We design for the real world, and for the gravel roads in that world, people want to use 700x35-40c tires. It’s useless to put a narrow aero rim behind such a tire. You’d be adding the weight without the aero benefit of such a wheel as the airflow never really “sees” the rim.
After testing two dozen prototype wheels in the tunnel, the Discus 45 | 40 LTD was born. 45mm deep for good aerodynamics without excessive cross wind vulnerability. 40mm wide to match up those 35-40mm tires. The result is speed never seen before on gravel roads. And while the shape is optimized for the 3T Exploro, the Discus 45 | 40 LTD makes any gravel bike faster.
Similar to the Discus 45 | 32 LTD, the Discus 45 | 40 uses the NoseTail design to squeeze 60mm deep rim performance in a 45mm profile.
By definition rim design is a compromise, because it whatever shape is aerodynamic on the front half doesn’t work so well 180 degrees later when it’s backwards. The NoseTail shape was developed by the legendary Dave Kennedy (an aerodynamics professional for over 50(!) years) and 3T’s Head of Design Gerard Vroomen. The NoseTail actually sacrifices some performance on the front half of the wheel in favor of working better on the back half.
Not only do the two effects cancel each other out, but the resulting shape also requires less rim depth and better guides the airflow from the rear of the front wheel onto the downtube. This is particularly helpful on the Exploro RaceMax where the downtube is positioned in close proximity to the front tire.
HUGE INNER WIDTH: At 29mm, the Discus 45 | 40 has by far the widest inner width of any (aero) gravel rim. That means less tire flop, so your cornering is more precise as the tire doesn’t roll over the rim’s edge. A big inner width also means you can run a lighter, narrower tire for the same WAM.
HOOKED ON SAFETY: Hookless designs save a few grams and are a good choice for low-pressure applications (such as our 650b DiscusPlus wheels). But at higher pressure, hooked rims provide additional safety. Yes, it make manufacturer more complicated and expensive, but it’s the correct engineering solution.
SAFETY RIDGE: With tubeless tires, rolling resistance is lower and flats are very rare. But when you do flat your road or gravel tire, a safety ridge keeps the tire on the rim for safety and to avoid damage (they're often skipped to save some weight & make manufacturing easier but again, we relish the challenge).
CARBON-TI HUBS: : Carbon-Ti makes some of the lightest and most sophisticated hubs in the bike industry, right here in Italy. We’ve used them for a long time on our own wheels and decided that with the Discus 45 | 40 LTD being the ultimate wheels, they deserved the ultimate hubs.
SEALANT-RESISTANT: You may have heard of wheels destroyed by aggressive sealant. That’s why we use chrome-plated brass nipples (much more durable than alloy) with stainless steel washers & spokes. For best results, we recommend avoiding alkaline sealants with ammonia or sodium hydroxide.
FREEHUB OPTIONS: The Discus 45 | 40 wheelset is available with standard and xD-R drivers (select the version you need when ordering). There is also a conversion kit available should you want to switch or upgrade to a different driver system in the future.
|Rim size||ETRTO 622 x 29c, (28”/700c) 40mm wide, 45mm deep|
|Rim Spec||Tubeless-Ready Clincher, specific angle drilling|
|Rim material||Unidirectional carbon - ultralight layup|
|Spokes||Sapim CX-Ray or D-Light Straight-pull, stainless steel. black finish, double butted, 24 Front/24 Rear|
|Hubs||Carbon-Ti Hubs (Chris King, Industry Nine or Carbon-Ti coloured hubs customization possibile)|
|Nipples||Sapim chrome-plated brass|
|Front Hub spec||Thru-axle 100x12mm|
|Rear Hub spec||Thru-axle 142x12mm|
|Rear Hub compatibility||10/11s Shimano freewheel or SRAM XDR Driver body included|
|Wheel weight (+/- 5%)||1665g|