HED Eroica GP Disc Brake Wheels: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted
With a bit of interference from Winter, this final verdict of the HED Eroica GP wheels has been delayed, until now. Here I will wrap up my experiences and thoughts on these new wheels from HED. In my last update, here, you can read that my overall impressions were that these wheels were “quietly strong“. That is still the theme for these wheels. Read on to see what that means.
Ride Performance: When I say the HED Eroica GP Disc wheels are “quietly strong” I mean that they haven’t been flexy, they have stayed true, and have run smoothly throughout the test period. The conditions varied from sub-freezing cold, dry roads to wet, sloppy, muddy conditions and finally on some dry gravel as well. Basically just about everything you might expect to hit plus some urban commuting featuring pot holes, cracked pavement, and heaved expansion joints. The Eroica GP wheels slammed through it all with no issues. Water off a duck’s back.
The “quiet” part also refers to audible characteristics. Once again, these are quiet coasters. The free hub bodies on these HED rear hubs are very quiet on the road. But beyond that, there were never any pinging of spokes, or other odd noises associated with wheels. Nothing. Just quiet “getting the job done” performance despite the conditions or despite how rough the roads were. I try to steer clear of cliche’s, but saying the Eroica GP wheels ‘just disappear’ is too accurate a description of my experience here to ignore using that worn out term.
HED touted these wheels as something that could take a hit and be strong, and in that they have succeeded. I see nothing here that would lead me to believe that I could not fully rely on the Eroica GP wheels to carry me through almost anything I could think of to do on a gravel bike. Racing, training, riding for fun, bike packing- yes. Basically everything I would consider doing on this Noble GX5 I would do with these Eroica GP’s with no reservations.
HED made a big deal out of the ‘Fat Lip’ bead for tubeless tires on this wheel set, but honestly, I don’t know what, if anything I may have done with these wheels that would have proven any benefit from that. Yes, I did lower pressures below what I normally run to gain extra traction on snow and ice this Winter. Maybe having no issues means it worked? I cannot say. But if you live in a fairly rough, rocky area, perhaps then you’d see that Fat Lip feature come to the fore.
At The Finish: The $700.00- $1000.00 price range for wheel sets is a hotly contested price range. The HED Eroica GP Disc wheels come in at $810.00USD, or right in the middle of that range, more or less. They aren’t the lightest wheels at 1640 grams, (my measurement), but they aren’t tankish by any stretch. How do these rate then? Well, if longevity and ease of use is of any value to you, I would highly recommend these wheels. You’ve read my take- strong, quiet, reliable– What more do you want in a set of wheels? Especially ‘daily drivers’ that can double as a race set if you don’t mind a bit of extra heft. Frankly, I’d run these wheels into the ground using them for everything, and with my previous experience with HED’s Ardennes+ wheel set, I feel pretty confident we’re talking years and years of use before the Eroica GP’s gave up the ghost.
Adding in the cutting edge inner rim width, the Fat Lip tubeless bead design, and the smooth running hubs, these wheels end up poking up out of the sea of contenders as something worth looking into. HED may not strike you as a company that has their hearts and minds wrapped around the gravel scene, but they have been active in the gravel scene for a long time. In fact, company founder Steve Hed was a huge fan of rural riding and was pushing the company towards gravel product until his untimely death several years ago now. The Eroica GP Disc wheels carry on the gravel road riding heritage at HED, and are an excellent ‘every man’s’ wheel that should serve their rider well for years.
Note: HED sent over the Eroica SR wheel set for test and review at no charge to Riding Gravel. We were not paid, nor bribed, for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.