Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Hunt Trail Wide Tubeless set up

Posted by Matt | February 17, 2019 | 15 comments so far

Hunt Trail Wide 29er wheelset
As chance would have it, I’ve just had two differing sets of wheels and tyres to set up tubeless. It turned out to be quite a contrasting experience.

First off, I had a brand new set of 29″ Hunt Trail Wide wheels to set up for the YT Jeffsy. I also had a 27.5″ WTB ST i25 wheelset to set up for the Bird Zero AM which I’ll cover later this week.

Hunt 29″ Trail Wide MTB wheelset

OK, I decided to treat myself.

I’ve wanted to upgrade my tyres on the Jeffsy for ages but decided – using classic cyclist logic – that any new tyres would need some new wide rimmed wheels to do them justice. To do that, of course I needed to swap out my Pike for a new 2019 Boost version?!

That’s a different story entirely though…

Hunt Trail Wide wheels - tubeless ready

The Hunt Trail Wides arrived box-fresh from Hunt pre-taped with their own ‘Black Shield’ rim tape, flawlessly applied in a thick bead to bead strip. Also included were a pair of black tubeless valves along with a spare of each spoke length used in the build, a spoke tensioner and some Hunt Bike stickers.

I was hugely impressed before I’d even started to fit the tyres. Consider that for £349 this 29″, 30mm internal wheelset weighs just 1823g. Consider too that it comes with a 4.3° fast pick up freehub that is reinforced with a steel insert to limit cassette gouging. There is a lot to like about this wheelset before it’s even turned a wheel.

Hunt Trail Wide front hub

Hunt Trail Wide rear hub

Here it comes – what tyre for…?

Now the question that kicked off this entire process was the old ‘what tyre’ one. What to fit to a 30mm rim given the rare luxury of choice? What to fit for the Surrey Hills that would work for trips further afield? What to fit so I didn’t need to think tyres anymore?

I needed something that would work year round too, which meant not being too distracted by current winter trail conditions, even if at times our winter trails have been as dry as summer ones. When it has been wet, it’s been horrible.

In the end I settled on Maxxis, a default choice for many but not a brand I run very often. After reading about the latest fat tyre, wide rim trends for months I’ve gone for a Maxxis DHF 29×2.50WT (Wide Trail) on the front in 3C MaxxTerra guise, coupled with a Maxxis 29×2.50WT Aggressor on the rear. I could potentially have gone for the wider 2.60 on the front but decided to settle for 2.50 – which I suspect will suit me better and is a lot cheaper than the bigger rubber if you shop around!

Maxxis Minion DHF on Hunt Trail Wide rims

Classic Maxxis Minion DHF tread

If the front option was pretty obvious – fat chunky grip from a tyre highly rated across the MTB world, the rear choice is maybe slightly more unusual. With the fat rims, I wanted to take advantage of them to run a wider tyre but I didn’t want it to be too draggy. That ruled out another DHF or even a DHR but I was intrigued to see Mark has a 2.3 Maxxis Aggressor on the back of his Bird Aeris.

The Maxxis Aggressor has quite a close block tread and is only dual compound, so initially I dismissed it as a three season tyre only. Having followed Mark in some pretty horrible mud on several occasions over the North Downs though I could see it was still digging out a lot of grip. So I’ve decided to give it a go and will have to see if it turns out to be a good decision or not!

Maxxis Aggressor on Hunt Trail Wide rims

Maxxis Aggressor 29x2.50WT

Setting Hunt Trail Wide wheels up tubeless

So finally onto the tubeless fitting. How did it go? Well the headline answer is it was bloody easy! The Maxxis tyres were very easy to get onto the rims with thumbs only, but I did need to put my BETO JetAir Tubeless Tyre Inflator into action to blast them onto the bead. There wasn’t a lot more to it than that – a dose of Stans and it was job done, wheels ready to go.

I think the process was helped hugely by the width of the rims themselves and the wide shallow arc of the rim bed which lets the bead slide into position. I was hoping my track pump would be sufficient for the job (just because) but it rarely is anyway. Fortunately the BETO tubeless air tank seems to be an ideal back up.

Without yet riding the Hunt Trail Wide wheels and Maxxis tyres, initial impressions are this is going to be a great upgrade to my Jeffsy – the quality of both the wheels and tyres looks extremely high. I’ve compained from day one about the Onza Ibex tyres holding the bike back so this should move things forward – the Jeffsy certainly looks a lot more purposeful.

