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Item # HED001A

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Item # HED001A


If you're a 10-speed die-hard, but looking for a wheelset upgrade, the HED Ardennes FR Clincher Wheelset is one of the best-performing wheelsets you’ve likely never heard of or thought about. The FR in the name should tell you something; the initials are short for Flamme Rouge, HED's top-shelf designation. It's a lightweight, aluminum-rimmed wheelset that's also fast, strong, and makes any tire grip the road better.

Part of the reason you probably haven't heard of these wheels is that the ProTour teams HED sponsors are typically quiet about their association with HED. The other part is that ProTour riders don't race aluminum clinchers. If they had to pony up their own cash, the story would be different. You'd see these with frequency.

From afar, the Ardennes look like a standard, low spoke count, shallow-depth aluminum clincher. There are 18 spokes in front and 24 in the back. The rim depth is 24mm, a depth that should never be affected by crosswinds. It's the rim where the big differences are. HED debuted a new rim concept in 2007, dubbed C2: lower coefficient of rolling resistance (Crr) and better aerodynamics (Cda). The difference is that the rim is 23mm wide.

The 23mm width, at a time when most rims are around 19mm, is a big difference. The reason for the width is because of 23mm tires, the minimum tire width you almost always should be using on the road (there are 22mm clinchers; these will work, too). A 23mm rim paired with a 23mm tire changes the tire's footprint dramatically. It grips better in a straight line, but it grips better in turns because the tire deforms differently and more evenly. A 23mm tire on a 23mm rim also has lower rolling resistance. HED sent the wheels to Continental Tires for testing. Conti's engineers shrugged their shoulders, figured there was no difference, but put them in the jig and ran the tests anyways. It turns out this width has 18% less rolling resistance than a standard 19mm rim. And, because of the smoother shape, the transition air makes from the edge of the tread to the sidewall to the rim wall to the end of the rim is smoother and causes less disturbance, resulting in a more laminar air flow and less aerodynamic drag. It might have seemed crazy at first blush, but the industry is following. Obviously, it's a good idea to run 23mm or wider tires on any of HED's Ardennes wheels.

They didn't rest when they finished the rim. They've reworked the entire wheel. The spokes are Sapim's popular and aerodynamic CX-Ray spokes with self-securing aluminum nipples. The straight-pull spokes are laced radially in front to aluminum end caps bonded to a carbon fiber shaft. The rear is laced two-cross for greater stiffness. The spokes are polished and silver in color.

The hubs are also HED's design. Known as Sonic, they run ABEC5 bearings on oversized axles, 12mm in front and 15mm in the rear. HED spaced the flanges as widely as possible to create a stronger bracing angle, resulting in better lateral stiffness. The front hub has a carbon-fiber tube with aluminum end caps. The rear is aluminum with flanges.

As this wheel has the Flamme Rouge designation, you know everything has been pared down to reduce weight. The rim is Scandium rather than aluminum. The ratchet ring in the rear hub is titanium as well. Even the rear hub has been stepped up, with a grease port and carbon-fiber port cap; with this, you can power-wash your bike and re-lube without taking your wheel apart.

HED's Ardennes Flamme Rouge are available in 10-speed-compatible Shimano/SRAM. The wheels come with HED's steel-shafted skewers and rim strips. HED does not recommend this wheelset for people weighing over 190lbs.

Tech Specs

[rim] aluminum
Rim Width:
23 mm
Rim Depth:
24 mm
Front Hub:
Front Hub Type:
Rear Hub:
Rear Hub Type:
stainless steel
Spoke Nipple Material:
Front Spoke Count:
18 Sapim CX-Ray
Rear Spoke Count:
24 Sapim CX-Ray
Brake Compatibility:
Rotor Compatibility:
Front Weight:
Rear Weight:
Complete Set Weight:
Recommended Use:
road cycling
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 year limited

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What a bargain, what performance.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought this wheelset, initially, because of the price and reputation. I had wanted to experiment with a wider aluminum rim for a while and this was a great opportunity. The wheelset arrived and was packaged perfectly. The first thing you notice with this setup upon pulling it out of the box is just how light it is. I was impressed. Next, you have to do the obligatory "spin them in your hands" trick, and the bearings were just silky smooth, they seemed to spin for days. So far, so good. I planned on using this setup as a training wheelset, to pretty much abuse them and ride them anywhere and everywhere, so I did. Much to my surprise, these wheels are noticeably faster than most I have owned. They felt as fast as my ZIPP 404 full carbon clincher race wheels, yet they were more comfortable. They made my Scott FOIL more bearable over the rough stuff and with the wider rims, allowed a little less air pressure and the handling was amazing. I actually raced them in a few criteriums and I never felt at a disadvantage while doing so. I think in a long road race you might have a bit of a disadvantage due to the aerodynamics of not being a larger profile aero wheel, but I don't know for sure. This wheelset stood up to on road, fire road and dirt road use. It never got one bit out of true, and they were not treated gingerly. I would highly recommend this product to anyone that was looking for a wheel system that comes pre built. I have moved on to custom wheel sets from a local source, but would not be shy about purchasing this set again if the opportunity presented itself again.

Great wheel set

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I love these wheels! Yes, you will see grease gushing out of the rear hub after the first few rides but don't worry! I have these wheels on my new ride fitted with Michelin Pro Race 3 tires (same as my other bikes). The ride quality on the Ardennes FR is superb and plush compared with my other wheels - Mavic R-Sys, Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL & Zipp 404. They are light, smooth rolling and very quiet when coasting compared to the Mavics. The wider rims make a huge difference to wide quality with no loss of performance. I was a skeptic but am sold! They will be my wheel of choice in any future build!

Great wheel set

Rear hub released grease on initial use

Rear hub released excess grease on initial use, but wiped it off and it has been riding fine for > 1K miles. grease port on hub makes re-greasing easy/convenient. after the initial grease release I've had no issues.

Rear hub released grease on initial use

Nice wheels, but..

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Purchased these wheels and a month later the rear hub cracked and failed, which needed to be sent back to HED for a new wheel.

The wheels were nice while they lasted. I am on my second hub, so we will see how long this one lasts. My experience may be in the minority, but i expected more from the brand.

great wheelset for the money

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

light weight, rugged and smooth. great value for the money. initial ride produced leakage of excess grease in the rear hub, but nothing to worry about. grease port on hub makes re-greasing easy and convenient. hub has performed fine since original grease release, just wiped it off and it was good to go.

great wheelset for the money


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I?ve been riding these wheels for 2 years and have enjoyed every mile. They are ultra-light, ultra-smooth, and provide ultra-grip. Feels very much like a sew-up. Excellent all around every day wheel, especially great for crits due to the larger contact patch and quick acceleration.

Like the newer HED FR - R THESE TUBELESS

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

SO are these tubeless rims like their newer siblings? My rating is pointless becuz I don't own these - yet.

No, these do not have the bead shelf like the newer model does.

Weight Limit?

    I believe there is a weight limit to these wheels set at 190lbs per manufacture. Is that correct? Do you have a Stallion build available at this price?

    That is correct, the weight limit is 190lbs.

    Avg. ride time: 1h 13m per week
    • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

    Shimano/Sram is 9/10 speed Only.

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    Please note that if you are running 11 spd Shimano/Sram you will need HED0032

    The 11 speed can be found here: