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Review: Hunt Proven Carbon Wheelset

Jun 12, 2023
by Henry Quinney  
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Hunt is a UK-based direct-to-consumer brand that makes wheels, as well as having strong ties with their sister-brand Privateer bikes. They've recently shaken up their range by releasing the Proven range of carbon wheels. This whole new family of wheels aims to deliver a carbon wheel at a good price, as well as offering more than just low weight. In fact, I would go as far to say that the primary reason Hunt has made these wheels out of carbon is about feel and compliance more than a number on the scale.
Hunt Proven Details
• Wheel size: 29"
• Intended use: Enduro
• Rim material: Front & rear specific carbon layups
• Rim width: 30mm (internal)
• Hubs: 5° RapidEngage
• Weight: 1929g total
• MSRP: $1,266 USD
• More info: www.huntbikewheels.cc

In some ways, the Proven Endruo wheelset, which also have an XC counterpart, are a good reflection of where the carbon-wheel debate is currently at. Yes, you can make a carbon wheel very light, but to only pursue a low rim weight wouldn't be to explore the full landscape of potential benefits.


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Is calling a rim Proven asking for trouble?

If you ask your average mountain biker about their thoughts on carbon wheels, the word "failure" might just come up, and it's not without good reason. When carbon wheels used to fail, which is thankfully a far less common occurrence these days, the result would often be a spectacular explosion, rather than the dinging or bending you might see on an alloy rim of similar quality. However, over the past decade or so carbon wheels have arguably become more reliable than alloy offerings, and that's for several reasons.

Firstly, it's more common to see a carbon rim suffer enough damage to warrant a replacement without shattering like glass. Carbon wheels aren't vulnerable to dinging or dents. As somebody that quite often dings alloy rims, it's nice to have a wheelset that is quite simply good or it's not, without having to question whether one, two or three dents are enough to warrant replacement. It also seems that more and more carbon wheels aren't hamstrung by having to be light, and more brands are making heavier, racier and more durable wheels. Hunt are by no means the only brand to explore the idea of burlier and more durable carbon rims. You only have to see World Cup riders' bikes, where racers can go a whole year without so much as breaking one single wheel (Pinkbike Racing's Ben Cathro did three seasons on one set of Reserve rims before putting them out to stud).

This divergence of what a carbon wheel should be was a long time coming. Yes, there are some people that may well see carbon rims as a gateway to reduce the weight of their XC bike, but I think for most riders and racers, we just want something strong and reliable. This distancing from the ideal of low weight has also led designers to explore another property of carbon wheels - their comfort. You can, of course, find many alloy wheels that are comfortable. The issue isn't so much if it can be done with anything other than carbon, because of course it can, but rather how that comfort is balanced with lateral stiffness. Last year I reviewed the Trail Wide V2 wheels from Hunt. While they were very comfortable, and were 200 grams and half the price of the Provens, when you pushed the bike into turns they did feel more vague on the front and flexier on the back.

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Design

The wheels use front and rear-specific carbon layups and spoke gauges. This is all to try and give the front and rear wheels different qualities, and let them play and do what is demanded of them. The front's design and build puts a greater emphasis on comfort and compliance, whereas the rear is meant to be more impact resistant.

Hunt oftentimes publishes their internal testing data from their self-made jig. In the instance of the Proven enduro wheels, they show that they're the most impact-resistant wheel they've ever made, as well as beating some other notable industry competitors. However, by their own admission, they weren't able to make it quite as resilient as the Reserve 30 HD wheels.

The rims use a 30 mm internal width and a 37 mm outer. Their 23 mm profile does make them relatively shallow. This, I would imagine, is interlinked with compliance. Both wheels use 28-hole rims. However, the front uses a more flexible 1.6 mm central diameter spoke, whereas the rear uses a slightly larger 1.8 mm. The rims are intended for tires between 2.35" and 2.6". The front hub uses a 6061-T6, and the rear a 7075-T6 alloy. Both use Revo bearings with full contact seals with extra thick 17mm axles. The engagement of the freehub is 5 degrees.

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I should have cleaned the hubs but I didn't as I'm a bad boy.

Test Setup

During testing, I ran these rims with and without inserts, and with several different tires. A great deal of time was spent on Vittoria's new Mazza Enduro Casing tire (around 1500g), a Mazza and Martello combination in their trail casing with DH inserts (950-1000g with Rimpact Pro in the Front and CushCore Pro in the rear), Continental's Krypotal range in their downhill casing (around 1200 g), as well as Versus All Mountain tyre in both the Gravity and the Trail casing (1500 and 1050 g respectively).

Pressures varied a lot. In the heavier tires, I ran as little as 22 psi in the front and on the lighter tires as much as 26 PSI. My rear pressures varied, too, going between 25 and 30 psi. I spent a great deal of time on these wheels in the mountains and volcanos of Patagonia, and then riding around Squamish. To say these wheels have seen their fair share of rocks would be a drastic understatement.


On the Trail

The Hunt RapidEngage hub did all that was asked of it. I think 5 degrees is very respectable and is very adequate for my intentions.

The wheels offer compelling claims about comfort, so how does that stack up on the trail? Well, honestly they're pretty good. That said, they've very much within similar realms of comfort to other wheels. However, there are three things that set the Hunt Proven apart - they're stiffer and more impact resistant than alloy wheels that offer a similar level of comfort. They're more comfortable than wheels that can shrug off the same type of hits, and finally, while I acknowledge that there are other carbon wheels that can offer these traits, I would say the Hunt manages to include them in a far better value package.

My personal preference for wheels, and it should be noted that I like riding natural, fast turns and off-camber tech more than all-out braking bumps, questionable hucks and bike-park chunder, is a lower spoke count and a laterally stiffer rim. I have found that this setup tends to bleed into my desired traits for a wheel.

The front wheel does track well, and I look forward to coming back with more data and comparison as I conduct a compliance test on several wheels that claim to have comfort at their core. The Hunt Proven wheels were a wheel that just blended into the bike, and I never suffered any fatigue due to a harsh, rigid feeling front end. In fact, I would say these wheels deliver the comfort of the Trail Wide alloy wheels, with a similar weight, but the lateral stiffness of the Enduro Wide alloy wheels, which are quite a bit heavier.