Unfortunately that’s only half of of my tyre fitting story this weekend… stay tuned to see how I got on with the WTB ST i25 rims!


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 15 comments on ‘Hunt Trail Wide Tubeless set up’

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  1. Gordo says:

    I always approach the fitting of a tubeless tyre with “wonder how this will go” attitude. Last November I fitted my Pirelli 28s to my hunt wheels and managed to blow the front on with my track pump. However, the back needed my lemonade bottle to be deployed.

    The successful fitting of them (and then finding the rotation arrows are facing the right way) always creates a smile.

  2. Elliot says:

    Thinking the 25mm version might be just the ticket for my Hei Hei as the rear Arch rim has cracked around the spokes again. That or a new bike. Care to comment on the freehub sound? Fast ticking, buzzing, screaming like those old 120 point Halo hubs?

    Got that DHF on the front of my S150. Possibly a bit much for most trails but doesn’t budge when you really need to stick to the ground like Bostik!

    • Matt says:

      Elliot the freehub sound is certainly distinctive! Certainly nothing like as loud or clacky as a Hope freehub, but quite a fast zzzzzzz! sound. I think I like it but would never say it was quiet.

      I notice the Hunt wheels are not eyeleted which I think is the problem with the Arch; being narrow-ish that might put a bit more strain on the rim if you have a Boost hub? On the flipside, the alloy is supposed to be stronger on the Hunt wheels but we’ll have to wait and see.

  3. Related: WTB ST i25 Tubeless set up | Reviews, Wheels & Tyres | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  4. Rob Francis says:

    I’m looking very closely at this wheelset for my YT Jeffsy 29 AlComp, and was wondering how you had found them so far, compared to the stock wheels.

    In particularly, I have a friend trying to convince me I need the Enduro Wides as we tend to hit some quite hard trails, but do the Trail Wides seem suitable tough?

    • Matt says:

      Rob, I have to admit I haven’t put enough miles on the Hunt Trail Wides to comment on their abilities yet – been riding my Bird hardtail while the trails dry out a bit. They certainly seem promising, nice fast pick up from the freehub that’s for sure.

      The 2.5 Maxxis tyres have been great at holding air and have a good profile with the 30mm rims – but I definitely don’t ride super hard rocky trails – I’ve been to Afan Masts but’s it’s not my ideal riding environment.

      Tough call, sometimes bigger is not always better but neither the 30mm or 33mm rims are super-extreme in terms of width. Given you’re riding Welsh hills I think maybe the wider ones might suit more, at the expense of a bit of weight.

      Cheers, Matt

  5. James says:

    Keep an eye on the rear hub, after a month of riding north wales my 27.5 trailwide 30mm set the rear freehub was rusty and corroded inside.

    Hunt has had the good grace of sending me a new freehub body, i might take them up on the 60 day ride & return policy though… as a new hub every 30 days would get quite tiresome. See pic below!!

  6. Stephen Turner says:

    Great article on the set up – I’m thinking of changing my 25mm 27.5 Mavic XA’s that came stock on my Mondraker Foxy as have dinged the rear rim a few times, ripped the tyre walls and now can’t ride tubeless.
    How are you getting on with the Hunt’s now? I’m kinda caught between the trail and the enduro, mainly ride locally around Bath (lot of climbing + some fast technical descents), but also go to BPW quite often + have a trip to the Lake District planned. Just can’t decide on whether to save weight with the trails or add a bit more protection with the enduro and would value your thoughts. Cheers.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Stephen, that’s a tough one choosing between the 30 or 33mm Hunt Wheels.

      I’ve really been enjoying my 30mm Trail Wides in the dry weather and am really pleased I decided to get them – running the front at about 20psi it’s been absolutely fine and tracks nicely.

      I’m wondering that if you regularly ding the rims you might be better off with a tyre insert rather than wider rims? Which would probably add the same amount of weight? But I don’t know – my only experience is of the Trail Wides and they have worked as advertised. I would assume the Enduro ones were tougher still?

      Sorry, I’m not much help. The Foxy would be improved with either option I think.

      Cheers and enjoy the Lakes!

    • Matt says:

      Stephen, you might find this article useful…

      Singletrack Hunt Enduro Wide review.

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