Profile Design gets into the wheel market

Profile Design Altair Wheel

The Altair 80 in full carbon clincher.

Long known for aerobars and aero drinking systems, Profile Design has decided to get into the aero wheel market as well. Using a mix of C.F.D. (computer fluid dynamics), feedback from athletes, wind tunnel data and even average wind speed and direction from Ironman courses around the world, they have come up with their own proprietary design and carbon layup. With two models, the Altair and Armada, Profile has a full line of nine wheels to cover you from training to race day. Read on to find out more about these new wheels.

The race ready wheel, the Altair, uses a proprietary carbon fiber and will come in two depths, 52 and 80mm. It will be available in three rim types as well: tubular, full carbon (carbon clincher) and what Profile calls semi carbon (standard clincher).  Each version comes as a 20/24 spoke count, uses Sapim bladed spokes and sealed cartridge bearings. Pricing for the Altair ranges from $1,799.99 to $2,199.99 depending on rim type and depth.

The Aramada is designed for training and is made of extruded 6061-T6 aluminum. It will be available in  24, 30 and 38 mm depths as a standard clincher only.  The Armada also uses sealed cartridge bearings and a 20/24 spoke configuration, but opts for standard double butted spokes for durability. The Armada range starts at $549.99 for the 24mm, $599.99 for the 30mm and tops out at $799.99 for the 38mm.

The Altair 52 in standard clincher, or what Profile calls semi-carbon.

The Altair 52 in standard clincher, or what Profile calls semi-carbon.

All the wheels are hand assembled, which Profile claims will increase quality control and tighten tolerances. The wheels will also come with a two year warranty. Availability is set for January 2011.

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Robb
12 years ago

But how do they ride? Decent amount of spec info from them but zero info on what they feel like or how they ride. That’s the info I am interested in as a consumer.

AJ
AJ
12 years ago

Robb,

We haven’t had a chance to ride them yet, and I don’t know of anyone who has. I absolutely understand that you want more practical info as a rider, and I hope to get a chance to ride them soon. As soon as I put some miles on a set I will post up my thoughts and give you the low down on how they ride.

Tim Sutton
Tim Sutton
11 years ago

Gidday AJ,

I’ve been weighing up purchasing a set of the Altair 80 full carbon’s, the other wheelset i’ve been looking at are the SRAM S80’s as they are both within my my price range. I’ve been able to find a few reviews on the SRAM’s but nothing at all on the Altair 80’s. I was just wondering weather you’ve had a chance to ride them yet or have heard anything about how they ride? I’m tending toward the Altair as they’re a bit lighter and i like the finish on them but the all important question is how do they actually perform. Any help would be great.

Cheers Tim

Steve
Steve
11 years ago

I bought a pair of the 80 carbon clinchers this past weekend and have had a chance to put a 50 mile ride on them which included a 25 mile solo effort. I ride on mostly flat roads and it was not very windy. The Altair 80’s are not climbers and they do not accelerate as well as lighter rims, but they are superb for their intended purpose as a triathlon wheelset. Riding at 23-24 mph sustained, these wheels are smooth and steady. Very little difficulty controlling the bike in the crosswinds. The ride is comfortable over less than perfect road surfaces. Overall, I was happy with their performance. These feel faster than my old Flashpoint 60’s. Not as twitchy ( to me anyways) as the new zipp firecrest clinchers. The build quality appears to be solid.

Ryan
Ryan
11 years ago

I’ve owned the altair 80 full carbon wheel set for about 2 months now. I have ridden quite a few different wheels in my day and these suckers feel great. They are extremely responsive and handle crosswinds amazing. I would have to compare these wheels to the ZIPP 808’s. For the price you cant go wrong with these wheels. Yes they aren’t the greatest for a typical road bike but if you do triathlons these wheels fly! They do great on all types of road surfaces and absorb vibrations well. I would definitely recommend these wheels to anyone who has a 1500-2000 budget. You could pay double the price for a wheel set that weighs 500 grams less, but from a biomechanics approach, 1.1 pounds (500 grams) wont make much of a difference.