Ten days after Unbound Gravel, HED just launched a gravel wheelset named after the race’s hometown in the Emporia GC3 Performance. This $1,650 carbon fiber wheelset takes its cues from the company’s top-shelf Emporia GC3 that sells for $2,400.
Many companies are pushing ahead with the second-tier carbon wheelset concept, from Enve to Bontrager to Roval. Notably, HED is building its Performance wheels in the U.S.
The Emporia GC3 Performance is 26mm wide internally and 31mm externally. The 405g rims are 30mm tall, with 24 spokes.
Claimed weight for the set is 1,545g.
Aerodynamics has been a part of HED’s products since the beginning when Steve Hed patented the toroidal rim shape. Hed was testing products in wind tunnels back in 1988.
Wide rims are also nothing new for the Minnesota company. The Ardennes, launched in 2007 for riding rough surfaces like the Belgian Ardennes cobbles, featured a 20mm internal rim at the tip when road wheels were typically 15-17mm wide.
The new set is 125g heavier than the top-end Emporia GC3 Pro, but features the same iconic HED aero shape.
HED also makes two models of aluminum gravel wheels, the Emporia GA Pro and the Emporia GA Performance.