The top of the range 3T Orbis II T50 Ltd wheelset will appeal to many as it combines a deep 50mm aerodynamic profile, yet it still only weights 1340g. I will be racing on a pair of these for the 2016 season and so will be periodically updating this page with my long term review and thoughts on them.
Wider is Better
Following modern trends the 100% carbon rim is 25mm wide and rather than a having a sharp profile, is rounded which is said to be more stable and also be better aerodynamically in varying wind directions as you get a smoother airflow and less turbulence behind the rim after the air has pased over it.
The wider rim also means that fatter road and even cross tubs have a secure base to glue them onto, which in turn give you a more comfortable ride, a wider contact surface for improved grip and handling. Wider tires are also said to have less rolling resistance and apparently have less chance of puncturing.
3T have used the ever popular and very lightweight Sapim CX-Ray spokes with 20 on the front wheel and 24 at the back. Internal nipples are inverted and whilst this makes adjustments harder, the profile of the wheel is far cleaner.
The 3T Orbis II hubs use CeramicSpeed bearings which are some of the smoothest available anywhere. 3T state that the hubs themselves are made from a lightweight alloy, but don’t go into detail. They also have an over-sized spindle with modular end-caps which makes it easy to change from a quick-release to a thru-axle depending on your requirements.
3T cycling advertise the T50 Orbis II as weighing 1340g for the pair, I actually measured them at 601g(f) and 742g(r)= 1343g which is almost exactly spot on and I have to say for a 50mm wheel is good, so not only do you get the aero benefits, but a wheel that won’t drag you down on the hills.
- Rim Size: ETRTO 632 x 24.5c, (28”/700c), 25mm wide, 50mm deep
- Rim Spec: tubular, full carbon, high temperature braking surface, double angle drilling
- Spokes: straight pull, stainless steel, black finish, double butted aero, Sapim CX-Ray , 20F/24R
- Nipples: light alloy, inverted, spherical washer
- Hubs: light alloy hub bodies, spindles and fw-body – ceramicspeed bearings – black anodized
- Rear Hub Compatibility: 10/11s Shimano/SRAM type cassette*
- Quick Release: alloy lever and nut, steel rod
- Weight: 1380g
*campy fw-body sold as spare – not compatible with sprockets that require SRAM XD driver body
The Video below goes over the main features of 3T wheels: