DA ENDURANCE EQUIPPED REVIEW Profile Design TWENTYFOUR Series wheels
I am often asked what sort of race wheels I recommend for cyclists and triathletes. Until recently it has been a tricky one to answer in one breath. The thing with wheels is, you demand a range of often conflicting qualities that can make the ‘perfect wheel’ a hard thing to find. Examples of seemingly conflicting qualities are ‘stiffness’ and ‘lightweight’. How can carbon be built to remain fully rigid under an 80kg rider when slamming 800 watts up a sharp climb, but be built in such a way that it barely adds to the weight of the bike when installed? Or “fast wheels” (aero profile, top quality hub/bearings etc.) and “affordable price”. When using premium materials and when being built by well-trained and highly professional technicians, how do you keep the price point sharp?
I finally have a range of wheelsets I believe tick the boxes. The Profile Design TWENTYFOUR Series. I used the TWENTYFOUR/78 clinchers at Challenge Roth (78mm depth, 24mm width) and was super impressed. The first thing I noticed was the stiffness. In the past I have had to slacken my brakes to allow maximum clearance because of the way my race wheels have flexed under high power efforts (such as accelerations out of corners or on climbs). In Roth I was able to set the pads right up close to the rim to allow touch braking with no rubbing whatsoever. On the topic of braking, these wheels are the best I have used. A super strong and smooth braking experience better than anything I have so far tried.
The next thing I noticed was how smooth and fast they seemed to roll. Granted, the roads in Germany were pretty damn smooth and fast anyway, but the wheels did seem happier the faster they rolled along. I also did the classic ‘spin the wheels test’ with the bike in a work stand at one stage and got distracted by Spotify on my phone for a few minutes before I realised I had work to do on the bike and the wheels were still purring long happily with no sign of slowing down. Nice hubs!
Finally and perhaps most importantly the price. Well, for anyone in the market for race wheels you will be familiar with the sort of punch a nice set of wheels can pack. Most reputable brands seem to retail in the $NZD 4000-5000+ range. The Profile Design TWENTYFOUR series sit very hard left on the spectrum with a RRP of $NZD2999 ($AUD2349) per set. You can combine the profile of front and rear wheel to suit. I generally run 78mm front and rear, but I am 80kg and a reasonable bike handler. For a smaller/lighter rider or somebody needing a bit more stability in wind the 58mm (or even 38mm) depth rim on the front might provide some extra reassurance. That said, I was also notably impressed with the stability of the deep rims. Roth was windy apparently, with some sections of exposed crosswind. The first I was made aware of the winds was in conversations post-event. It had not registered during the race, another vote of confidence for the general performance of these wheels.
The downside to the Profile Design TWENTYFOUR series wheels? Well, none that spring to mind yet. I have only had one race experience with them to date and it must be acknowledged that I am now receiving product support from them, but hand on heart I cannot fault them in any way yet. I will be better positioned to comment on durability in due course, but through conversations with other pro athletes that have had long standing experience with them, this is not an issue either.
So if you are keen to add a wheelset from this series to your gear repertoire, check their range out here: http://www.profile-design.com/
If you find they tick all the boxes as they did for me, get in touch and I will be happy to help source you a good deal. Happy riding out there! SUBSCRIBE HERE – DA Endurance Editorial
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