HED has come out with a 25mm plus version of their popular Ardennes line. Also coming out in the near future will be the 25mm plus version of the Jet. We’ve been fielding lots of questions on the differences between the normal and plus. I’ll try to answer some of the more popular questions here:
If I’m running a 25 tire should I use the Plus?
You can run almost any tire on both these rims (even tubeless). In my opinion the ideal tire for both sets is a 23/25/28. For cross applications I like the plus a bit better. Since the Ardennes is not a true “aero” wheelset I don’t think it matters to get that super flush look with a 23 rim to 23 tire (25 rim to 25 tire). The one common denominator for both Ardennes types is that I wouldn’t use a tire smaller then 23. It kind of defeats the point of running a wider rim. If all you got is a 22 then roll with it, but your next set should be 23 or 25.
I don’t race, but I ride a ton and I want a wheel upgrade?
I like both the normal and plus versions. I think for hardcore recreational road riders the plus is a little bit of a group ride party favor. “Hey look what I’ve got?!” I can feel differences between the regular and plus in handling situations (cx, tech road descents, gravel grinders). For the 50 mile group road ride, the benefits on paper would be better rolling resistance and the ability to run lower pressure. Are you going to feel that on the 50 miler? Most folks won’t in my opinion.
What is the plus good for?
I think the plus version of the Ardennes are fantastic for gravel roads, criterium racing, and cyclocross racing. I also think they are a solid option for a do everything, racing, training wheelset. They are built tough. The wider rim spreads the tire out and allows for better cornering and handling. We’ve also sold a couple sets for light touring. Particularly the plus in a stallion build (20/28) is a great option for some light bicycle travel.