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Steve Hed – A Triathlete’s Hero
Hed is widely recognized for pioneering high performance bicycle wheels. His groundbreaking toroidal rim designs were licensed by Zipp and were soon becoming mainstream; additionally he advocated wider rim shapes now widely seen on bikes.
Hed founded his company with Anne, a former professional triathlete. They’ve been in business together for 30 years – creating “a harmonious union between Steve’s out-of-the-box creativity and Anne’s pragmatic grasp on reality,” writes Ellis.
Early Life and Education
Steve Hed was an accomplished innovator who revolutionized bike wheels through his line of aerodynamic products. His company, Steve Hed, became known as one of the first triathlon-focused enterprises, offering fast, affordable wheels used by Olympic and Tour de France champions alike.
Hed’s wife Anne Hed has long been an integral part of running the business alongside him, according to Ellis. Their partnership was described by him as being “the perfect combination of his out-of-the-box thinking and Anne Hed’s practical understanding of business realities”.
Hed and his employees had been hard at work developing new technology for bikes in recent years. Unfortunately, Hed collapsed outside his Shoreview, Minnesota headquarters last week before succumbing to his injuries the next day at Regions Hospital in St Paul and eventually passed away at age 59.
Hed was an industrious inventor who would spend hours tinkering in his garage to develop new wheel shapes, eventually producing what would become known as the industry standard toroidal wheel shape – it remains popular to this day! Additionally, Hed pioneered wider rim shapes; as a result of which, the company now offers wheels nearly as wide as traditional road rims.
Hed was immersed in high-performance cycling, particularly triathlon and time trialing, from its infancy through professional race participation in the late 80s. Through cycling he met Anne who raced professionally at that time – she later used his aerodynamic disc bicycle wheels with great success!
HED continues to thrive and Anne remains its cornerstone and master of all trades. She understands the value of outside perspectives and is working toward keeping more HED’s bike manufacturing here in Minnesota.
Achievement and Honors
Hed is best-known as the inventor of aerodynamic toroidal rim shapes that revolutionized wheel technology. Additionally, his wind tunnel research proved groundbreaking and today his wheels remain an iconic presence on professional cycling teams worldwide.
He and Anne, a former professional triathlete, created their business from scratch together and are described as being “a perfect combination of Steve’s out-of-the-box creativity and Anne’s grounding in business reality”.
Hed was proud of the many firsts his company achieved through triathlon competition, such as Cody Beals being the first openly gay male professional triathlete, Sika Henry being the first Black female pro triathlete and Chris Nikic becoming the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman. He is survived by his wife Anne; son Andrew; daughter Rebecca and two brothers; he passed away at 59.
Hed is survived by his wife Anne, son Andrew and daughter Rebecca. A keen triathlete himself, Hed was co-founder of HED cycling products which helped make bicycle wheels lighter and more aerodynamic than ever. HED bikes can now be seen on athletes around the globe.
He was an incessant inventor, always searching for ways to improve his inventions. His revolutionary designs such as toroidal rim shapes and wider rims, as well as one-piece aero bars were revolutionary innovations.
Anne Hed, Hed’s founder, says athletes who race Hed’s bikes have an emotional tie to him and the company. Steve’s out-of-the-box creativity and Anne’s pragmatic understanding of business realities united seamlessly for them as the company was led by Hed. With his shy smile and long grey ponytail smirk he was known as an iconic face in cycling circles worldwide.
Anne Hed is running HED Cycling along with Hed. According to Anne, HED Cycling customers may spend as much as $6,000 for high-end carbon wheels from this business. HED also produces other high-performing bike components including suspension components and aero handlebars.
Hed is unique among bike manufacturers in that its products are manufactured outside the United States; rather, its factory in Belgium hopes to increase production.
Steve Hed’s net worth has been estimated at an estimated $4 Million. His interests span real estate investment and cycling; Policy Exchange; More Human; He lives with his wife and three children in Monte Sereno California; an inspiring example of someone who knows what they want and pursues their goal with determination.