The DiscusPlus i28 LTD is a 650b gravel-specific wheelset that has stood up well during the dry and dusty testing conditions of autumn, some incredibly wet times as well as some freezing UK winter conditions. The weight of the wheels is impressive and, thanks to a wide internal rim, they’re a perfect match for the increasing size of modern gravel tyres but how do they stack up against rivals in the best gravel wheelset space?
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3T Discus i28 LTD gravel wheels - Technical details
3T’s wheel line up comprises just three models, two Discus 700c models with 45mm deep section carbon-fibre rim and a choice of widths of either 40mm or 32mm or this 650b DiscusPlus i28 LTD, which have a 30mm-deep rim at 34mm wide.
They’re all designed to accommodate wide tyres (starting at 28mm road for the Discus 45/32), but the main focus is gravel, with the DiscusPlus optimised for a whopping 47mm to 60mm rubber width.
3T has gone for a rim bed width of 28mm to allow tyres of those widths to place nicely here. Tyres have a smooth, rounded profile when fitted rather than the ‘lightbulb’ effect found when using a narrower rim width of say 21mm or 25mm found on a lot of gravel wheels.
The hookless rim design makes fitting tyres easy and a tubeless set-up is no bother at all. You don’t have to go tubeless; you can just as easily run tubes but you will need to ensure that the tyres you have chosen are hookless compatible to guarantee they won’t blow off the rim.
I tried two tyre sets on the 3Ts: a pair 47mm WTB slicks and some 53mm Teravail knobblies. Both pairs popped onto the rims with a blast from an Airshot tank.
So, with tyres fitted it was time to see how they performed.
3T Discus i28 LTD gravel wheels - Performance
I’ve had these on test for quite a long period so, in the early months, the gravel tracks and trails were very dry and well-packed down which suited the fast gravel riding that I prefer.
Thanks to what I’d consider a decent weight of 1,510g (on my scales including tubeless tapes, 690g F/820g R) the DiscusPlus help your bike feel quick and nimble. Acceleration feels brisk when hammering the pedals between corners on a quick, technical trail and they roll well, too, especially on the faster sections of the gravel tracks.
Handling is also benefitted thanks to the front wheel's lack of weight, making the steering feel quick, and the rear tracks nicely, too.
Weight has to be balanced with stiffness and durability though and, again, the 3Ts impressed me here. On the descents of my local tracks where I can touch 40mph, it isn’t always possible to miss the odd pothole or rock edge sticking out of the ground, which means some kind of strike is going to happen at least once on a ride.
A few noises that resonated from those impacts weren’t pretty but the DiscusPlus has stood up to the job well with no noticeable damage or issues with trueness.
The 24-spoke, two-cross build front and rear when paired with the carbon-fibre rim seem to offer plenty of strength and reliability for all kinds of riding.
The dusty conditions of the autumn were shrugged off by the 3T GW Bombproof hubs and adjustable sealed bearings. After a quick bedding-in period the hubs ran smoothly throughout, and that has continued as my riding has headed into winter and all of the rain, mud and ice that has become the order of the day.
Even after running through the flood water-filled craters created by the tanks on the military gravel tracks I use the DiscusPlus wheels are still behaving themselves with no rough running or noises coming from the build.
3T has also gone for brass nipples instead of aluminium offerings, which is a bonus for year-round riding, especially if you find yourself on salt-covered roads during icy spells which can lead to corrosion.
3T Discus i28 LTD gravel wheels - Verdict
Priced at £1,949 on 3T’s website, the DiscusPlus isn’t necessarily a cheap wheelset but you do at least get everything you need to set them up tubeless in the box and both a Shimano and SRAM XDR freehub are included. There is no Campagnolo option though, sorry Ekar users.
Competition-wise, Matt was impressed with the Stayer Gravel Adventure wheelset which is even lighter than the 3Ts at 1,465g and cheaper, too, at £1,265. The 3Ts have a wider rim bed, making them more suited to larger tyre sizes.
The Parcours Alta gravel wheelset that Aaron tested is also pretty light at 1,490g and comes with a lifetime warranty guarantee, for a very impressive £899.
Overall, the DiscusPlus i28 LTD wheelset is highly reliable with loads of stiffness and still offers a competitive weight against much of the competition on the market. Their price and lack of Campag compatibility are the only flies in the ointment.