As a somewhat recurring theme in mountain biking lately, Fulcrum is one of the latest companies to decide that stiffer isn’t always better. In the case of the new Red Power HP wheels, Fulcrum collaborated with the Merida Multivan team to fine tune the new wheels. Fulcrum points to the fact that what works on the road is very different to the experiences off road which is why the Merida team members felt that slightly less rigid wheels actually improved their performance.
Building in a bit more compliance to the wheels allowed the pros to push harder through certain sections providing them with a feeling of improved handling. Rather than bouncing or vibrating off uneven bits of trail, the wheels rode over rough terrain better without hindering acceleration. The result is an aluminum rimmed wheel in 27.5 and 29″ that supposedly rides better than its predecessor the Red Power XL, while still coming in at almost 200g less.
In addition to the improved handling of the wheelset, the Red Power HP wheels use an all new rear hub that is compatible with all major axle standards. The axle can be switched out to run QR 135, as well as 142×12 and 135×12 and will have freehub bodies for Shimano/SRAM 9 and 10 speed and SRAM XD. Laced with 28 stainless double butted spokes front and rear, the nipples are brass nickel plated for durability and to keep the price accessible.
Weights are listed at 1751g for the Red Power HP 29″ set, and 1681g for the 27.5″ version. Pricing and availability is TBA.