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Roll onto spring gravel with new Crank Brothers Zinc 3 wheels

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We previewed CrankBrothers’ first foray into the all-road & cross category last fall with their new Zinc 3 Gravel wheelset. Developed on the same unique rim profile & spoke attachment design with paired spokes as the rest of their wheels, the new Zinc 3s give gravel and cross riders more options offering compatibility with 11 speed road cassettes, SRAM XD drivers, and either QRs or thru-axles. The wheels are available now, just in time to roll out onto some springtime gravel adventures…

The all-road Zinc line is an all new for CrankBrothers, and starts out with their level-3 spec, which typically denotes their top aluminum model.

The disc brake only wheels use a wide 21mm internal/25.5mm external hooked rim profile. Thanks to the CrankBrothers design of paired spokes attached to a flange extending out from the rim, there is no need to drill holes in the rim bed resulting in a perfect tubeless ready platform.

crank-brothers-zinc-3-gravel-cyclocross-wheels03

That rim bed gets a deep center well for easy tire installation and shoulders that slope to the outside for a solid tire fit once the bead snaps into place. CrankBrothers rates the wide rim profile to be best suited for 32-40mm tires for large volume, off-road road riding with maximum tread contact.

The unique CrankBrothers spoke design is said to put more of the weight towards the hub for less rotational inertia and faster acceleration. At the same time the paired design claims high strength and simple truing.

crank-brothers-zinc-3-gravel-cyclocross-wheels04

The $750 Zinc 3 Gravel wheels claim a weight of 1645g, using a new lighter weight, machined down hub design with a 6-bolt disc mount. Their road 11 speed Shimano/SRAM alloy free-hub body spins on 3-pawls & 21 teeth for 17° engagement, with an XD driver available separately.

The wheels ship set up for thru-axles with 15x100mm & 12x142mm spacing, and include end caps to run off-road standard QRs (but without skewers). 12mm front end caps do not appear to be available as of yet.

They are available now from dealers, and direct from Crank Brothers in North America.

CrankBrothers.com

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Allan
Allan
5 years ago

2005 Rolf Vector on line 1!

Chris
Chris
5 years ago

I just don’t see how spokes spread out so far, and so few of them, can build a durable gravel wheel. I’m sticking with 32 spokes for gravel and cross. Light parts still build light wheels, bomb proof at that.

RobertW
RobertW
5 years ago

I like the blue curved arrow in the left graphic that shows that the wheel spins. It’s good to have a wheel that spins.

That’s cool that there’s more weight toward the hub. I wonder what the rim weight is. They didn’t tell us.

Sxm235
Sxm235
5 years ago

After being an ambassador for Crank Brothers for six years and getting everything 40-70% below MSRP, I still regretted many of my purchases due to poor quality, or prematture failure.

(deleted)

I voluntarily let my ambassadorship end, and have no regret.

method7
4 years ago

I use Crank Brothers cleats, droper post and wheels on both my Kona Honzo and Rove, candy7 cleats on my Brompton commuter are maybe 8 years old and still not been serviced I did replace the brass cleats once. The cobalt 3 wheelset I have been using on my XC and CX bike I love them more than the HED Belgium + rims on hope hubs. I’m just fed up with swapping tyres so I’m ordering a pair of these zinc 3’s for the Rove.

Crank Brothers are the first to admit to having issues with their 1st generation of wheels some 10 years back and if your prepared to let this cloud your judgement maybe you should reconsider fitting the stabilisers.

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