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Profile Design 1/Fifty race wheels review

Are carbon clinchers at this price too good to be true? Jamie Wilkins puts them through their paces to find out...

Key information

Our score

Price

£1,199

Contact

http://www.profile-design.com/

The 1/Fifty 50mm clincher draws on Profile Design’s work on the more expensive TwentyFour series to offer what they tell us is a fast, light and stable wheelset at a bargain price. 

Usually the only carbon clinchers for this money are rebadged open-mould products with little or no R&D. So, buying a big brand at this price is a big deal. PD say they’re able to offer the 1/Fifty at a bullish price thanks to ‘components optimised for more efficient production’. That means cheaper alloy hubs and Sapim Race spokes.

Explained: the difference between clinchers, tubulars and tubeless tyres

 Why are deep-section aero wheels faster?

  

The rim is 50mm deep and 24mm at its widest point. A 23mm tyre will integrate best but the rim is wide enough that you won’t sacrifice too many aero watts for choosing the comfort, grip and faster rolling of 25s. Our set weighed 1,620g, not so far behind exotica such as Enve’s 4.5s (1,554g). The brake tracks and pads are the same as the TwentyFour series; they’re okay in the dry but poor in the wet, with a long delay and only modest power after that.

More impressive is the speed and stability. Ridden on a blustery day, the 1/Fifty felt almost as stable as the benchmark Enve 4.5. You can feel side pressure from the wind and you get some movement but it’s never scary. The stiffness is good, too. Subjectively, these wheels also feel fast. We ran them against the Enves in two runs of an 8km circuit at 300W in a tri bike, and the Profiles gave up an average of three seconds, equivalent to 15secs over a 40km bike leg. 

Verdict: Fast and stable clinchers  at a great price, but wet braking is weak 87%

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wizardofaz

The instructions that come with the wheels specifically state not to use tires smaller than 23mm or larger than 28mm. Your review says "A 23mm tyre will integrate best". I would like to use 23mm tires, but the manufacturer's instructions cause me to hesitate. Any comments?

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