HED on Competitive Cyclist
HED Cycling's founder Steve Hed was a visionary in the true sense of the word. In 1985, he realized that aerodynamic bicycle wheels had the potential to unlock a massive advantage for users of all abilities, and he set out to build an alternative to the unreasonably heavy and prohibitively expensive disc wheels of the day. The first HED disc wheel would kick off a string of developments that have made HED a staple in the cycling world.
That progressive approach would come to define HED as a brand. In the '90s, it was carbon fiber fairings bonded to alloy rims, which combined the light weight and design flexibility of carbon fiber with the heat management and added safety afforded by an alloy rim. That approach lives on with today's Jet series wheels, which continue to be a competitive race-day advantage for cyclists at every level of the sport. A decade later, HED was among the first to realize that contrary to popular belief, wider rims decreased rolling resistance for road bikes. HED was the first company to push for 23mm, and later 25mm, wide rims. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the industry soon followed suit.
Steve passed away in 2014, but his legacy lives on in every pair of HED wheels. The progressive approach is seen in wheels like the Ardennes series, which have almost singlehandedly pushed the boundaries of rim width, with a few subtle benefits as well, like the high-friction Turbine Braking Technology. Those traits, in addition to their incredible dependability, have made the Ardennes series one of the most popular choices around our offices. While the designs have changed with time, the ethos hasn't—HED still builds wheels that provide measurable benefits to top level professional racers, while sharing those advancements throughout its entire lineup to the benefit of us all.