Though much of the peloton is moving toward the more is more attitude for race wheels, a few notable names insist on the versatility of mid-depth rims for terrain covering grand tours, punchy classics, and the infamous stones of April. Black Inc's Thirty Carbon Disc Brake Road Wheelset features the mid-depth that checks all of those boxes, and the ever-expanding use of disc brakes in the peloton (look out for disc brakes in grand tours this year) means that they're no longer only fodder for the mud and stones of the northern classics.
While disc brakes are certainly a boon to everyone from your average cyclists to your Boonens (who, incidentally, notched the first disc-brake win in the World Tour), Black Inc's primary focus is going, not stopping. The rim profile features a bullet-shaped aerodynamic cross section that preserves the benefits of a true NACA airfoil in stable conditions but doesn't get thrown around like a sail when the wind is unpredictable or you're actually riding in yaw angles greater than 5 degrees.
That rim shape is fairly common around the industry today for the reasons listed above; however, Black Inc distances the competition in two ways. First, it owns its own production facilities, so it has complete control over the carbon lay-up from conception to realization. Second, Black Inc designs its hubs with CeramicSpeed, which makes them one of the only non-Italian options for factory built wheels with ceramic hubs.
Black Inc's in-house production is a definite boost to morale when you're pushing through sweeping descents trying to maintain a gap that was hard-earned on the preceding climb. But we find that all the blood tends to be in our legs at that point, so we're often not thinking of resin integrity and precision carbon manufacturing. Instead, we're focused on speed, and nothing says "speed" like ceramic bearings. Black Inc manages to provide this speed at prices that would make the Italians blush, too, making the Thirty one of the most obvious, affordable choices for the privateer who wants a single race wheelset to handle every imaginable scenario. They're still not priced like alloy box sections, sure, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a better deal for carbon and ceramic.
Finally, a note on aesthetics. As the name suggests, black is the go-to for Black Inc, and it means that those self-sponsored cyclists won't have any trouble matching club-issue kit. Because black goes with everything. Earlier generations of the Thirty had some red branding highlights, but even that deviation has been removed here. The total control over the wheels' style is yet another reminder that Black Inc handles everything from design to construction to finishing details internally, making a final compelling reminder as to why Black Inc—a relative newcomer to the components game—is making waves in the industry.
- A race wheelset for all conditions and terrain
- Wide, stiff rim and disc brakes excel on and off tarmac
- Ceramic bearings provide industrial-level smoothness
- Hubs designed to take advantage of tight ceramic tolerances
- Carbon fiber construction ensures stiffness and weight loss
- Clean aesthetics prove that looking good is the key to speed
- Black Inc's in-house construction ensures quality and durability