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Tough wheels for tough riders
The icons of our sport are not the brawniest of men, at least not physically. Mentally, though, their toughness far outweighs muscles,and it is that toughness that makes them compelling to watch. Like these icons of sport, the HED Stinger 5 FR Carbon Tubular Wheelset isn't the biggest, deepest or brawniest wheelset available, but, it just might be the toughest. Built with an extra layer of carbon fiber, the 50mm-deep Stinger 5 wheelset is built to motor over the roughest surfaces and handle the worst tarmac. In addition, HED engineers gave the Stinger 5s a raised rim bed to better accommodate 25mm or wider tires, making them not just great road wheels, but also durable enough to take on a cyclocross race.
As in the rest of the Stinger line, HED engineers incorporated their C2 technology into the Stinger 5 wheelset. C2 stands for the two C's that the rim is designed to minimize: Cda, or aerodynamic resistance, and Crr, or rolling resistance. The width is designed to maximize the efficiency of air passing over the tire and rim by smoothing out the airflow. It also maximizes the efficiency of tires by providing better support and a better contact patch for the tire. Because of the width, you'll minimize rolling resistance and maximize aerodynamics by using 22-23mm wide tires. They'll also seat better and ride better over rough road surfaces.
The Stinger 5s come standard with HED's Carbon FR Sonic hubs. The hubs have a carbon fiber center section and use a minimalist shape in order to maximize aerodynamic characteristics. Both the front and rear hubs run ABEC5 bearings on oversize aluminum axles: 12mm in front, 15mm in rear. The oversized axles are stiff, and with less deflection the bearings run smoother and with less drag. The front hub has aluminum end caps with a carbon-fiber center, and the rear hub is all aluminum with a grease port covered by a carbon-fiber cap. The pawl mechanism for the cassette body ratchets on a titanium ratchet ring.
At the rear, you'll notice a two-cross lacing pattern on both sides. With ever-stiffer frames, the force of stomping on the pedals was going to unexpected places. The forces have increased on the wheels and this has reduced mechanical efficiency. To counter these forces, HED stiffened up the rear wheel so that no power would be lost to wheel flexing, thus putting more power into driving the bike forward.
The rear wheel is available to fit Campagnolo or Shimano/SRAM cassettes and the freehub bodies are easy to swap out with two 5mm hex keys. They come with valve extenders and HED titanium skewers. Any carbon-specific brake pad should work well with HED's braking track. The recommended rider weight limit for the HED Stinger 5 FR Carbon Tubular Wheelset is 210 pounds.
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I used the HED carbon wheels this year for the first time, and to really put them to the test I did it on a cross bike. On the road very capable and well priced comparably, for a race wheel I prefer to spend a little more and shave some weight. Durability is second to none as is handling. In a flat run with my TT helmet on I could hear them a little more than some of the other high end wheels that are currently out, but they still perform better than most. If you have other questions on these or want me to comp your shipping contact me directly here at firstname.lastname@example.org