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.
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.
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.