Durability

I had several large impacts on these wheels, and had the rim clanging-and-banging off any number of rocks and roots, but for a long time there were no failures or burps. Before I go into the eventual failure of this wheel, I want to preface it with my thoughts and expectations around what is reasonable to expect.

Firstly, shit happens. I rode these wheels for six months, and really battered them several times, and they stayed true and intact. Eventually, I hit my rim so hard that it sliced a tire open at the tread through a Cushcore Pro insert. The sheer noise at the time made me think I'd killed the rim.

A week later, after replacing the tire, I came off a drop while I was bracketing some suspension, and I blew the rear. It's so hard for me to say exactly what happened or be sure, but I think I damaged the wheel after the first impact, and then teased the damage out with the second. Coming off the drop, you do land in rough terrain, and as you do so you are trying to brake as you land to scrub speed. There is also a chance I just got on the brakes a fraction too early.

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I did my best to label the cracks to help show where the damage was. It looks like the whole box-section between the two spokes was damaged. You can also see cracks at the spoke holes.

If what happened was the first scenario, then it's actually quite an amazing thing that a rim can fail but still hold air. I've seen this before in E13's range when I worked on the World Cups. One of their rim revisions made this huge leap where yes, the rim would fail, but it would almost always get the rider home. If this is the case, then the subsequent and more spectacular failure is something that could have been prevented by me checking it more stringently. However, I'm afraid to say I just swapped the tire without thinking and carried on riding.

Ultimately, it is disappointing, and calling a product line Proven is asking for trouble. I think it should be raised that oftentimes the most frustrating part of product failure is often the downtime as you wait to get your bike back up and running, no matter how generous the warranty program is. It's also worth noting that at over 1900 grams these aren't particularly light, which may well negate or bypass one of the main reasons to get carbon rims in the first place for some. If you're paying more for a wheel that is heavier than it could be, it wouldn't be an unreasonable expectation for it to not fail.

All rims break if you push them hard enough. Any World Cup team could tell you that. The H-Care policy seems quite fair too. They'll either send you a new rim and pay your local bike shop's labour, or you can send it back to be relaced. For what it's worth, I enjoyed my time on these wheels and, despite the failure, I would still say they're a good product at fair price.

The hubs themselves on the wheels spun free and smooth for all the miles I rode on them. This is doubly impressive considering I rode them during a very wet South American spring before a long and wet Canadian winter.


Pros

+ A fair price for carbon wheels
+ A good blend between compliance and stiffness
Cons

- Rear rim failed
- Not especially light



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Proven Carbon wheels were going great... until they weren't. All things break, and Hunt's warranty does seem fair and comprehensive. While I wouldn't suggest that carbon rims are consumable, or it's not concerning, if you hit things hard into rocks sometimes they break. The ride characteristics of the wheels do what they set out to, with a nice blend of compliance, stiffness and weight, all for a reasonable price, too. Henry Quinney


Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
341 articles

200 Comments
  • 111 1
 the break isn't surprising, but the fact they will pay your LBS to relace a wheel is!

but ultimately, a 1900g wheelset for $1266 that still breaks, is the worst of both worlds.
  • 16 0
 To be fair to hunt nobody is buying their wheels full price very often they’ve got frequent good deals.
  • 25 6
 To be fair, I bought the XMC1200 after pinkbike broke them because everyone was selling them. Got a killer price on them.
"Firstly, shit happens. I rode these wheels for six months, and really battered them several times, and they stayed true and intact. Eventually, I hit my rim so hard that it sliced a tire open at the tread through a Cushcore Pro insert. The sheer noise at the time made me think I'd killed the rim."

I had that happen on them too. I chipped it a bit. They did not break. It's been 3.5 years I think.

Now, I'm convinced DT rims are very likely to be much better made than Hunt, but, honestly, one rim breaking doesn't mean they're bad or will break. Also mines are 1500gr lol. 1900g feels quite heavy indeed.

What's also interesting is that Pinkbike can destroy a brand by snapping fingers honestly. Anyone at pinkbike can break any rim, even the most bomb proof. And so can I. All it takes is one single really bad hit at the wrong spot. Having them break in test doesn't mean they're bad. Having them not break doesn't mean they're good.

Ultimately, I think Pinkbike editors while they think they're just being honest, should look a bit further than the tip of their nose when they post such articles. Either they think it broke when it should not have, cool, say that, we won't buy. or don't even post it, IMO.
  • 20 1
 @p1nkbike: I gotta disagree....what you are advocating is basically what Yelpers did back 10-15 years ago in an effort to curry favor. The only shit that gets posted is 5star and the bad experiences never get posted.

no one learns a thing from that, besides these shills are horrible, and nothing they say matters.
  • 3 1
 @Mtbdialed: Yelp is different, its thousand of reviews from users. Pinkbike is curated reviews from specialists. The opposite!
  • 3 0
 @p1nkbike: thousands of yelpers would disagree with you......1 star!
  • 1 0
 My wheels weigh the same, but are aluminum Flow’s with CK hubs. They were hand built right and haven’t had to touch a spoke in over 3 years. Some dings but nothing noticeably bent. And they were under $1000.
  • 1 0
 I find that if I put Hunt wheels on my P-train it makes a great combination.
  • 76 4
 We Are One Unions are currently comparably priced at $1275 USD *and* manufactured in North America if you care about such things.
  • 24 1
 Yeah, I'm not sure why anyone would buy these Hunt wheels over WAO. The Hunt alloys have bang for buck going for them, these don't. WAO have known brand hubs that are a lot easier to get parts for should you need to. I'd also take some Nobl with DT hubs over these hunt.
  • 3 0
 @eh-steve: Huge fan of my alloys. A few friends have bought the carbon ones and have had issues. Having the H_Care thing was worth it on their end though.
  • 10 2
 Can also get the new convergence rims laced to i9 101s right now from custom wheel builder in Colorado for a little over $1,300 with a promo they’re running right now for 10% off. Bought a set back in February from them during a similar promo and they’ve been flawless, strong builders and a stronger rim than the Union for about the same weight. Link: customwheelbuilder.com/products/we-are-one-convergence-triad-front-sector-rear-hand-built-mountain-disc-wheelset?variant=44522336321854
  • 30 4
 A Pinkbike carbon wheel review isn't complete without We Are One fans jumping into the comments!
  • 12 2
 I came here to say this: there's no way I'm buying Hunt wheels for the same price as WAO. These need to be at least a few hundred dollars cheaper than WAO for me to even give them a second glance, let alone contemplate actually buying them
  • 15 3
 @C1audio: It's not even about being fans, it's about pointing out the competition. WAO has done a great job with pricing and support, and that makes it an easy recommendation when you realize the importance of warranties with expensive carbon wheels
  • 9 9
 @C1audio: personally just a fan of avoiding stuff manufactured in Asia whenever feasible. If Hunt were made in the UK I wouldn't have bothered to comment.

