IB16: Alto Cycling takes their ultra smooth hubs to the dirt

alto cycling disc brake mountain bike hubs and carbon and alloy wheels

Alto Cycling’s moved quickly to take their year-and-a-half old hub technology and move it over to a disc brake design, first for road and cyclocross, now for mountain bikes. And it’s not just their hub technology that makes them unique, they’re among the (if not the) only ones to use EPS molding to create their carbon rims. The result is near perfect compaction with smoother inside walls and more consistent and controllable wall thicknesses.

The hubs use precision machining and extremely tight tolerances with special sealing designs to yield very stiff and very smooth rolling hubs that feel as if they have no friction. Hit up our original story for all the tech details on their hubs, and check out the mountain bike wheels below…

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alto cycling disc brake mountain bike hubs and carbon and alloy wheels

Externally, the hub is differentiated by their oversized flanges, which provide a wider effective bracing angle. Bearings are pushed as far to the edges as much as possible. The mountain bike wheels use the same disc hubs as their cyclocross wheels.

alto cycling disc brake mountain bike hubs and carbon and alloy wheels

The mountain bike wheels will be offered in carbon and alloy. The carbon rims are hookless and tubeless and use the EPS molding process (see bottom of post for more on this). Complete weights for all versions are TBD, as are rim weights, but they said expect the 27.5 front wheel to come in at just 630g.

They’ll measure 30mm wide outside, about 27mm inside, and be 28mm deep. Price is TBD, probably around $2,300, but production starts in December.

alto cycling disc brake mountain bike hubs and carbon and alloy wheels

 

Alloy wheels use a Velocity Blunt SS rim that’s custom drilled so the spike hole angle is at the correct bracing angle for their hub’s taller flanges. Expect these to be very light, also, with hub weights of 115g front and 270g rear and a Blunt SS 29er rim weight of just 425g. All are built with Sapim CX Rays. They’ll launch with standard freehub bodies, but an XD Driver option is in the works.

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EPS molding yields a much cleaner internal construction for more consistent wall thicknesses, as opposed to the much more common bladder molding construction used by virtually every other wheel manufacturer. Alto uses this for all of their road rims, too.

AltoCycling.com

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Ryan
Ryan
6 years ago

For the record, Alto is NOT the only manufacturer using EPS molding to make carbon rims. GravityWorx has been using EPS in the same manner for over a year now.

tyler
6 years ago

27mm internal with a ~35mm tire…..???
rim weights?

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  tyler

Unfortunately we don’t have any rim weights yet, they’re brand new prototypes! But we’ll have them for you guys as soon as they pass testing and the production layup is finalized!

myke2241
myke2241
6 years ago

Silky smooth but nothing engagement…..

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  myke2241

The engagement mechanism is 4 pawls and 3 individual teeth per pawl, with a 48 tooth internal rather ring. Very quick!

mnorris122
6 years ago

Why (deleted) are they radial lacing driveside

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  mnorris122

We get that question a lot! The more tangential a spoke is to the torque tube, the more tension is required to dish the rim towards that side. So a radial/2x pattern allows us to obtain a better lateral tension balance, resulting in less deflection at the rim and an overall better ride quality!

Scott
Scott
6 years ago

knight composites use EPS molding for their rims as well…

Bubbrubb
Bubbrubb
6 years ago

Not to be argumentative, but when does pushing bearings outward become a design trait? Don’t all hubs have the bearings as wide as possible as a rule? Imagine CK advertising their new ISO hub runs bearings awkwardly inboard…

iperov
iperov
6 years ago

lol zero cross lacing on gear side
who buy this (deleted) ?

Ryan S
Ryan S
6 years ago
Reply to  iperov

Same design as old Crossmax wheels. The oversize hub flange on these will help some, but doing radial on one side and cross on the other always results in tension going wonkey after a while…since the radial side is always tensioned so much less than the cross side. Many wheel builders won’t even do mixed lacing for this reason. But it doesn’t stop manufacturers from selling wheels this way, because it looks cool, with no real benefit.

kilowatt
kilowatt
6 years ago
Reply to  Ryan S

Exactly. This kind of marketing-driven design makes my head hurt. If this company is really run by engineers, they should be ashamed.

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  kilowatt

Nothing about our brand is driven by marketing, that’s for sure! Our Matlab program and lab tests easily prove the radial/2x lacing concept, it simply has to be manufactured in a way that will still be durable. Please let me know if you have any specific questions regarding the design, I’d be more than happy to answer them!

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  Ryan S

The drive side of a rear wheel will always be at a greater tension than the non drive side due to the offset bracing angles. Obtaining a more balanced spoke tension with the radial/2x pattern results in a more structurally sound wheel with less deflection at the rim.

mech9
6 years ago

QR skewers? 1970 called.

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  mech9

Our disc brake hubs are compatible with every axle standard, including all thru axles and dropout spacings. You can simply buy the axle and end cap as an aftermarket part and swap them out to have the same wheel set for every disc brake bike you own!

Bog
Bog
6 years ago
Reply to  Bobby Sweeting

So the one rear wheel will do QR 135, 10×135 thru, 12×142 and 12×148 thru? That’s what I have for rear hubs on my bikes.

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  Bog

That’s right! Although at the moment we don’t have the 12×148 axle completed. The other 3 options are already shipping, and the 148 is on the way for the near future.

Buddy
Buddy
6 years ago

Maybe if you all have questions about their design decisions you can speak to them directly instead of immediately dismissing their ideas on in a one sided comment section?

Dirt dan
Dirt dan
6 years ago

They are not the only ones to use EPS to mold the rims.
In fact Hongfu uses EPS molding to make their rims, which also happen to share an identical shape to the Alto rims.
Seems fishy

https://m.alibaba.com/product/1004905971/Best-seller-Toray-full-carbon-56mm.html

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  Dirt dan

All of our rims are made at the Topkey factory in Taiwan, which we are very open about. They do not offer any open mold products and you have to provide them with all drawings and FEA, so we have no problem letting people know where are composite work is done!

Bobby Sweeting
6 years ago
Reply to  Bobby Sweeting

*Our