3T’s debut wheel range first broke cover in 2011 but only now are the hoops ready to hit the shops. We stopped by the 3T’s stand at Eurobike to take a look at the wheels, as well as new a handlebar and range of seatposts from the Italian firm.
Like all 3T products, the wheel collection is split into three categories, which reflect the quality of the materials used to construct the product. As far as the wheels as concerned, the Ltd, Team and Pro ranges translate to hoops with a full carbon fibre rim, a hybrid rim with a carbon fibre body and aluminium braking track and a full aluminium rim.
The company’s flagship offering, the Mercurio Ltd, is a deep-section, carbon fibre, tubularwheel which comes in three depths: the Mercurio 60 (claimed weight 1,390g) and Mercurio 80 (1,600g), which are both available now, as well as the Mercurio 40 (1,200g), which is slated to arrive in October (UK prices TBC).
The development of the wheel was headed up by 3T technical director Richard McAinsh, whose background is in Formula One with Ferrari. The Mercurio’s rim profile using state-of-the-art CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis which resulted in a rounded rear end and overall oval cross-section.
The Mercurio uses a novel spoke pocket which helps keep the weight low but, more importantly it provides direct spoke alignment with the hub and allows for high spoke tension. Its location on the side of the rim opposite the flange the spoke meets increases stiffness and 3T claim it has little impact on aerodynamics.
3T wanted to create a full carbon fibre wheel with reliable braking and, thanks to McAinsh’s Formula One background, used a surface treatment on the rim to improve stopping power; a technique borrowed from motor sport. The wheels also have a universal freehub body from Swiss company Edco which is compatible with both Shimano/SRAM and Campagnolo cassettes.
The on-trend stealth black colourway pictured above is a new addition since the wheel was first unveiled. Riders can now also upgrade to Ceramic Speed bearings at a premium. 3T say Ceramic Speed’s bearings reduce friction, improve power transfer and have a longer service life than steel bearings, and ceramic bearings will also be an option on future 3T wheelsets.
The Mercurio’s combination of a carbon braking surface and tubular rim mean it’s best reserved for racing – but the Accelero clinchers are more suitable for everyday riding.
The Accelero has a wide (23mm), aero rim profile, and will be available in Team (40mm and 60mm rim depths) and Pro (40mm) incarnations from the outset. The full carbon Accelero Ltd is in the final stages of testing and will be available in 2013.
Meanwhile, 3T have introduced the Tornova handlebar, which combines the comfortable, ergonomic tops of the popular Ergonova ‘bar, with the traditional deep and round bend (83 mm reach and 139 mm drop) of the Rotundo.
The Tornova will be available in Ltd, Team and Pro editions, so in line with 3T’s other handlebar ranges, will be built in high modulus carbon fibre, carbon fibre and aluminium respectively.
Internal cable routing helps keep everything tidy and eliminates potential cable kinking, which can hinder brake and shifting performance. The Tornova is expected to arrive in the UK in January, priced at £79.99, £249.99 and £299.99 respectively for the Pro, Team and Ltd editions. A Team handlebar in a stealth black colourway will retail at £269.99.
Finally, 3T have revamped their seatpost offering, with two new posts, the Stylus and Ionic, again offered in the usual three Ltd, Team, and Pro editions.
The Stylus has a classic two-bolt design, with the clamp bolts deployed to either side of the saddle cradle. It’s available in zero (Stylus 0) and 25mm setback (Stylus 25) versions.
The Ionic uses 3T’s proprietary DiffLock splined clamping mechanism and is, once again, available with zero (Ionic 0) and 25mm setback (Ionic 25) options. 3T claim DiffLock allows for the highly-accurate adjustment of saddle angle as it only requires lightweight clamping by side-mounted bolts.
Both seatposts are lighter than the Palladio and Doric models they replace and will be available from January in 27.2mm and 31.8mm diameters. The Ionic 0 and 25 will initially be offered in Team and Team Stealth editions for £109.99 and £119.99 respectively, while the Ionic 25 will also be available as a top-of-the-range Ltd model for £199.99. The Stylus 0 and 25 will be available in Ltd, Team and Pro editions but UK prices are to be confirmed.