HED’s latest gravel wheelset is super wide and a whole lot more affordable than the flagship

26mm-internal hookless carbon rims for gravel hijinks

HED's new Emporia GC3 Performance wheels

Wheel maker HED has announced its latest carbon gravel wheelset, the Emporia GC3 Performance. Named after the Kansas city Unbound Gravel calls home, the new wheels are a more affordable sibling to the range-topping Emporia GC3 Pro.

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The Emporia GC3 Performance is priced at $1,650 for the set and features a 700c rim that’s 30mm deep and 26mm wide internally. Pricing in other territories is to be confirmed.

According to HED, the Emporia’s rim design is optimised for easy gravel tyre installation, while also taking aerodynamics into account (although no specific aero claims are made).

We’re seeing ever-wider gravel rims hitting the market and the Emporia GC3 Performance is at the broader end of the spectrum.

The internal width of 26mm demands a minimum 32mm-wide tyre, and externally the rims measure 31mm across at their widest. Despite these substantial dimensions, rim weight is respectably low at a claimed 405g.

Built up with HED’s own hubs and 24 Sapim Race double-butted spokes front and rear, the total claimed weight for the Emporia GC3 Performance wheelset is 1,545g, a penalty of just 25g over the $2,400 Emporia GC3 Pro.

Cyclist riding gravel
The Emporia wheelset is aimed squarely at gravel with a 32mm minimum tyre size.
HED

Like a number of recently launched gravel wheels, including the FFWD Drift and Zipp 303 Firecrest, the Emporias use a hookless rim design, meaning they’re not suitable for non-tubeless tyres. HED reckons it can produce a tougher rim this way, better able to withstand abuse.

Hookless can mean tyre compatibility headaches with road rims, but there tend to be fewer issues with gravel-sized tyres which are run at lower pressures. As ever, though, we strongly advise sticking to both rim and tyre maker’s recommendations here.

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The Emporia GC3 Performance wheelset is made in the US and is available to buy now.