From the Xtracycle booth at Interbike.
Just in time for the Industry Cup Criterium tonight and the Hugga Hookup, Hed Cycling, sent us their latest wheels and we’re breaking the news here. The deal with these wheels is that they’ve got a 23MM wide aluminum rim and what that does is change the profile of the tire: wider is better. And, you’ve got to ride it to believe it, but they roll like tubies. Not only that, but the wider rim makes for one stiff, strong, and bombproof wheelset.
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We don’t have test fixtures to prove it yet, but the wheel is better and just plain stiffer with the extra width. But the coolest thing is the tire manipulation. The C2 rim changes almost everything, including the contact patch, which means less scrubbing in the corners (Hed has tested this with pressure sensitive film measuring contact patches). The wider tire also has lower rolling resistance and more air volume to run lower air pressure.
Calling them Tubular Killers, Andy also noted that
when the tire spreads on the wider rim the sidewalls flatten and that reduces their springiness – that results in the tubular feel.
Mike will race the wheels tonight and we’ll have them at the Hugga Hookup.
Besides the whole breakthrough, changing-the-profile-of-the-clincher thing, I’m going to travel, commute, and ride everyday with these wheels. Hed’s driving design principle is “no race-day wheels.” They build wheels that you can race, do most anything with, and not worry.
I think these “wider wheels” will also appeal to the commuter that wants a fast, strong wheel to knock off a few seconds off their ride.
Long-term posts to follow after a few trips. And posts from the race.
Disclaimer: While Andy from Hed occasionally posts about Randoneering for us and we ride Hed Wheels, Bike Hugger has no financial interest in Hed Cycling.
This year, with Andrew, Mark, and Mike covering their angles at Interbike, I’m spending time cycling and blogging Vegas. The Nevada RTC has just completed a 14-mile bike expressway from Vegas to Red Rock Canyon.
A few years ago, Pam and I rode to Red Rock right from our hotel and thoroughly enjoyed it. Off the strip, Vegas has these massive bus lanes that we rode in and miles of bike lanes, signed routes, and shared-use trails. It’s surprising, yes, but Vegas is a bike-friendly town.
Last night, I rode the Strip – not something I’d want to do more than say once, but it was an impromptu, rock-the-bike, longtail parade. Also, all that smut you get in Vegas, the girls-in-your-room cards are delivered by couriers on bikes.
I rode past Tony on the way home tonight and couldn’t help but turn around to find out more about his bike. It may not be evident from my phone-cam picture, but he’s riding 36 inch wheels. Apparently this is a promo bike from Coker (they make tires, commuting unicycles, and the odd bike among other things). Coker’s apparently fresh out of the Monster Cruiser, Tony’s riding a variant on that from what I can tell.
Tony says he just liked the bike. He rides for exercise on nice days. I can’t blame him, today was lovely in Seattle.