Having an opportunity close to my hometown this Thanksgiving to tour Profile Racing’s warehouse and machine shop in St. Petersburg, Florida was a treat. I am privileged in being able to say that I have seen where my own bicycle was made (uh…New England might have a few frame builders around), but never have I been to a place where the parts that keep it going were manufactured. Their machine shop was bigger than I expected; there are almost a dozen machines running, making bike parts five days a week at their space.
Profile Racing has been making bike components in the U.S. since the late 1970’s. They were, and still are, primarily known for their BMX parts, but quickly expanded into the mountain bike field, and have flooded the fixed gear market with anodized cogs and hubs. Post-fixie boom, Profile Racing is making a further leap into road and cyclocross with a new hub set.
The sealed bearing front hub weighs in at under 100 grams and comes in 20, 24, and 28 hole drillings.
Weighing under 300 grams, the rear hub is Shimano/Sram compatible, (Campagnolo compatibility coming soon), and has equal sized flanges, with 24, 28, and 32 hole drillings.
I had an opportunity to test out the rear cross hub on a trail ride with Christian Carlqvist, one of maybe a dozen employees at this family owned company, earlier in the week. The hub driver has 6 pawls and 68 steps on the ratchet ring for instant engagement in all conditions. It was a complete upgrade from the factory manufactured hub I was riding previously (and way louder, which was fun). I will hopefully be able to do a full review before their (unknown) release date. Hubs will be black or silver anodized to start, with more color options coming for spring.
Competing with cycling industry household names like Chris King and Phil Wood may prove to be a challenge, but Christian says that they only want to emulate that same quality, but hopefully at a lower cost. American made and manufactured, bomb-proof, easily repairable hubs? I’ll take it.