Hed Designs C2 Ardennes wheelsets - clincher

DESCRIPTION

The Hed Ardennes has lower rolling resistance and better aerodynamics than traditional 19mm wide rims. A 23mm tire has room to spread out on the 23mm wide rim. The reshaped tire carcass has a shorter, wider contact patch; as the tire rolls, a shorter section of the sidewall deflects. Less sidewall deflection lowers rolling resistance and increases efficiency. The same reshaping matches the tire spread to the rim width. Instead of looking like a lightbulb, the tire/rim profile is an ellipse - much more aero.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 19  
[Apr 18, 2013]
GES

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

light, fast, very smooth.

Weakness:

none that I've experienced

On the recommedation of a couple serious racer friends I bought Ardennes FR C2 for training. Nice smooth ride (with Conti 4000s @ 85-95psi), very responsive especially climbing, good handling on descents, cornering. After 37 months and 19.854 miles on typically rotten pot holed, chip sealed CA roads the rear hub flange cracked. Hed couldn't have been better in dealing with a post warrante repair - EXCELLENT customer service at a very fair price. At 158 lbs and with lousy roads, these wheels have been my workhorse, good profile in cross winds, comfortable on long ride over chipseal -best wheels I own, my other training wheels feel like slugs and require much more "truing", I ride the "unnamed others" (about the same price & weight) so I can appreciate a really good wheel when riding the Heds.

[Oct 12, 2012]
Tim B.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Strength:

-Great Ride
-Responsive
-Light

Weakness:

-Poor quality
-Expensive for the quality
-Poor customer service

Several years ago I purchased a set of HED Jets for my TT bike. HED was the first wheel manufacturer that developed a wider 23mm rim. The wider rim allowed for smoother more responsive handling with lower rolling resistance than the standard 21mm rim. The difference in ride was noticeable right off the bat. Running the wheels at 90psi, the clinchers felt like a nice set of tubulars, cornered without hesitation and stuck to the road like glue. They were light, responsive and comfortable.

I was so impressed with the ride, the cornering and the feel of the wheel set that I saved up and convinced my wife to let me purchase a set of HED Ardennes for my road bike with the same rim.

I have been riding the HED Ardennes for a little over 2 years now, and just like the Jets I have been impressed with the ride quality and handling. Weighing a mere 1440 grams, the wheels are one of the lightest clincher wheels on the market.
While the wheels have been great, this past month I noticed my rear wheel was out of true and when I went to fix it, I noticed a crack/split in the rim on both sides right at the spoke. I am only 140 lbs and the bike has never been crashed. When I Googled ‘split rim Ardennes’ I noticed many others had the same issue with the Ardennes. It seems crazy that a rim would just split like that, especially when I spent good money for the wheels and they had been babied.

I took the wheel into my local shop here in San Diego and was told that the wheel was 8 months out of warranty. While it seemed like a defect in quality from the manufacturer I sent the wheel back into HED. Instead of owning up to a rim that split after only 10,000 miles of riding, HED charged me $230 to replace the rim, which was just less than 1/2 of a brand new wheel. For a wheel to only last this long, I think HED needs to go back to the drawing board, and at the very least offer better customer service.

After the bad experience with HED customer service, I will have a tough time recommending these wheels to anyone else that asks. For the $1300 you will drop on a set of these, I’d look around for something that is a little more durable and a company that will stand behind its product longer than 24 months.

[May 07, 2012]
Nomad
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Alloy rim, Hed Sonic Hub is responsive and relatively quiet. Sapim CX Ray spokes are light, durable, and aerodynamic. Wider rim profile required lower tire pressure which results in a more comfortable ride. Also, the rim has better aerodymics. I noticed the difference in cross winds.

Weakness:

None

Spins up nicely, lower tire pressure results in more comfortable ride, wider rim profile makes for better aerodynamics, the hub is quiet and responsive, the sapim cx ray spokes are strong, light and aerodynamic, all of which add up to a great wheel. I rode Shimano 500's, custom deep V's with cx ray spokes and white industry h2 hubs, and mavic SL's. The C2 is by far the best wheelset of the group. The one similarity between any of the wheelsets would be the white industries h2 hub and the hed sonic hub, they sound similar with a familiar responsiveness. Also, with the deep V's I discovered that the cx ray spokes were extremely durable and light so I knew any wheels I was going to purchase would include them.