At least Hunt are made in Taiwan and not communist China/Vietnam where the bicycle industry has been migrating for cheap goods. Taiwan is a progressive democracy but I would still rather support skilled jobs closer to home.
  • 2 1
 @jdejace: Seems like you know your stuff. Any good recommendations on companys that manufacturer their wheels in the US or Canada?
  • 3 0
 @noodlewitnosteeze: Revel and We Are One
  • 5 0
 @noodlewitnosteeze:

Carbon rims: We Are One, Enve, Zipp, the ever expanding Fusion Fiber products (Revel, Evil, Chris King, Forge and Bond)

Hubs: Industry Nine, Onyx, Chris King, Hadley, White Industries, Profile, Project 321
  • 3 0
 @C1audio: LOL! So true. But it's not like the WAO fan's enthusiasm is misplaced in any way.
  • 7 0
 @C1audio: true, although like with Trickstuff brakes, Manitou suspension and Shimano Deore drivetrains, there's usually some truth to the comments.
  • 2 1
 @C1audio: shimano > Sram…sorry, wrong thread
  • 2 0
 Not knocking WAO, just classic PB
  • 3 1
 Can't really compare Hunt's price to WAO when WAO never has anything in stock.
  • 1 0
 @chriskneeland: just a heads up, WAO and several big US etailers (Backcountry, Evo, Jenson, TPC, Fanatik... to name a few) have WAO union and convergence wheelsets in 29 or 27.5 in stock right now
  • 1 0
 @TannerValhouli: Good to know. Been watching the site for the set that I want to come back in stock.
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: they are often in stock in bike shops. they aren’t a purely consumer direct operation.
  • 2 0
 @eh-steve: Would love to pick up some WAO wheels but unfortunately the dealer/distributor/support here in Aus is non-existent (unlike Hunt who have nailed their distributor logistics).
  • 1 0
 @chriskneeland: call the shop. Or email.
  • 1 0
 After running both Reverve's and WAO's personally I go with Reserve's again for my next build. Yes I destroy wheels, and the Reverve is better quality, better finish, and better warranty support than the WAO
  • 37 0
 So…the design isn’t proven right?
  • 56 0
 proven to have its limitations
  • 32 0
 And so, the hunt for the ideal wheelset continues.
  • 6 0
 Depends what they wanted to prove.
  • 35 4
 So they expensive compared to alloy rims, heavier compared to alloy rims and still break. I’m struggling to see the upside here.

Based on the way I ride I haven’t dinged a set of ex471’s in 3 years (they will now break this weekend) so for me this rim is strong enough. So a carbon one needs to be lighter and give a better ride characteristic to be even worthy of consideration otherwise why bother with the extra cost?
  • 52 4
 Cleary these wheels might not be for you, and I think this is where we all seem to get lost in our thinking. If youre not dinging alloy rims, and they provide the feel youre after, then youre golden. Not all products are a solution for everyone, the beauty is you get to decide.

For me, I could easily go through 3-4 alloy wheels in a season, didnt really matter much which brand, I could dent, ding, break, etc pretty well anything I tried. I started to use more value priced rims, cause there was little sense buying and lacing DTSwiss rims only to get an extra couple weeks out of them.

Finally, I decided to give some carbon hoops a go, and its been 2 seasons, not even having to touch them. Nothing, no dings, no broken spokes, not even a half turn with a spoke wrench. Couple that, with a more precise feeling on the front, and increased rigidity on the rear, and i'm a happy guy. It also means the price of the wheels has been offset by having to repair/replace the alu hoops I'd go through in a season.

So, a product might not make sense for you, thats fine, dont buy the product, easy peasy. But the product might make sense for others.
  • 9 6
 I am with you. I love that carbon wheels never need truing, but they simply can't handle rock strikes that directly hit the rim. EX471s are the truth. I will keep running carbon on the light trail bike, but I also ride it in a way that keeps the wheel in mind. On the enduro, I have given up hope of a carbon wheel surviving.
  • 2 0
 I killed a rear XM481 in like 3 weeks, the front was still going strong with maybe a half dozen total broken spokes after 4.5 years. Only aluminum rear wheel I've had hold up is a Spank, but the first one cracked after about a season. Not a SINGLE dent though-would just put a hole in the tire instead. Warranty replacement held up for several seasons, just took it off because I wanted to try carbon wheels. Hoping my WAOs hold up. The big advantage of carbon wheels for me is not having to touch them. I don't like working on wheels very much.
  • 8 0
 @CobyCobie: I am convinced that for rocky, hard riding, 30mm rims are too wide. Better to have a little more tire sticking out as overlap so the rim itself slots through, and you have more energy going to both rim walls on off-angle hits. 25mm rims just seem to survive better. They are good enough for Jesse Melamed to win EWS on, too, so I won't hear anything about them not being good enough in *any* way. Inserts overlap them at thicker points as well.
  • 59 0
 @ksilvey10: most people on Pinkbike ride significantly harder and faster than Jesse Melamed.
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: Spot on. As a heavy and pretty aggressive rider carbon hoops work for me. Not the light weight ones mind. you. The burliest I can find because I got sick and tired of truing and replacing allows all season long.

I do tend to run inserts and higher pressures than some. It's pretty rare for me to have a rock get all the way to the rim though the insert so I can't help but think that in this case Henry may have been running his pressures too low if he found rock bottom that many times. Doesn't seem that far to make a thing of the failure if you're going to ride like that.
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: 100% couldn’t agree more !
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Question - you noted you got carbon wheels but was it this brand/model or do you just mean in general? I was also gonna say that yeah, the break risk may exist (for any product) but I still have yet to go up to carbon wheels and do not know what the feeling would be front & rear...that sounds pretty juicy and kinda worth the risk, but if the warranty is replacement via factor or repair w/ paid labor, that doesn't sound too bad.

