Last week we received two sets of HED Big Deal carbon rims built with Industry Nine hubs that had been special ordered for customers. After we get some actual ride feedback we’ll post a more detailed review but we figured they were special enough that they were worth a preliminary post right away.
First off, the rims look gorgeous. The pic above does them very little justice. It’s also worth noting that they’re 85mm wide, which for some bikes means you can go bigger than the stock 80mm but not run out of clearance as you might on some frames in combination with the largest 100mm rims. FTR HED also makes the BFD carbon rim; essentially the same as what’s featured here but 100mm wide.
The biggest news though, before actually riding them, is the weight. The rim is just 445 grams. Yes. 445 grams. For 85mm wide FatBike rims. Built up from the HED factory in Minnesota (where the rim is fabricated in house from start to finish) with an Industry 9 hub and CX Ray bladed spokes one of the rear wheels shipped to us was to replace a Surly Holy Rolling Daryl rim with a Hope Fatsno hub and tapered DT Swiss spokes (not a bad build in and of itself). The difference in weight between these two builds? Exactly 2 pounds! That is to say just the rear wheel swap to the HED build saved 2 whole pounds. The front and rear swap together equalled approximately 3 pounds savings total.
It’s worth noting that this swap included going tubeless with the HED’s, vs a tubed set up on the Rolling Daryls. On the Daryls we had Nate 4″ 120 tpi tires installed vs Vanhelga’s on the HED’s, but the difference between the tire weight itself is negligible. We used Vanhelga’s on the new build because they’re known to be great for tubeless set up, and the HED rims are also supposed to work really well without tubes. True to their reputation the Vanhelga / HED combo sealed like a charm. Frankly it was the single easiest tubeless install we’ve ever done on any wheel. HED promises we can run super low pressure on the rims while tubeless with no burping issues. Time will tell, but so far these things have totally lived up to the hype.
So, what does all this awesomeness cost you? Lots. Like approx. $3200 US for the wheels (without tires) plus brokerage fees, and the exchange rate to Canadian dollars is nasty right now. Just to test your willingness to spring for these further the wheels (rims, hubs, spokes, nipples, built and ready for rubber) don’t come with skewers, tubeless valves, or rim tape. What!? That was the one disappointment receiving this shipment. The wheels cost more than a good complete FatBike but they don’t come with skewers? I guess when you’re hanging with this crowd money isn’t supposed to be a concern.
We’re not going to let that get in the way of our enthusiasm though (we weren’t planning on ever retiring anyway) because these are arguably the nicest wheels we’ve ever set eyes on. If you want a pair for yourself we’d be happy to make another order. We need to know your required hub width, prefered hub colour, type of skewer that the hub needs to accommodate, and the type of freewheel you’re using. Then you need be able to hand over lots of money and 4-8 weeks patience before the wheels arrive.
More to come as soon as we give these wheels a really good ride…