The wheels arrived true and after 500 miles on the road I haven't had any problems. I think the break in period is over as the wheels have been rolling extremely well. I purchased the stallion build since I'm 6" 220lbs. I dreaded the longer rides on my other wheelsets because the road buzz took a toll and I was always worse for wear after 40 mile rides. This was due to the higher tire pressures. Now, after the longer rides I feel much less wear and tear and look forward to riding in excess of 40 miles 3 times a week. Honestly, the wider rim profile and lower tire pressure did not take away from my performance, it only enhanced it because I really enjoy riding all over again.

Not the cheapest wheelset on the block but well worth the investment. I highly recommend these wheels and as usual, do your research so you get the wheelset that makes the most sense for you.

Similar Products Used:

Shimano 500's, Custom Velocity Deep V's with Sapim CX Ray spokes and White Industry H2 hubs, Mavic SL's, & Neuvation

[Apr 17, 2012]
Maavalous
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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

Weakness:

None

This review section is all encompassing HED C2... there are actually a dozen wheels in the "C2" category from HED so this review is for the Ardennes SL. One step down from top-line FR.

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!!

Similar Products Used:

Mavic (several), Roval (several), ROL, Bontrager (several), Rolf

[Nov 17, 2010]
Alex DRider
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Incredibly light for a pair of alu rimmed wheels (1.345g on the LBS scale without rim strips and levers). That´s a full 130g lighter than my already light Ksyrium ES´ - much more aero as well. They´re snappy, roll fast and smooth and feel amazingly comfortable, much more than my other sets of wheels.

Weakness:

I found the finishing of the wheels to be slightly bellow the competition. Mavic, Zipp, Roval and Easton are better finished overall. Not that it´s bad or ugly, it´s just "too normal" with the matte black finish and toned down stickers. At first they look weird being so wide but you get used to it and actually miss the solid feeling when going back to regular sized wheels. They don´t look half as good as my 404´s or the Rovals, but once I´m rolling I really don´t care about looks - these wheels are serious, props to HED.

Impressive wheels. Being on the road for over 25 yrs I´m trully amazed with these. The finishing is not superb but the build and performance are incredible. They´re light (and feel light too), responsive, fast yet comfy that I´d rate them not as one of the best (perhaps THE best) training wheels, but also racing wheels as well. I´m 6.03/165 and aggressive yet light on wheels and equipment, these are just perfect for my training and racing.

Similar Products Used:

Mavic ES, SL and Elite; Zipp 202, 303 and 404 (tubular); Roval Carbon SL (carbon clincher); various from Easton and many "old style" built-from-scratch wheelsets.

[Aug 15, 2010]
TCR Hampton
Triathlete

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Everything... Seriously everything... People need to learn about the wider rim profile and the benefits that it has. Zipp as per usual has copied HED with this design in their new 101 wheels, they may be a little more aero, but you still have to get a Zipp hub, the HEDs are way better!

Weakness:

None at all.

OK, so when everyone says that these wheels are the best clincher wheels they have ridden, I would suggest that you take note. Just changed from a set of Rolf Prima Vigors and the difference is so astounding. Bumps that previously felt very bad for both rider and bike now dont even get a mention on the shock scale... I have only ridden the wheels once, but am that impressed with them that I dont need to wait to write the review. They are that good and are worth every cent. Dealer didnt have the standard version, so I had to get the Flamme Rouge. They look hot, and ride better than they look! Just buy em!

Similar Products Used:

Shamal Ultras (thought they were the bext clincher available until I rode these)

[Jun 25, 2010]
Flash Bazbo
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Light weight
Nice appearance

Weakness:

Relatively High Maintenance
Road noise
Perhaps a little fragile

I bought these with a Powertap built in. If not for the Powertap, I would have stayed with my trusty Mavic Ksyrium SLs. These are nice-spinning, lightweight, good-braking wheels. The only downside is that, even without hitting severe bumps or craters, I had to true these wheels after less than five weeks in service. They aren't as bomb-proof as my old Ksyriums. Also, the wheels seem to resonate tire noise -- you can't sneak up on anyone with these. You get an audible HUM just riding down the road. I'm generally satisfied with my purchase. Good wheels.

