New 3T Mercurio Wheels and Luteus Disc ‘Cross Fork Spotted in Final Form

2012 3T Luteus disc brake cyclocross fork in final paint and form factor

Love it or hate it, the 3T Luteus disc brake cyclocross fork has kept its cable-running-outside design in its final form factor. Painted up, the cable tie holes seem to be cleaned up from the raw carbon fiber prototypes we’ve seen, and the deep gloss black should go well with plenty of ‘cross bikes.

The Mercurio wheels borrow Cane Creek’s now defunct oversized direct pull hub design with a unique drop in spoke slot on the rims that eliminates any drilling. Pics of both items after the break…

2012 3T Luteus disc brake cyclocross fork in final paint and form factor

Max rotor size on the front is 160mm.

2012 3T Mercurio carbon fiber tubular road bike wheelset

2012 3T Mercurio carbon fiber tubular road bike wheelset 2012 3T Mercurio carbon fiber tubular road bike wheelset

3T’s Mercurio Wheels use a side mounted spoke placement so there are no spoke holes drilled thru the rim, which they say makes them stronger and eliminates potential weak spots/stress risers. The top level LTD version will come in 40, 60 and 80mm depths, along with a 40 and 60 carbon/alloy Team level clincher.

The LTD has a veiled braking surface, which comes from Ferrari F1 braking technology and provides equal braking performance in wet or dry conditions, making them good for cyclocross. Yellow SwissStop pads are recommended and should ship with the wheels.

Coming mostly at the OE level will be the Pro alloy clincher wheels in 40mm only.

2012 3T Mercurio carbon fiber tubular road bike wheelset 2012 3T Mercurio carbon fiber tubular road bike wheelset

Look familiar? Why reinvent the wheel (lame pun intended) when you can borrow tech from a company that arguably had great design but poor marketing at the time. The Mercurio wheels use Cane Creek’s direct pull spoke design for a great looking hub that, combined with the rim’s spoke slots, should make servicing these wheels super easy.

What was reinvented, though, was the freehub body. Thanks to a unique design that uses a couple shims, a single freehub will work with SRAM, Shimano or Campy.

Comments

alloycowboy - 08/07/11 - 12:14pm

I think with the disc brake fork the boys at 3T picked the best solution to an ugly problem. We will have to see how everyone else treats the cable routing on their fork as we go forward here.

The nuts on the spokes make me nervous because spokes “move and deflect” under braking and in the long run this movement will cause their failure.

luke - 08/07/11 - 12:32pm

@alloycowboy-
cane creek used this design for years. I had 5 of their wheelsets and arguably, these were some of the best wheels ever. I had a set of tubular alloys road wheels that i bought used and dented for $75 and rode them for another 10,000 miles. I finally had to retire the front because i crashed and my shoe broke 2 spokes, but the nipples were fine.

Erich - 08/07/11 - 2:15pm

I like the idea of the wheels, though I am still adverse to using nipples at the hub. Having worked on both the Cane Creek and Shimano iterations of this design, I can tell you that it’s no fun to have to pull the cassette every time you need to touch up a wheel. This being CX, that need may arise often, though riders may let it go longer due to the flexibility in rim trueness that using discs provides. At least you don’t have to pull the tubular tire off, we can all be glad for that.

I’m interested to see how much water and mud those rims suck up in their everyday life and, subsequently, how well it all drains out again. I prefer “sealed” deep designs like the ENVE and Zipps, but as these are horizontal, rather than vertical slots, they may drain better than Cosmic Carbones or similar wheels. Let’s bring on the tests!

Gillis - 08/07/11 - 6:05pm

@Erich: the Mercurio isn’t a disc brake wheelset. Although I agree that truing nipple-@-hub designs are a little annoying.

Cameron Dickinson - 08/07/11 - 11:33pm

Anybody know when the fork will be available for purchase?

Mick - 08/08/11 - 11:13am

@Erich…The rims do not have spoke holes…they have molded slots into the rim…The spoke head sits on a shoulder within that slot. No need to worry about the rim sucking up water & crap. other than the nipple at hub annoyance (for maintenance) this is an interesting design.

Sevo - 08/08/11 - 6:38pm

I’ll add in again that the Cane Creek wheels are still some of my favorite ever. High tension, nipples at the hub, and least the deep v type rims I had on my 26″ mtb in college took a beating never needed a true. Plus they just had a “snap” to ‘em when you hit the pedals.

Loved ‘em.

Pair with a well made carbon rim, the “bitch to true” worry is a null arguement. When I was at LEW I took 1100 gram 16/20 spoke carbon wheels out on dirt roads at my 230lbs….trying to break them. Nadda. That was 10 years ago, and tech has come far.

ed.rides.bicycles - 08/08/11 - 8:03pm

what is the axle to crown and rake on the fork?

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