Back in 2018, Cory gave the Editor’s Choice Award for the best wheel to Hunt Wheels for making performance wheelsets with a dynamo hub. And when the MASON X HUNT 650b Adventure Dynamo Disc Wheelset was sent to Bikerumor back in February 2021 and needed a reviewer… I couldn’t raise my hand fast enough.
Just kidding, I didn’t really have to raise my hand, I just sent an email. Regardless… I felt sure that I was the guy to review this particular wheelset. So, I did.
Let’s Start with the Bike…
I ride the wheels off my 2020 Masi Bicycles Speciale Randonneur Elite, using it almost every time I throw a leg over a bike. It is my go-to bike for just about every type of riding, from long road rides, mixed terrain, single track, and long fire roads to the occasional run to the store to grab groceries.
This bike came with the Brev M wheelset (Masi’s house brand) that had a brandless front dynamo hub and matching 50 LUX front dynamo light. After the initial 650 miles on the bike, I became totally and completely sold, a true believer if you will, in the awesomeness that a dynamo hub offers.
I’ve always pined for a front dynamo hub for my bikes and reviewing this wheelset really opened my eyes to the wonder of dynamo energy. I now have a dynamo hub with front and rear dynamo lights on every bike in my quiver. Yup.
Weight and Mounting
The wheels were packaged very well and arrived with zero damage. They are a very handsome set o’ wheels and I was excited to get them on the Masi!
I weighed the wheels before I added the valves and the rear cassette and they came in at a combined weight of 2011 grams. On the Hunt Wheels website, they have a claimed weight of 1947 grams for the pair, I’m assuming that the claimed weight does not include tubeless tape, and that’s the source for the extra 64 grams. I also believe that the weight of 2011 grams is still very respectable for an aluminum rimmed wheelset with a dynamo front hub.
The rim tape was installed already. So, all I had to do was install the valves to the rim and mount the tires. I used the 650b x 1.9 Panaracer Gravel Kings in the standard “slick” version. With a little spritz of Windex around the bead and a short shot of compressed air, the beads were set without any struggles.
Let’s talk about the Rims
The rims on this wheelset are 6066-T6 aluminum. According to the HUNT website, that’s a 34% increase in tensile strength vs 6061-T6. They are heat-treated, tubeless-ready, and disc-specific. The rims also use an asymmetric spoke bed for balanced spoke tensions. They are 19mm deep with a 25mm internal width. They have an H-Lock bead seat for easy and secure tubeless installation.
The Rear Hub
The wheelset’s rear hub is the 28-hole HUNT 4 Season Disc hub, using J-bend spokes. It has extra bearing shielding and uses a 10-degree FastEngage 4-pawl freehub, with an H_CERAMIK coating which Hunt says will enhance the body’s durability. I am running a full Shimano 105 11 speed drivetrain but SRAM XD and XDR Drivers are available. The hub also utilizes the Center-lock disc mount system, and not to fear, there are 6 bolt rotor adaptors available on their website, here.
The Front Hub
The front hub that comes with the MASON X HUNT Adventure wheelset is the SON28 (28 hole) dynamo hub. It is considered by many to be one of the lightest and most efficient dynamo hubs available. According to SON, it delivers the full 6volts and 3 watts of power output at just 11-12 miles per hour. The hub also comes with a 5-year warranty, including bearing wear.
What is a dynamo hub, you ask?
Well in super, duper simplistic terms it is a coil of copper wire that spins inside a housing lined with magnets to produce electricity… like an electric motor… but in reverse. For example, an electric motor relies on incoming energy to turn the internal coil and magnets. The dynamo hub has you pedal to turn the coil and magnets, rewarding you by producing outbound energy to be used for your lights and devices. Like magic, sorta! Well, it feels like magic.
You can even get a charger or a headlight with a USB port on the back of it that can use the dynamo’s energy to charge your phone, GPS bike computer, or other small devices.
The benefit of all of this is simple, with a dynamo hub and lights, you will never need to worry about getting caught without lights after the sun goes down, worrying about battery run time, or losing your navigation on a long ride because your computer ran out of juice.
Not to be dramatic, but dynamo hubs pretty much equal freedom. I’m just sayin’.
The axles on the MASON X HUNT wheelset are adaptable and can be fitted to your needs by HUNT upon ordering the wheelset. The adapters can fit most current axle sizes and are easy to change. For the front axle: either thru-axle or QR, 12/9mm. For the rear axle: either thru-axle in 12×142, 12×135, or 10×135 or QR/9mm. Note: 15mm thru-axle adapters are not available with the SON dynamo hub.
The Wheels in Motion
So far these wheels have been a non-issue. As in, they disappear and do what is asked of them with zero issues. I have approximately 2000 miles on these wheels since we got them for review. I am no featherweight either, as mentioned in my review of the Teravail Honcho tires, I am a Clydesdale. I’m not “190 lbs”, or “pushing 200 lbs”, I am 245lbs on a good day. And the Masi, with fenders, racks, and my everyday carry bags unloaded, tops out at 30-ish lbs dry, without water.
I have ridden these wheels on a lot of trails around where I live that I would normally ride on my mountain bike… rutted descents, single track, short technical climbs, steep dirt roads, and the only thing ever being an issue while doing this type of underbiking, were the tires losing traction because they were the wrong tire for the trail. Other than the tires giving up the ghost once in a while, I have not had an issue with the wheels.
Also, please remember that these are 28 spoke wheels. And remember my weight? I usually (99% of the time) ride a wheelset with a minimum of 32-holes.
Sometimes for a few minutes, new wheels will slightly creak and pop as the spokes are settling under the weight and load of the first ride. These didn’t. And after all of the abuse I’ve given them, they have never made a peep.
As mentioned above, the 2000 miles (so far) I have put on these wheels have been on my Masi. The Masi is a Randonnuering bike, so it has a “low trail” geometry. This allows the bike to be more stable with a front load. So, I load the front of this bike a lot. It gets loaded almost daily and for sure weekly with groceries, extra layers, a fair amount of food for long day rides, and all of my #coffeeoutside gear. Even with around 20 lbs of weight in my front bag, and another 7 lbs in the back bag, the wheels show no signs of under performing… they just keep rolling perfectly and continue to stay true, despite my efforts.
2000 miles. A 30 lb bicycle. A 245 lb cyclist. A bicycle that is often loaded with an extra 10 to 20 lbs. Not to mention all of the different terrains I’ve ridden these wheels on… turning my “all-road” bike into a bike that can literally ride all of the roads. All of this on a 28-hole wheelset. And yet, I have not had not one single issue. Not one.
There isn’t much else to say, really. I can fully endorse and really get behind this wheelset… and don’t forget, the wheelset actually comes with a dynamo hub!
What? Yeah, you’re right, it is a no-brainer.
The MASON X HUNT 650b Adventure Dynamo Wheelset comes with dynamo universal spade connectors and heat shrink, Tubeless tape & valves, spare spokes, and axle adaptors (please fill in the simple form after checkout to select your required size).
You can get them here and they retail for $769.