HED Ardennes vs. Belgium build vs other?
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  1. #1
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    HED Ardennes vs. Belgium build vs other?

    Hi, please help with new wheel choice, details below:

    Bike: Tomato red Surly Pacer.
    Loved this bike.
    Bike stolen.
    They don’t make bike anymore.
    Extremely fortunate to get bike back, albeit lacking wheels.
    Figured it deserved an upgrade.
    Since I have a new bike in the interim, this bike will be my summer bike, lighter weight, and will never see rain.


    I am an avid commuter (about 8.5 miles every single day, hills, sometimes more, and cycle to just about everything else) with very occasional longer rides (whenever possible though that seems to be infrequent). Tend to be a masher at higher gears and low cadence.


    Weight 185-190 pounds. Currently at 190.


    Have done a lot of research. Plan to run 700c 25 mm tires. Clinchers, not disc or tubular. Down to these two choices.


    Which would you advise? Or, other? Thank you!




    1) HED Ardennes SL plus.
    Good:
    -Relatively cheap
    -Lightweight
    -Easy
    Bad:
    -Not enough lateral stiffness? Have seen one person who weighs 200# on internet complain of too much flex. There is a weight limit of 225#. The low spoke count (18/24) looks cool but I am pretty convinced after lots of reading low spoke count is just a marketing tactic to decrease a few grams weight and look cool but am concerned this could result in too much flex. But, most seem to love these wheels, the rim itself should be stiff, and internet-wide there’s not concern about stiffness.
    -Hubs not good enough? Online people disparage these hubs but not sure I’d ever know the difference.


    2) Own build:
    DT Swiss 240s.
    HED Belgium plus rims.
    Sapim CX-Ray spokes.
    24 straight pull front
    32 J bend rear
    Good:
    -More lateral stiffness (?)
    -Lightweight quality hubs
    -Have hand built wheel
    -Have wheel built by LBS which would be cool novelty factor.
    -Red in hubs matches bike (don’t judge me!).
    Bad:
    -Not sure about local bike shop wheel building ability though I totally trust the place and he’s gotten me through a lot.
    -Will cost like $500 more and can I tell difference?
    -Read that DT Swiss 240s would make a great build, but also separately that DT 240s has a relatively narrow flange to flange distance and therefore decreased spoke angle at the rim resulting in decreased lateral stiffness— really?

    Thank you!





  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Use bigger tires. Rear wheel w/ 32 spokes should be ok. Do you really mean 'straight pull' or do you mean radial? Either way, why? I'd go 28 2x front, 32 3x rear. DT Comp. J-bend spokes. HED rims build nicely so even if the local shop guy isn't super experienced he should be ok.
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  3. #3
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    Just buy built wheels from Chris King. I have a set of HED Belgium + on King hubs that have 20k miles on them and I've never even had to true them.

    I'm 6' 5" and weigh 235lbs on a good day...
    Last edited by Finx; 05-11-2019 at 10:06 PM.

  4. #4
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    I'm 6'2 and weight 215, I have a Head Belgium 32 spoke 3x with a Dt Swiss 350 hub that I built and I have put 3000 mi on so far an no problems, The 350 is a good bit cheaper than a 240 hub if you are wanting to lower cost. Also someone on here mention that you could radial lace elbows out the nds and incease your lateral stillness some, I will defer to the more experience wheel builders on accuracy of the prior sentence.

  5. #5
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    another option is the latest Zipp 30 Course wheelset.

  6. #6
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    Spend what you want but I'd say you're over spending (and over thinking) on wheels to be used for commuting 8.5 miles with a heavy steel bike. In other words picking the wrong tool for the job.
    Not that that's necessarily a 'problem' but I don't think there will be any payoff in return for your $ and efforts.

    I'd get Ultegra hubs (32x32) and use Archetypes or Kinlin model of choice for rims.
    I said 32x32 because 28 front is not an option with Ultegra but that would be fine. If you don't care about hubs matching there are a ton of choices for 28 front hubs to match with an Ultegra rear.

