reasonable priceThese wheels had the best performance and ride quality of any we testedThis is a lightweight carbon wheelset with a nicely damped ride quality and excellent tractionThe best alloy wheelset we've ever testedA hi-tech, precise handling wheelset with a focus on efficiency and performance
Rating Categories Hunt Trail Wide MTB RaceFace Next R31 C... Ibis S35 Logo Carbo... Industry Nine Endur... Stan's Flow MK4
Ride Quality (35%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Freehub Engagement (20%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
10.0
9.0
Weight (25%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Durability (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Totals (%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
Specs Hunt Trail Wide MTB RaceFace Next R31 C... Ibis S35 Logo Carbo... Industry Nine Endur... Stan's Flow MK4
Weight Per Wheelset 1869g 1,776g 1,744g 1,895g 1919g
Available Wheel Sizes 27.5", 29" 27.5", 29" 27.5", 29" 27.5", 29" 27.5", 29"
Available Axle Spacing Boost, Super Boost Boost, Super-Boost Boost Boost, non-Boost, Super Boost 157 12 x 142, Boost, Super Boost
Available Freehub Body Options Shimano HG, Shimano Micrspline, SRAM XD Shimano HG, SRAM XD, MicroSpline Shimano HG, SRAM XD, MicroSpline Shimano HG, SRAM XD, MicroSpline Shimano HG, Shimano Micrspline, SRAM XD
Rim Inner Dimension 30mm 31mm 35mm 30.5mm 30mm
Rim Outer Dimension 34.5mm 37mm 41mm 34.1mm 33.6mm
Offset 0mm 4.5mm 5mm 0mm 3mm
Spoke Count 28 28 32 28 32
Brake Rotor Attachment 6-bolt, Center Lock 6-bolt 6-bolt 6-bolt 6-bolt, Center Lock
Freehub P.O.E 5-degree 3-degree 10-degree 0.52-degree 1.66-degree
Warranty Policy 3-years against material or workmanship defects Lifetime 7-year, no fault on rims, 2-year on hubs 2-year 5-year hub, 3-year rim, and 1-year crash replacement

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hunt Trail Wide wheelset brings us just about everything we want in an alloy wheelset at a very attractive price point. They're lightweight, compliant, well-balanced, and provide engagement that doesn't disappoint. Hunt managed to pack in all the features and options for these wheels while keeping the price lower than any other wheels we've tested. Can a wheelset at this price point really impress with its performance?

Performance Comparison


hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review - compliance, traction, price, there's a lot to like about the hunt...
Compliance, traction, price, there's a lot to like about the Hunt Trail Wide.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Product Specifications


The Hunt Trail Wide V2 is built with a 6069 T6 alloy rim with a welded seam, shot-peened finish, and laser-etched graphics. Like the rest of the wheels in this test, the inner rim width measures 30mm but due to the shape of their bead, they measure 34.5mm externally. 28 spoke holes are centered in these rims with no offset and laced up with triple-butted spokes and alloy nipples. The hubs are fairly standard in many respects with 7075 T-6 axles and 6-bolt or center-lock rotor compatibility. The rear hub shell is extruded and machined while the front is forged and machined, a practice that makes that front hub a bit stronger. Hunt offers Shimano HG, MicroSpline, and Sram XD freehubs with a unique "CERAMIK_H" hardened coating that prevents damage from the cassette. Freehub engagement comes from a traditional pawl system at a modest 5 degrees.

hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review - these wheels gave us little to complain about. impressive for such...
These wheels gave us little to complain about. Impressive for such an affordable model.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

The wheels ship with tubeless tape and valves installed, Torque caps can be had at no extra cost if you specify when ordering. The wheels arrived with extra spokes and clever valve covers that work as valve stem wrenches. Hunt recommends tires in the 2.25 to 2.8 width range but they're optimized for 2.3 to 2.5 tread widths.

hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review - triple-butted spokes give the wheel a bit more flex but a few less...
Triple-butted spokes give the wheel a bit more flex but a few less grams.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Ride Quality


The Hunt Trail Wide V2 wheels have a lightweight and slightly dampened feel. They accelerate quickly and feel nimble while not being overly stiff or flexy. We found these wheels impressive not because they were the best at anything but because they had so few faults.


