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Roadies and HED wheels?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Roadies and HED wheels?

Old 03-12-22, 10:23 PM
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Dreww10
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Roadies and HED wheels?

Is there any particular reason that roadies (rim brake) have never taken to HED wheels, other than the vanity of wanting full carbon? I get they are slightly heavier than comparable Zipp 404 and the like of 55-60mm depth, but they're also much cheaper, likely sturdier, and you get the benefit of textured aluminum brake tracks. I've owned sets of full carbons over the years, and have never given the HED's any thought, in large part because no one outside triathlons rides them. Am I missing something, or are these a good buy roadies have been missing out on?
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Old 03-13-22, 04:31 AM
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Last September I purchased a set of Hed Ardennes RA Performance disc wheels. I like them very much, internal width just under 21mm, but run them with latex tubes. 27mm Open Pave clinchers measure out to 29.1 mm on these rims. I would prefer a quieter rear hub, but it is not a big deal. I had ordered a set of Ardennes Pro rim brake wheels that were on sale, but also on backorder, and came to my senses and canceled the order. I would like to have the wheels, but just do not need them. I definitely would definitely recommend to another rider, high quality wheels that look really good. I like the dark, low visual impact decals on the rims.
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Old 03-13-22, 10:53 AM
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In roadie world there's a lasting, and bad, data point of wheel weight mattering more than aero. It matters for sure. If you can afford both, go for best of both. If you can afford just one, look at where you live. Is it mountains, or hills? If it's not mountains, go aero.

But the alloy/fairing combo thing is always some reason shunned by some roadies due to this data point but also pure vanity. Folks want to spend to either get the black alloy brake track or all carbon just for the looks. Without even caring about the performance or weights.

Road bike has the HED 6+. I train on the tt bike with a 9+ and 23mm wide disc from HED. All alloy brake track wheels.
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Old 03-13-22, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Is there any particular reason that roadies (rim brake) have never taken to HED wheels, other than the vanity of wanting full carbon? I get they are slightly heavier than comparable Zipp 404 and the like of 55-60mm depth, but they're also much cheaper, likely sturdier, and you get the benefit of textured aluminum brake tracks. I've owned sets of full carbons over the years, and have never given the HED's any thought, in large part because no one outside triathlons rides them. Am I missing something, or are these a good buy roadies have been missing out on?
That doesn't sound like my area - I see road cyclists with HED wheels/rims quite regularly in my area, including a few clubmates. Then again, HED is a local company for us, so YMMV.
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Old 03-13-22, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Is there any particular reason that roadies (rim brake) have never taken to HED wheels, other than the vanity of wanting full carbon? I get they are slightly heavier than comparable Zipp 404 and the like of 55-60mm depth, but they're also much cheaper, likely sturdier, and you get the benefit of textured aluminum brake tracks. I've owned sets of full carbons over the years, and have never given the HED's any thought, in large part because no one outside triathlons rides them. Am I missing something, or are these a good buy roadies have been missing out on?
I have two sets of them (albeit disc version). Chris King builds with them. Many others do as well.
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Old 03-13-22, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Is there any particular reason that roadies (rim brake) have never taken to HED wheels, other than the vanity of wanting full carbon?
Pejorative much?
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Old 03-14-22, 02:25 AM
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I have two rim brake road bikes with HED Belgium+ rims laced to Chris King hubs.
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Old 03-14-22, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
But the alloy/fairing combo thing is always some reason shunned by some roadies due to this data point but also pure vanity.
I hang my road bike by its front wheel on my garage wall with one of these: Delta Cycle Leonardo Da Vinci Bike Storage Hook and Tray | REI Co-op

GCN and others have noted that a carbon fiber fairing would not withstand the resulting force. Is it pure vanity to want some floor space in my garage?
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Old 03-15-22, 12:23 AM
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I thought the way to move in front of your competitors was to get a HED wheelset.
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Old 03-15-22, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
I hang my road bike by its front wheel on my garage wall with one of these: Delta Cycle Leonardo Da Vinci Bike Storage Hook and Tray | REI Co-op

GCN and others have noted that a carbon fiber fairing would not withstand the resulting force. Is it pure vanity to want some floor space in my garage?
Don't blame the wheel design on the method you chose to hang bikes. I wouldn't ever personally choose the wheels of a bike to hang a bike, even if they were solid carbon. And especially if they were some $2500 Enve or other solid carbon wheels. I'd only do this if it was some high spoke count cheapy alloys.