    If you insist on light hubs that match your bike (red ones) though I'd suggest White Industries.
    Not sure if you have 10 or 11 speed but either way you'd use a spacer, or not, that comes with the hub. I believe the same is true for 11 speed Ultegra but not sure about that.

  7. #7
    changingleaf
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    Stiffness is more than the rim, but I like the Plus rim better.

  8. #8
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    First off, I think Jay is right that these two options seem like overkill for a commuter bike. And of course, if you have to park in places where theft is an issue, flashy expensive wheels will be a thief magnet. Luckily for you, the thief was more interested in your wheels than your bike.

    A great bang for your buck would be DT Swiss R460 rims, Ultegra hubs and either DT Swiss Competition or Aero Comp spokes and brass nipples. Ultegra hubs only come in 32 hole so if you want to go to less spokes in the front, you will have to move up to Dura-Ace hubs.

    However, if you are concerned about not enough lateral stiffness, more spokes is the way to go. It is very important to understand that rim stiffness will not make for a stiffer complete wheel. It's actually just the opposite. This excellent article explains in detail:

    https://www.slowtwitch.com/Tech/Debu...ness_3449.html

    If you are not inclined to read the full article, you should at least read this part:

    Practical Implications and Compromises

    In the past, I did a lot of work with ProTour road teams, and this brake pad rub was a constant point of discussion. The mechanics would say, “The wheels are not stiff enough!” Sometimes they’d increase the spoke tension on all of the wheels to try to help. The real solution – and what you see done by many wheel manufacturers – is a custom spec wheel for the professional teams. You’ll see thicker spokes, higher spoke counts, and brass spoke nipples (which are more tolerant of high tension and poor conditions). They need to bring more spoke muscle to the fight.

    What about you – the ‘average consumer’? If you’re in the fat of the bell curve – middle-of-the-pack age grouper, 5’2” to 5’10”, 110 to 175 lbs… you may very well be just fine on any off-the-shelf wheel.


    I personally have never had an aluminum rim rub my brakes, but I have had issue with carbon rims. For reference, call me a ‘reasonably strong 170 lb athlete’. My old race bike was a carbon frame with low-mounted TT brake. My usual rear wheel was a stock deep-section carbon clincher with 20 thin aero spokes. While climbing very steep hills, the rim would rub the rear brake pads – which were shaved down – and the caliper was open as much as possible without the lever pulling to the bar. What to do? I exchanged the wheel for an identical one – except for the spoke count, which was 24. Interestingly, the brake rub went away. My suspicion is that the stiffness of both parts – the wheels and the frame – play together to make up a total system stiffness. Adding in a few spokes solved my problem.

    Aren’t more spokes and thicker spokes heavier and less aerodynamic?

    Yes, adding more spokes or thicker spokes adds weight and drag. That’s life. On the flip side, you’re losing power by flexing a wheel or rubbing the brake pads. I inquired with several different manufacturers about the aerodynamic cost of adding a few spokes (i.e. using 24 rear spokes instead of 20). All replied with the same answer: The aerodynamic cost is minimal. The weight penalty is minimal. You do gain a little bit of radial stiffness – which could be seen as ride harshness – but I argue that this is a non-issue, short of extreme cases.

    Why, then, don’t they use more spokes? Two words – fashion and weight. Fewer spokes look cool, and look better on-paper to the gram counters. I agreed to keep any official comments off-the-record from all manufacturers in this regard… but all of them had similar answers - sex sells.


    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  9. #9
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    Whoops.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Spend what you want but I'd say you're over spending (and over thinking) on wheels to be used for commuting 8.5 miles with a heavy steel bike. In other words picking the wrong tool for the job.
    Not that that's necessarily a 'problem' but I don't think there will be any payoff in return for your $ and efforts.

