Hed Designs Ardennes wheelsets - clincher

3.5/5 (6 Reviews)
MSRP : $995.00

Product Description

Ardennes. Bastogne. Kermesse. If you think classic Belgian racing when you see the name of HED's Ardennes wheelset, you're right. HED designed them...

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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Kristatos a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: May 8, 2013

Strengths:    Wide rim gives more round cross-section to clincher tires, wheels ride great.

Weaknesses:    Spokes keep breaking. Poor customer service.

Bottom Line:   
At 165 lbs I am well below the weight limit for the Ardennes LT build that I purchased from Competitive Cyclist in 2010. Despite this I started having regular spoke failures just a couple months into ownership. The rear wheel would jam in the chainstays it went so out of true when a spoke would break that I was twice stranded on rides a ways from home, once while on vacation in a remote area. Front wheel spoke failures also happened but at least could be ridden home. Competitive Cyclist was no help other than to offer the phone number for HED. The folks at HED offered to repair the wheel and turned it around in a reasonable amount of time, but on my second ride out I broke a spoke once more and was stranded. The only two other fellows I ride with that have these wheels have also had issues with spokes breaking and have had to lace up the wheels with different spokes at their own expense to achieve reliability.

Overall I cannot recommend these wheels as they have left me stranded on the roadside too many times.

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Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Competitive Cyclist

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Mike a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: June 25, 2012

Strengths:    Light

Weaknesses:    Weak wheel, poor hub design

Bottom Line:   
I bought these wheels December 2010 and 3 months in the first spoke broke (rear wheel). Shop replaced spoke and within the month another spoke broke (rear wheel again). My weight is 20 lbs below the recommended 'stallion' model. This time at the shop I stayed to watch them work on the wheel. The hub freewheel is aluminum and the cassette was literally stuck in the deformed hub. There was no way to remove the cassette without destroying the hub. Since the shop was doing this, they also looked at the bearings which to their surprise appear to be of "low quality". Wheel was sent back to HED for free, new hub and all spokes were replaced at their expense. No other problems until a year later and the exact same issues are appearing again. Two more spokes broke, yet, this time, no help from HED. For the expense, they are not worth the price.

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Purchased At:   HED

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Maavalous a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2012

Strengths:    23mm profile, light, scandium alloy, standard and stallion builds, build quality, quiet freehub

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I've been through all the majors except Zipp (personally, Zipp is more advertising than reality). I just rolled off of ROL wheels onto HED Ardennes SL and I was AMAZED.
OK, I'll agree that they do not roll 100% like tubulars... but as close as you're going to get. They arrived perfect in every way. The build quality is amazing. Mounted up 23c Conti GP4000s tires and hit the road. After 50 miles or riding in winds-from-hell, I didn't want to stop... completely changed the ride and handling in GREAT ways.
Unless you just feel the need to spend $2,500 +++ for wheels cause you can... you will NOT be happier with a set of wheels. If you are over 190 lbs., the Stallion Build is a no-extra-cost option that gives you 20/28 spoke count. I'm getting a set of those next for my "beater/training" bike.

I'll try and come back to post updates after a few thousand miles... I anticipate I will love them even more!!

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Similar Products Used:   Mavic (several), Roval (several), ROL, Bontrager (several), Rolf

Bike Setup:   Specialized Roubaix Pro DA

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Bob Wendel a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: February 28, 2012

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    heavy
poor quality
ridiculously cheap hubs/bearing

Bottom Line:   
These wheels have been terrible for me. They are lots heavier than the advertised weight (1510g vs actual of 1620g). I had issues with the quality. The seams are not smooth and the decals had issues from day one. . The hubs they use will not even last a year. I've had to replace the bearings 3x in 2 years. That's messed up. I wouldn't buy them again.

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Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   mavic, reynolds, zipp

Bike Setup:   Cannondale supersix

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joel a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2011

Strengths:    I have the CL version. They are reasonably light, laterally stiff and I can really feel the aero advantage over my old wheels.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
These wheels are a definite improvement over my old wheels. My old wheels were very nice wheels-dt240 hubs with velocity aerohead and deep V rims built by Dave at Speeddream. Truly one of the best wheel builders in the country.
The Heds are noticeably stiffer. No brake rub under hard climbing. Almost no lateral flex at all. The 23mm rim allows me to run fast and smooth at 60-70psi with 700x35 tires. They also give the bike a much more stable feel on bad pavement and gravel. You can bomb sketchy downhills one handed. I could never do this with my old wheels.
They make the whole bike feel more stable and controlled no matter the condition of the road.

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Favorite Ride:   Spring Gravel

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Ragnorok 111

Similar Products Used:   Dt 240 Velocity Aerohead front and Deep V rear, built by a master.

Bike Setup:   Kona Jake with a mix of road and mtb parts. Under 20lbs and after 10 years of year 'round riding (Minnesota)I can say this bike is as tough as they come.

Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 5

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