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3T Orbis II T50 LTD Tubular Wheelset

  • 3T Orbis II T50 LTD Tubular Wheelset
  • 3T Orbis II T50 LTD Tubular Wheelset
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3T Orbis II T50 LTD Tubular Wheelset

Product Description

General Information

When you want to maximize speed, you go for deeper rims. When you want to minimize weight, you go with carbon tubular rims. 3T’s Orbis II T50 LTD wheelset does it all. And more.

The set weighs in at 1380g. The rims are light and aero. But what really gives you an edge on the competition are the Sapim CX-Ray straight pull, butted, aero spokes, and the CeramicSpeed bearings. The former are the lightest, most aero spokes around. The latter are the bearings with the lowest drag coefficient.

The rim shape is identical to the C50 clincher. The rim width is 24.5mm on the outside and the rim depth is 50mm. Tubular rims are both lighter and stronger than clincher rims of the same shape because tubulars have a shaped tire bed rather than two unsupported walls that hold onto the tire and constrain the tube.

3T makes a big deal out of their “double angle drilling,” which refers to how they set the position of the spoke holes in the rim. They consider both the dish and tangent angles. As rims get deeper, the spokes travel a steeper line from the hub flange to the rim, and this drilling does a better job of lining up the spoke holes with the spokes, particularly in the two-cross rear. This straighter line stresses the spokes less and makes for a stronger wheel.

The wider rim presents more surface area for glue to sit between the tire and the rim, improving the bond of the two. It also supports more of the tire, making it easier to run lower air pressure, which improves ride quality and rolling resistance, and does a better job of protecting the rim from damage. It does limit tire selection on the narrow side; you won’t want to install a tire less than 23mm wide, and the wheels might be most aero with tires 24-26mm wide. The fudge factor is because tire widths aren’t standardized across manufacturers.

On the wide side, like 28mm Roubaix tubulars and 40mm wide ‘cross tubulars, the greater width makes it harder to “fold” the tire when cornering hard with low air pressure, which is a great thing, and a reason to, on really rough courses, dropping the pressure a bit more.

While 3T employs their standard lightweight road hubs, they also upgrade the hubs with CeramicSpeed bearings. If you look around this site, you can read about the benefits of the bearings in greater detail. All the same, the short version is that ceramic ball bearings are lighter and stronger than steel balls. And their greater surface hardness and greater uniform roundness means they roll with less friction than steel balls. Furthering this, is the reduced need for a thick grease to coat the bearings. The result is a serious drag reduction compared to standard bearings, something you benefit from regardless of how fast you’re going.

Laced into the hubs are Sapim’s CX-Ray spokes. These butted, stainless steel, straight-pull spokes, are the aerodynamic standard in spokes. And it’s not just that they’re aero, they’re also really light and really strong. The spokes are laced to internal alloy nipples that turn on spherical washers. The internal nipples improve aerodynamics, and the smaller drill hole combined with the washers strengthens the interface between the nipple and the rim.

3T quick releases are also included. The wheelset comes standard with a Shimano/SRAM 10/11-speed compatible cassette body. Also with the wheel come 3T carbon-specific brake pads, which are designed to fit in Shimano/SRAM-compatible brake shoes. If you prefer Campagnolo-compatible cassettes and/or Campagnolo brakes, a Campy-compatible body and Campy-compatible pads are sold separately.

The 3T Orbis II T50 LTD Tubular Wheelset is something that will be a marked advantage on most courses you tackle, regardless of terrain.

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