    I'd get Ultegra hubs (32x32) and use Archetypes or Kinlin model of choice for rims.
    I said 32x32 because 28 front is not an option with Ultegra but that would be fine. If you don't care about hubs matching there are a ton of choices for 28 front hubs to match with an Ultegra rear.

    If you insist on light hubs that match your bike (red ones) though I'd suggest White Industries.
    Not sure if you have 10 or 11 speed but either way you'd use a spacer, or not, that comes with the hub. I believe the same is true for 11 speed Ultegra but not sure about that.
    Hi, thanks a lot. Point taken about overspending. And overthinking. I just loved this bike and was so happy to have it back I figured I'd treat to something light. I was just proud I was able to stay away from carbon rims for this!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    First off, I think Jay is right that these two options seem like overkill for a commuter bike. And of course, if you have to park in places where theft is an issue, flashy expensive wheels will be a thief magnet. Luckily for you, the thief was more interested in your wheels than your bike.

    A great bang for your buck would be DT Swiss R460 rims, Ultegra hubs and either DT Swiss Competition or Aero Comp spokes and brass nipples. Ultegra hubs only come in 32 hole so if you want to go to less spokes in the front, you will have to move up to Dura-Ace hubs.

    However, if you are concerned about not enough lateral stiffness, more spokes is the way to go. It is very important to understand that rim stiffness will not make for a stiffer complete wheel. It's actually just the opposite. This excellent article explains in detail:

    https://www.slowtwitch.com/Tech/Debu...ness_3449.html

    If you are not inclined to read the full article, you should at least read this part:

    Practical Implications and Compromises

    In the past, I did a lot of work with ProTour road teams, and this brake pad rub was a constant point of discussion. The mechanics would say, “The wheels are not stiff enough!” Sometimes they’d increase the spoke tension on all of the wheels to try to help. The real solution – and what you see done by many wheel manufacturers – is a custom spec wheel for the professional teams. You’ll see thicker spokes, higher spoke counts, and brass spoke nipples (which are more tolerant of high tension and poor conditions). They need to bring more spoke muscle to the fight.

    What about you – the ‘average consumer’? If you’re in the fat of the bell curve – middle-of-the-pack age grouper, 5’2” to 5’10”, 110 to 175 lbs… you may very well be just fine on any off-the-shelf wheel.


    I personally have never had an aluminum rim rub my brakes, but I have had issue with carbon rims. For reference, call me a ‘reasonably strong 170 lb athlete’. My old race bike was a carbon frame with low-mounted TT brake. My usual rear wheel was a stock deep-section carbon clincher with 20 thin aero spokes. While climbing very steep hills, the rim would rub the rear brake pads – which were shaved down – and the caliper was open as much as possible without the lever pulling to the bar. What to do? I exchanged the wheel for an identical one – except for the spoke count, which was 24. Interestingly, the brake rub went away. My suspicion is that the stiffness of both parts – the wheels and the frame – play together to make up a total system stiffness. Adding in a few spokes solved my problem.

    Aren’t more spokes and thicker spokes heavier and less aerodynamic?

    Yes, adding more spokes or thicker spokes adds weight and drag. That’s life. On the flip side, you’re losing power by flexing a wheel or rubbing the brake pads. I inquired with several different manufacturers about the aerodynamic cost of adding a few spokes (i.e. using 24 rear spokes instead of 20). All replied with the same answer: The aerodynamic cost is minimal. The weight penalty is minimal. You do gain a little bit of radial stiffness – which could be seen as ride harshness – but I argue that this is a non-issue, short of extreme cases.

    Why, then, don’t they use more spokes? Two words – fashion and weight. Fewer spokes look cool, and look better on-paper to the gram counters. I agreed to keep any official comments off-the-record from all manufacturers in this regard… but all of them had similar answers - sex sells.




