We’ve been hammering Hunt’s super-affordable alloy road and gravel wheels well beyond reasonable speed and terrain expectations ever since they were introduced. The X-Wides are the perfect match for 700c wheel users who want wide-tire support with the toughness to take on myriad terrain types, horrible weather and serious mileages at low pressures.
We've put the 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide to the test against the best gravel wheels to see if they are worth the price tag.
- Best gravel bike tires: Fast-rolling yet grippy rubber for drop-bar dirt road rides
- Best tubeless tire sealant
The X-Wide shares the same footings as the very well-proven 4 Season Disc All Road wheels in terms of 7075 alloy axle hubs with whatever freehub option you want and H_CERAMIK anti-gouge treatment on the Shimano barrels. Full endcap switching from 15mm to QR is available at Hunt’s online checkout. You can also order adaptors for six-bolt rotors, but the hubs themselves are Centrelock fit. The J bend triple-butted Pillar spokes threading into corrosion-resistant brass nipples are the same too, with 28 on each wheel and spares included in the box.
The rims are all new though. They're 29mm wide (external) and measure 25mm internally at the base (the All Roads are 25/20mm). They’re also 19mm deep rather than 24mm. They use a 6066 T6 alloy extrusion that Hunt says increases tensile strength by 34 per cent compared to 6061 rims but they only weigh 70g more than the All Roads at just over 1,700g. While the X-Wides only come in 700c the Adventure Sport Disc is essentially the same wheel in 650B size. For maximum convenience you can even order Schwalbe G-One All Round tires in either 35mm or 38mm with the wheels and Hunt will fit them for you.
Otherwise, while the rim is all-new it still uses Hunt’s ‘H-Lock’ rim bed design with pronounced tire locating ridges so be prepared for some very loud bangs as they lift over the lip and snap into place on inflation. That keeps them secure and burp resistant even at low pressures but while tire fitting is still ‘no tools’ - albeit requiring strong thumbs - you’re likely to need levers to get them off.
Low pressure is the way to go as the way these rims fatten up rubber means the surface area effect when running mid-to-high psi is going to give a punishing feel that undermines the whole concept of the wheels. We settled at 30/35psi with mid-weight 40mm tires but experimented with running them down to 25/30psi without things feeling too squelchy in the turns. These pressures, combined with the shallower rim depth and broader tire footprint, give a super-smooth limousine-like ride quality. The X-Wides are also unshakeably hooked up on loose or lumpy/stuttery surfaces.
Softening the ride will always give a more subdued sense of speed but, in reality, they roll comparatively faster the rougher things get. If you generally ride smoother and faster trails or tires under 35mm you’ll want a narrower rim set up for a better tire profile and aerodynamics. Despite regularly thumping off the edges when we were running the lowest pressures, the tougher alloy seems to be doing its job well so far and you can add ‘H-Care’ lifetime crash replacement cover for just $49 / £39 when you buy them if you’re a regular rim dinger.
If you’re looking for a tougher, fat-tire-friendly wheelset that will upgrade the surefootedness, rough-rolling speed, and overall durability of your 700c gravel bike without adding any weight, then the X-Wides are absolutely awesome for a whole bunch of carefully considered reasons.
The fact they come in at an entry-level price puts them firmly into the outstanding category as they match most similar wheels - including many carbon rimmed wheels we’ve tried - in terms of performance for a fraction of the price. The only problem is availability which has always been a known Hunt issue. That said, this is something facing the entire industry at present.
Tech Specs: Hunt 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide gravel wheels
- Price: $529 / £369
- Weight: 800g + 930g = 1,730g (with valves and tape)
- Rim: 25mm
- Sizes: 700c only: Front - QR, Bolt thru 12/15. Rear - QR, Bolt thru 12x142, 12x135, 10x135