HED Ardennes Wheelset

ajb72
ajb72 Posts: 1,178
edited October 2010 in Road buying advice
After a fair bit of researching I have just ordered a set of HED Ardennes (15% off at Race Wheels UK plus free delivery).

I was looking for a good light weight all rounder and these seem to tick all the boxes.

I just wondered how any current owners have found them in use, as they seem to get a shout frequently on this forum? I am especially interested in the tyre pressure you guys have been running them at, how you arrived at the ideal pressure and whether you have noticed more punctures / handling issues as a result of the lower pressure recommended?

I have already pulled the trigger on the order so not interested in alternatives, just some user feedback if possible!
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Comments

  • FransJacques
    FransJacques Posts: 2,148
    I've written umpteen posts waxing lyrical about Ardnennes. Please use the search function for that.

    I'm 80 kgs and since Sept 08 have put 1000s of kms on them. They've not seen a spoke key and the hubs make you cry they're so smooth. Get Velox 18mm rim strips since you need the width and play with the pressure a lot.

    In my experience i'm not convinced about the really low psi the early reviewers were talking about, I frankly, have had a lot more experience with Ardennes then they had over a month test phase. I started at 90 psi but am back up to around 105psi and they absolutely sing for me at that level.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    Interesting comments about the psi - I guess trial and error is the key. Thanls for the tip on the tape too, they are chucking it in with the wheels so I guess it should be suitable but will double check.

    I tried the search function but had not joy - I got the original review as a result but will have another go!

    One more question though if I may - is there any reason you cound't use these wheels all year round? I would change tyres for the grim stuff but as they seem so bomb proof I wondered if you would be happy on these through winter?

    I don't race, but want to attempt longer sportives in 2011.
  • fleshtuxedo
    fleshtuxedo Posts: 1,853
    What about the Flamme Rouge version, that save a mighty 17g for a mere £350? :shock:
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    does that weight saving just involve leaving the rim tape off?!!! :D
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    ajb72 wrote:
    I tried the search function but had not joy - I got the original review as a result but will have another go!

    You were using the wrong search function, you need the other Search function lower down...

    (Next to Members list above the 'Best bike mags' banner)
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    NapoleonD wrote:
    ajb72 wrote:
    I tried the search function but had not joy - I got the original review as a result but will have another go!

    You were using the wrong search function, you need the other Search function lower down...

    (Next to Members list above the 'Best bike mags' banner)

    That's exactly where I searched, but I find it hard to narrow it down to find what I'm looking for. Must try harder.............
  • FransJacques
    FransJacques Posts: 2,148
    ok, the scandium rims are a bit funny, if I don't use the right pads i get tons of alu shards in the pads. El cheapo BBB Shimano pads performed very poorly. GBP 7 Dura Ace pads are...well...ace.

    There is no reason not to use them year round. For my weight I was thinking of getting another pair with the Stallion (actually it should by Clythesdale) build - 24x28 instead of 20x24 - for a beater/CX set. Life too short to ride sheit wheels.

    I think they're better than the 7950-CL wheels having rode those but it's anathema on this forum to NOT like the Dura Ace wheels. Kind of like knick-naming Cavendish Chavendish (very fitting). I'll search for the old post where I talk about aerodynamics and cornering and re-post it.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    ajb72 wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    ajb72 wrote:
    I tried the search function but had not joy - I got the original review as a result but will have another go!

    You were using the wrong search function, you need the other Search function lower down...

    (Next to Members list above the 'Best bike mags' banner)

    That's exactly where I searched, but I find it hard to narrow it down to find what I'm looking for. Must try harder.............
    :?

    I just did a search on Hed Ardennes (search for all terms, in road, show results as posts) and it came up with loads of posts about them...
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    Thanks for your thoughts & help FransJacques.
  • You could always build your own with a set of HED Belgium rims?
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    Too late - order in! Besides which, the feedback on the factory build is already top notch, and aren't HED's hand built anyway?
  • Ah, how I wish I'd gone for a set of these! I know someone with a pair and he thinks that they're amazing.

    Let you know how you get on. I may be back in the market for a pair if my current wheels can't be restored to good working order.
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • ajb72 wrote:
    Too late - order in! Besides which, the feedback on the factory build is already top notch, and aren't HED's hand built anyway?

    How much did your end up paying for the set
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    When I bought my DAs in 2008 I wanted a set of HED Ardennes but at the time no one could get hold of any so I went for the DAs. The only place in the UK that 'had' them was la bicicleta and they never got back to me each time I enquired.

