Ask Bike Hugger: Nike Fixed, Rims, Marriages

Our Twitter followers ask us questions about gear, bikes, and sometimes their personal lives. We poll a team of experts and respond.

Nike’s CTRS. WTF?
Hey that’s great that Nike would like to sponsor designers with some level of street cred in order to appeal to a certain demographic and that demo is fixed. The shoes would benefit from more padding and scuff guard for use with toe clips, though. Why is it that designer shoes really just mean that they asked some dude to pick color, but there is little in the structure that says that some particular individual designed the shoe? It’s like the Eddie Bauer edition of the Ford Explorer. Make a fixed shoe sure, but not just a trim level.
Any reco’s on a good road bike? best place to buy online/bay area? – TanyaNoel
We encourage you to buy from your local bike shops; especially in these economic times. Sure you can find a better price online, but that shop is there to help you fix a flat, explain fixies to you at length, and remember the days before Missy Giove was a suspected drug dealer. Get Bicycle’s banal buyer’s guide and then start checking your shops. Bikes are really, very good these days and mostly a good value. We’d need to know what type of riding you want to do to narrow it down.
Can you tell me best rim to get for a disc internal hub for a street bike? – eduvauchelle
If you want disc specific 700C, try Mavic’s or DT-Swiss’ 29er rims. 23-24mm are wide and strong. If you want lighter weight, go for Hed Belgian-named rims (Ardennes, Bastognes, Kermesse), though they do have a machined brake track. If that doesn’t work, go for Mavic Open Pro CD. They are hard anodized after machining, so they are uniform brownish grey. I don’t like Velocity Deep-V; they are stylish but I now believe wider is better than tall unless the rim is taller than 35mm. Velocity does have some really wide AND tall rims coming out, but they are probably heavier than necessary. After spending 2 years on Hed’s C2 platform, we highly recommend it.
My wife is pissed about the amount of time I spend on the bike!
There’s an old bike shop joke about bike mechanics doing doubletime as marriage counselors. The bike breaks people up – sometime brings them together, and it’s a challenge if you start riding big miles mid-relationship. Suggest you explain you’re doing this to get in shape, bettering yourself and aren’t at a bar on the weekends getting fat. Also suggest you do more chores around the house to offset the bike time.

Tip of the week: Come home from a long ride, walk right into the kitchen, make a recovery drink, and do the dishes! Your wife/husband will like you much better.


Photo: Uploaded on March 16, 2009 by simple moth (taking a break)


I’ll still keep beating the Dyad drum, with a little ELVS bling.

what is that?

I get that you guys get schwag from HED, but normals who shop in LBS’s and online have zero association with their products aside from weekend warrior track disc wheels. Even HED lacks a product page for these “Belgium” rims you have reviewed. And I cant find a single seller for them online. Your running the risk of drifting away from your target reader. Where’s the review of the Wienmann DP18? its a 25 dollar deep V clone that appears to be a contender. Nothing about any of the current breed of Alex rims that come as stock equipment on just about everything. They make a lightweight 29r rim that fits the descripton above.            Riding cargo bikes and hitting up bike shows is nice, and envious but at the end of the day should be treated as the exception and not the norm if you want to hold peoples attention.

I forgot that we were discussing internally geared hubs when I wrote the above recommendations.

With the really BIG flange of an internal hub, you may want to steer away from tall rims that don’t have steel eyelets.  I had a customer on a Rohloff hub with a Dyad, and the 3x lace produced so much bend in the spok right at the nipple that his spokes were failing left and right at the bend.  I relaced his wheel this past weekend with a DT rim low profile rim; the result was much less bend at the nipple.  Maybe it was specific to the Dyad…maybe it has extra metal at the nipple seat that restricts the angle the nipple can take. So maybe another rim of similar outer dimensions wouldn’t have that problem.  Also, maybe 2x wouldn’t have had that problem, but I generally prefer 3x for rear wheels that I anticipate seeing a lot of mileage. Whatever, there is no good reason that 6 spokes in 2 months should break on a 1yr old wheel, all just below the nipple.

@meanie is right.  HED makes some great stuff, and just because Byron won’t ride anything else doesn’t make it a catch-all :)  His suggestion for the DTs are a good choice though.  Something else to consider are the Salsa Delgado Cross rims.  I have that setup on my Nexus8 in a 32 hole configuration and it’s been great.

I’ve had mixed luck with the Dyads.  I know they are meant for touring, but on rough terain (cyclocross) I had them start pulling cracks at the nipple.  Same goes for the Velocity Aeroheads.

That was a rather loaded comment. We responding to a question about wheels and recommend Hed because of the C2 wheels, not because they partner with us on our events. We don’t do 5 jersey reviews for socks here or advertorial. If we don’t like something you’ll know it. I don’t know anyone more picky about his wheels than Mark.  Not sure what target audience you’re refering to, but your suggestions are welcome. Hed has refreshed their line to the Ardennes and Bastognes. The reponse to the question was answered by Mark and that’s what he meant.

Thanks Bryon for clarifying on the models mentioned, simply searching for HED Belgium yielded zero results, and I couldn’t find the reference on their site. I rescind my comment on them being unavailable, but I think my point still stands. Your looking at products through the looking glass of someone who gets pursued and donated to for the sake of exposure and a possible review, which as I said is indeed envious. All HED models you have mentioned are in excess of $850 MSRP a wheelset, and again, do not appear available as hoops.

My point is not that you are doing advertorial, but that your disassociated from the realities of your audience. Or better you have forgotten the demographic that you most likely once were. The suggestion went from a 1000$ HED suggestion to open pros ($80 a hoop) and deep V’s ( again around $60). If you guys think a suggestion with that wide of a cost margin is valuable, hey great its your blog, but personally hearing someone extol the merits of products 10x the price range, I just ignore and move on.

Hed’s Belgium line includes the Ardennes, [Kermesse](, and Bastognes. You didn’t find anything for that, because they’re not marketed specifically that way unless you read their brochures and website—search for Hed Wheels and you’ll see the results. We’re talking $700.00 a wheelset at MSRP for the Kermesse.

Possibly the way we wrote this was misunderstood or not clear. These are questions that come in and we answer them quickly. If you asked me, “hey what wheels?” I’d say the same thing. We did not intend to write the complete guide to wheels, but ya know that’s what comments on a blog are for. Tell us your suggestion, but please let’s not hijack the comment thread into some misplaced judgement you have against us.

I’ve spent much time on American Classics as well. They’re spec’d on the folding bikes we ride.

The “Belgian rims” are available separate from Hed’s wheel systems, but Hed doesn’t market them well at all.  You basically have to call them up to get any information on them. I’m waiting on a response from Hed as to current availability and price, but I believe that a rim costs $130-140 retail and is only available in 28H and 32H. I bought a pair for myself, and they built up really nicely onto some older Mavic hubs. My reservation is that they cost significantly more than an Open Pro ($80).

Keep in mind the ORIGINAL question asked, which was about rims for a 700C disc brake, internally geared hub. Obviously we aren’t talking about Hed Stinger wheel systems or the like.

Oh, I see where some confusion arose. Byron edited my response in the body of the article to include the names of the Hed wheel systems, whereas I only said Belgian rims in my quick email response to him when he was writing the entry.

Also, Hed doesn’t even know what to call the rims that they sell a la carte. It’s a good product, but they’re way more into selling wheel systems than rims.  It’s the state of the industry; Campagnolo stopped selling rims years ago in favour of selling wheel systems. Simply put, there’s more profit in a complete wheel than a rim.

That’s right—there’s the Belgian line (they used Belgian places and a type of race to name them) and then the Belgian rims. You can definitely criticize Hed for their marketing. Until recently, all word of mouth. For cargo, the Bettie runs way overbuilt DT-swiss rims.

We’re all fanboys of some kind.

I’ve palped some pretty high flange hubs (Sturmey-Archer, Shimano dyno) laced to Dyads on my commuter for thousands of miles and several years in almost every kind of condition imaginable with only one problem, and I can’t blame Velocity for getting hit by a car. I’d be hard-pressed to argue with success and use some other rim, even if it’s made just across town, like HED.

It probably depends on the hub a little bit.  3x on a Rohloff (32H only) is more angle at the rim than a 36H S-A or Nexus.  In other words, there may be a threshold for the type of spoke breakage I recently had to deal with, but I’m gonna go with lower profile eyelet rim (which Hed isn’t)for durability. 

Now that i think about it, since the Hed rims are only available 28 or 32H and most internally geared hubs (but not Rohloff disc) are 36H, the Hed rim probably isn’t an option anyways. 

WTF are Dyads and please show them to me online, cause all I’m finding is a path to spiritual enlightenment.

Velocity Dyads straight from Velocity USA’s website:

I’ve heard nothing but good things about them—they’re like a beefier Aerohead (which I absolutely love despite their lack of spoke eyelets).

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