Monday, October 07, 2013

One Year With The HED Ardennes+

HED Ardennes+
About a year ago, I got a set of HED Ardennes+ wheels to test out from HED Wheels. These have been ridden in all sorts of weather on road and off since then with a variety of tires. Following are some points of interest about these wheels that I have noted. I'll have a more detailed "review" of these on Gravel Grinder News this week.

But before I get to my points, I have to say that these wheels are a bit different than most Ardennes+ in that they were built up as an "either or" set in that they can be used as rim or disc brake wheels. Most sets of these I've seen since are either one or the other. These were always used as a rim brake wheel.

Okay, now on with my main highlights.....

  • Heavy-ish: These weigh as much as a lot of 29"er wheel sets do. In the end, I never really noticed this, nor did I feel it held me back. 
  • Wide inner rim dimension: Made almost every tire I mounted better, especially the narrower ones in the 32-34mm range. 
  • Aero: There is some amount of aero push from behind, but not noticeable in the crosswinds and I didn't ever perceive a benefit in a headwind, but I'm sure it didn't hurt that they were somewhat aero. Tailwind rides were even better with these though. 
  • Tough: These always have stayed true with zero issues. I am a bigger guy, (230lbs), and I not only rode them on gravel, but on single track, and curb hopped these several times during commutes. No issues whatsoever. 
Conclusions: Would I buy these over another wheel set? For a "single solution" wheel with the capabilities to do gravel cross racing, training, or disc brake road bike duty? Yes. Training wheels? Yes. Race day wheels? Probably not. There are lighter wheels with similar aero benefits. Yes.....maybe not at the price of the HED's, but most folks buy racing wheels to be their really light, go fast solution, I think. The HED Ardennes are not all that light.

They are tough though, and show every sign of lasting a long, long time. So, for the everyday set of go anywhere, "all road" wheels, I like these a lot.

NOTE: HED Wheels sent these over to Gravel Grinder News as a test/review set of wheels at no charge. I was not bribed nor paid to write about these here or on GGN. I always strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


sniffer said...

Price point?

Guitar Ted said...

@sniffer:From $850.00 to $1000.00 MSRP depending on spec. Rims dubbed Belgium+ are also available for wheel builds @ about $100.00 each plus or minus depending on where you get them.

shiggy mtbtires said...

You said "all road"! ;)