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HED Ardennes Plus Black Clincher Wheelset

  • HED Ardennes Plus Black Clincher Wheelset
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HED Ardennes Plus Black Clincher Wheelset

Product Description

General Information

The new dictum:  wide is fast. Hed started the wide rim revolution, and this Ardennes Plus Black kicks it up a notch. The rim is 25mm wide, 2mm wider than their C2, and 6mm wider than the old 19mm width, which used to be common across the industry.

Basically, Hed saw that their C2 reduced rolling resistance and improved aerodynamics. So they decided to go wider still. They actually kept the weight the same as the C2, but changed the shape of the spoke-side of the rim-better strength and aerodynamics. The result is a rim 24.5mm deep, with an internal width of 21mm, and a bead and channel that can work with tubeless tires.

As this is a shallow-depth aluminum rim, it has great acceleration and excellent ride quality. It is also impressively light for aluminum, 1430g for the set.

Hed laces the wheels with bladed spokes to Sonic hubs, which are Hed’s house design. The hubs are flangeless front, calling for eighteen straight-pull spokes. The rear hub has been improved. It utilizes straight-pull spokes and a new pawl system. There are now five pawls and 45 teeth, allowing the cassette body to engage faster and more securely when transitioning from freewheeling to driving.

Hed recommends 100psi max tire pressure regardless of tire size. In their testing, with the increased air volume that 25mm rims produce, a 23mm wide tire at 100psi is the equivalent of 120psi with a traditional 19mm wide rim (the 23mm width actually goes up, as the measurement is based on installing the tire on a 19mm rim). And that added volume means both greater comfort and reduced rolling resistance. So if you’re interested in light weight and aerodynamics, go with tires 22-24mm wide (don’t go narrower than 22mm). If you’re willing to sacrifice some aerodynamics for greater comfort and possibly less rolling resistance, go wider. Up to 55mm 29er tires will fit.

The Black of the name refers to the surface treatment of the brake track. It’s black, and stays black. That’s the result of Hed improving on the braking with their Turbine Braking Technology (TBT). This is a permanent surface treatment that reduces dry-weather braking distances by 25% and wet-weather braking distances by 70%. As this is a directional technology, make sure you’ve lined up the wheel in the proper direction. Hed also recommends starting the wheels off with fresh brake pads, so as not to chance embedded shards scratching the finish. To keep it pristine, they recommend black-colored alloy rim-specific pads as well.

The Plus design rim is tubeless compatible. The wheels come with their own extra-wide rim tape, which is essential for tubeless, and is a really good idea for tubed. It’s also thinner and lighter than conventional rim strips. So the wheels come set up for tubed clinchers, but can be converted to tubeless with the addition of the proper valve, tires, and goo. Titanium skewers are also included with the wheels.

You choose between a SRAM/Shimano 9.10,11-speed cassette body or a Campagnolo-compatible 9, 10, 11-speed body.

The Hed Ardennes Plus Black is shallow, but never out of its depth.

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