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Hunt 48 Limitless - Hunt claims ‘world’s fastest’ disc brake wheel

21 Jun 2019
Verdict:

Hunt claims to have produced the fastest sub-50mm road disc wheel in the world with the new 48 Limitless Aero Disc

British brand Hunt has officially released its much-anticipated 48 Limitless Aero Disc, which it claims is the world’s most aerodynamic road disc wheel with a depth of up to and including 50mm. The wheels and supporting data were revealed today in Sun Valley, Idaho, USA.

The wheels have previously been teased at Eurobike 2018 and subsequently in a promotional video on the Arenberg Trench from the Paris-Roubaix course, but this is the first glimpse of the complete consumer-ready wheelset, which will be available for order today for shipping in late July.

The wheel system has been engineered around considerable versatility in tyre width, and boasts a stunningly wide 34.5mm external width. That makes for an internal width of 22.5mm and Hunt says the rims will maintain aerodynamic efficiency with tyres as wide as 30mm, but will also still happily mount a set of 23mm tyres.

Hunt teased the wheels back in April on the Arenberg Trench

Innovative design

Of course, given Hunt’s pedigree in tubeless tyres, the wheelset is tubeless ready and the company is offering the wheelset with tubeless tyres ready-mounted. The wheels have been optimised for use with the Schwalbe One Tubeless in a 28mm width.

Buy the 48 Limitless Aero Disc wheelset now from Hunt

The rims, which have been developed by industry veteran and aerospace engineer Luisa Grappone, use an innovative carbon construction. An outer carbon sidewall reinforces the internal structure necessary to support the wide rim bed and tyre walls, improving both aerodynamics and strength, says Hunt.

The internal carbon structure is such that a channel has been left in the rim beneath the tyre wall to maintain its strength. Rather than leave the channel exposed, which would cause extra aerodynamic drag, Hunt has filled this with a low density polymer and covered this with the outer carbon sidewall.  

The wide profile and external carbon layer pay a weight penalty, but impressively Hunt has kept the wheelset’s total weight down to 1,592g. Crucially that’s lighter than Zipp’s shallower 303 disc brake tubeless wheelset.

This is also Hunt’s first wheelset to offer CeramicSpeed bearings within the hub, which itself offers an impressive 7.5° engagement for efficient power transfer.

The aerodynamics are, of course, the main attraction, so let’s take a look at how Hunt pursued its aero targets.

Wind-tunnel

To claim the most aerodynamic wheel at this highly competitive depth has been a serious undertaking for Hunt, which has used wind-tunnel testing and supported the findings with a technical white paper.

Hunt's limited edition Scott Foil equipped with the 48 Limitless wheelset

The 48 Limitless Aero Disc was developed in the GST wind-tunnel in Germany using rapid-prototyping with a series of 3D-printed rims. According to the comparison testing, Hunt says its wheels out-perform all of the competition.

The Limitless have a striking 22.5mm internal width

‘The Limitless wheels are so wide and transition so smooth that they work significantly better at wider yaw angles,’ says Peter Marchment, co-founder of Hunt. ‘This is largely owing to the width and wide radius on the rim bed. But the Limitless also compares better even in less favourable comparisons where the yaw angles are far narrower.’

One of Hunt's 3D printed prototypes

In a series of tests at the GST wind-tunnel with different tyres, and based on a ‘Wind Averaged Drag’ calculation averaging the angle of wind in normal riding conditions, the Limitless came out top in every test according to Hunt, beating the best of the competition by a minimum of 0.5 watts at 45kmh.

In a comparison with 28mm Continental GP 5000 28mm tyres the 48 Limitless beat the nearest competitor (the Zipp 303 NSW) by over 1 watt in terms of power saving at 45kmh. As consumers steer towards wider tyres, the strength of Hunt’s wheels with these wider configurations could prove increasingly significant.

Buy the 48 Limitless Aero Disc wheelset now from Hunt

Of course, we cannot verify Hunt's data or confirm its claims to be the world's fastest wheels, but the figures do seem to be compelling, and perhaps the most impressive element of the wheelset is the price. Coming in at £1,289 (inc VAT) these would represent good value for an entry-level carbon disc wheelset, and exceptional value for a top-end wheel.

We’ll be testing a set as soon we can get our hands on a sample, so expect an in-depth review in the coming weeks.

Price: 
£1289

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