The 3T Orbis II C50 LTD wheelset is at the top of 3T’s clincher lineup. It takes the same rim as you’ll find on their C50 Team, and lightens the package up by 60g thanks to the use of Sapim CX-Ray spokes, the lightest, most aero spoke on the market, and CeramicSpeed bearings, the lowest-drag bearings you can find.
1540g for a 50mm deep carbon-clincher wheelset is pretty light. And the bladed spokes and ceramic bearings mean you’ve got next to nothing holding you back. Which is a nice plus for a mid-depth rim that already has very low aero drag and a shape that plays nicely with modern tires and frames. The extra 15mm of depth over the C35 can really be felt as your speed approaches 40kph. 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.
Wheel strength is furthered by the rim width. Wide rims on road bikes are increasing in popularity for good reasons. The wide rims, when paired with wider tires, are more aero. Here, you won’t want to install a tire narrower than 23mm, though 24-26mm will still result in a nice double-U shape with the rims. Super-wide tires, like 28mm will work, and is more aero than a 28mm tire on a 19mm rim, but the aero advantage is reduced. The second advantage is more air volume, which gives three benefits, lower rolling resistance, more comfort at a given air pressure, and the bigger air cushion protects the rim better from damage. Of course, you can safely improve both by dropping air pressure a bit as well.
Laced into the hubs are the 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. So, too, are rim strips. The rims are not compatible with tubeless tires.
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 C50 LTD Clincher Wheelset is for when you need it all.