This alloy-rimmed wheelset from aero originators HED is a beautiful handling, highly aero setup, if slightly on the lardy side. The Jet 6’s rim is so wide that it changes the profile of a regular 23mm tyre – and that’s the point. It’s an aero feature designed to smooth the transition from rounded tyre front to rim sidewalls.
This removes the curve inwards that can result from using a 23mm tyre on a narrower rim and, along with the bulged 60mm carbon fibre fairing below, results in a wheel that reduces drag in a wider wind arc than conventional rims. The Jet 6 is also noticeably more controllable in gusty or fast, twisty descent conditions than most 50mm – let alone 60mm – rims.
Lacing the spokes into the rim rather than the fairing makes it heavier and slightly less stiff than some competitors, which makes it a struggle on steeper hills and less punchy when sprinting, but it’s by no means slow. As soon as the speed picks up, you can notice the aero effect immediately compared with conventional wheels – this thing flies.
The Jet 6 is noticeably smoother on longer rides and copes with bad road surfaces better, too. The wonderfully smooth hubs and tight spoke lacing add to the feeling of speed, while the carbon-centre front hub adds pimp appeal, too.
This article is compiled from reviews originally published in Cycling Plus and Triathlon Plus magazines.