3T is setting their sights on the wheel market, and setting them incredibly high. With Zipp the segment leader in aero road wheels, 3T’s first offering is designed to take on the new Zipp Firecrest.
A 60mm tubular, weighing a feathery and impressive 1390 grams, the wheels utilize a unique spoke set up. To avoid drilling holes in the carbon, and substantially compromising the structural integrity of the rim by severing fibers, the 3T wheels use a slotted rim design to accept the spokes, which are then attached and tightened at the hub. This allows 3T to mold in the spoke anchors and utilize carbon in tension, and according to 3T, create a stiffer, stronger wheel, with less weight.
A big added bonus is the nipple weight has been moved to the hub, creating much less spinning mass at the rim, which should result in better acceleration than other wheels in the same weight range.
The man behind the design is Richard McAnish, an ex-Formula One engineer from Ferrari. As expected the aerodynamics have been seriously tweaked. The rim is wide, but not quite as wide as the Firecrest shape they are targeting. 3T’s research leads them to believe steep wind angles rarely occur at ground level. While angles beyond 10% may occur at rider height, at wheel height 3T believes they are rarely in the double digits. The 3T design was created to be fast and easy to manage at lower yaw angles, and less concerned with the steep angles the Firecrest shape excels in.
3T has big wheel plans, with 40 and 80mm tubulars planned for this year and eventual carbon and aluminum clinchers to create a comprehensive wheel line. Price for the Mercurio 60LTD is $2750 and they are expected to hit the market this summer.You can be sure peloton will be doing everything in our power to get a set for a full road test.