New 3T Discus C45 Wide wheelset goes even wider for improved aerodynamics
3T says that the wheels have the aero performance of a 60mm deep wheel in an easier-handling format
3T has launched its latest Discus C45 Wide carbon clincher wheelset. It’s pushed the width of the new wheels out even wider: they’re 25mm internal and 32mm external, while – as the name suggests – they’re also 45mm deep. Claimed weight is 1640g.
3T’s Gerard Vroomen described the aero testing that the brand had performed on its new wheelset, when he visited UK distributor Saddleback to launch the wheels and 3T’s new three bike range of SRAM Red eTap AXS-equipped Strada and Exploro bikes.
Vroomen was half of the team that launched Cervélo cycles, with its groundbreaking aero designs – a feature that’s now become de rigeur on every top-end machine, so he knows about aerodynamics. He describes the development of the new wheels as the most fun aero project he’s worked on.
3T looked at the aerodynamics of the new wheels against 60mm deep aero sections. But Vroomen’s view is the 60mm is too deep for the needs of most riders.
The new 45mm section has allowed 3T to achieve aerodynamics within 0.5% of the best 60mm deep rims it tested, while delivering better stability in crosswinds. It’s done this, as Bontrager has with its new Aeolus Pro 3V, by optimising airflow when the rim is at the front and at the rear of its rotation.
Pushing out the rim width with a 25mm nominal tyre leads to an actual tyre width of between 28 and 30mm, which the 3T Strada has been designed around.
Commenting on the rationale for the increased rim width, Vroomen said that this resulted in a wider tyre with more air volume, that also carried over the light weight of the 25mm carcass, saving around 50g for a pair of tyres over a 28mm tyre.
It also means that there’s good support for 32mm to 40mm gravel and cyclocross tyres. And 3T says that the rim’s aerodynamics work just as well with these wider tyres, unlike a more conventional deep section rim.
3T will sell the new Discus C45 Wide wheelset as a stand-alone item for €1999 as well as installed on its new SRAM AXS-equipped bikes. The wheels will ship with a Shimano 11 speed cassette body as well as the SRAM XD-R driver needed to fit SRAM’s 12-speed groupset. A Campagnolo freewheel body is available at extra cost.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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