The Ardennes + Flamme Rouge clincher wheelset is their top end offering of the Ardennes series which uses 18 front and 24 rear silver bladed Sapim CX-Ray spokes combined with carbon Sonic hubs to achieve a low 1492 gram weight. The Ardennes + FR features a 25mm wide rim that extends the benefits of the 23mm wide C2 technology. The main improvements over conventional narrow rims (and even HED's current 23mm wide C2 technology) include: better corner grip, improved comfort, and increased rolling speed. We have found the HED rims/wheels exceptionally strong and rarely need truing.
This widened platform provides many benefits. The tire casing is allowed to spread out and make a larger contact patch with the ground. This improves corner grip as well as lowering rolling resistance. The wider rim also increases the amount of air volume which in turn allows the tire to be run at lower pressure. This lower pressure means that the bumps will be smoothed out in the road, which improves comfort. Unlike with narrow rims, the wide platform supports the tire sidewall so that you can corner with more confidence, as there is no tire flop. Lateral stiffness and drivetrain efficiency are improved in the Plus wheels due to the increased width.
The 25 mm wide platform provides a more stable platform for tires of any size. This versatility in tire size and the ability to run lower pressures makes it a great choice for cobbles, gravel, and dirt, while a larger contact patch increases rolling speed across every surface, and silky smooth on the pavement.
Another difference over the 23mm is the new 25mm wide rim that is tubeless ready so it can be run with standard clincher tires and tubes as well as with a tubeless tire and sealant. A very tight bead (shelf design) seat helps reduce the amount of sealant needed, helping keep the total wheel weight low. Other features include reflective decals for more visibility in low light and a 2X spoke pattern rear wheel for efficient power transfer to the rear wheel. Black HED Sonic hubs and black bladed spokes round out the package.
Shimano/SRAM compatible with all cassettes up to 11-speed.