Same goes for tray bike racks on cars. I swap to the originally included cheapy alloys to transport. I wouldn't want to scratch up and crank down on the straps on the body of fancy wheels no matter the design. I transport those inside the car. I mean, some wheelsets are worth 50% or more of the bike itself. Why would I clamp down on that?

Also before "well the pro tour bike racks and wheels".........preferred method for speed to get to the bike is the adjustable downtube clamp.
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Old 03-15-22, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Don't blame the wheel design on the method you chose to hang bikes. I wouldn't ever personally choose the wheels of a bike to hang a bike, even if they were solid carbon. And especially if they were some $2500 Enve or other solid carbon wheels. I'd only do this if it was some high spoke count cheapy alloys.
Chill, Winston. I was merely stating the facts. Hanging a bike by its wheel(s) with hook(s) is a tried and true method that predates carbon wheels. Given that my bike is only 18 lbs., I have absolutely no issue with hanging it by its front wheel, regardless of whether the rim is alloy or carbon fiber. I am not aware of anyone who has pointed out an issue other than a HED wheel with a carbon fiber fairing over an alloy rim.

Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Same goes for tray bike racks on cars. I swap to the originally included cheapy alloys to transport. I wouldn't want to scratch up and crank down on the straps on the body of fancy wheels no matter the design. I transport those inside the car. I mean, some wheelsets are worth 50% or more of the bike itself. Why would I clamp down on that?
That is a different matter. My car moves, sometimes quite fast; my garage wall, not so much. It seems much risker to transport one's bike frame on top of one's car (even with "cheapy alloys") than to hang a bike from its front wheel on the garage wall.
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Old 03-15-22, 04:36 PM
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Are you new to the sport? I think you are referring to HED JETs since they are the aluminum rimmed carbon fairing models. A bunch of companies make/made these before like shimano C50, Zipp 404, Flo, Mavic etc. They've just gone out of style with disc brakes. I still have a pretty worn set of Zipp 404s sitting on my wall but no longer own any rim brake bikes
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Old 03-15-22, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Are you new to the sport?
Somewhat new? I started road cycling almost 5 years ago.

Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
I think you are referring to HED JETs since they are the aluminum rimmed carbon fairing models.
Right, the JET RC6. Almost ordered a set from Competitive Cyclist during a Christmas sale before the pandemic but then realized how heavy they are.

Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
A bunch of companies make/made these before like shimano C50, Zipp 404, Flo, Mavic etc.
I only vaguely know of the Shimano C50 but not the others you listed.

Anyhow, the OP asked why the HED wheels with a carbon fairing over an aluminum rim with brake track did not seem to be popular, so I was only positing a potential storage issue with that type of wheel construction.
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Old 03-15-22, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Somewhat new? I started road cycling almost 5 years ago.
Sorry that was addressed to the OP
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Old 03-16-22, 08:43 PM
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HED Belgium/Ardennes/Bastogne are my go to wheels on a road bike. They're some of the best I've used for all-around use. I may use something lighter, wider, or more aero situationally, but I have a few sets with Powertap hubs so I can switch between Shimano and Campagnolo drivetrains and be off.

I also have Hed Jets for when I want a little more aero.

They don't seem to have the same "wow" factor as something by Zipp, Campagnolo, or other high end brands, but in my opinion, perform just as well and are usually quite a bit easier on the pocketbook.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Are you new to the sport? I think you are referring to HED JETs since they are the aluminum rimmed carbon fairing models. A bunch of companies make/made these before like shimano C50, Zipp 404, Flo, Mavic etc. They've just gone out of style with disc brakes. I still have a pretty worn set of Zipp 404s sitting on my wall but no longer own any rim brake bikes
No sir. Just questioning why aluminum rims with a carbon fairing haven't really been in favor among roadies, or certainly not in the 10-11 years I've been in the hobby.
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Old 03-17-22, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
No sir. Just questioning why aluminum rims with a carbon fairing haven't really been in favor among roadies, or certainly not in the 10-11 years I've been in the hobby.
1. Because of the visibly different color alloy brake track and pure aesthetics
2. Because the b-group rider thinks they need to shave 250g off their wheelset
3. To give something back in the argument..........they're more a triathlete/TT wheel than a pure roadie wheel

