As we posted at the 3T Accelero and Mercurio wheels launch back at the last Giro d'Italia, they were promising 'first every-day aero' wheels with 40mm rim options eventually, to augment the deeper 60mm and 80mm wheels introduced initially. Sure enough, they're here. Well, almost.
'Every-day' although only the forthcoming Accelero 40 PROs - 3T code being 'Accelero' meaning 'for clincher tyres' and 'PRO' for 'aluminium' - could be thought of as usable for general riding when they arrive in April or May.
The Mercurio 40 LTDs - 'Mercurio' = 'tubular tyres' and 'LTD' = 'carbon' - are only 'every-day' in the sense that surely only someone actually racing would think about using glued-on tubular tyres not to mention spending £1,799.99 on their wheels when these, too, turn up in the Spring. Certainly in that context these are wheels that could be used for all kinds of racing and other 'high-performance' missions in all wind conditions.
The Mercurios weigh 1,250 grams per pair which is certainly competitive for a pair of racing wheels although 3T further claim that the reversed spokes with nipples at the rather beautifully-machined hub end moves some extra rotating mass away from the rims, therefore helping acceleration and perceived weight. The rear hubs also feature a patented free hub body design licensed from Edco that accepts Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo cassettes.
The big claim for the Mercurio carbon rims, though, is that they can be made lighter because they are not drilled after production for installing the spokes. Instead 3T make the rims with slots designed into the carbon layup, which the spoke heads then sit in, aimed at the perfect angle for the corresponding nipple at the rim. Clever. There is also what 3T describe as a 'surfacing veil' derived from Formula 1 car racing designed into the braking tracks that makes response constant whether wet or dry.
3T Mercurio 40 LTD rim profile.
The rim profiles, 43 x 23mm on the Mercurio 40 LTD and 37 x 23mm on the Accelero 40 PRO are a tad wider and and rounded rather than 'v'-shaped like the earlier aero rims, everyone's wind tunnel testing seeming to agree that the recent 'stubby' profile is more truly aerodynamic and handles better across a wider range of wind angles as well as just straight ahead. A practical consideration, we'd have thought, for wheels likely to be used in all conditions rather than in just fair wind days.
3T Accelero 40 PRO rim profile.
The Accelero 40 PROs use a more conventional hub and spoke arrangement with the nipples where you expect to find them in drillings at the all-aluminium rims. All-up weight is 1,890 grams per pair. Also more conventional on these 3T wheels-for-clinchers is rear free hub bodies that work either with Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo in a separate stock option. Price for either pair is £449.99.
3T Accelero 40 PRO rear wheel: unlike the carbon Mercurio LTDs, conventional spokes used on these 'everyday' road wheels.