HED announced a new aero disc version of their Vanquish carbon clincher line, appropriately called the Vanquish Aero Disc. Similar to other HED discs, it’s based on a spoked wheel design with carbon skins added for aerodynamics. The disc brake-compatible wheel uses their super wide 30mm external / 21mm internal width, optimized for 23 – 28mm tires. Perhaps most shockingly, HED claims an insane -300 grams of drag in the wind tunnel. Yes, that’s negative drag – or forward thrust. Without a motor.
HED Vanquish Aero Disc carbon clincher disc brake wheel
The move to carbon clinchers was a big one for HED, who were one of the last holdouts due to brake heat safety concerns. When they finally joined the fray, it was with the disc-brake-only Vanquish line, which recently added a new lower-cost version with down-spec hubs. The new Vanquish Aero Disc completes the lineup for time trialists and triathletes, looking for the ultimate in disc brake performance.
Looking at the drag chart, the first thing you might notice is that the performance is quite good even with 28mm tires. It’s also worth noting that, due to the super-wide 21mm internal rim width, those tires actually inflate to a real-world size of 31-32mm. The second thing you’ll see is that HED is claiming that the Vanquish Aero Disc breaks the barrier of -300 grams of drag. Yes, negative… meaning it gives you thrust.
The concept of negative drag isn’t new, with the likes of Zipp claiming negative drag about a decade ago with their Sub-9 disc wheel. The short of it is that with the right rim shape, tire shape, and wind angle, the wheel creates lift like an airplane wing, with a small amount of that lift helping to push you forward (and the rest creating side force and/or steering input).
The Vanquish Aero Disc comes stock with 12mm thru axle (conversion available for quick release skewer), and is available with all current freehub options. It has a claimed weight of 1,134 grams, and an MSRP of $2,695.