Pushed hard into a chunky corner they could feel a little vague but that could also be construed as comfort. They often felt invisible, producing no issues worth commenting on. Freehub engagement, at 5 degrees isn't great on paper but on the bike, it didn't feel like an issue worth complaining about. The hubs produced little friction while the sound of the pawls on the ratchet ring was soft and subtle. The tire profile was exactly what we're looking for on a modern trail wheelset and traction felt above average. While they didn't accelerate as fast as the Stan's Flow MK4, they seemed to make up for it with a little more compliance. The components of these wheels come together to produce a ride quality far beyond what we expected for the price.

hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review - while 5 degrees isn't the fastest engagement, it's far from terrible...
While 5 degrees isn't the fastest engagement, it's far from terrible and pretty darn good for the price.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Freehub Engagement


The freehub body hosts a fairly standard 6-pawl mechanism that engages 3 pawls alternatively with a 36-tooth drive ring to produce 5 degrees of engagement. While the freehub didn't seem to offer a noticeable amount of friction, 5 degrees isn't terribly impressive compared to some of the faster options. We didn't experience any chain drag and the wheels felt quick and light on the trail. Lagging compared to the Stan's Flow MK4 hubs or Industry Nine Hydra, the Hunt wheels never felt like our performance was suffering from the slower mechanism.


From a testing perspective, we really appreciate fast engagement but not every rider will experience a huge boost in performance from it. Those who are fast on the pedals and quick to accelerate will reap the benefits of a fancier mechanism but a vast number of riders are going to be perfectly happy with 4-5 degrees of engagement. If you're a powerful, technically savvy rider who is annoyed by the occasional slack or clunk in the drivetrain, shop the faster-engaging freehubs. If that doesn't sound like you or you've never noticed the free play between coasting and acceleration, you'll likely be satisfied by a less complex freehub like that found on the Trail Wide wheels.

hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review - finding contact between the rim and trail didn't damage our test...
Finding contact between the rim and trail didn't damage our test wheels, we remain impressed
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Weight


The Trail Wide V2 wheels weighed in at 1869 grams with tubeless tape and valves installed. The relative light weight of these wheels is apparent in the ride, they feel quick and they spin uphill with ease. The triple-butted spokes contribute to the light weight and likely more compliance in the ride. Besting the Stan's Flow MK4 wheelset by 50 grams, they don't feel quite as fast or accurate but are considerably more compliant. The overall consensus on these wheels was that they nailed a sweet spot of weight, comfort, performance, and undeniably, price.


Durability


Hunt's "H lock bead seat" rim profile dealt with our abuse quite well, we never took it easy on them and they finished testing in good shape. Hunt assigns them a weight limit of 264 lbs but adds that riders over 240 lbs might want to have them checked more frequently by a mechanic. They are not endorsed for e-bike use.


Our testing included plenty of high-speed rock gardens, some considerable drops to flat, and no shortage of rowdy side hits. We rode them with abandon through the Sierras, the high desert, and some nasty days on "trails in progress". They were mounted with Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR Tires at 23 and 25 psi respectively. Our main tester weighs 175 lbs with gear and felt this pressure was ideal for traction and footprint and just low enough that the rims still found the trail on occasion.

hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review - freehub body seal doing its job, pawls and springs reamined clean...
Freehub body seal doing its job, pawls and springs reamined clean and effective
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

As testing wrapped up, we pulled the tires and put them in the truing stand to find that they had done remarkably well. The wheels were mostly true, the bead surface wasn't dented and the spoke tension needed only mild correction. Notably, the wheels look great, owing partially to the laser-etched graphics and work-hardened and shot-peened finish.

The Hunt hubs endured our testing without issue. We found no evidence of dirt intrusion in the bearings or beyond the seal of the freehub. The bearings still feel great and we found no uneven wear in the end caps or moving parts. The wheels carry a 3-year factory warranty to the original owner and Hunt offers crash replacements at a 35 percent discount. Hunt is so sure of the wheels that they offer a 60-day ride and return program. If you don't love them, you can return them for a full refund.

hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review - laser-etched graphics give the wheels a clean, upscale appearance.
Laser-etched graphics give the wheels a clean, upscale appearance.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Value


At their retail price, these wheels feel like an insanely good value. We don't have a strong complaint about any aspect of their performance and found the ride quality much better than the price would suggest. Aspects of the wheels, like the forged front hub, triple butted spokes, hardened freehub body and laser etched graphics made them feel far upmarket of their bargain price. If we could pay a bit more for slightly faster engagement we might find that attractive, but as-is, these are the best value wheels we've tested.

Conclusion


The Hunt Trail Wide V2 is a value-oriented, no-nonsense, high-quality wheelset that manages to check the right boxes without a glaring defect. We'd recommend these as an upgrade to many OEM trail bike wheelsets, especially those with narrower rim profiles. We felt the compliance in these wheels was an asset, riders over 190lbs might find it a detriment, but there's little risk in trying a pair with the 60-day ride and return program. If you're looking for a stiff, responsive racing wheel, there are obviously better options, but if all-mountain performance and value are at the top of your list, grab yourself a set of these!

hunt trail wide mtb mountain bike wheel review - our expectations were easily exceeded by the affordable hunt trail...
Our expectations were easily exceeded by the affordable Hunt Trail Wide wheels.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Joshua Hutchens, Jeremy Benson
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