HED is not an acronym, but the last name of founder Steve Hed, who began his journey into the world of light carbon wheels in the mid 80's. Steve was a creative and innovative designer. Not content with merely elaborating on what came before, Steve charted new waters for some ground breaking designs in carbon wheels.
He coined the phrase "True Speed" to encapsulate his philosophy of what goes into the fastest carbon wheels on the planet. For Steve it was never just an issue of some aerodynamic goals realised in wind tunnel testing. His approach included all aspects of wheel performance. Issues like drive train efficiency, stability in crosswinds, lateral stiffness, comfort, quality control, weight, and carbon fibre manipulation all come into play in a HED designed wheel. In the early days HED brought solid carbon wheels to the masses at affordable prices and also introduced the concept of deep carbon front wheels that dealt with the problems of stiff crosswinds. These innovations are ubiquitous in our modern day, but many of these ideas sprung from the mind of Steve Hed.
So what's happening at the HED factory these days? Not content to rest on their laurels the HED team has been busy bringing us some clever innovations in rim technology. HED has waded into the world of FAT bike rims and has an amazing 500 gram carbon rim thats a 100mm wide. Aptly called "The Big Fat Deal", this rim pushes the boundaries of what can be done with ultra wide and ultra light Fat carbon wheels. For those of you that may have a leaner budget for your Fat Bike wheels, HED gives us the "The Big Aluminum Deal". The alloy counterpart that still gets you out on the trails riding HED rims but for a whole lot less!
For those who are seeking a rock solid training wheel many have chosen a perennial favourite, the Belgium or Belgium Plus. Essentially the same rim with slightly different widths, these rims answer the call for a bomb proof alloy rim that weighs around 465 grams. Choose between 23 or 25mm widths and spoke hole counts of 20 through 32.
Available in either a disc only version and one for classic rim brakes. The Belgium is a well made rim with ideal dimensions for improving the tire profile. They smooth out your long training miles and are perfect on gnarly gravel strewn roads. Build up a set of killer cyclo cross wheels that require wider tires. There is also a disc rim for the tubular devotees. The Belgium's are what many wheel builders might call a "do all" rim.
I haven't covered every last option so by all means take a peak at HED's website for all that they offer. Cognoscenti Cycles is very proud to be carrying HED's amazing products. We hope to be busy building up lots of wheels in 2017 equipped with HED rims. Give us a ring and we'll sort out a set of world class wheels for your next ride.