Similar Products Used:

Mavic Ksyrium SL

[Jun 22, 2010]
eekase
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Light weight, smooth, makes you more confident going downhill.

Weakness:

None

I've always been a fan of HED and was looking for a set to go with my Super6. I went with the FR option. I love these wheels, they are fast, corner great, smooth riding, and climb super. I ride these at 110psi, but you'll have to experiment with the pressure to your liking. Once you do, you're all set.

Similar Products Used:

HED Stinger, Mavic Ksyruim

[Apr 10, 2010]
d-klumpp
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

1. The hubs spin forever
2. Enhanced cornering from the 23mm rims
3. Rapid acceleration
4. Excellent comfort
5. Dealing with the fine crew at HED (expert and patient phone consultation; emailed status updates at each stage of order processing, wheel build, and shipping)

Weakness:

A minor (apparently temporary) issue was a creaking spoke from the front wheel the first two times I got out of the saddle and when climbing a bridge. This noise did not return during the subsequent 20 mi. I will update in the unlikely event this becomes an issue.

This was my big wheel upgrade to complete my dream road bike. Ardennes C2 Flamme Rouge are the upgraded hubs with ceramic bearings. At 215lbs, I selected the no-charge "Stallion" build with increased spokes (20/28; extra 100g=stated 1515g). Since I'm not into red on a bike, the nice people at HED offered to install the regular Ardennes stickers (no red and bolder graphics).

This is an initial evaluation after 5mi urban commuting and a 38mi loop on mixed-quality, flat paths and roads. Tires are a fresh pair of 23C Michelin Krylion Carbons, my usual tires that are excellent through broken glass that is common around here. I usually run these tires at 100psi but dropped to 90 arbitrarily because others seem to run these at lower pressures.

Wheels shipped on the 2nd full business day after ordering. They look fantastic!!! I brought the bike to my LBS to fine-tune the brakes for the 23mm rims. The mechanic said, "I'm having serious bike envy right now!"

My first impression during urban commuting was that these wheels roll forever. On today's 38 mi loop, that was confirmed. These wheels have maximized every facet of my bike's performance! From the plush stiffness of the Ti frame to the singing of the drive train, this is now a super-sweet ride.

I don't know if this is the so-called, tubular-like effect of the 23mm rims, but the entire bike now seems to dance over little bumps -- many of the usual cracks I didn't even feel. And rougher pavement is definitely less jarring.

Again, this may be the tubular effect, but sweeping through turns was more fluid, grippy, controlled, and powerful.

After 6400+mi on the Aksiums, I'm shocked at how quickly and easily the Ardennes FRs allow me to accelerate! Whether pulling away from a light or recovering speed after a car-induced braking, these wheels spin up fast.

I'm not super fast (old guy) and mostly ride solo, so it's difficult to assess any aero effect of the 23mm rims. But the 20 mph headwind on the ride out didn't seem nearly as punishing as last week's. I would never call the 3 short hills on my route, climbing, so I won't make any claims.

One concern that I had, based on other's reviews, was the possibility of a noisy rear hub. Perhaps it's because of the upgraded FR hubs and bearings, but the sound is quite pleasant -- and I'm the picky type who is often bugged by such things.

In summary, I love these wheels!!! The look great, feel great, and make me a stronger cyclist. I am very pleased with my purchase and look forward to many miles of much faster, more aggressive, and more comfortable cycling.



Similar Products Used:

Mavic Aksium

[Jan 28, 2010]
Dan
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Light (1410 grams without skewers and tape)
Stiff
Steel bearings are amazing so far
Subdued reflective graphics

Weakness:

Price is a tad high
No rim tape

I really dig these wheels. They are very light for clinchers and very stiff for my size (150lbs). The biggest drawback is the price as I feel that they could be a touch cheaper. Especially since you can get a set of EA90SLX wheels for a lower price sometimes.

As for the width of the rim, it does seem to add a completely different feel. I doubt that I am any faster but I am able to run a lower pressure (100psi front, 105psi rear) and maintain the same speed as before without any extra effort. The cornering does seem to be markedly improved over the Eastons that were on the bike before.

Similar Products Used:

Easton EA90SLX
Mavic Ksyrium Elites
Open Pro/Ultegra
Rolf Vector

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