An aerodynamic disc-type rear wheel is standard equipment for a pro cyclist's time-trial bike, and Black Inc has been providing their Black Zero Clincher Rear Wheel to sponsored pro teams in both a tubular and clincher version for a few years, meaning they must also make them for the cycling marketplace per UCI rules. What has been surprising is that the clincher version has become more popular with the teams and riders because Black Inc made the clincher Tubeless Compatible, and provides tape and valve for that purpose. The ease of installation and low rolling resistance of a tubeless tire removes the gluing challenge and is more puncture resistant than a tubular. While aero disc wheels can seem a fairly simple execution of carbon fiber construction, making a wheel that is perfectly round, balanced, and straight is more complicated. You also have to factor in strength, torsional resistance, aerodynamics and hub internals.
Black Inc, through their partnership with Factor Bikes has ample experience working at the highest levels of cycling, and is truly a premier manufacturer of carbon components. As with the Black Three, a tri-spoke front wheel to the Black Zero disc, the construction features the unique properties and capabilities of TexTreme carbon through Structural Monocoque Construction, resulting in unified structure that maximizes the carbon lay-up. TexTreme carbon is engineered with a spread tow prepreg fiber system that offers considerable reduction in weight over the competition, but also attains greater rigidness as well as increased strength. The carbon material and construction process 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, with a perfectly formed sandwich structure of the disc walls and the rim bed itself. As for utility, use and transport, don't discount the fact that the Black Zero can better sustain travel and storage, as well as incidental impact.
Aerodynamically the shape of the Black Zero is quite simple, and leans on recent studies that indicate the combination of frame shapes, matched to tire and rim widths that are aero complementary is equally effective as many more complicated rim shapes. From the hub through the rim brake bed, the Black Zero is 23mm. When paired with a 25mm tire, the transition of airflow wraps the tire and brings it closer to the rim, delivering mild positive turbulence and laminar push. In effect the tire to rim transition resembles a toroidal aero shape, without the complication and expense of building it into the carbon structure. The carbon rim brake track is a more manageable external width for frames and tricky aero brake calipers, and delivers excellent braking control with the supplied Black Inc carbon brake pads.
The Black Zero is equipped with durable, smooth steel cartridge bearings and a Shimano 11-speed freehub body. Black Inc shipped the wheel with both clincher and tubeless kits, though only the clincher kit is shown in the photos. The standard rim strip is unnecessary for clincher use, but you could use it if you wanted to, and the valve extender is helpful when needed. The tubeless kit includes tape and valves and Black Inc recommends two wraps of tape, even though the rim bed is sealed. The tape helps to get a tubeless tire to seat at the proper height in the rim channel and delivers a better seal at the valve hole.
Our experiences with Black Inc wheels have been overwhelmingly positive- from the shop, to the staff who ride them, and our many Factor bike customers. The Black Zero and Black Three clincher-tubeless wheels would be a perfect set-up for many cat-level racing cyclists, especially those who want the best combination of durability, speed and ease of use for the infrequent time- trial races or a triathlete looking to complete their wheel quiver with a true, pro-level, specialty aero wheel set-up.
- Aero Disc rim brake clincher rear wheel for TT/triathlon use (less technical courses)
- Rim bed is designed for clincher and tubeless use with proper set-up
- Tubeless often featured due to simple, reliable set-up, low rolling resistance
- Engineered for the best balance of speed, torsional stiffness, braking control
- Manufactured with Black Inc's Structural Monocoque Construction process
- TexTreme carbon: weight reduction, greater rigidness, strength, impact protection
- 700c Rim brake wheel spec:
- Internal rim width: 15mm
- External rim width: 23mm
- Clincher/Tubeless capable with use of proper kits- included
- Carbon rim brake track (specific pads for Shimano/SRAM holders included)
- Tubeless tape (use two wraps) and valve included w/ valve extender, QR skewer
- Finish: Black gloss on TexTreme carbon weave
- Shimano 11-speed freehub body version
- Weight: 1350 grams