The Ardennes SL Disc Brake Tubular Wheelset combines the supple ride of tubs with a rim wide enough for all-terrain use and a braking system designed to maintain consistent response and modulation in the conditions that tend to define 'cross racing. It's also the lightest member of HED's big-rim/disc-brake team, replacing the LT model's standard spokes with HED Lite bladed steel spokes. Despite their relatively low weight, the disc brakes and 23mm rims recommend the Ardennes SL Disc Wheelset for adventures whose scope transcends asphalt. Road, gravel, fire roads, 'cross — with a width like this, the wheelset's only limitations are your legs and imagination.
The wide gluing surface lets tubs sit fat, putting a larger tire patch in contact with the ground, improving rolling efficiency in the straights, increasing cornering confidence and grip, and further supplementing the plush, supple feel of tubular tires. They also provide a more constant surface from tire to rim, creating less turbulence and thereby reducing drag.
The rims are laced to HED's 545 hubs, whose freehub engagement involves five pawls and 45 teeth. Given this naming convention, the previous model of HED hub — with three pawls and 30 teeth — might have been dubbed the 330. Whatever the case, the numbers don't lie; the 545 has almost double the engagement points as its predecessor, which can pay big dividends while clearing obstacles, punching up steep pitches, and accelerating out of corners on cyclocross courses.