Three spoke wheels have long played a role in cycling's aero events and these designs have largely been proven effective for many time trial, track, and triathlon uses. Black Inc, as a requirement of their sponsored pro's created the Black Three for top-level competition. Each wheel takes about 200 hours to build, meaning the Black Three is produced in small batches for very limited retail availability. As aero wheels in general have gotten more efficient, lighter, and more capable in varying wind conditions, the time, cost and engineering behind advantageous 3-spoke designs has been harder to justify. At the highest levels of road and triathlon the athletes know there is advantage to be tapped into. The carbon masters at Black Inc have engineered their Black Three Clincher Front Wheel to be aerodynamically superior and light enough to produce, despite the cost and labor required. The Black Three Clincher has a tubeless ready rim, and Black Inc recommends tubeless use for loweest rolling resistance, grip and ride quality.
This stunning, full carbon, rim brake front wheel was developed with all of the current aerodynamic understanding as it applies to bicycle use. The rim and "spokes" are wider, with a slight taper and angled surfaces. When used with the proper tire size, the frontal zone becomes an advantage, not a hindrance, as the air is drawn closer to the rim, and in this case, passed along the shape of the spokes in a very clean path, with smoother flow at the right turbulence level, and generating the laminar "push" that has come to define the best aerodynamic bike wheels and frames. The shape and function of the spokes moves seamlessly from rim to hub, reducing as much dirty air as possible. With aero forks now opening up to allow cleaner airflow, the Black Three has the capability to maximize total advantage.
Black Inc utilizes Structural Monocoque Construction to create the Black Three, resulting in unified structure that maximizes the carbon lay-up. TexTreme carbon is used, and this spread tow prepreg fiber system offers considerable reduction in weight over the competition, but also attains greater rigidness as well as increased strength. TexTreme also improves impact tolerance and combines that with superior surface smoothness. In other words, the material creates a lighter, stronger, more resilient wheel. Performance and use are appreciable, and don't discount the fact that the Black Three can better sustain travel and storage, as well as incidental impact.
Is a 3-spoke wheel right for you? if you are a TT specialist or racer who seeks the best advantage for every course and condition, the answer is likely "yes". When victory can come down to tenths of seconds, especially in shorter events, you want the fastest wheel combination you can buy. Traditionally 3-spoke wheels have been challenging in crosswinds and require specific handling skills, as the rotational inertia is simply different than even a deep section traditional spoke front wheel. The vast majority of 3-spoke front wheel use over the years has come with an aero disc rear wheel, though there are 3-spoke rear wheels on the market. When you ride a 3-spoke and rear disc, you train specifically for that use and must get accustomed to how the wheels and bike handle. The vertical and lateral stiffness alone can be a tough adjustment, let alone how wind and technical corners must be handled. So many cyclists and triathletes will opt for a 3-spoke/disc combo for fast, non-technical courses where expected wind is mild. The potential wheel speed differential is well worth it in the right situations.
The Black Three has been engineered for the best balance of speed and handling, offering greater range, but our advice is simple: if you plan to race a 3-spoke front and aero disc rear combination, make sure you train on safe roads, and test different conditions to properly prepare. Preparation and testing will give you the confidence to push the Black Three to it's potential, allowing you to extend yours.
- Three spoke aero clincher front wheel for TT/triathlon use (less technical courses)
- Engineered for the best balance of speed and handling in a 3-spoke design
- Manufactured with Black Inc's Structural Monocoque Construction process
- TexTreme carbon: weight reduction, greater rigidness, strength, impact protection
- 700c Rim brake wheel spec:
- Rim height: 60mm
- Internal rim width: 15mm
- External rim width: 23mm
- Clincher/Tubeless capable
- Carbon rim brake track (specific pads for Shimano/SRAM holders included)
- Tubeless tape (use two wraps) and valve included; Valve extender, QR skewer included
- Finish: Black gloss on TexTreme carbon weave
- Weight: 900 grams