Recent aero wheels have shown great properties in certain yaw (cross-wind) angles, but these drop off drastically as the air changes direction.
Mike McAinsh at 3T wanted regular aero performance across a wide range of conditions to maintain stability (something ex-F1 designer Simon Smart did for Enve, incidentally).
Once their wide-rim profile was perfected (a CFD and wind-tunnel design process that took place on two continents over many months), construction was looked at.
Cane Creek’s hub IP (intellectual property) was purchased in order to quickly allow it the ability to produce the planned low-inertia wheel. With the nipples at the hub, the spoke/rim interface needed looking at.
Wanting to maintain the individual fibres’ integrity at all costs, drilled or milled spoke beds were quickly ruled out. The chosen idea was rim-wall mounting: moulded spoke pockets align perfectly with the straight-pull spoke hole on the opposing flange.
Crossing near the rim, this design not only allows for high tension but also improves lateral stiffness.
Internally, the rim’s unidirectional fibres are aligned in much the same way as suspension bridge cable, with the spokes loading the fibres only in tension. F1 contacts came into play for the brake track too. The selected surfacing veil surpassed Swiss Stop’s independent testing requirements, including temperature regulation.
So far, only the 1,400g, 60mm-deep Mercurio 60 Ltd has been released, but eventually there will be a three tiered, eight-wheel package with 30, 60 and 80mm options available at 3T’s Team, Pro and Ltd