25 is the new 21, we guess. There is so much buzz around gravel riding and just plain using big tires with drop bar bikes. Wheels you use for racing or generally going fast on the road have evolved and keep evolving albeit at a much slower pace than a while ago. Gravel wheels, on the other hand, are in a much faster evolution phase, and there are a bunch of new ones out there.
The HED Eroica rims got leaked about a year ago, and have finally landed. In what's going to be a common theme here, they're 25mm wide internal, but these are 24mm deep. Unusually for alloy rims, the external width is a full 5mm wider than the internal. These suckers have sort of a fat lip, which HED pithily calls the Fat Lip. This is meant to provide more durability against dings and dents. Despite this, they're still light enough for business at 460g in 700c/440 for 650b. The rims are symmetrical (no offset) and have a hooked bead. Graphics are understated and well done, in keeping with HED's style. If you've followed us at all, you know the high regard we have for HED's alloy rims, and these are absolutely in keeping with the work that made us fall for them so long ago.
The blackest of all these new rims are the All Road 23s. You guessed it - they're 25mm wide internal (just like our other All Road wheels), but slightly less wide externally than the others at 30mm. Unlike the deeper All Roads, these have a hookless bead, which is why there's slightly less difference between inner and outer widths. These are meant for 33mm tubeless tires at least (gotta be tubeless), with a max pressure of 50psi. There aren't any restrictions on which brand of tubeless tires you can use - we've tried a bunch and they've all worked great. But they do need to be tubeless tires, whether you use tubes or not. They're 23mm deep, and they have a 2mm offset. At a feathery 365g for 700c (650b model will happen in a few months), it's easy to get these down to around 1300g with standard parts (or a bunch under if you go weight weenie). . I've been on these for nearly a year, mostly with the 35mm Schwalbe G-Ones shown here. Perfect
All of the standard options will be added in time (have we mentioned that it takes a bunch of doing to get the product pages all built?) but the HEDs are available now for standard delivery, and the All Road 23s are available to order in the current pre-order.
They'll also now all be available with Onyx hubs, which is a story for another day...
Trey – With the caveat that a whole lot of people don’t give a rat’s ass about staying within UCI width limits, there’s going to be some trouble staying within them using Eroicas. But we have to test the burp resistance of the much more completely than we’ve yet done. More or less you don’t get burping in gravel situations – slightly more width and slightly more pressure makes a huge difference. All that said, there’s no rim that holds CX tires like Grails do. It’s the king of one thing – not burping in CX. I still hear people complaining of burps in CX when they are basically completely avoidable with Grails and a proper tubeless tire. RCGs, GOATs, and Cafe Racers also do a stellar job of not burping, but the Grail bead lock is more secure than anything else we’ve ever seen. Id just live with re-rimmimg them every “x” seasons and call it good.
What are your thoughts on the Eroica rims for someone whose beat the hell out of his Stan’s Grails over five-seasons of CX? Very happy with the way the Hutch and Donnelly are extremely stuck onto the Grail rim at 22-28psi with the Stan’s Grail. I’d run either a Torreno Dry (file tread), Hutchinson Toro, or Donnelly PDX on them.
The tire staying on the rim at low pressure when rolled-over is paramount; damaging the rim is a secondary concern. I have a set of intermediate tubulars when I should have run file-tread all season, don’t have the budget or time for low-category racing on 3 sets of tubulars. Any chance you’ve mounted a tire to the Eroica and attempted to pry the tire off at 15psi? It would be great to abandon huffing mastic.
Thanks Andrew. We’re very confident that with the size and pressure range we’ve specified, just tubeless is good enough. Plus, in a market with what some would call deficient standards, there really is not standard at all for hookless tubeless compatible. I’d presume it’s well established that we’re way on the side of caution, and we are here as well. Plus, some tires just come off some or many rims. Ever tried a Challenge Paris Roubaix? (hint – pre-arrange a ride home from where the tire comes off and becomes unusable)
You may need to specify hookless-compatible tubeless. Some road tubeless still require hooks – like some Specialized 2Bliss models. I’ve heard of them blowing off hookless gravel rims …
Hi Ben – It’s security with the hookless bead. Probably a touch of over caution but it would be hard to find a tire that’s in the AR23’s wheelhouse that isn’t tubeless ready.