By Cyclingnews staff in Vicenza, Italy
Like a colpo di fulmine (lightning bolt), Fulcrum Wheels hit the cycling world a few seasons ago and took the wheel market by storm. Since then, the Italian brand has made great strides towards becoming one of the top wheel marques worldwide. Not only are Fulcrum wheels first rate technically, but Fulcrum has a strong sponsorship program with powerful ProTour teams like Quick.Step, Saunier Duval and Panaria. Fulcrum wheels have innovative, cutting edge wheel technology and attractive Italian style.
A key feature of Fulcrum wheels is their Two to One Spoke Ratio design. Fulcrum says, "The rear wheel spoking has double spokes on the freewheel side, and this feature makes the wheel more rigid, with lower and more balanced spoke tension. When force is applied to the pedals, the rotation of the free wheel causes a slight slackening of the spokes, followed by a reduction in rim tension. This happens time and time again with each pedal stroke and causes energy loss."
Fulcrum has conquered this with their patented Two to One Spoke Ratio concept, which has two spokes doing the work of one, two spokes which reduce wheel flex and thus increase energy transmission.
In 2006, Fulcrum has introduced three new models: RacingChrono, RacingSpeed and RacingLight. Fulcrum's new RacingChrono disc wheel is built with a Polyaramide tensile-structure and has maximum aerodynamic penetration, light weight and rigidity. Compatible only with Campagnolo drivetrains, a RacingChrono disc tubular rear weighs just 995 grams
Fulcrum's new RacingSpeed wheels are very light, aerodynamic and stiff. Weighing 1,300 grams per pair, RacingSpeed uses Fulcrum's unique Two to One Spoke Ratio design. Sturdy, speedy full-carbon 50 mm rims are laced to aluminium hubs with adjustable bearings by aero spokes with a variable section and are compatible with both Campagnolo and Shimano drivetrains. Note that RacingSpeed wheels need special brake pads for carbon fibre rims.
Fulcrum RacingSpeed Technical Specs
Front: weight 575g. / 50mm Carbon tubular rims
with 18 radial 1.8mm stainless variable section aero spokes.
Another new wheel in the Fulcrum range for 2006 is the RacingLight. A perfect name for a wheel that was clearly created to defeat gravity. Very light and lively thanks to Fulcrum's Two to One™ Spoke Ratio design concept, RacingLight features a low profile carbon fibre rim for clinchers, with aluminium hubs. The rear hub on RacingLight has an oversized right flange for improved power transfer, while hub bearings are adjustable and are laced to stainless steel aero spokes with a variable section and are compatible with both Campagnolo and Shimano drivetrains.
Fulcrum RacingLight Technical Specs
Front: weight 585g. / 20mm Carbon tubular rims
with 22 radial 1.8mm stainless variable section aero spokes.
Fulcrum's Racing1 wheel has a 26mm deep aluminum rim with triple facing and since the top of the rim has no spoke holes, it is stiffer and lighter. Racing1 front has 16 spokes, with 21 spokes rear, made from lightweight aluminum and featuring a variable cross section, making them both more aero and stable in crosswinds.
Another Fulcrum feature is their "dynamic balance" where the rim section between the two spokes opposite of the weld joint isn't machined, so the extra mass acts as counterbalance for the the joint for extra stability. Available in two colors. Black & Silver and tubular or clincher versions, Racing1's feature Fulcrum's patented Two to One Spoke Ratio design, laced to adjustable oversized hubs with a large drive side hub flange weighs 1550g. per pair.
Next in the Fulcrum lineup is Racing3, which offers the technology and style of the Racing1 at a more affordable price. An aero 26mm rim laced to 2mm bladed aero profile stainless spokes, 16 radial up front and 21 rear with Fulcrum's patented Two to One Spoke Ratio design. Racing3s have oversized aluminium body hubs and axles with adjustable bearings. acing3 is available in clincher only for Shimano or Campagnolo drivetrains. Racing3 weighs 1605g.
Racing7 is the newest wheelset from the Vicenza firm, a sturdy new model, available in a distinctive red or black anodized version. With a 24mm aerodynamic rim with machined sides for improved braking, Racing7 has oversize hubs with ball bearing races, radially laced with 20 2.0mm spokes in the front. The Racing7 rear has 24, 2.0mm spokes laced in Fulcrum's distinctive Two to One pattern that Fulcrum claims improves energy transmission. The weight for the pair is 1,855g.
Throughout their 2006 range, Fulcrum wheels offer innovative, cutting edge wheel technology and attractive Italian style. For more information, visit their website at: www.fulcrumwheels.com.