When selecting a wheelset to get you through the darker, colder and wetter months, it is essential to look past whether you have rim or disc brakes. At Hunt, we relish in smashing through the winter miles. If this is a morning commute to work, an hour jaunt early on Saturday or an all-day winter epic on Sunday – getting a wheelset to match your needs will make those miles pass by more easily (and save trashing your good wheels come summer).
The best place to look at what winter wheels to fit is to look at your current bike and see what it can offer. Does it have rim or disc brakes? How much tyre clearance do you have? Where are you most likely to ride this bike? Asking yourself these basic questions will help establish your winter wheels wish list.
Across all Hunt 4 Season wheels are generally few key features which will make them stand the test of winter. Starting at the hub, a set of double sealed bearings comes as standard. This helps prevent the winter crud from stopping your wheels from spinning smoothly. Branching out from the hubs are the spokes. Look for a generally higher spoke count as this will create a stronger stiffer wheel which is perfect if you do happen to hit an unexpected pothole or find yourself on roads made rough from the winter conditions. Attaching the spokes to the rim are the nipples. There may be small and unassuming part of a wheel, but it is often a point of failure. Look for brass nipples. These are great for winter riding as they are self-lubricating and anti-corrosive - all the traits you want when put through wet riding. Finally, the rim. Many riders will tend to use a wider tyre in winter to help with traction and comfort. So, consider a wider rim for you winter wheels to support the extra volume. We are also huge believers in tubeless. All Hunt wheels are tubeless ready and will be able to work with either your set of tubeless winter tyres or tough clincher tyres.
All Hunt 4Season Wheels come specced with double sealed bearings to keep the grime out.
All of these considerations feature in the Hunt 4 Season range, so you are always left with the best tool for the job at hand. Now let's turn to the wheelsets…
For those sticking to rim brakes – despite what many may think, we have not forgotten you! With our 4 Season rim brake range, we generally will urge you to stick with an alloy rim as featured on the 4 Season Aero Wheelset. This saves your carbon hoops from being trashed in the winter grit and grime that may lead to premature wear and tear on the brake track. A 24F/28R spoke count will keep this wheelset running true for many unexpected pothole collisions. They are also tubeless ready.
When it comes to disc brakes, this is where your options open up. Disc brakes are great in that they generally offer more control, power and are not as affected by water. Starting at the alloy offerings, the real standard in winter disc brakes is the 4 Season Disc. As the name suggests, this wheel was designed to carry you through winter in all conditions. Primarily reserved as a road wheelset with the ability to take on rough roads and even the occasional lite off-road ride, it is the lightest alloy 4 Season offering tipping the scales at 1571g. Now just having a recent revision, it is 19mm wide (internal), comes with a reflective strip for those dark commutes and has a 24 spoke count front and rear.
The Mason X Hunt 4 Season Disc sets the benchmark for a set of winter road, disc wheels.
Want something a little more aggressive? There is the 4 Season Gravel Disc. This might be the alloy wheelset for gravel riders but will serve great as being a winter road wheelset. Over the 4 Season Disc, it has a wider width, higher 28F/28R spoke count and able to handle the roughest of roads/gravel adventures.
It was once considered sacrilege to use your carbon wheels in winter. However, with the advent of disc brakes, it means there is no rim track to chew away from braking. The 30 Carbon Gravel Disc provides the answer. Like the 4 Season Gravel Disc, don't let the "gravel" lead you to think it is not suited to the road. As the lightest 4 Season offering at 1479g these are the pinnacle of winter wheels. A super wide 21mm (internal) rim bed will keep anything from a 23mm to 45mm tyre rolling. Like its alloy cousins, extra seals on the hub bearings, high 28F/28R spoke count, and brass nipples are included.
30 Carbon Gravel Discs are the pinnacle of winter-ready wheels.
Anything else? Because much of our riding in winter is spent in the dark, there is also the possibility to think about a dynamo wheelset. Having just expanded out dynamo range to include both carbon and alloy rim options the Superdura Dynamo Disc and 30 Carbon Dynamo Disc are perfectly able to hold their own as a winter road wheelset. Using the SONdelux dynamo hub, it has a unique pressure compensation value that forces any water out which may find itself inside the hub. This increases the life of the hub's bearings. So confident are we and SON in this system, a 5-year warranty on all Dynamo hub bearings comes as standard.
When many of our winter wheels are spent riding in the dark... perhaps a dynamo wheelset may be worth considering.
So, there is everything you need to consider when looking at a set of winter wheels. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch via our online chat or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. But above anything else there is also one really important thing to remember – don't have your wheels stop you from going out on a ride! Whatever you have, put on a jacket and get out there!