HED Stinger 6 Wheelset

HED Stinger 6 300x219 HED Stinger 6 Wheelset

HED Stinger 6 Wheelset

Being a time trialist, I’m a bit of a fan of HED products. There’s something about the smooth lines of HED aerobars and wheels that gets me hooked. They look and ride like the most aerodynamic components on the market, and that just might be the case. The HED Stinger 6 Wheelset is no exception.

HED Research

HED doesn’t put any product out there without testing the pants off it, and this wheelset has had the same treatment. Starting with their basic, and super aerodynamic, wheel design, they modeled and remodeled for days in the wind tunnel. The result? A brand new rim design and a supremely aero wheel that triathletes and time trialists will give their eye teeth for. What makes the HED Stinger 6 wheels really special is the wind resistance reduction in crosswinds. When tested at a fifteen degree crosswind, they found they’d shaved off 100g of drag from their previous wheel model.  This stuff matters because unless you are racing on the track, you’re going to hit some wind sooner or later and it’s never a sweet push from directly behind you. Solo riders – time trialists and triathletes are always trying to find the perfect balance of aerodynamics that cuts through the air, minimizes drag, and yet doesn’t wobble or even veer if you hit a gust or the wind angle turns. The HED Stinger 6 wheelset may be the perfect solution.

Of course, a 60mm rim depth ought to be aerodynamic, but many riders find it’s just a little too deep if the weather picks up. That’s why some riders, if they can have only one decent set of aero wheels in their stable, look for a 40mm type rim. That, and weight, 60mm weight more than 40mm. The theory is once you get them rolling, the aerodynamics make up for it and the weight doesn’t matter. Well, it had better not, because at almost 1500g for the pair, the HED Stinger 6 wheels are not the lightest mid sections around. If you ride hilly courses are a light rider without a lot of power, or want a wheelset that can work just as well in the stop-and-go conditions of a road race, these may not be the best choice – but HED has a 40mm rim wheelset that might be just perfect. If you are a serious triathlete or time trialist and you ride your courses hard, keep reading.

There is more research and design to love. While this wheel may be a bit tougher to get rolling, once it gets going, you won’t find yourself hanging on to your brakes. Building a deeper tire cradle than most aero wheels sets the tires in tighter, meaning you get fantastic cornering stability and stiffness so you can attack those turns with a little more courage. To add even more stiffness, HED uses a carbon fiber honeycomb design inside the rim to reduce weight, but add incredible lateral stiffness. Don’t be afraid to get out of the saddle and power down. These wheels can take some bike rocking without any noticeable flex or sway. Worried that you’ll get road fatigue if these wheels are that stiff? Don’t be. Epoxy coating on the rim will allow a touch of give in the side walls of the rim – you won’t feel it when you ask for power, but it does noticeably absorb some road shock and shiver.

Upgrade ready

Whether you are a solo rider against the clock looking for a quality upgrade for your aero bike or a powerful road racer looking for a specialist set, at $2200 for the pair, the HED Stinger6 wheelset is pretty competitive. There are cheaper 60mm rim wheelsets out there, and lighter ones too, but none are prettier and as aerodynamic once they get going, nor as versatile in different conditions.

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