I’m thoroughly impressed. The product is outstanding, but where HED. stands out from the rest of the wheel companies I have dealt with is their customer focus. Trite? Hear me out.
Exhibit A – the product: Take a look at the Texas State Time Trial Championships: The four fastest 40k’s in the state this year came on HED. wheels: Stinger front with a Stinger disk in the rear. Brant Speed was on HED. Logan Hutchings was on HED. David Wenger was on HED. I was on HED. You get the point? I know it has a lot to do with the engine, but this is compelling. If I was in the market for race wheels next year, I’d pay attention to this list. Guys who are very serious about going fast are riding HED.
HED. takes a different approach to a disk wheel than other manufacturers. Instead of a foam core disk, HED. bonds carbon fiber fairings to their spoked Stinger 9 rim. The result is a disk that is always 100% straight and true out of the box, can be re-trued, and is dynamically stiffer than a normal disk. Ever try climbing on a TT bike with a foam-core disk? Yikes. Not a problem here.
Exhibit B – the service: A friend and teammate of mine was having problems with breaking spoke nipples on a wheel by a major French wheel brand. They shrugged off his complaint and tried to say it was his fault for sweating while riding indoors, despite the fact that he doesn’t train inside and doesn’t even own a trainer. They eventually conceded and told him they would replace the one broken nipple under warranty, but would need to replace the rest of them because they were showing sign of similar failure. He would be charged for the rest. Needless to say, the run-around they gave him was not a positive experience.
Around the same time, I was busy training like mad on my Ardennes. After breaking a 3rd spoke on the rear wheel, I called Vince, our team’s contact at HED. He said they suspected a bad batch of spokes and would have it re-laced under warranty. Just send the wheel in. A week later, I had a freshly built wheel with all new spokes. Oh, and they serviced the hub for me while it was in the shop. Killer.
Exhibit C – the commitment: Recently, when replacing a tubular on my rear Stinger, I pulled up a patch of carbon (I guess my glue job was good). The mechanic at the bike shop said “no problem, just glue a new tire on it.” Vince said “no problem, we’ll warranty it.” I sent the Stinger 6 into HED. and in a week, I had a new Stinger 7 sitting in my living room. Stiffer and more aero? Yes, please. To me, this demonstrates that they want me on the fastest equipment possible, and they want that equipment to be perfect. They wouldn’t ride it like that, and they don’t expect me to either. Now, some shots of the Stinger 7:
Stinger 7 rear with Stinger 6 front. Quite a difference. We’ll see about the stiffness and stability this upcoming weekend at Ft. Hood.
The hub off my old rear wheel. It’s a pretty solid hub design. Even as a fledgling mechanic, I have no problem taking it apart and putting it back together.
The new rim shape for the Stinger 7…this thing is huge. I guess this is just my way of saying “thanks” to Vince and HED. for everything they have done for me over this season. You guys are outstanding.
❤ Matti von Kessing