The Hed Belgium C2 clincher rim is one of the new generation of rims with a slightly wider 23mm width that delivers plenty of strength, aerodynamics and solid handling. Hed's research shows the C2 rim with its 24mm profile and 23mm width saves about 40 seconds over a standard clincher rim in a 40k time trial due mainly to a smoother transition from tire to rim creating improved laminar airflow.
The shape of C2 give it a couple more big benefits in addition to being aerodynamic. The wider profile makes the C2 a very strong rim so if you usually use a 32-hole, you can easily use a 28 with the C2. High rim strength means less truing and less worry if you happen to ride the occasional unpaved road.
Perhaps the most talked about benefit of the C2 is how it contributes to both better ride quality and more solid handling. It does this by better supporting the tire with reduced tire deflection in corners. So say goodbye to squishy, squirrelly cornering and rail descents with confidence. Improved tire alignment over the rim allow lower tire pressure and reduces the change of pinch flats. All the benefits of the C2 make it a rim worthy of consideration for both road and cyclocross use.
Use this rim in a custom wheel build with our custom online wheel builder tool.
Rim strips are not included. We recommend using Zipp or Continental 18mm rim strips with the Hed Belgium C2 rims due to the wider 23mm rim profile.
I built a PowerTap wheel with the Hed Belgium, and it performs well, stays true, and is really strong. The greater width may help cornering, but I'd have to run wider rims on both wheels to notice a significant difference. My one criticism concerns the depth rather then rim width. I have stopped using Continental 4000 and even Vredestein tires because they are too difficult to mount and dismount on the road. In New Mexico flats are common; I've broken two tire levers trying to remove a flat tire. Currently I'm using Panaracer tires because I can change them when necessary.
Cons: Too tight for some tires
I received my wheelset built with these HED rims from Excel two weeks ago. Since then, and weather permitting, I have taken four rides on them. All I can say is all the "hype" is true. This wheelset performed flawlessly. Where they have really shined is in cornering. Although slightly more comfortable in a straight line, they have a confidence-inspiring planted feel while descending through the twisties. I've been using Mavic rims since they called them Open 4 CD's. Although a quality rim, I have suffered through the "creaking", two spokes pulled through eyelets and wheels that went out-of-true quickly. Due to the wider, stronger HED's I don't think that will happen.
There is plenty to be read out there regarding the advantages of wider rims so I won't go into all that. But I must say that I am greatly enjoying them. One benefit not often mentioned is that you can run wider tires without the usual hassle of squeezing them through the brakes (as your brakes will be set wider.) I'm running Michelin Pro Optimums that measure 28mm with calipers and they will pass through my Ultegra brakes without any squeezing. I'm 155lbs and have settled on 90r/80f psi. (with the Pro Optimums.)
Built this into a rear wheel a few weeks ago and I gotta say this is even higher quality than Mavic. I was replacing an A340 that I dinged hard in a pothole. The Stans rim was difficulty to get straight in the first place and had a brake track that was uneven, resulting in pulsating brakes. The Hed was straight out of the box, built very easily to absolutely true and has a brake track that is perfectly smooth. The wider rim does result in a more planted feel, especially at lower pressures (I am 150, been using 80psi). Braking is a joy, the wheel is quite stiff laterally and the matte finish is almost like teflon... easy to keep clean. With the wide Stans strip, even the tubeless setup was easy peasy. Solid.