For #3, the fairing style ones that are affordable and weigh more........they're a darling in the triathlon and TT world. Where the courses aren't mountainous and aero wins out over all and you still have a budget, HED alloy fairing is the way to go. Overall weight isn't that huge a deal when you're running a full rear disc for the aero. They DO weigh more. But for the cost and aero, they're really good for a triathlon or TT wheel.

I won my class at USAC regionals on an alloy brake track HED 9+ and rear HED disc combo. Pan flat 40k. Zero need to blow money on wheel weight. I mean, unless you can and you're rich. Then by all means.
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Old 03-17-22, 09:10 AM
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HED has some great wheels. The Ardennes+ and Belgium+ are popular around here. I know many riders who have used Ardennes+ for road and CX racing.
I used to see a lot of HED Jets on road and tri bikes, but I think disc brakes have taken over and the benefits of the Jet design don't make as much sense anymore.

If I was running rim brakes, I'd definitely consider the Jet RC4 at $1300. But if you're on discs there are better options, like the Zipp 303s. (Does HED even make a disc brake version of the Jet?)
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Old 03-17-22, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
1. Because of the visibly different color alloy brake track and pure aesthetics
Am I remembering correctly that HED made a "stealth" version with black alloy for this exact reason?
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Old 03-17-22, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Am I remembering correctly that HED made a "stealth" version with black alloy for this exact reason?
IMO the price difference I'd go ahead with full carbon unless there's a practical reason to stick with an alloy brake track.

But yes, they did. Same for same price of course I'd go with those over the alloy normal color brake track. But I thought they cost more?
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Old 03-17-22, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Am I remembering correctly that HED made a "stealth" version with black alloy for this exact reason?
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
IMO the price difference I'd go ahead with full carbon unless there's a practical reason to stick with an alloy brake track.

But yes, they did. Same for same price of course I'd go with those over the alloy normal color brake track. But I thought they cost more?
Were they black through and through? My old H+ were black anodized, but the brake track wore silver in short order, no doubt hastened by the wet spring grit.
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Old 03-17-22, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Were they black through and through? My old H+ were black anodized, but the brake track wore silver in short order, no doubt hastened by the wet spring grit.

Good question. I see they have Jet RC Black series on their website that touts a black brake track: https://hedcycling.com/products/jet-rc-black-series/
With special machining and anodizing, the result is a clean, all-black appearance and confidence-inspiring braking performance.

I'd be curious as well to see how this wears. Looks like it's $1600, compared to $1300 for the RC Performance wheel, but there may be other differences I'm not noticing.
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Old 03-17-22, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Don't blame the wheel design on the method you chose to hang bikes. I wouldn't ever personally choose the wheels of a bike to hang a bike, even if they were solid carbon. And especially if they were some $2500 Enve or other solid carbon wheels. I'd only do this if it was some high spoke count cheapy alloys.

Same goes for tray bike racks on cars. I swap to the originally included cheapy alloys to transport. I wouldn't want to scratch up and crank down on the straps on the body of fancy wheels no matter the design. I transport those inside the car. I mean, some wheelsets are worth 50% or more of the bike itself. Why would I clamp down on that?

Also before "well the pro tour bike racks and wheels".........preferred method for speed to get to the bike is the adjustable downtube clamp.
Nothing to offer on HED wheels.

But, I can offer that I've hung my current bike by its front carbon wheel on a hook on the wall for well over a year, and not so much as a mark on it. There's less stress on that wheel hanging on the wall than there is carrying my lard ass.

I also carry the bike on a hitch rack with trays, but I wrap the strap with about 3" length of pipe insulation, and wrap that with gaffer's tape. Not a mark on the wheels from the strap.

Last edited by Mojo31; 03-17-22 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 03-17-22, 11:00 AM
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My Cervelo came with HED wheels and I still ride when when they're more appropriate than my other wheels.
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