Fulcrum Racing has revamped their 3, 5 and 7 series racing and training road wheels for 2011, and they’ve taken the 5 and 7 and made cyclocross specific versions with better hub and bearing protection.
Shown above, the 2011 Fulcrum Racing 3 road wheels get an entirely new rim extrusion, thinner spokes and a new lacing pattern to drop the weight for the set down to 1,555g, 104g lighter than the 2010 model. The Racing 3 2-Way Fit model (which can be run tubeless) weighs in at 1,595g.
The new rim shape has no spoke holes, making it more laterally rigid and making them tubeless compatible. With no holes in the rim bed, just mount a tubeless tire, add sealant, inflate and go. The new rims also have Fulcrum’s Dynamic Balance, which in this case saves a small bit of material from being machined away opposite the valve stem, keeping their rotational balance equal and smoothing the ride at high speed.
Hit ‘more’ for additional photos and specs on their new road and ‘cross wheels…
The inner sidewall of Fulcrum’s 2-Way Fit rims is made to work with tubeless road tires, though none of their marketing materials or website mention the “RoadTubeless” standards proffered by Hutchinson, etc. Like other tubeless wheels, if you really screw up, you can always remove the stem and stick a tube in it. They’ll also work with regular clinchers. Of three three road wheels shown here, only the Fulcrum Racing 3 2-Way Fit gets the new rim. You might be wondering how they get the spoke nipples into the holes, no? Smoke, mirrors, magnets and momentum. The result is a sealed rim that uses standard nipples. Brilliant.
There’s also a standard (ie. NON 2-Way Fit) version of the Racing 3 that still gets a new, solid rim extrusion, but apparently has a different inner sideway profile that’s not necessarily tubeless compatible.
The spokes on the 3’s are straight and bladed on both hoops, with the front being radially laced (16 spokes) and the rear getting radial non-drive and 2-cross driveside (21 spokes). The rear wheel uses Fulcrum’s 2:1 spoke ratio with an oversized driveside hub flange to reduce the loss of rim tension they say occurs when you mash the pedals, delivering better power transfer. Keeping things aero is their spoke anti-rotation system in the hubs, which ensures that the blades are facing straight forward no matter how much you tweak the nipples. Their freehubs are Campy/SRAM/Shimano compatible.
The Racing 3’s hubs have aluminum bodies and axles with adjustable bearings.
The Racing 5 set is their everyday riding/training wheelset and it gets a new one-piece pawl/freehub body that saves weight.Â 20 / 24 spoke count with radial front and their 2:1 lacing in the rear. The 5 gets a new rim profile, too, with a ddper upper bridge for better clincher tire fitting, and it gets an alternate version of their Dynamic Balance. Since the 5’s rims aren’t machined out like the 3’s, they use two thicker spokes on the side opposite the valve stem to balance the weight. 1760g per set.
The Racing 7 wheels have been completely redesigned with new hubs made for straight pull spokes, new rims with wear indicators and straight guage 2mm steel spokes, all straight pull. Same 2:1 lacing, with 24 rear and 20 front, as the others. 1,849g per set.
Fulcrum’s new CX series build upon the new 5 and 7 to create ‘cross worthy hoops that claim to mock mud and dust.
The Fulcrum 5 CX, shown above, takes the standard 5 and adds a double coating to the bearing’s base to prolong life and make them smoother.
Clincher only, they get the new, deeper rim bridge, too, for better clincher seating, and the braking surface is shaped for better performance with cantilevers. Spokes are butted, aero, straight pull in the same radial and 2:1 lacing as the road wheels, but with reinforced rim eyelets. 24mm wide rim. Weight is 1,760g per pair.
The Racing 7 CX also gets double bearing gaskets to seal out gunk, 20/24 spoke counts with 2mm round spokes. Weight is 1,849g per pair.