The following was written by a recent Cycling House customer who purchased the HED Ardennes LT + with a Powertap G3 hub.
I’ve now done about 300 miles on my new wheels. You may recall I set them up with Hutchinson Fusion 3’s, 23mm width tires. This is my first wheel set on tubeless tires. So, I feel I’m experiencing a lot of new technology (wide rims, tubeless and power-hub).
Since I own and ride several bikes with various wheel sets, I can compare these new Ardennes to some very competitive and popular wheel sets that I have ridden over 10k miles on between them. They include: Campagnolo Shamals with Michelin Pro 4’s, Zipp 202 tubular with Veloflex Criterium, DTSwiss 240 hubs with RR440 rims with Veloflex Master tires. In addition, I have only used/tested the Ardennes on my favorite go-to bike a Colnago C-50. So this gives me a good basis for comparison/observation for the following:
- Weight: The Ardennes + with the G3 hub are on the heavy side to be a performance oriented wheel. With skewers, rim tape, valve stems (no tires and cassette) I weighed them in at 1720grams. They don’t feel too heavy while riding them, so I think the rotational mass is fairly balanced. So not the best accelerating or climbing wheel I own.
- Stiffness/Ride Quality: I can’t detect any flex in the wheels, and they do feel somewhat stiff, but they ride very comfortably. I feel the combination of the wide rims, tubeless tires, and spoke tensioning work very well together. They manage varying road conditions and quality better than any of my other wheel sets.
- Performance/Handling: High speed descending on straight line or cornering (+30mph) they are as good as any of my other wheel sets. On tight technical turns they are very confident (width and tubeless seem to be the factor), but slower on acceleration (heavier) compared to my other wheels. Overall top speed and aerodynamics seems comparable to my other wheels, although I my Shamals seem to be faster on big descends)
Note: All my rides were done on roads in Norcal in Marin and Sonoma counties, where climbs are frequent and steep, with +14 grade being common on sections, and road surface is variable from good to terrible (pot holes). I have not commented on the G3 hub and power, since it is not a major impact the wheel performance/experience (neutral point of view).
My primary use for these Ardennes will be long distance training rides and double century racing. For this application, I am confident that I have the best wheel set currently available for my riding style and level of performance. I think these wheels will be tough and durable over some rough pavement (pot holes, chip seal), but provide good comfort that is always needed to limit fatigue after +8 hours in the saddle.
Overall I am very pleased with my purchase of the HED Ardennes + and G3 hub. I hope this review is helpful to you and other customers.