Although their wheels are designed and engineered in Switzerland, SwissSide makes no bones about the fact that they’re "handmade with love in Taiwan".
SwissSide was launched in 2011 by Jean-Paul Ballard, an engineer with extensive "chops" in Formula 1 racing, along with George Cant, who is an industrial designer.
SwissSide currently offers a range of wheelsets comprised of their top-of-the-line carbon tubular called the Matterhorn, followed by a series low-profile aluminum clinchers. However, for the purposes of today’s article, we’ll be featuring their latest wheel project called the Hadron.
According to SwissSide, their new Hadron 625 clincher wheelset offers a 1% performance advantage over the world’s leading deep profile aero wheels. That’s a pretty bold statement indeed !
Without mentioning any names, SwissSide claims that after extensive wind tunnel testing, their 62.5mm Hadron yielded a 1.1% improvement over a "notable brand’s" 82mm wheelset. To wit:
“For a slight 1.1% increase in drag, the Hadron offers 5.9% reduction in side force, combined with a delayed stall characteristic and improved high cross-wind angle performance,” says Swiss Side.
“These characteristics in particular also offer benefits at low riding speed because for a given wind speed, the effective cross-wind angle is higher. Based on an aerodynamic efficiency performance function which gives a 70% weighting to drag and a 30% weighting to side force, the Swiss Side Hadron offers a 1% performance improvement over the world’s best aero wheel.”
How Were They Tested ?
While different manufacturers utilize different methods to test their wheels, SwissSide undertook the following steps with their testing.
"We tested the front wheel only, then both wheels on a complete bike frame, then both wheels on a complete bike with a dynamic leg dummy. The published results relate just to the ‘front wheel only’ tests although Swiss Side says, “The relative wheel performance offsets and characteristics are the same as with the complete bike simulation methods.”
In essence, SwissSide claims that while the 82mm deep dish wheel may have offered a slightly better aero advantage, the Hadron 625 offered better overall performance. Keep, in mind these findings were based on SwissSide’s own testing methodology – apart from industry standards.
The Hadron 625 utilizes a curved profile, 27mm wide carbon rim that’s bonded to a 23mm wide aluminum braking surface. The hubs are machine from forged 6061 T6 aluminum, along with sealed bearings (ceramic bearings are available as an option) and straight-pull Sapim CX-Rays spokes that are radially laced in the front (18) and two-crossed in the rear (24). SwissSide claims the Hadron weighs in at 740g (front) and 916g (rear) – for a total weight of 1,656g.
The Hadron comes standard with a Shimano/SRAM 8-11-speed cassette body. However, Camagnolo cassette bodies are available upon request.
SwissSide sells directly from their site, and cost is based on current EU pricing (€799 for EU customers, including VAT and shipping and €665.83 outside the EU, excluding VAT and shipping). Prices include skewers, rim tape and replacement spokes., with ceramic bearings available for an additional €125, or £104 outside of EU.
The Hadron is currently available for pre-order starting April 15th, with a release date slated for June.
While there’s an endless array of aftermarket wheels currently available, with each brand touting the virtues of their design, SwissSide in general appears to offer a cost effective way for enthusiasts to upgrade their wheels with a product that seems to have a bit more of a "hands on" approach to their design, along with some definitive science behind them. Score for SwissSide !
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