Also what kind of riding are you dont' on these - and guessing it may not be suitalbe for DH bikes?
  • 2 0
 @ksilvey10: Not disagreeing those may work but rocky hard stuff's about all I ride and my 30's are just fine...no pinch flats in 3 yrs since installing cush. I'm sure if I went back to 25s I might be able to tell, but - no ripoffs, pinches - nuttin. Workin' just fine. I think there's a wider range of things that work maybe.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: probably so. I would like to get my hands on some new FR541s and see how it goes but the 471s have definitely been the best thing for me at Shepherd Mtn (which, to be fair, is pretty extreme when it comes to smacking into granite at all angles)
  • 1 2
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I'm heavy, and ride heavy, I ride big bikes and small bikes, like theyre DH bikes.
I raced XC and DH bikes for years, moved to enduro, and mostly use an Enduro bike everywhere. Now a Spire, previous was an alu Sentinel. I also have a Fugitive for a "little" bike.
I ride in very rocky areas, and have little mechanical sympathy. I ride like I dont have to buy the parts, simply because thts when I'm having the most fun, and its the only way I know how

I run WAO Unions, 25rear, 23 front, full full fat cushcore (because I like the feel, rather than for rim protection)
  • 3 0
 @Dustfarter: That's fair - but I think 1 KG tyre and a downhill insert at 28PSI is ample for trail riding.
  • 1 0
 @ksilvey10: I go through a 2 rear tires a season typically due to punctures/wear.
I ride in very rocky areas, with little mechanical sympathy, WAO Unions, with DHF/Disscetor combo, full fat Cushcore 25r/23f. I ride park, DH, and everyhting else on them on my Spire. I'm on my bike 4-5 times a week.

I also have a Fugitive as my "small" bike, that I coach on, its been short traveled to 120r/140f, I also run CushCore XC in those wheels.

I havent had an issue yet, so the wheels have already paid for them selves. There is no downside for me, as durability takes precedence over weight and price
  • 2 0
 @ksilvey10: For truly rocky, hard downhill riding you should probably be contemplating better tire carcasses or inserts.
  • 1 0
 @ksilvey10: Those wheels seem amazing
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: might I suggest some Michelin Wild enduro race line tires or the dh 34/22 with an incredibly tough carcass for someone who seems to like that indestructible feel. Much more supportive than anything from Maxxis. I'd try them without inserts before going through the trouble of installing them with these much thicker sidewalls
  • 1 0
 @mtb-thetown: I’ve run heavier tires, and don’t like the wooden or dead feel generally.
I run EXO casing tires, and don’t have any side wall issues really. My punctures come from sharp rocks or cactus, that, and wearing them out on the rocky terrain.

That being said, I haven’t run Michelin tires for ages, so I’ll give them a go on the next tire change to see what I think.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: I run DH casings and a large vittoria air liner. The problem is, sometimes rocks hit the rim directly on the side, not through the tire. That's how I have completely broken two. Not every rock strike goes through rubber and foam, first.
  • 34 1
 Mike Hunt is broken?
  • 16 3
 Only because Dick Pound got involved.
  • 24 0
 For the same money, you can get a wheel set plus a spare rear wheel set up with DT Swiss 350s and something like one of the beefier DT Swiss or Spank alloy rims. That way, you have a spare wheel if/when you do hit your rear (it's always the rear...) wheel hard enough to need a new rim - and lacing up a new one is only going to cost you the price of a rim, maybe new spokes, and a bit of labor. No downtime - and alloy wheels tend to fail fairly gracefully, so you will probably make it off the mountain with a long walk. Bonus - if/when the inevitable happens, you toss the busted rim in the recycling bin, as that's one of the world's most recyclable materials (as opposed to the carbon fiber rim - where best case, it might get taken back by a manufacturer that then spends a lot of labor and energy to chop it up and turn it into low value "recycled" material for things like bottle cages - more about greenwashing than actual recycling).
  • 1 0
 Underrated comment.
  • 7 1
 For cars, Miata Is Always The Answer. For MTB wheels, DT is Always the Answer. Always.
  • 4 0
 @wyorider: If DT Swiss alloy rims are the Miatas of mtb wheels then Spanks are the Camrys- it don't handle the same but good god can you treat them like shit
  • 3 1
 @ryanandrewrogers: I don't love Spank hubs (meh pawl design) but the rims are a pleasure to build and they're tough!!
  • 3 0
 Spank rims are beautiful to look at and seems as tough as anything. Very happy with mine - no dings with a Nukeproof insert in nearly a year of poor line choices and casing jumps.
  • 2 0
 Heart my 32h 359s. Many gouges and scrapes from contact with rocks, both loose and embedded.
  • 16 0
 Hunt's customer service team are good. I found getting a replacement in the past pretty drama free. But it has to be that way, as the products are mediocre. Won't be buying anything else from them. And this sounds like a continuation of the way they do things. Just cheap OEM stuff, bundled together with Hunt engravings on them, marketed to hell, and with fair warranties on them.
  • 11 0
 Ah, the Skullcandy method.
  • 2 0
 I haven't seen them as it used to be but they had a super aggressive media/forum/msg board/fb comments team spreading "the word". You couldn't debate wheel sets without someone praising hunt as the second coming.
  • 14 0
 Imagine designing one of the heaviest carbon wheels that are on par with aluminium wheels on the market and it still cracks
  • 3 0
 Imagine the suckers paying a premium for stuff like this......or machined cranks......or overcomplicated dropper posts.....
  • 3 0
 @wyorider: You mean like $400 Fox Transfer posts with a completely flawed airshaft o-ring seal design, that leaks air consistently overtime -- forcing the user to machine a grove and run a stiffer o-ring? When you can get a fully serviceable PNW for half the cost?
  • 11 0
 Tearing a tire is one thing, but pinch flatting a tire through a CushCore Pro insert is another. I think he either got very unlucky or he needs to put a few more PSI into his rear tire. From my personal experience of playing with different tire casings, inserts, and PSI, I have found the PSI makes the biggest difference for protecting rims, then inserts, then casings. But maybe that's just my experiences. This may have been quite an abusive test on the rims. That said, maybe another rim would have withstood the punishment better.
  • 5 0
 My experience has been similar, PSI matters more than anything.

