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Item # HED001F
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HED Ardennes FR Tubular Wheelset $0.00
Cycling innovations throughout the years have typically originated in the European market and trickled over to the US along with five minute, grainy, late-night summaries of races that shut down entire communities for days at a time overseas. The US-based manufacturer HED is changing that, though, with innovations in ride quality and 360-degree aerodynamics that many of its European counterparts are struggling to keep up with. The HED Ardennes FR Tubular Wheelset may be one of the best examples of the technological dynamism of company founder, the late Steve Hed.
The Ardennes FR Tubulars are prepared with the same recipe of low spoke count, shallow-depth, and rock-solid C2 rim as the FR clinchers. The rim is scandium, which really means that it's an alloy of aluminum and scandium that effectively mimics the fatigue resistance, stiffness, and strength of titanium, so the end product can be made with less material — and therefore lower weight — than aluminum alone. It's also the original flagship species of HED's Ardennes genus, which introduced the higher comfort, lower rolling resistance, better cornering, and aerodynamic benefits of a wider 23 millimeter rim. Add tubular frosting to the 23 millimeter cake and you get even more comfort and cornering confidence.
The hubs come from HED's Sonic line. They run ABEC5 bearings on oversized axles, 12mm in front and 15mm in the rear. The flanges are spaced as widely as possible to create a stronger bracing angle, resulting in lateral stiffness that any rider approaching HED's suggested weight limit of 190 pounds will appreciate. The front hub has a carbon-fiber tube with aluminum end caps. The rear is aluminum with flanges, and both skewers have titanium shafts. 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 thoroughly wash your bike and re-lube without taking your wheel apart.
The spokes are Sapim's popular and aerodynamic CX-Ray bladed 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 HED Ardennes FR Tubular Wheelset comes with a Shimano/SRAM 11-speed freehub body. It bears re-stating that HED recommends a rider weight limit of 190-225 pounds.