HED Ardennes FR Tubular Wheelset
- Item: HED0029 Actual Weight:"Actual Weight" means we weighed this item ourselves. 1430 g
Sale from $1105.00
If you're looking for the ultimate lightweight, aero, aluminum wheelset, there's little reason to look further than Hed's Ardennes FR Tubular Wheelset. Not only is it light, but it's strong, rolls fast, and is fairly aero, too.
There are reasons not to love carbon-fiber rims. Don't be shy; you might be among this cohort. For this crowd, the Ardennes FR Tubular is a great wheel. This tubular should catch the fancy of light riders, climbers, cyclocrossers, and anyone who wants a simple, aero, aluminum-rimmed wheel that is about as light as can be made.
In the wind tunnel, these wheels are almost as aero as Hed's Scorpio and Zipp's 202 at a 5-degree yaw, which all have about 120g of drag. Compared to your typical mid-section aluminum clincher, they don't give anything away. In terms of weight, the front is a claimed 611g and the rear 816g, which is incredibly light for aluminum. These weights, by the way, are within about five grams of the clincher versions of the wheel; this is because Hed wanted to make their tubular rims even stronger rather than using the strength of the tubular shape to make the wheels lighter. The wide rim helps with this, too, spreading impact over a wider area.
The rim that makes all this possible is Hed's scandium C2. The C2 is 23mm wide and 25mm deep. Wide rims are pretty hot these days, and for good reason. The shape helps tires roll faster and also improves the aerodynamics of the tire-rim package. For tubulars, the wide shape also means more contact between the rim and tire, which means the tires are much harder to roll off, because there is more surface area for gluing and the rims come up relatively higher on the sides to better cradle the tire.
The spokes are Sapim's popular and aerodynamic CX-Ray spokes and they're held to the rim with self-securing aluminum nipples. In front, straight-pull spokes are radially laced to aluminum end caps bonded to a carbon fiber shaft. The rear hub is aluminum and flanged, with two-cross lacing with J-bend spokes for greater stiffness. The spokes are polished silver.
The hubs are also of 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. As we mentioned, the rim is Scandium rather than aluminum. The 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 power-wash your bike and re-lube without taking your wheel apart.
The Hed Ardennes Flamme Rouge Tubular Wheelset, offers a choice between a Campagnolo-spline cassette body and a Shimano/SRAM-spline body. The wheels come with Hed's titanium-shafted skewers. Hed does not recommend this wheelset for people weighing over 190lbs. Claimed weight is 1427g for the set.