Profile Design have launched the TwentyFour wheel range, consisting of three carbon clincher and two tubular models. Profile have been working on these wheels for the past one-and-a-half-years and they’ve been tested extensively at the Kona Ironman event, a popular place for testing new aero products - brands like Felt and Cervelo commonly use the event for validating bicycle designs.
Profile are best known for aerobars and hydration systems appealing to triathlete and Ironman competitors, but the big boss at Profile decided he wanted the company to step into the wheel market, and so the company set about developing a range of carbon fibre clincher and tubular wheels. While these new wheels will certainly appeal to triathletes, especially if they're as fast as Profile claim they are, they have all the credentials that road cyclists look for in a carbon wheel.
The carbon wheel market is in an interesting place at the moment, there’s a huge amount of choice and aero performance is getting ever better, while prices for carbon clincher wheelsets are the lowest they’ve ever been. Our roundup of the latest wheels at last year's Eurobike showed the depth of the current choice from many of the leading manufacturers.
Profile have developed the rim shape through their own testing, using computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing to validate the computer simulations, along with real-world testing. The rim shape follows the current wisdom of a wider profile with a rounded blunt leading edge. They’re 24mm wide at the braking track and available in three depths; 38, 58 and 78mm.
While Profile reckon the deeper rims will appeal to triathletes, it considers the 38mm as being ideal for most road cycling applications. We’re certainly seeing a shifting towards a rim of this depth as the best all-round compromise of weight and aero performance, especially in the pro peloton.
While Profile have worked in the wind tunnel ensuring the wheels are suitably fast, they say they’ve worked hard on ensuring the wheel also delivers a high level of stiffness and reliable braking performance. They’ve constructed the rim with an internal carbon insert, a raw carbon ribbon rather than a single thread, which is then impregnated with resin and hard baked, producing a stronger rim, so they claim. They say this also helps to deal with the heat generated during braking, to which they've developed a proprietary resin with a claimed Tg of 220°C (that’s the glass transition temperature, the point at which the resin gets hot enough to revert to its liquid state). That’s the same as Mavic claims for their Cosmic Carbone 40C carbon clincher wheels.
The wheels are laced to proprietary KT hubs with Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes. The freehub is compatible with Shimano 10/11-speed cassettes, and a Campagnolo option is available. They recommend SwissStop Black Prince brake blocks, but they are said to be fine with most carbon-specific brake blocks.
The 38mm carbon clincher wheelset weighs a claimed 1,465g (without skewers). The 58 carbon clincher is a claimed 1,630g, and the 78 carbon clincher wheelset is 1,820g. If you want lighter, the 58 tubular is 1,430g, and the 78 tubular is 1,575g. There’s no tub version of the 38mm at present. The wheels are also officially certified by the UCI for road and track competitions.
No word on availability or pricing yet. We’ll let you know when we do find out. In the meantime, check out www.madison.co.uk/profiledesign
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.