2008/11/13

New wheels



I just got a big bulky box through the mail today, big yet very light. You see, I wanted a second wheelset for the 9 Ball to slap road tires on for training and what do you know, maybe do some road rides once in a while. While shopping, I found a wheelset that had top reviews from everyone who had spent time on them, weight was very good, stiffness, bearings and even aerodynamics, they even have a name that suggest they can handle rough roads Quebec is well known for...



Introducing the Hed Ardennes. The Ardennes are a do it all clincher that are based on a very wide 23mm rim. The benefits according to Hed are that a standard 23c tire's beads are set further apart so the tire gets more volume for additional confort, less rolling resistance, more stable sidewalls and since they are the same width as the rim, the whole thing becomes more aerodynamic. The low profile is semi aero and the heavily bladed spokes and diminutuve hubs makes it one fast wheelset. They also claim they make clinchers feel like tubulars. I have no clue just how true or feelable are those claims but the theory is plausible, Steve Hed has a very good reputation and everyone are saying just how good these wheels are so it's my turn to try them... Oh and I got a great price on them with free ceramic bearing upgrade.



The only negative point with them is that, since they are wider than other road rims, brake setup could be an issue when you switch back and forth between these and regular wheels. My plan is to try them with the brake pads close since they'll be road wheels and more clearance with my Ksyriums that are used for cross... If one or the other makes a crappy brake feel at the lever, I'll have to make myself a tiny and thin u-shaped shim to put in the cable stops, between the stop and the ferrule when I use the narrower rims...

The fancy wheels will be fitted with not so fancy Vittoria Durano Pro tires for durability and an ultra fancy SRAM Red cassette. Now, don't be in a hurry to get more feedback on them, winter's coming and I'll ride the bike on dirt much more than on the road for the rest of the season.