HED builds on 35 years of making carbon wheels to create their latest mountain bike wheels – the new Raptor 29. With its unique new undulating rim bed for better spoke load transfer, the Raptor 29 is HED’s first 29er cross-country mountain bike wheelset.
HED Raptor 29 carbon XC mountain bike wheels w/ DNA drilling
At first glance, the new HED Raptor 29 wheels look pretty much like any carbon mountain bike wheel. They are matte almost black with exposed carbon weave, have white HED logos, normal spokes, and a nice selection of hub options. But a closer look reveals the slightly wavy shape of the DNA rims.
Dubbed DNA (for Dual-axis Nipple Alignment), this new patent-pending rim tech ensures that carbon is precisely positioned where it is needed, and not where it would be superfluous.
Each wheel has four spoke angles – drive & non-driveside, and leading & trailing spokes off the hub. With that in mind, HED aligns the spoke holes in their DNA rim to be perfectly straight for each of these four conditions, and reinforces the nipple bed to transfer each’s specific load path into the overall rim profile. The result is the exact amount of carbon fiber material, at the precise position to resist spoke forces, without any unnecessary material between spoke holes.
To make it work HED precision machines the rim’s molds specific to each wheel’s lacing pattern and then carefully hand lays up the 148 sheets of raw fiber into these shaped profiles before closing the mold. After the rims are molded in their Minnesota factory, CNC-drilling bores spoke holes perfectly aligned to the angle of each spoke, into the reinforced area of the rim’s nipple bed. In the end, the direct spoke path means no uneven strain of the spoke end or nipple, allowing an all-around lighter wheel with less chance of spoke failure from the repeated stresses of riding.
The slightly hooked, tubeless-ready rim is 25mm internal (31mm external) and designed for cross-country and trail riding on 2-2.5″ tires. The 380g carbon 29er rims are laced in-house with 28 Sapim Laser spokes to one of three different centerlock disc, Boost hub options: HED house brand Brick House, Onyx, or Industry Nine Hydra hubs. Shimano HG, MicroSpline & SRAM XD freehub bodies are available.
As a baseline for comparison, a complete HED Raptor 29 + i9 Hydra wheelset should weigh approximately 1465g.
Pricing & availability
The US-made HED Raptor 29 DNA wheels are available now starting at $2,195 for a set with black HED Brick House hubset. Pick from 23 different anodized color options for a $2,805 wheelset around Onyx Helix hubs, or another 11 ano color options in the super high engagement Industry Nine Hydra hubs for $2,650.
I9 & Onyx hub builds take approximately 2-3 weeks lead time before shipping.