I really like the way CushCore feels, and it’s great that you can finish a stage flat, but I’ve noticed essentially zero protective benefit. I have just as many pinch flats with or without it, running the same pressure.
Sharp rocks, at least under my fat ass, slice through the foam like it’s not even there.
  • 2 0
 Rim flange design matters. I don't think I've pinch flatted a tire since going to WAO rims. Last pinch flat was on an ARC30 with Cushcore. I don't even run inserts anymore.
  • 5 0
 sometimes, there is simply nothing you can do...

I have this trail by me that has a very particular rock. if you hit it, you are getting a flat. period. 20psi, 40psi, insert, carbon, AL......flat. The ownder of the bike shop at the bottom of the trail system, calls the rock "vacation fund". lol

some people ride like they are invincible, then after making a terrible line choice, blame everything except themselves.
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed: Lol "vacation fund rock". That's a good point. I'm certainly guilty of that sometimes.

I'm just trying to suggest that maybe this broken rim review isn't very fair. Maybe any rim would have broken they way he set it up and rode it. We may never know!
  • 13 0
 This is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising I've seen since "The Neverending Story"
  • 3 0
 "Proven" is such a ridiculous name for a new product line
  • 1 0
 Lol!
  • 1 0
 It does not do what it says on the tin! ...or, they didn't say what they are proven to be. Replaceable comes to mind.
  • 10 0
 Hunt carbon wheels were a deal when they were ~$750. But at close to $1300, the competition is about the same price, just as durable (or maybe moreso), and lighter.
  • 6 0
 For sure. NOBL TR37s (similar intended use) start there or less in some cases. And even less in certain sales.
  • 7 1
 @iduckett: or just buy LItebike wheels, and forgo the NOBL branding, for less
  • 1 1
 @onawalk: That depends, if you opt for the lifetime warranty they're actually comparable (looking at the same build kits). *cough*IMBA deal*cough* ftw
  • 3 0
 @onawalk: Are the newer series wheels still the same? I cant find anything on Litebikes website that looks like the newer Nobl series wheels except the Recon Pro rim but its wave pattern looks more exaggerated thand the TR37's.
  • 3 0
 @iduckett: I’ve seen a lot of broken TR37s in the past 12 months… WeAreOne is the way
  • 1 0
 Yeah, if they were around the 750usd/$1000cad range, they would be a compelling argument here, and I fell like that used to be Hunt's niche. Maybe not the cheapest and not the absolute best, but the price/performance ratio was right. With these it seems tough to tell if that's still the case
  • 1 0
 @Takaya94: Prolly not,
Why do you need the newest version?
is there something about the previous ones that doesnt fit our needs?
  • 2 0
 @TannerValhouli: To each their own - broken rims or spokes? Mine have been solid, quite a few square edge rocks straight to the rim with no damage. I like the ride feel and quiet ride compared to my old WTB alloys. WeAreOne were also on my shortlist, but timing didn't work out with sales and when I needed them.
  • 1 0
 @iduckett: seen a concerning number of rim failures.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: The newer ones have a good list of improvements over the old. You can read about it on their website.

Honestly I've been pretty stoked on the set of TR32s I've gotten from them. They handle repeated 6-8ft drops at my local park and did great for me on my last trip to do TWE. Thats all on their cross country rim, so Imagine the TR37 is pretty solid.
  • 1 0
 @Takaya94: I get it, but….what is it about the previous gen that you didn’t like?
Like, if you don’t wear out a MaxxGrip tire in a season, just because Maxxis comes out with a longer lasting tire, (which is perceived as better) it doesn’t actually offer any benefit to you.

So while there shou,d very well be differences between the new and old one, if the those differences don’t bring any value, then we should be questioning whether or not there’s any need to pay more, buy more, get new shit, other than our dumb monkey brain wanting MORE.

Being stoked on what you’ve got is great, Litebike still makes the NOBL rims, so anything other than cosmetic changes would filter into their rims as well
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: Thats how it works with most products though, just marginal improvements throughout the years. ?Also there aren't many wheels that provide that kind of strength and versatility at sub 1400g for a set. I was thinking about the older TR33's but these weren't much more, are lighter, and came with a lifetime warranty when they didnt offer that on the older rims at the time. So plenty of reasons to go for it over the old gen.

I have a Specialized rockhopper from 2005 thats still kicking but just because it hasnt snapped doesnt mean I'm gonna only ride that and buy nothing else until its dead.

I talked to Nobl and the newer series wheels are of their own design. Just because they are made in the same factory does not make them the same. If that were true then all bikes are basically Merida or Giant since they make bikes for most brands. Its more complicated than that.
  • 1 0
 @TannerValhouli: That is interesting to hear. I do know if NOBL thinks if you're outside your intended use in your broken wheel warranty issue, they recommend going to a burlier rim design. So unless you know where these folks were sending it or JRA, I'm not concerned... Not speaking from confirmation bias/fanboism because I own them (and I will continue to smash 'em), just purely from an objective POV.
  • 1 0
 @Takaya94: I understand the concept of marginal improvements, my question to you was,

Why do you need the newest version?
is there something about the previous ones that doesnt fit our needs?

Which you kinda walked around, until this post.
You’re obviously free to buy what you want, I was wondering what prompted you to buy the newer version.

Obviously Nobl is going to tell you that it’s their own design, and completely different from what the manufacturer they use does, that’s marketing.
And while the new ones might be a different rim from Lites, the truth is, it was simply a different sticker for years, you were simply buying a brand name.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Dude, no one needs the newest version, you dont even need a bike. Thats all wants. I doubt your're driving a 1989 honda civic, so why are you driving a nicer car when that would do the trick? People, like you I bet, have sold older bikes to get new ones, why did you do that? Also, the part about the previous one that doesnt fit my wants or "needs" was listed in the last comment... the previous version had no lifetime warranty, weighed more, and was less resistant to damage. I got something better in all those areas and more for only $100 more.. Light wheels tend to break to its good to know I can get a replacement if needed.

