After a year of intense R&D, wheel and hub maker Alto Cycling is ready to launch their new aero Disc Wheel. It started as a solution to demand from their sponsored triathletes who were essentially complaining about current disc wheels that were to narrow, lacking in tubeless compatibility, and were so brutally stiff that they at times felt dangerous to ride on anything but the smoothest surface. And of course Alto didn’t like seeing their sponsored rider on other people’s wheels, so they decided that they could fill the void and solve those key issues with the same ride quality as their spoked wheels in a disc…
The new Disc Wheel is available in two versions: the 1190g CT311 tubular and 1295g CC311 tubeless clincher. Both wheels share the same overall profile and focus around a 25mm brake track and subsequent wider tire bed. They’re built-in a fairly typical, full polymethacrylimide foam core construction, wrapped in UD carbon.
The idea with a full UD construction was an attempt to mimic the performance of a typical spoked wheel in distribution of forces only in one direction from hub to rim, with the ability to build a lively ride feel. The wheels work with the same wide spoke bracing R-Symmetric layout that Alto uses on their spoked wheels. That also helps build a wheel that is laterally stiff without being overly harsh with the aero benefits of the lenticular shape.
Aero performance was dialed in via CFD, and comparison analysis showed less than a percentage difference in drag versus other top aero discs. But Alto doesn’t put too much importance on the CFD results, as it ends up airflow characteristics vary with each frame and individual setup. So CFD was about making sound engineering decisions, which they’ve then taken into the wind tunnel for some selective tests which have backed up their calculations.
The made-in-the-USA $1990 tubular CT311 disc is available and shipping now, with the tubeless-ready $2090 clincher CC311 two weeks behind vis Alto’s webstore. The wheels come stock with stainless bearings, and can get an upgrade to CeramicSpeed for an extra $540. They also are available with either a Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo freehub, and can be selected in an array of 8 different colorful logo decals.
And the new wheels will see their first race test under team rider Joe Skipper at the upcoming Ironman South Africa