They’re baaaack. In something of a love letter to their home-base of Minnesota and fat-tire bikes that plow through snow and over any terrain, HED Cycling has once again teamed up with Onyx Racing Products and Berd Spokes to create a limited edition fat bike wheelset that is as light as it is flashy.
HED has long produced light fat bike wheels including the carbon 26-inch Big Deal and 27.5-inch Big Half Deal, along with more affordable aluminum counterparts.
When they first launched the ‘Made in Minnesota’ build, HED claimed that these were the lightest fat bike wheels around at 1,740g for the Big Deal (26″), and 1,800g for the Big Half Deal (27.5″). The weights listed on the HED site are now a good bit higher at 1,990g for the Big Deal, and 2,075g for the Big Half Deal. That’s still pretty light, especially when you consider that these wheels don’t need the added weight of a rim strip or tubeless tape for tubeless use. Considering that, are they still the lightest fat bike wheels? Hard to say, really.
We’re still in the process of confirming that these are correct, but HED did tell us that the rims are now heavier since they updated the layup to increase the strength of the rim. At one point, the Big Deal 26″ rim weighed in at 445g, and HED now lists it at 565g which is a substantial increase. The same applies to the Big Half Deal which at one point was 465g claimed, and now listed at 580g. This would seem to imply that the new wheels will be more durable, which they should be with an extra 115-120g of carbon fiber per rim.
They also mentioned there may have been a change to the Onyx hubs, though so far we don’t have any other details.
The Made in Minnesota wheelset features a color-shifting HED logo on the rim that mimics the look of the Northern Lights. They are outfitted with Onyx Black Aura Hubs with ceramic hybrid bearings and Berd Black Polylight Spokes. True to the name, the entire wheelset (rim, spokes, and hubs) is Minnesota-born and bred.
In line with the rest of the fat-bike wheelset lineup from HED, the rims feature a ribbed, single-wall design, are tubeless compatible, and come with a tire bed that does not require rim tape.
They also come with HED’s Inflatobam tubeless technology, which provides a more solid pre-inflation seal that makes it easier to get that sweet, sweet snap of sidewall slapping into its position on the rim, and should cut down on the amount of cursing that sometimes goes along with seating fat bike tires.
The limited-edition wheelset is already shipping. It is available for MSRP $3,200 per set. If that price seems too steep, you could always settle on another set of Big Deal wheels in aluminum or carbon for prices ranging from MSRP $1,100 to $2,000. Those, however, won’t feature the sharp new Northern Lights decal, Berd spokes, or Onyx Black Aura hubs, meaning they won’t be the most Minnesotan wheels that have ever been built, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Like the first batch, once they’re gone, HED doesn’t have any immediate plans to produce more. Get yours while you can.