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HED Vanquish GP6 Disc
$1,950; 1730g, disc brake only, tubeless compatible
60mm deep, 30mm external width, 21mm internal width
The big news on this mid-budget pair of carbon wheels is the big fat rim width. Coming in at 30mm—where most brands stick around the 26-28mm range—the Vanquish GP6s give some unique properties like increased aerodynamics and the ability to run very wide tires up to 45mm if desired. In fact, this wheelset even works in the dirt with gravel tires according to HED. While this makes the Vanquish GP6s a very versatile wheelset, unfortunately it also makes them slightly heavy for the price—a worthy sacrifice if you need the additional heft for off-road use. Also, for those who ride a rim brake setup, unfortunately this wheel is available as disc only, as HED says the lack of a braking surface helps achieve a wider (and safer) shape. Much like Enve’s line, HED still makes all of its wheels in the U.S.
Once set up, the Vanquish GP6s proved to be one of the harshest rides for high- mid-, and low-frequency bumps—possibly due to the wide rim. To combat this, we’d recommend running this setup tubeless and at a slightly lower pressure than other wheelsets and/or using a wider tire for added comfort. The good news here is that there’s plenty of space for wide rubber (just be sure your frame and fork can say the same!). On the other hand, we loved the stability and predictability of this wheelset in corners and crosswinds—probably another side effect of the ultra-wide rims. However, unlike some of the other wide rims, we found this to be a less responsive wheelset when it came time to really pour on the torque. Riding with high watts and power was fine—no real loss of effort there—but when going from low speed to high, there was a bit of a delay in power transfer. While this isn’t something that should be an issue for a triathlete, roadies may not be as excited.