Do you think Merida's bikes are identical to Specialized? They're manufactured at the same place so I guess they are all exactly the same. I think you forget that yes, there is plenty of marketing hype, but also things do actually develop, change, and improve. Thats why bikes are as good as they are now.
  • 1 0
 @Takaya94: I think you misunderstood my last comment, I should have put quotation marks around

"Why do you need the newest version?
is there something about the previous ones that doesnt fit our needs?"

As that was the part that I was referring to you not answering at first, I then noted that you did provide reasoning for wanting the newer version.

I actually do drive around in a near 20 year old truck, as it fits my needs still, runs well, and anything newer just has more/bigger screens, and more gizmos. I'll run that truck until it dies, or the costs of repairs outweigh the costs of purchasing something else. Then it'll likely be another used truck.....

I'm not trying to antagonize you here, I was simply asking a slightly leading question.

And if I'm honest, its all hype man, everything we are being sold is hype. Yes Meridas bikes are pretty well near identical to Specialized, and Treks, and Transitions, and so on. We are being tribalized into thinking that these insignifigant differences have some sort of meaning, take a step back from it, and be honest with yourself. You think you can "feel" the 100 gram difference? Did you weigh em, against the old ones, prolly not.
You think you can "feel" a 12% increase in stiffness, come on, we cant, but we eat that shit up.

Glad youre happy with your wheels, hope they provide everything youre looking for
  • 8 0
 1) CushCore does zero to protect against tire slices. I run them in both tires and still run a rear DD tire for that reason.

2) I'd rather ding a bead than crack a rim-all day.

3) You want proven, reliable 2kg wheels, DT has some nice alloy ones for less money. And when you do bust a rim (it happens) a new one is something like $130
  • 3 1
 Oh yeah, and DT hubs aren't pawl driven Asian garbage.

*not all pawl driven hubs are garbage.
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: I wouldn't call Asian hubs garbage. That said, they aren't really close to DT for quality.
  • 1 0
 @NWBasser: Shimano invented the freehub. Their hubs are good (and a screaming deal) if you're willing to bust out the cone wrenches once a year. Joytech and Formula hubs......not so good.

It's really annoying that so many companies are just using "meh" pawl driven guts, having their logo etched on the shell and claiming their hubs are in any way proprietary or premium. Kind of like companies that machine parts that are much better made cold forged and claiming that to be any kind of benefit.

But.....the sheeple believe..............
  • 1 0
 @NWBasser: are DT Swiss hubs not made in Asia?
  • 1 1
 @jdejace: Switzerland as far as I know.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: Shimano invented the freewheel, not the freehub. But I do love their hubs and have them on 4 sets of wheels from SLX to XTR because they are a screaming deal and feel great.
  • 8 1
 I bought a set of NukeProof Horizon V2 wheels 2 seasons ago b/c they were the only complete wheel still available for 142x12 in a reasonable price (since skyrocketed). That wheel is still straight and true and I've managed to snap one spoke.
Has a thumb width dent in the profile facing the cassette.

I could have bought 3 sets of those wheels for this price and have 6 years or more worth of wheel life.
  • 4 0
 I bought a Horizon V2 rear wheel and flat spotted it beyond repair in less than 2 months of riding. Most carbon rims I've used have fared much better, and if I do break them I get a new one for free. If you don't have a problem breaking wheels, then yeah, carbon probably isn't for you.
  • 1 0
 I have 2 sets of hunt alloy wheels (their enduro and trail wheels). I’ve had the enduro set for a year and they have 1 small dent and have stayed as true as any other alloy wheels I’ve had. For ~500 a set I don’t see a reason to go for the carbon ones they have been solid.
  • 1 0
 @ranchitup: had a similar experience with them. Wouldn’t buy again and their customer support through CRC was crap.
  • 4 1
 @TannerValhouli: well...considering every customer service experience between 2020 & 2023 was handled by a guy sitting alone in his pajamas at his house wearing a mask & quite possibly a condom....I am using 2023 as the year I start re-grading customer support.

If I hear even the slightest echo in the background, I'll assume you're dropping a deuce and WILL downgrade the "experience" accordingly. And for crying out loud...put the dog out if you're gonna be professional.
  • 1 0
 @ranchitup: Being light and riding light means I can save a lot using alloy rims. I don't ding or break wheels and so carbon doesn't make a lot of sense for my particular situation. That said, I'd like to find a way to justify a set of Convergence wheels.
  • 1 0
 @NWBasser: I'm the opposite. Carbon makes zero sense to me because I break rims regardless of material. Short legs, zero finesse...and the shortest distance between two points
  • 1 0
 I had the V1's and loved them until the freehub body grenaded itself and broken pawls floating around cracked the press fit freehub ratchet ring. For anyone looking I bought a new one from Novatec: part # RR-42T-PF or BF-NV-RR-42T-PF and pawl kit PWL-6P-42T. Even though Nukeproof swore I couldn't get parts for it anymore.

V2's I think are actually a proprietary design (102T ratchet is not shared between other Novatec designs??), but it would be worth reaching out to them (and not Nukeproof) if you have had the issue. Email carrie@novatecusa.net. If no luck you should update here so others know...
  • 1 0
 @iduckett: What are the chances Benduro Hobb's Factor Components internals are the same?
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: Not 100% sure but the ABG (AntiBiteGuard) on the factor freehub body is def a Novatec/Nukeproof thing. So probably similar internals... If the ratchet rings are replaceable (PF or threaded) maybe you could use a different ratchet ring with the compatible freehub body (or maybe even just the right pawl kit? the FHB looks very similar). But not worth the issue to throw money at IMO, unless you're confident it fits. So yea... Could be worth a chat with Factor.
  • 15 9
 I've ridden aluminium rims since the huck-to-flat, Sun Rim Double-Wide days. Put a few dings in an aluminium rim - no problem, you can ride that sucker home. When they break you don't have to save up for weeks to buy a new one - plus, the old rim goes in the recycling bin!

I've ridden a few carbon rims and have always been totally underwhelmed by them. No notable difference in ride feel... other than that burning thought in the back of my mind of how expensive and potentially catastrophic it might be when the carbon fails. I asked myself why I was using them and couldn't find a good enough answer.

Will I shave milliseconds off my Strava time by using carbon rims? Yeah maybe... but who cares? Who really cares about anything? Life is pointless.

