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Wind Tunnel Tested: Five Aero Wheelsets

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Jan 30, 2013
  • Updated Feb 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM UTC
Photo: Scott Draper


Hed Jet 6 / Jet 9 FR

$1,950, Hedcycling.com

Roll it: For unfettered confidence

Keep looking: If you want quick, responsive acceleration

Braking performance: It’s not even close: Hed’s Jet wheels brake better than the others. Really, it isn’t a fair fight. These wheels boast the only aluminum brake surface, which creates predictable stopping modulation, more power under emergency braking and dependable friction in rain. The braking performance of the carbon wheels in this review is a testament to the improvement in composite stopping performance, but they still can’t match alloy. Hed is the clear winner here.

Cornering and acceleration: Simplistic construction keeps the Jet wheels’ price well below the rest, but it also impacts the weight. They tip the scales substantially more than the other four sets, and that difference is perceptible on the road. Riding the Jets feels less responsive when sprinting up to speed, but their cornering is outstanding. Exceptional brake performance inspired testers to take “more aggressive lines through technical corners.”

Road feel: Ride testers repeatedly used the word “plush” to describe the feeling of riding the Jets over semi-rough pavement. Every other wheel in this review has spokes anchored directly to the deep-section rim, but the Jets’ spokes pass through the flimsy carbon fairing and lace in a shallow box rim. Crosswinds seem to push only against the wheels and not create any steering input by twisting the front wheel.

Overall: If they’re going to live on your bike, Hed’s Jets win out for braking and overall control combined with aero performance beyond their price tag.

RELATED: Everyday Race Wheels

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FILED UNDER: Bike / Gear & Tech / Hi Tech Upgrades / InsideTri

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at Ahersh@competitorgroup.com.

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