Sussex-based Hunt Bike Wheels have made a big impression since their 2015 launch, offering versatile wheels which are bang up-to-date and at a compelling price. Having extolled the virtues of the Hunt Aero Light Disc in last year’s RCUK 100, it’s the turn of the Race Aero Wide hoops this time out.

Why, you ask? Well, if you have a realistic budget of about £500 to spend on a wheel upgrade, then you’re getting a lot for your money here. It’s not uncommon to find an off-the-shelf bike which wouldn’t benefit from a wheel upgrade and Hunt have proved with the Race Aero Wide that the upgrade needn’t cost an eye-watering amount.

RCUK100 - Hunt Race Aero Wide wheelset

So what do you get for your money?

First up, the low claimed weight of 1,480g ensures a lively, responsive ride quality. Step on the gas with these wheels slotted into your bike they certainly won’t hold you back.

On top of that, while the Hunts aren’t aero wheels in the mould of the Zipp 454 NSW hoops also featured in the 100, the 31mm-deep rim has been subtly shaped to offer a small wind-cheating gain.

RCUK100 - Hunt Race Aero Wide wheelset
RCUK100 - Hunt Race Aero Wide wheelset
RCUK100 - Hunt Race Aero Wide wheelset

They’re wide, too. The 24mm external rim width is suitable for an ideal partner for 25mm or 28mm tyres, and can accommodate anything up to 34mm, all of which increases your footprint on the road for added grip and improved comfort, thanks to the ability to run those tyres at a lower pressure..

Hunt even offer a wheel-tyre package with Schwalbe’s One Pro tubeless tyres in 23mm, 25mm or 28mm – pre-fitted and sealed – for an extra £99. Not only does that save you faff, but sticks an extra £25 in your pocket on the RRP of the tyres.

RCUK100 - Hunt Race Aero Wide wheelset

Hunt Race Aero Wide

Otherwise, the wheels have been specced to as high a standard as possible, with Hunt promising components to suit the riding, rather than aiming at a specific price point. You get triple-butted and aero-bladed straight-pull spokes (20 at the front, 24 at the rear) which are laced into hubs with sealed cartridge bearings from respected Japanese firm Ezo.

Meanwhile, the quick release skewers use brass for the cam as Hunt say this has self-lubricating properties which maintains smooth performance, while the springs have been upgraded to stainless steel.

Hunt may still be relative newcomers to the wheel market, but they’ve stuck their flag firmly in ground and continue to impress across the board; not just with these wheels - a point emphasised by the fact demand often outstrips supply. If you want a pair of these, you best be quick.