Anyway aluminium is better.
  • 33 0
 That escalated quickly.
  • 6 0
 that took a turn. Need a hug??
  • 7 2
 Can only speak of the hubs on this particular wheelset, they're cheap, rebranded, low quality items. First off, end caps on front hub were full of burrs and covered in swarf, bearing failed in about 6 weeks, then again shortly after. The rear freehub split at the base of the pawl, bearings were short lived. Thankfully their warranty is really good and replacements were with me ASAP. But would never buy again.
  • 5 0
 I will say that Hunt's customer service is exemplary. Whether it's answering a technical service question, or a spare or replacement part, they have been super responsive and helpful in the entire two years I've been beating the crap out of my V2 EnduroWides. That said, it's only fair to mention that Henry did think he killed the rim when he mega-smashed it the first time - guess he was right! Everything breaks if you hit it hard enough
  • 1 0
 Hoping that this is true as I just cracked the rear rim on my set of Provens... I filed my warranty claim with Hunt on the 8th and as of now still haven't heard back.
  • 2 0
 @krustykarlos: Hi there. We have just sent you a message so we can chase this up for you.
  • 1 0
 @HuntBikeWheels: Ready for round 2. Just submitted another warranty ticket for my rear wheel.
  • 5 0
 I can have a set of DT Swiss 240’s on EX471’s for less money.

-Stronger and more impact resistant
-Same weight
-More compliant (carbon wheels are far too stiff for me)

I have a pair of 481’s on hopes that have completed over 6000miles and 1,000,000ft of descending. No cracks, no dents, a few broken spokes.
  • 3 0
 Same weight???

I'd guess the DT setup to be lighter.
  • 8 0
 insert generic i never break/i break everything comment here.
  • 7 0
 I never break WAO rims and I always breakfast
  • 8 0
 Cheap - Light - Durable
....pick....erm, none?
  • 1 3
 they are cheap though? Aren't these the cheapest carbon wheels on the market?
  • 3 0
 @Will762: might depend on your location but WeAreOne Unions are cheaper for many.
  • 6 0
 So carbon wheels means lighter and more robust? LOL.
I got DT Swiss EXC1501 with DT-240 hub at 1700gm for about the same money. What's the reason to stick with Hunt?
  • 3 0
 Mostly what I gained from this article is that Conti's DH tires are SO light compared to the others listed. 1500 gram enduro tires? That's terrible! But, 1200 gram DH tires? Awesome!

And they're good: being run by a bunch of teams, even ones with title sponsors that make tires. Also getting wins already.
  • 1 0
 Came here to say same thing...and I am a Vittoria fan with trail Mazza and Agarro w / rear insert.
Not sure why they are so damn heavy.
  • 1 1
 I think if you compare them to other brand's they're not some crazy outlier in terms of weight, although they're still too light for my liking. I think it instead reflects that Vittoria uses the term enduro too broadly.
  • 1 0
 Kryptotal DH weight around 1300, not 1200. Still light though.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Henry, are you able to get the "Mod" tag, or maybe could Pinkbike make a new tag for employees/contributors that aren't going to be mods? It would be good to be able to easily tell in the comments who represents PB, or who is just a random guy on the internet, without having to read everybody's username.
  • 3 0
 You can't say: "it's nice to have a wheelset that is quite simply good or it's not, without having to question whether one, two or three dents are enough to warrant replacement"

And then say: "I think I damaged the wheel after the first impact, and then teased the damage out with the second"

You're contradicting yourself and emphasizing the reason some people already stay away from carbon. You can't always tell if carbon is damaged.
  • 5 0
 This thread: "They have a great warranty!" vs "I bent it back with a crescent wrench and rode it for another two seasons!"
  • 2 0
 I've been running a set of these since early November and just cracked the rear rim last week. Hindsight is 20/20 and if I had known could get aluminum reserves with a lifetime warranty for less, I would have done that. Here we are. What I really wanted was lifetime warranty on my wheels as I don't want to be limited in my riding.

My thoughts - the wheels ride great and I'm a fan of the trail feel. Durability is lacking, I broke the rear rim under normal riding conditions and get this, I've been recovering from a shattered knee cap which has meant reeling back my usual pace as I ride cautiously. I wanted to believe the marketing, but given the outcome of Henry's review and of my own experience, these are just plain lacking in the durability department. A shame.

Lifetime warranty - I submitted the warranty claim as of Thursday last week and have not gotten a response. A follow up email that I sent this morning was met with a stock reply. I'm still hopeful that they'll get back to me soon and assist me generously, but I don't think I'd recommend these to a friend. Especially given the price increase.
  • 1 0
 Hunt has since reached out and a new wheel is already on its way. Ups for good customer service. Doesn't excuse the conditions under which the rim broke, but getting back on the trails ASAP is the next best thing.
  • 12 13
 i've seen more of these broken than any other carbon rim
  • 10 3
 @yahmon: You're full of it.
  • 5 0
 @yahmon: I call BS
  • 5 1
 @yahmon: You've seen more WAO Union rims fail than any other?
  • 5 4
 @onawalk: just callin' 'em as I see 'em
  • 5 4
 @yahmon: thats not an answer to my question.
Curious what shop, or bike park you work at?
Is it possible youre just seeing more WAO wheels than others?

WAO, wheels, around here anyway, prolly outnumber all others by 2 to 1, so there would be a potential that you might see more failures over others. Keeping in mind, WAO's get bought up bu those that destroy rims, not those looking for the lightest rim out there, so the use case is completely different.
  • 3 2
 @onawalk: Looked through his comments a bit, and it looks like he works at a bikeshop on the east coast (VT), so he may very well see a plenty of bikes.

But I think you make a good point that people buying these rims are specifically doing so because they're tired of destroying alu rims and are wanting to take advantage of the warranty. This combined with their popularity means that you might simply see a larger number of these rims in for replacement.

Realistically, you can't make a genuine assessment of durability without comparing the riding styles and failure rates across a broad dataset. I don't think a guy making snarky comments about his anecdotal experience at his local bike ship qualifies as that.

