Ok, this a bit of a long one, so I’ll try to keep it concise.
I’m finalising the build of my n=1/groad bike. The frame is sorted, and I have chosen Ekar for the groupset. I will be running 2 wheelsets, 1 for gravel and 1 for road (with a different cassette on each). I have had a nice, solid set of alloy gravel wheels with the right freehub made for me. I’m now looking to sort the road wheelset.
As you may know, there aren’t tons of options for Ekar. But I saw that Mason sell their Resolution with Ekar and Hunt Road wheels, and GranFondo magazine this month reviewed that very bike with Hunt carbon 33s.
So I went on to the Hunt website today to check out lead times. The pair I want are mid-late May: not too bad at all, at the moment. But on the drop down menu, the N3W freehub (for Ekar) is not an option.
I then went onto their online chat to ask about this. The chat operator seemed utterly convinced that this is not an option for their road wheels, even after I shared the link to the Mason website. I was also told that ‘you know Ekar is a gravel wheelset, so you need gravel wheels’. Ok…
Given the Mason/GranFondo ‘evidence’, I am pretty sure that the product I want to buy does in fact exist, but that the company who sell it appear not to realise this…
Or, they only exist as an OEM option (with matching order size)?
Can you build them up from the hubs and rims? Hunt sell rims separate. Don’t know how you would get the hub though if the lead time is September? I bet Hunt could do a special order build but perhaps the hubs are too difficult to source.
Email Hunt (with links to the Mason and GF examples) and ask them how you can get hold of what clearly does exist.
Emails can get forwarded on to different parts of the company to whoever does know about this, whereas the customer service chat operator just has to deal with the issue on the spot (and may not know about products that are soon-to-be-but-not-yet released).
Yeah, I know, it shouldn’t be down to you to chase up their poor customer service, but hey, dream builds take work.
I just want to second the shout for a wheelbuilder. I have Hunt wheels, and I’d just about rate them ok, I wouldn’t buy another set I think. A club mate had three replacement sets fail on him (aluminium wheels, the spokes pulled through the rim each time). In that price range, a wheelbuilder can probably make you something specific to your needs, eg with the hub you want.
They do higher-end wheelsets too but I went for LightBicycle Falcon Pro rims (the more expensive amongst their offerings) w/ DT Swiss hubs and I love them! Still slightly more expensive than Hunts (But i think better) and if anything goes wrong you can bring it to a real brick and mortar shop!