    Hi, thanks believe it or not I already read that whole article! Probably found the link on here somewhere. That's where I got the idea the minimal spoke look seems to be a marketing gimmick. Except for this guy Pete Mattews who seems to be a wizard even with low spoke counts. Anyway, point taken about overspending.

  12. #12
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    "another option is the latest Zipp 30 Course wheelset."


    Hi. That is a good idea and great wheelset. As silly as this may or may not sound, did not make the short list previously as I was trying to stay under 1,500 grams.
    Last edited by Pinehurst; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:18 PM.

  13. #13
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    I have not heard anyone say or agree with the following:

    1) The HED Ardennes wheels will be too flexy for a 6'3" masher at 190#.

    2) The DT Swiss 240s flange-flange distance matters, or in general this would be a bad hub for these contemplated wheel builds (other than being overkill and pricey).
    Last edited by Pinehurst; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:16 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    Just buy built wheels from Chris King. I have a set of HED Belgium + on King hubs that have 20k miles on them and I've never even had to true them.

    I'm 6' 5" and weigh 235lbs on a good day...


    Fantastic idea and I checked them out. Issue here is for ~$89 more I could have LBS build the DT Swiss 240s wheels in my initial post.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Use bigger tires. Rear wheel w/ 32 spokes should be ok. Do you really mean 'straight pull' or do you mean radial? Either way, why? I'd go 28 2x front, 32 3x rear. DT Comp. J-bend spokes. HED rims build nicely so even if the local shop guy isn't super experienced he should be ok.
    Thank you.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura Roubaix View Post
    I'm 6'2 and weight 215, I have a Head Belgium 32 spoke 3x with a Dt Swiss 350 hub that I built and I have put 3000 mi on so far an no problems, The 350 is a good bit cheaper than a 240 hub if you are wanting to lower cost. Also someone on here mention that you could radial lace elbows out the nds and incease your lateral stillness some, I will defer to the more experience wheel builders on accuracy of the prior sentence.

    Thank you.

  17. #17
    [REDACTED]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinehurst View Post
    1) The HED Ardennes wheels will be too flexy for a 6'3" masher at 190#.
    Probably. You would be best off with at least 28 spokes for your rear wheel, 32 would be better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinehurst View Post
    2) The DT Swiss 240s flange-flange distance matters, or in general this would be a bad hub for these contemplated wheel builds (other than being overkill and pricey).
    Not really a big real world difference here. The other issue I have with these hubs, or any hubs with an aluminum cassette carrier is if you are indeed a masher, your cassette will gouge these. Ask CXWrench how much he enjoys trying to remove a cassette after this has happened.

    If I were you, I would choose hubs with either a steel or Ti cassette carrier like Shimano or White Industries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinehurst View Post
    ..........I was trying to stay under 1,500 grams.
    Probably not a good idea if you are a masher. 1600-1700 is a very reasonable weight for someone of your strength. It's really a law of diminishing returns. I don't think you will feel the difference between a 1600g wheelset and a 1400g wheelset. I also think the issue of rotating weight is way overblown. Reducing rotating weight will (in theory) make you accelerate faster from a stop. However, once you are up to speed, weight is weight.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Probably. You would be best off with at least 28 spokes for your rear wheel, 32 would be better.



    Not really a big real world difference here. The other issue I have with these hubs, or any hubs with an aluminum cassette carrier is if you are indeed a masher, your cassette will gouge these. Ask CXWrench how much he enjoys trying to remove a cassette after this has happened.

    If I were you, I would choose hubs with either a steel or Ti cassette carrier like Shimano or White Industries.



    Probably not a good idea if you are a masher. 1600-1700 is a very reasonable weight for someone of your strength. It's really a law of diminishing returns. I don't think you will feel the difference between a 1600g wheelset and a 1400g wheelset. I also think the issue of rotating weight is way overblown. Reducing rotating weight will (in theory) make you accelerate faster from a stop. However, once you are up to speed, weight is weight.
    Okay wow thanks, really insightful advice.

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