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25 March 2023 | Guides
Black Inc Wheels Buyer’s Guide
Your wheels are, and always have been, one of the most effective upgrades you can make to your bike, whether you’re chasing lighter weight or increased aerodynamics. Dive into the Black Inc range and find the perfect wheelset to compliment your bike and the places you ride.
Choosing which wheels to buy can be difficult because there is deliberately significant overlap between their roles to allow for the fact that everyone rides a range of terrain. It’s likely that two or even three of the wheels in the Black Inc line-up will broadly fit your requirements.
Deciding on the best wheelset upgrade for you requires a clear picture of where and how you ride- helping you to create an understanding of which aspects of performance matter most to you. Whatever your criteria, there are wheels out there for you.
As the lightest wheel in the range, the TWENTY is arguably the easiest to understand. It’s made with a singular focus on climbing performance which yields a weight of just 1240g as a tubeless clincher. You will feel it with every pedal stroke. If you love to climb, you’re a proud weight weenie and you live by W/kg and VAM numbers, the TWENTY is for you.
- What type of riding:The TWENTY is made for the steepest climbs and highest mountains when climbing speed is all that matters, such as mountainous gran fondos, UK hill climbs and Vuelta a España summit finishes
- Bike it suits: Factor O2 VAM, with 15g carbon fibre bottle cages
- Best at: High mountains, long and/or steep climbs
- Also great at: Punchy hills such as Exmoor and the Yorkshire Dales
- Also consider: THIRTY, if you require a little aero performance for riding more varied terrain
- Weight: 1240g, clincher, disc brake
Few wheels are as broadly talented as the THIRTY. It’s strongly focused on climbing performance with the addition of a shallow aero profile which means it’s faster across the full length of even a mountain stage than the TWENTY, making it the choice of pros and amateurs racing over high cols, and also gravel racers who appreciate its balanced performance and high strength. The THIRTY also suits riders with no interest in competition and who simply want maximum ride quality. The broad 21mm internal width supports wider tyres (optimised for 28-32mm) for comfort and grip, the low weight improves response, and the shallow depth is virtually immune to the wind.
- What type of riding: The THIRTY is extremely versatile and suits mountains and hills for its low weight, bad roads for its compliance, windy conditions for its shallow aero profile, and gravel riding thanks to its strength
- Bike it suits: Factor O2 VAM, O2, OSTRO, LS, ViSTA
- Best at: Doing everything – mountains, hills, back roads, windy conditions, gravel
- Also great at: Road racing on rolling terrain
- Also consider: TWENTY, for pure climbing, or the FORTY-FIVE for all-round speed
- Weight: 1390g, clincher, rim brake / 1475g, clincher, disc brake
The FORTY-FIVE is the ultimate all-round road race wheelset. It was designed to complement the FACTOR OSTRO and similarly strikes a precise balance of low weight and aerodynamics. Pro teams love the FORTY-FIVE because it’s never the wrong wheel through a varied race route; you will love it because it’s never the wrong wheel through a varied season.
- What type of riding: Mixed terrain, with a need to be fast on both the hills and the flats
- Best at: Being the only road race wheel you need
- Bike it suits: Factor OSTRO especially, plus the ONE, O2 VAM, O2 and other road race bikes
- Also great at: Road rides on rolling terrain
- Also consider: THIRTY for lumpy terrain, SIXTY if your routes or races are flatter
- Weight: 1489g, clincher, disc brake
The deepest road wheel in the range, the SIXTY is made for flatter routes and races when aerodynamics and ultimate speed are the clear priority. The wide, proprietary rim shape loves crosswinds, delivering significant drag reductions and reassuring stability. Sprinters, lead-out riders, solo breakaway artists and speed fiends everywhere, these are your dream wheels.
- What type of riding: Road races and crits on flat to rolling courses, and full-gas smash-fests with your mates
- Best at: Fast rides, flatter races and crits
- Bike it suits: Factor OSTRO and ONE, and other aero-road bikes
- Also great at: Triathlon and time trialling on hillier courses
- Also consider: FORTY-FIVE, to suit more varied riding
- Weight: 1495g, clincher, rim brake / 1575g, clincher, disc brake
The THREE is the closest you can get to the aero performance of the ZERO disc in a multi-spoke wheel that still feels confident to handle when there’s some wind, so it’s the ideal front wheel partner to the ZERO. The THREE is also available as a rear wheel, and they’re sold individually, so you have the option to run the pair for windy conditions or events such as Kona Ironman when discs are prohibited.
- What type of riding: Time trial and triathlon, either as a front wheel with a ZERO disc or as a pair
- Who is it for: Aero-obsessed time triallists and triathletes wanting the fastest possible set-up
- Bike it suits: Factor HANZO and SLiCK, and other TT/tri bikes
- Best at: Going extremely fast
- Also great at: Really, it’s only about the speed
- Also consider: The SIXTY if you need it to suit a greater range of wind conditions
- Weight: 1945g, clincher, disc brake pair (F: 915g / R: 1030g)
In time trials and triathlons, nothing is more important than aerodynamics, which is why the ZERO disc is an easy choice for your rear wheel on all but the hilliest courses. When you’re hammering down a dual-carriageway, the CFD designed shape delivers minimal drag, even reaching negative drag at certain wind angles. Crucially, it’s available as a tubeless clincher in both rim and disc brake, so you can use the fastest tyres available.
- What type of riding: The ZERO is the optimum rear wheel for time trialling and, where allowed, triathlon
- Bike it suits: Factor HANZO and SLiCK, and other TT/tri bikes
- Best at: Time trials on flat and rolling courses
- Also great at: Anything where a disc is allowed and aero matters
- Also consider: THREE, for windy conditions or when a rear disc isn’t allowed
- Weight: 1190g, tubular, rim brake
The FIVE is the definition of a passion project. The pros can’t use it because it isn’t legal in UCI road races. So why make it? Because Black Inc can and because this is the wheel that the engineers wanted to make. Likewise, it will likely be your heart that begins the purchase of a set, but your head will be glad to know that the wild looks are backed up by equivalent performance. The FIVE is light (1318g), both very fast and stable thanks to advanced aero profiles for both the rim and the spokes, incredibly responsive owing to high lateral stiffness, and practical as a tubeless-ready clincher.
- What type of riding: Everything. The FIVE combines exceptionally strong aerodynamics with very low weight so it’s at home on all types of terrain and is especially compelling when your riding includes a real mix.
- Bike it suits: Any bike that you want to get a lot of looks
- Best at: Going fast on mixed terrain
- Also great at: Looking outrageous
- Also consider: THIRTY and FORTY-FIVE
- Weight: 1318g, clincher, disc brake
The ultimate addition to any XC mountain bike set up, the Black Inc TWENTY SEVEN offer a race ready lightweight performance and combine it with a long term durability that will ensure your rig can keep rolling from 24-hour marathon to 100 mile mountain bike races.
Designed to be the perfect pairing for our gravel racing bikes, the Black Inc THIRTY FOUR wheels are gravel-oriented with a level of durability that will get you through the long days off-piste. But they are light enough to go rubber to rubber with any road specific wheel on the market.Shop THIRTY FOUR