    I absolutely loved the DAs, would have liked to have tried the HEDs...
  • galatzo
    galatzo Posts: 1,295
    Anyone know if it's a noisy freewheel on the Ardennes ?
    By noisy I mean Fulcrum like, my Neutrons were super quiet and Eastons a bit louder but nothing like a Fulcrum.
    Considering these for my new build.
    25th August 2013 12hrs 37mins 52.3 seconds 238km 5500mtrs FYRM Never again.
  • Pokerface
    Pokerface Posts: 7,960
    ajb72 wrote:
    I am especially interested in the tyre pressure you guys have been running them at, how you arrived at the ideal pressure and whether you have noticed more punctures / handling issues as a result of the lower pressure recommended?


    Tyre pressure is more a function of the tyre make and size - and not the rims. Different tyres will be rated UP TO different MAX pressures - but that doesn't mean you have to run them that way.

    It's also a preference thing - some people prefer a softer (low PSI) ride whereas I personally run mine at 120PSI as I prefer them a little stiffer. I find they are more responsive that way - especially out of the saddle.

    A lot of people will tell you 90-100PSI is more than enough. (I also usually have 21mm tyres instead of 23 which run a little better on a higher PSI).
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    Pokerface wrote:
    ajb72 wrote:
    I am especially interested in the tyre pressure you guys have been running them at, how you arrived at the ideal pressure and whether you have noticed more punctures / handling issues as a result of the lower pressure recommended?


    Tyre pressure is more a function of the tyre make and size - and not the rims. Different tyres will be rated UP TO different MAX pressures - but that doesn't mean you have to run them that way.

    It's also a preference thing - some people prefer a softer (low PSI) ride whereas I personally run mine at 120PSI as I prefer them a little stiffer. I find they are more responsive that way - especially out of the saddle.

    A lot of people will tell you 90-100PSI is more than enough. (I also usually have 21mm tyres instead of 23 which run a little better on a higher PSI).

    I cannot dissagree with anything you've said there as a generalisation.

    However, I was curious in this case as HED specifically state tyres are run at lower pressure for the C2 rims and my question was how users decided what worked best for them. I appreciate this might well be different for every user and every tyre, but I was just curious - put it down to the excitement of waiting for my new toys.

    http://www.hedcycling.com/wheels/ardennes_c2.asp
  • Pokerface
    Pokerface Posts: 7,960
    I read the blurb and I get it. It;s a wider rim designed for a wider tyre so you can run a lower pressure to accommodate.

    Very interesting/
  • You could always build your own with a set of HED Belgium rims?

    Any ideas where I might be able to buy these? I'm having trouble.
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • You could always build your own with a set of HED Belgium rims?

    Any ideas where I might be able to buy these? I'm having trouble.

    When I've looked into this, I found that you can only buy these in the States. Try Wheelbuilder, Glory cycles, Lickton Cycles.

    I emailed HED UK and they didn't have a clue about the Belgium rim.
  • You could always build your own with a set of HED Belgium rims?

    Any ideas where I might be able to buy these? I'm having trouble.

    When I've looked into this, I found that you can only buy these in the States. Try Wheelbuilder, Glory cycles, Lickton Cycles.

    I emailed HED UK and they didn't have a clue about the Belgium rim.

    So there's no chance a UK store could order me a pair? I might enquire about shipping to UK from the US, fearful of customs charges though.
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • FransJacques
    FransJacques Posts: 2,148
    Pokerface wrote:
    I read the blurb and I get it. It;s a wider rim designed for a wider tyre so you can run a lower pressure to accommodate.

    Very interesting/
    Yeah Pokerface, AJB's question is how tires interact with the wider rim since this is one of the Ardennes' USPs.

    I wrote a long thread about blowing the sidewall out on a Conti 4000s early in my ownership. Basically it's like this, if you think of the cross section of a regular tire/rim as a light bulb, you'll notice that the sidewalls face upwards on an angle away from the road - we'll call it from 10 till 11 and from 1 till 2 on a clock. The tread covers from 3 to 9 o'clock. Are you with me so far? Ok, now stretch the base of the lightbulb wide so that the sidewalls become vertical and the tyre looks like a semi-circle and not a lightbulb. The arc of the tread is now quite wide/open and it covers from 4 to 8 o'clock and the sidewalls now start at 9 o'clock and upwards and at 3 o'clock and upwards. Still with me?

