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Alto Cycling spins up their own Disc Wheel

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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

AltoCycling.com

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Sam
Sam
5 years ago

So it’s laterally stiff, vertically compliant AND aerodynamic?! Cannondale must be so jealous

Thomas Gerlach Professional Triathlete

I’ll stick with my HED JET+ Black. It is lighter, is a spoked-wheel so more comfy, and has ID of 21m and lastly because it is a bump disc and the internal part is concave, my rd hanger doesn’t rub on it while in the largest gear. Best part is aluminum brake track that is textured for amazing braking.

Bobby Sweeting
5 years ago

HED makes a great product, no doubt about it! We simply were not interested in putting a fairing over our existing wheel. Although it probably would have been easier! The ride quality and power transfer that we see from a full carbon disc with a PMI core made it a straight forward decision for us. And there’s no need to worry about rear derailleur rub, in the 55×25 you will still have 1mm of clearance between the jockey wheel cage and the wheel. Although I wouldn’t recommend riding in that gear for too long anyway! Hopefully you can give our wheels a test ride some time in the future, I’m sure you’ll feel a difference!

Mike
Mike
5 years ago
Reply to  Bobby Sweeting

Props to the company for complimenting an alternate product and presenting valid differences between the two.

Thesteve4761
Thesteve4761
5 years ago
Reply to  Bobby Sweeting

1mm?!?!

Bobby Sweeting
5 years ago
Reply to  Thesteve4761

Yep! It’s about the same gap that you’ll see between the jockey wheel cage and your spokes on a standard wheel, while in that gear. Just be careful that your limit screws are adjusted properly before checking it out on your own bike. You don’t want to throw the rear mech into the spokes!

Colin
Colin
5 years ago

I want to build a TT bike just to put this wheel on…

Tim Kingston
Tim Kingston
5 years ago

Ì think this might be the first report for an aero product where they claim it is less aero than the competition. What was gain in other attributes that led to a design a percent or two slower being chosen over the more aero discs Ì wonder?

Bobby Sweeting
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim Kingston

Please know that we go through extensive CFD work to ensure that our products are as aerodynamic as possible! However, air flow over each frame is very specific when it comes to how turbulent the air is as it attaches and detaches to and from the wheel. So to claim that “our disc is more aerodynamic than other discs on every bike” is not a scientifically valid statement. So we don’t make it, because we’re an engineering company and not a marketing firm.

But we do say that our wheel will give you better power transfer and a smoother ride quality than any disc in the world, no matter what bike you put it on. And we will likely be more aerodynamic as well, but there’s no way to know for sure until you put your exact setup (including yourself) into a wind tunnel.

Please let me know if you have any other questions at all, and I’d be happy to go into more detail regarding any of this!

Michael Kennedy
Michael Kennedy
4 years ago

A zipp super 9 is priced about the same, possibly less if you shop around. It is 120g lighter and fair to say stronger resale value.
I am in the market for a carbon clincher disc wheel, can you please let me know why I should choose your wheel over say the Zipp super 9?

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