We announced the development of our gravel wheels last week. As we have done with the development of previous products, we asked for your suggestions. We know that your suggestions will ultimately make a better product and we appreciate all of the feedback we have received so far. We wanted to take a minute and highlight some of the specifications we’ll be designing around. We’ve also worked with the kind folks over at 3T America and have a 3T Exploro frame on route. We will be using the 3T Exploro during the design process. The fact that it’s an aero gravel bike that accepts 650b and 700c wheels makes it perfect for the project.
|3T Exploro Frame|
We originally thought that we would focus on a 700c size wheel only. However, there have been many requests for a 650b sized wheel so we have decided to add that to the list. To be clear, we will design each wheel independently to optimize the design for each wheel size.
Our goal is to design a wheel that is optimized for both aerodynamics and rolling resistance. We have been studying rolling resistance lately and will be discussing our research in depth throughout the design process.
We will be collecting wind data and modifying our optimization algorithm to design the wheel. The algorithm will include a depth range for the rim. During the optimization process, the depth of the rim will be selected.
We will be building the rim for the wheels out of carbon fiber. In our opinion, it is the material of choice for this project. A faired wheel leaves openings in the fairing and will not work for gravel riding. For this reason, the wheel will be a carbon clincher.
We have had many suggestions to offer convertible hubs and we think it is a great idea. We will work on providing hubs that are compatible with both quick release and thru-axle skewers. We will also work on having options for standard cassettes and XD cassettes.
The wheel will use disc brakes. We are looking at center lock and 6 bolt options.
While the exact build specifications are unknown at this point (ie. number of spokes), we will likely offer a few options for both front and rear wheels. We are also considering selling rims individually.
While this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, it does serve as a bit of an outline. We recognize that we won’t be able to build everyone’s perfect wheel, but we are very happy with the suggestions we have received so far, and feel that the end result will already be much better.
Thank you again for your suggestions, and we welcome more of them below.
Have a great day,