Jet 60 C2s: a Roleur wheelset

Earlier in the week, the conditions were just right – a side tailwind across the bike, “lifting” the wheels – and I rode the Modal fast. As “a roleur” type of rider, I get a rush from the momentum of a bike, from getting on top of the gear, and holding it there. Riding a tailwind for me, is like a surfer dropping into a big wave and with 60 mm of wing surface, the Jet 60s catch that wind and roll almost effortlessly.

modal_hed.jpg

As we first blogged, the C2s are Hed’s wide rim wheel. The wider rim changes the profile of the tire, spreading it out. OK, in principle, I get that, but really had to just ride these wheels to understand and feel what’s going on. On the rims, a 23 Michelin tire looks like a 25 and at lower pressure, around 90 PSI, the tires ride like tubulars. I didn’t notice it right away, but after a few bumps, cornering, and riding, there’s definitely something going on.

The C2s are also, “fun.” I don’t know that I’ve ever described a wheelset as fun, but because they ride so differently, there’s more road sensation, you want to just throw them into a corner and that translates to fun!

Check with your Independent Bike Dealer that carries Hed Wheels, or ask me out on the road. Whatever you do, definitely try the wide rims out.

Questions

Does changing the tire profile, affect durability?
Don’t know yet – long term tests will answer that. Hed sent us the C2s for the Modal and I plan on traveling everywhere with them.
How low PSI?
I ran them at 90 and that worked for me. I’ve heard that others are running them as low as 60.
What size Tire?
I like lots of rubber and run Michelin 23s. I think a better choice is 20s.
Tire Manufacturers responding?
Don’t know, but hope so.


6 Comments

Amen Brother DL! By “trade” I’m a track sprinter, but on the road and out of the crits, I’m a roleur as well- at 6’ 2.5” and 210 lbs, it’s kinda hard not to be. That said, I too love when the wheels wind up and spin smoothly and the tempo hits that zen state. Rolling up and over short rises and watching the group string out single file behind you… man that’s great stuff.

As for the wheels… sounds very similar, in concept, to the Shimano tubeless wheels. Lower pressure may eat up a little of the quickness in rolling resistance, but the overall road feel is far better. Having a bit more stickiness in a turn is always a good thing.

I can remember racing on the Specialized tri-spoke wheels for years (still use them on the track). Though they were a nightmare in a crosswind, they were unbeatable if you had a tail or cross wind from the rear. It felt like you were floating over the road!

Right on Tim—we share the same roleurness and my first experience with “lift” on a bike was riding Tri-spokes. I raced those for years, as Specialized wheels, and when Hed started making them. The new Jets are an evolution of [aero wheels](http://bikehugger.com/2007/03/aero_wheels.htm). I started riding and racing in Eastern Washington State where the wind blows in all directions and if you got it just right, as you said, you just roll those wheels at speed for miles (and later pay for that with a long drive home, when you turned into a sidewind).

Next up is for us to review is tubeless . . . we’re waiting for them as is everyone else I know. I don’t know anyone that enjoys gluing, taping, and fretting about rolling a tubular tire off a rim. (well mark does, but that’s just for the [sniffing the glue part](http://bikehugger.com/glueing wheels 3.jpg))

My biggest complaint with carbon-rimmed tubulars is brake pads (and carbon rimmed clinchers). I think it’s ridiculous to have to constantly adjust, clean, toe-in, and other wise tinker with pads. That’s bad engineering in my opinion. I melted a set of Kool stops in one 2 hour race, on a warm day, and it wasn’t even that hilly.

That being said, Reynold’s carbon clinchers offer the best carbon braking surface I’ve ridden and those are also damn nice wheels. A different ride then Heds, but good, and they’ve [got a new 66 out](http://www.reynoldscycling.com/index.php?p_matter=products_wheels_sdv66c).

 

Byron, glad to see you on the new wheels. 
In answer to some of your questions:
I have not seen a decrease in tire durability - I’m getting what I would expect for mileage. 
-I like 20mm tires on these wheels.  I go 170lbs. 
-90-100 lbs is a good pressure.  I’ve ridden 20mm tires as low as 65lbs on these wheels.  it was an accident, but the ride was very nice. It was just a one way commute with just 2 sets of railroad tracks.  Lately I’ve gone the other way and been riding 120psi.  Like it or not, rolling resistance does go down with higher tire pressure.  120 is good for my 15 mile commute but I don’t think I would try 6 or 7 hours at that pressure without my trusty brooks saddle. 
Finally, rouleurness… the wider rim makes the entire package more aero, since the tire width is much better matched the rim sidewalls.  We have not quantified it in the wind tunnel yet but there is a definite “boost” at around 21mph.  Once you are there it is easier to maintain that speed - what you are feeling is lower drag and better rolling resistance from the improved tire profile. 
The “climbing” version will be the ardennes wheel.  For now it has no carbon aero section and goes and honest 1370g for clichers.

And if I remember all the reading I’ve done about various wheels in the wind tunnel, is that the biggest difference is tire/rim profile. It’s not spokes or number of them, it’s all the rim.

Interesting on going the other way—dudes were reducing tire pressure for a better contact patch and to reduce “bounce,” but with this rim changing the tire profile, you can also run higher pressure. Another thing for me to try!

Keeping in mind that this is not the showroom floor, I’ll go a little into tire profile. 
19mm rims came into being as a weight saving tactic, and tires followed. 
Rims were not always 19mm wide, but at some point, right along with drilled brake levers, manufacturers figured out that you could make a lighter rim by simply making it skinnier.  Wider tires (like 23 or 25mm) gave a better ride than a 19 or 20, but they squirmed around more when you cornered, and even back in the 80s it was apparent that skinny tires were more aero and therefore faster on a skinny rim.  Just like the rims, skinny tires were also lighter. 
So…19mm tires were made for 19mm rims, but the ride quality was never very good because of the reduced air volume compared to a wider tire, and grip was not as good as on a wider tire - less contact patch.
Here in the 21st century it is becoming apparent that those guys in the 1940s and ‘50s were not so backward after all.  Wider has a lot of advantages, and with modern alloys and CAD we can (have) made a wider rim that is no heavier than its 19mm counterparts.  The 23mm tires that almost everybody rides are really best on a 23mm rim, not a 19.  It is not that we are trying to drag tires backward and force them to conform to a new standard, instead we are pulling rims forward to work much better with what has become the default tire choice. 
23mm tires give a better ride because of their increased air volume, have lower rolling resistance than a 19, and have a better contact patch at the road.  Matching the rim to the tire only makes them better.

As Bill Davidson says, “what’s old is new,” another example, on a different tangent, is “seat masts.” Carbon frame manufacturers are rolling out “seat masts.” Back in the day, dudes were doing that with steel bikes, a tall seat tube with a stubby seatpost for the same reason as the carbon builders.

Oversize bottom brackets? Pong was pitching that back in the day.

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