HED Ardennes SL Tubular Wheelset
- Item: HED0025 Actual Weight:"Actual Weight" means we weighed this item ourselves. 1460 g
There is no mistake here, no need to write in, Hed has both a clincher and Tubular version of their Ardennes SL Wheelset. This is the tubular, the one favored by cyclocrossers and climbers. They've taken the same dimensions and same Scandium alloy of their Ardennes SL clinchers, but extruded a tubular rim rather than clincher. And the rest of the wheel is identical to the clincher version.
VeloNews tested out these wheels in the unforgiving world of cyclocross and found them the best of the wide-section aluminum tubulars they tried, and even saw them as a wheelset you can use successfully in both the muddy discipline and on the road, just by swapping tires.
This is the same C2 concept wheelset that has been turning more and more heads as the world warms to wide rims. As you've certainly read in our other write-ups of Hed wheels, C2 is for the two Cs that the 23mm wide rim improves. Cda, which is aerodynamics, and Crr, which is rolling resistance. That is, the width and shape of the rim reduces both aerodynamic drag and road friction.
Making a rim 23mm wide and 25mm deep when most rims are around 19mm wide and 19-23mm deep is a big difference. The reason for the greater 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. It grips better in a straight line, and 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 turned out the 23mm width has 18% less rolling resistance. And because of the smoother tire 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, resulting in a more laminar air flow and less aerodynamic drag.
If you're putting on wider tires, like 25mm Roubaix tubulars or 32mm cyclocross tubulars, the wider rim also works better, as more supported tire volume means the tire mushes around less, adding confidence to your cornering. The wide rim shape also means more contact between the rim and tire, which in turn means the tires are much harder to roll off, thanks to more surface area for gluing and the rims cradling the tire better.
Hed isn't resting their case with just a rim. They've laced the rim to the hub with Sapim's popular and aerodynamic CX-Ray spokes using self-securing aluminum nipples. The spokes are straight-pull and radial in front and J-bend and two-cross in back. The spokes are anodized Black.
The Sonic hubs are also of Hed's design. 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 Hed Ardennes SL Tubular Wheelset comes with either a Campagnolo-spline cassette body or a Shimano/SRAM-spline body. The rims are anodized Black and have machined brake tracks. The wheels come with Hed's steel-shafted skewers. Hed does not recommend this wheel for people weighing over 190lbs. Claimed weight is 1449g for the set.