Zwift’s August update included the first in-game wheelset from Minnesota-based HED: the Vanquish RC6 Pros. HED’s Vanquish RC Pro series are the company’s top-of-the-line carbon hoops, and they come in multiple sizes: the RC4 (40mm), RC6 (60mm) RC8 (80mm), and RCD (Aero Disc).
These wheels are rated 3 stars for aero and 3 for weight, indicating that their aero performance won’t stand out from the crowd. We ran them through our normal tests to learn exactly how they perform.
Here’s everything you need to know about the performance of the new HED Vanquish RC6 Pro wheels in Zwift.
Aero (Flat/Rolling) Performance
The RC6’s aero performance is just slightly better than the CADEX 42 and slightly worse than the Mavic Cosmic Ultimate UST. This places them around the 37th percentile for aero performance.
Their test time of 51:08.5 is 43.5 seconds slower than the current fastest road wheels (DT Swiss ARC 1100 DICUT DISC) on our test course, which is two laps of Tempus Fugit totaling 34.6km.
The new RC6’s climbing performance matches CADEX 42 wheels, placing it in the 65th percentile overall. And yes, we agree that it’s a bit surprising to see a 60mm deep wheelset performing better on climbs than it does on flats!
The RC6 wheels turn in an Alpe time of 49:22. The fastest overall climbers in game (Lightweight Meilensteins and Roval Alpinist CLX) complete the test 8 seconds faster.
Note: all test results above are from a 75kg, 183cm rider holding 300W steady using the Zwift Aero frame.
The HED Vanquish RC6 Pro wheels look pretty sweet IRL, but their performance on Zwift won’t be turning any heads. If you’re a HED fan, though, you may want to pick these hoops up to give your bike a unique look.
In Zwift, these wheels are essentially a copy of the CADEX 42 wheelset. Not in terms of looks, mind you, but they have the same price, level lock, climb performance, and almost identical aero performance (1/2 second difference, which is probably just a Strava rounding error).
IRL, the deeper-dish HED wheels outweigh the climber-friendly CADEX 42s (1589g vs 1327g), and we would assume the deeper HED wheels outpace the CADEX 42s in terms of aero performance. So it seems a bit odd that they would match on Zwift. But that’s why we test things – because IRL performance doesn’t map directly to Zwift performance. That’s simply not Zwift’s goal when they add items to the Drop Shop.
The HED Vanquish RC6 Pro wheels will be added to the following posts, and it can also be found on our Master Zwift Wheels List:
Questions or Comments?
Important note: this post contains speed test results for Zwift frames or wheels. These results may change over time, and a bike’s performance relative to others may also change. We don’t always revise posts when performance rankings change, but we do keep current, master versions of our speed test results which are always available. See the frame charts, wheel charts, and Tron vs Top Performers for current performance data.
Note: all test results above are from a 75kg, 183cm rider holding 300W steady using **Zwift’s stock 32mm carbon wheelset**.
Ha! Whoops. Fixed.
Zwift’s decisions about wheel characteristics are baffling.
Articles like this could be improved by answering the question: what should I buy instead if I want a similar but better wheelset? (As good or better speed, weight, price, and level lock.) DT Swiss ARC 1100 DiCut 62 seems like it’s still the winner for all-rounder wheels for beginners. By level 8 there’s no reason to buy anything else for a mix of good climbing and speed.
I find it very strange. A cycling mag in UK did a test at an F1 aero wind tunnel and found that the HED wheels were actually 3rd best beating the Zipp wheels. How come zwift rate them so slow? I always think the 5 stars are so wrong, it should be at least 10 stars to give a better representation of degree of aero/speed.
No doubt Zwift will either fiddle with them or not.
10 stars would be better, or 100, but no amount of stars will fix the fact that they simply make up the characteristics of the wheelsets with little or no reference to reality. A lot of the equipment in Zwift is just pretty stuff to dress up your avatar.
really strange as almost always that this deep aero-wheels are sooo slow on the flats and climb very solid … hard to understand
@eric : little correction … the HED’s climb 8s slower than Meilensteins and Alpinists 😎🙋♂️
Ah, good catch! Fixed.
Eric, do Zwift HQ ever sneakily revisit and change the properties of existing wheels therefore messing up your lovely charts?