UK wheel brand Hunt was formed by some super-experienced wheel creators and engineers a few years ago and its primarily direct sell delivery along with meticulous sourcing and testing has made the company a benchmark for performance and price. The Enduro Wide rims were super popular – if slightly soft – straight away, but Hunt has spent the last three years testing and tweaking its successor, the Hunt Enduro Wide V2, hoping to create something to challenge the best mountain bike wheels around.
Despite the discount price, Hunt goes deep on the details. The 6069 T6 heat-treated alloy is claimed to have 69 percent more tensile strength than 6061 T6 alloys and the rims are shot peened to relieve stress, then matt anodized and laser etched for lasting looks. The front uses a wider 33mm internal bed than the 31mm rear and you get 28 rather than 32 Sandvik Pillar triple-butted, J-bend spokes too. The H-Lock bead gives a positive snap engagement and they’re pre-taped for easy inflation with all tires we tried. Supplied tubeless valves have a Presta core remover top cap and you get spare spokes and key included in the box too.
The front hub uses an oversized shell and oversized 17mm axle and you can order it with RockShox-compatible torque cap ends. The rear comes in 148mm Boost or 157mm Super Boost widths with old school Shimano/SRAM splined, SRAM XD or Shimano Microspline freehub options. Twin hook, triple “RapidEngage” pawls give fast five-degree pick-up too and the double-sealed cartridge bearings have enlarged balls.
Wheels come in 29er or 27.5in sets as standard but you can request a mullet set in the order notes as well as pre-fitted Schwalbe tires and Rimpact inserts if you want. They only come in 6 bolt, not centerlock fit, and there’s a recommended rider and gear weight limit of 120kg.
Hunt Enduro Wide V2 performance
The V2s aren’t light at 2,160g complete and the freehub engagement is actually two degrees slacker than the V1s. They’re still faster to pick up than a lot of wheels, though, and the drive feel through the 32 rear spokes is tautly positive. Upfront the fewer spokes and wider rim mean a little more float if you’re running matched tires. As long as you remember to reduce the pressure slightly to offset the extra volume, the front wheel has a slightly softer, fork- and tire-flattering feel, although the tighter rear means no shock flattery unless you’ve only run thin rims before.
Grip and feel balance is excellent, though, and the pairing do a great double act of easing their way into and then punching out of rough, rooty and rocky situations with minimal deflection. They hold onto tires well even at low pressures too, although that can mean some swearing when swapping rubber.
While Hunt claims increased rim toughness, we managed to ding the rim and split a tire on a clumsy high-speed rock strike on the first ride out. That put radiating stress marks across the rim bed and the sidewalls which needed pliering straight and filing smooth too. That seems to have got the bad luck out of the way, though, as we’ve carried on hammering them hard without another dent or ding issue and those stress marks haven’t propagated at all. We’ve always had excellent results with Hunt hubs and bearings long term and there’s a crash replacement deal available too.
Hunt Enduro Wide V2 verdict
With most of the best enduro mountain bike wheelsets now creeping well over 2kg, the Hunts are mid-pack when it comes to mass and only 10 percent heavier than a lot of carbon sets. Fast freehub engagement and a tighter rear feel still keep them primed for punching in speed before a launch or out of corners, though – if you want light but still tough look at the Hunt Trail Wides.
Like most alloy rims we test, we dented the rear on rocks, but unlike with carbon it’s easily repairable and it’s held up fine post ding. The softer, wider front, stiffer rear ride feel is great too and a close match for even the most expensive wheels in terms of trail surface to hand/foot communication. The fatter, flowier front wheel is particularly welcome if you’re riding a bike with a more basic fork that needs all the help it can get and that’s obviously backed up by the excellent pricing.
We’re not the only ones saying that, though, so be prepared to be patient when you order. Wheelsets are available direct from Huntbikewheels.com.
Tech Specs: Hunt Enduro Wide V2 MTB wheelset
- Price: $545 (USD) / £399.99 (UK)
- Weight: 2,160g complete (1,035g front, 1,125g rear)
- Sizes: 27.5in and 29in