Minimally, we know that WeAreOne replaces all damaged wheels with brand new wheels, including shipping them to your door, free of cost. So if they were failing at a spectacular rate, their business would be taking a substantial hit.
  • 4 3
 Another vote for just getting carbon wheels, especially WAO. Cracked my rear Union on a rock that would have destroyed an alloy wheel on the first lap in the morning and was able to keep riding all day. WAO had a new wheel sent out the next day and was back riding in less than a week. $50 for shipping from Canada to the US and then $90 for a rebuild still makes it come out cheaper than a new DT rim and I have never had to worry about trueing the WAO's.
  • 3 0
 They make you pay $69 extra for the lifetime guarantee. Seems silly eh? Just bake it into the price.
  • 2 1
 If it's the exact same product, you're paying for insurance
  • 4 0
 Hi there, Proven Carbon products include a free lifetime warranty, there is no additional cost. Obviously, we hope you never have to use it, but it is there if you need it and we aim to have you back out on your bike again ASAP.
  • 2 0
 Never ridden these, but their aluminum enduro v2 wheelset is cheap and bomber so far after a few hundred miles of “enduro” riding.
  • 1 0
 I just got a pair a week ago for 400, I love the feel so far and feel way beefier then my stock bontrager rims
  • 1 0
 I think the shallower depth, compliance optimized rims are ultimately not as strong vs impacts. At least that's what Light Bicycle says. The deeper curve of the structure helps in those situations.
  • 1 1
 There's a very similar review on www.singletrackworld.com where the front rim failed, they maybe named proven but in less than 10 minutes I've seen two reviews that proven they will fail, I've been running Reserves for 4 years and not had to tighten a nipple.
  • 2 0
 I don’t get it. You could buy alloy wheels that are lighter AND stronger for half the price. What is the point of these wheels??
  • 1 0
 Carbon rims cracking seems to be one of the boxes titled "is a carbon rim" I've not met anyone who owns one (and these are normal people) who haven't cracked one at some point.
  • 4 1
 About 500 grams overweight for the price. And they still failed. LOL
  • 3 0
 Victoria's new Enduro tire is 1,500g??? Is the DH version 1,800 each?
  • 1 0
 *still failed even with tire inserts!
  • 1 0
 *Vittoria
  • 3 0
 Henry reinforcing his farming roots: "Putting them out to stud"
  • 3 0
 concerned that doing this might void the lifetime warranty
  • 3 0
 Can you peel the tacky decals off?
  • 1 0
 Aw sick, same rim front and rear....
Just 30mm instead of 33-35 front and 30-33 rear sick!
5* poe rando hubs rad!
Crackin performance? Awsome.
  • 1 0
 Broke my rear rim on friday. Had a insert in the back and 29 psi. Filled out the warranty claim on friday but didn't heard anything.
  • 1 0
 @HuntBikeWheels still heard nothing
  • 2 0
 I guess they're UNproven....
  • 1 0
 Another Hunt fail then. Overpriced, heavy and they break after 6 months. No reason anyone should but these imo.
  • 3 0
 Proven to break
  • 2 0
 Will never buy wheels with carbon rims, waste of money for a gravity bike.
  • 3 0
 So, not proven then?
  • 1 0
 When they can’t make a reliable wheelset - hubs or rims - they call it Proven to trick the Google searches
  • 1 0
 A manageable price for when something like this happens
  • 5 4
 Proven wrong, apparently. A rim failing during a demo is unacceptable.
  • 7 0
 I'm not sure what you mean by "demo"? He said they failed after 6mo. All wheels will fail eventually. I think really the value of these comes down to how good / quick the warranty turns around your replacement. I get that they aren't going to do that for a review sample, but would've been good to know
  • 2 1
 @Will762: A $1,266 wheelset failing in 6 months of their expected use is unacceptable. There ftfy.
  • 1 0
 @yoimaninja: remember when Thibaut Dapréla's top of the range ENVE front carbon rim exploded during his run at Snowshoe? carbon is not indestructable
  • 5 1
 @yoimaninja: Carbon rims don't care about how long you've been riding them. If they take a large enough impact they will break. We don't really know how bad the impact was and whether or not it was unacceptable for them to break. You can't expect a product to be indestructible.
  • 1 0
 @jokermtb @ranchitup: Sure not expecting it to be indestructible, but at that price point I sure as shit would expect it to last longer than 6 months of, keyword, expected use. If riding over rocks, drops, jumps etc. doesnt count as expected use then these aren't enduro wheels. I'm sure Thibaut was expecting more too! That said, a sample size of 1 is not a great indicator. But as a consumer, this isn't doing em any favors of convincing me to buy it.
  • 2 0
 @yoimaninja: Using these wheels in their expected environment I had my rear rim fail on me. Riding a chunky trail with adequate tire pressure six months after purchasing. I expected these not to be indestructible but to put up with years of abuse at least. It's worth noting that I broke the rear rim riding a 130/130 trail bike. Waiting to hear back from warranty now.
  • 2 1
 Now we can get strong alloy rims with lifetime warranties...why go carbon?
  • 3 1
 Cause I'm likely to still break alu rims, and theres still the cost of getting them built, and the down time. Some of us go through alu rims more readily than others, and they ride differently, my carbon wheels are stiff and precise, but not overly harsh or jarring
  • 2 0
 haha
  • 3 2
 Generic, junk hubs on fragile rims. Sign me up Barnum.
  • 1 0
 Never gonna be good when the third paragraph talks about failure
  • 1 0
 dang bruh
  • 1 1
 What is their warranty?
  • 2 0
 Last I had checked - they had a standard factory warranty if you buy just the wheelset, but they offer a paid program that offers free crash/crack replacement. Not sure how down in the weeds that gets, just an extra option.
  • 1 0
 I'm about to find out, just cracked the rear rim of my set of Provens. The warranty is free repair/replacement minus shipping costs as far as I can see. I'm not aiming to pay shipping costs as my set broke within 6 months as well, though I did get them at a better price point.
  • 1 0
 The warranty process that I heard back on this morning was pain-free. They are shipping me a complete new wheel and paying for shipping costs. They are requesting that I ship back the damaged wheel for investigation, but are also paying shipping costs for that as well as courier pickup. The only inconvenience is packing the wheel up, which is minor. Obviously, the new wheel hasn't arrived yet but it's looking like an easy and quick warranty process, which is a relief.
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