    I learned at the 09 Hampshire Hilly how this presents an issue for sidewall protection - because with Ardennes the sidewall is the widest part of the tyre it faces a lot more abuse, in my case moonscape craters 3/4 kms from the finish sliced open a rear sidewall in dramatic fashion. This has not happened since (one rear puncture flat via a thron on a PR3 in 1000s of KMs) but it does make me vigilant about what I ride over - not always a bad thing. I have increased pressure over time to just north of 100 psi. I don't know if it's 105 psi, what I do is like most people: I hit my 100psi target then do "2 more for good luck" and take off the chuck and hope for the best for my 81-83 kgs.

    They are stunning wheels (as a piece of kit; well made, really high spoke tension) and stunning performers once you've dialled in the right tyres and pressure. I've not tried any Challenges or Veloflexes but that could be nirvana.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • PM'ed Marin Maniac
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • So there's no chance a UK store could order me a pair? I might enquire about shipping to UK from the US, fearful of customs charges though.

    As best as I known these are local. Free UK delivery this month and 15% off.

    Spoke to the guys from HED at the London Cycle show, and there was no suggestion that they aren't local?

    As for guessing "what pressure", after reading the reviews I decided I'd play with the pressure. I normally ride my tyres hard (>8bar), so with these, started at 6bar and increase pressure in 0.5 bar increments till I found my sweet spot (7bar) which is lower that what's normal for me. Found that at this pressure there was a little give in the wheel that made cornering feel more planted. It didn't feel squirrely, but I also have the stallion build.
  • i was trying to find a more simplified article than this one which explains the reduced rolling resistance / larger contact patch thing a bit

    http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/tech/?id=2005/features/conti_tech

    it doesnt just relate to conti tyres .. the wider C2 rim effectively makes the tyre contact patch wider whatever the tyre as i understand it.
    A skinny tyre has a long, thin contact patch, while a fat one has a contact patch that's almost round. For a given area, a circle has the smallest circumference, so less of the sidewall bends in the fat tyre case. In addition, the greater cross-section of the fat tyre means it bends less, and the combination of a shorter circumference and shallower bend gives rise to lower rolling resistance.
  • FransJacques
    FransJacques Posts: 2,148
    Hey MTH, didn't you get that killer 60/90 combo with the C2 rim? How are they going?

    I'm still thinking of a 40/60 or a 60/60 combo for longer/flatter SERRL road races rather than HH or Hillydon. Not sure if they offer a big advantage over the Ardennes tho for the given weight increase...
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • AidanR
    AidanR Posts: 1,142
    If you're looking for a wide HED-style rim you could do worse than the Velocity A23. Admittedly they're not exactly easy to come by over here, but when I last looked into it, HED rims were absurdly expensive on their own.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    My first road test took took place on Saturday, 50 miles in some really mixed weather and road surfaces.

    First impressions are that I am hugely impressed, these seem tremendous for the price. The shape of the rims reminds me a little of the Campag Eurus wheels from 3-4 years ago, only without the wierd spoke configaration. Straight out of the box they are noticeably wider than a standard rim, but once the tyres are on and wheels fitted, I could hardly tell.

    Although completely subjective of course, they really do seem to corner very well indeed, and held a steady line in both wet and dry conditions. I used a trial pressure of 100psi (Conti GP4000s) for a first ride and this seems a good balance of handling and comfort, coupled with the Cervelo RS this is a very comfy ride indeed.

    One of the first things that grabbed my attention was the added power of my brakes. There is a short but steep hill at the bottom of my road and I nearly went over the bars, such was the added stopping power. I'm not sure of the reason for this, same brake pads as before and I always clean my rims, but I am not complaining as it made for great fun braking later than I've been used to. This also came in handy later when it nailed it down with rain for 2 hours but stopping power was still improved.

    On a few familiar bends they held a very tight line, no hint of washing out. They are also stronger than my Mavic ES wheels despite being lighter, no flexing on climbs out of the saddle. Despite hitting a pothole at 30mph+ they have stayed completely true. So far so good.

    I am down for the Tour of the Peaks Sportive in a couple of weeks so will be glad to have these fitted, they seems a perfect blend of cost/weight/strength for my needs. I note the comments about Conti GP's and these rims, so I will have to keep an eye on wear.

    My only negative comments would be seriously nitpicking. They are not exactly stunning looking - more functional l would say, and the freehub is a little loud, but nowhere near as bad as my Fulcrum 7's.
  • Just out of interest ajb 72, how much do you weigh? I think the standard build has a recommended rider weight limit of 90kg.

    I've also been looking at C4's V22osl wheelset, which Comtat are selling for about £485, black rims/hubs and white spokes:)
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    White spokes? Too PIMP for me!!

    I weight 82kg, so scraped under the recommended limit by a good few pounds. HED do of course offer a beefed up version for heavier riders.