Fulcrum’s flagship Racing Zero aluminium wheelset is now available as a carbon clincher.
The Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon, which will also be offered as a tubular wheelset, has been unveiled as part of a revamped line-up which also includes the Racing Zero Nite aluminium clincher, which is said to offer improved braking performance over the regular Racing Zero, which remains in the range.
The Carbon is based around a 30mm-deep carbon fibre rim said to be lighter than the aluminium rim previously used on the Racing Zero and the reduced rotational mass is said to improve the reactivity of the wheel. The rim profile, and its depth, is also claimed to offer an aerodynamic advantage over the aluminium rim of the Racing Zero, without imposing a weight penalty. Claimed weight for the Racing Zero Carbon in its clincher format is 1,358g, which is 77g lighter than the current aluminium Racing Zero, while the tubular Racing Zero Carbon weighs less still at a claimed 1,268g.
The rim is made from a unidirectional carbon fibre and Fulcrum say that has allowed their engineers to fine-tune stiffness, reduce rolling resistance and improve compliance where necessary, while a 3K carbon fibre weave has been used on the braking track to improve longevity and uniformity.
While the Racing Zero Carbon utilises a carbon fibre rim, the bladed spokes (16 laced radially at the front, 21 laced in Fulcrum’s Two-to-One pattern at the back, claimed to boost the stiffness of the wheel and improve the transfer of power from the freehub) and nipples are aluminium, and Fulcrum say that combination increase the rigidity and improve the dispersion of force across the wheel.
UK pricing for the Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon is to be confirmed, while the standard Racing Zero has been reduced to £799.99.
Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite breaks cover
Meanwhile, the Racing Zero Nite is the second addition to Fulcrum’s flagship Racing Zero line-up. The aluminium clincher has had a Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation process applied to the rim and that is said to improve braking performance in both dry and wet conditions, with the ‘grooves’ on the surface of the brake track intended to allow water to drain away while increasing braking friction.
We saw the wheelset at the house show of Fulcrum’s UK distributor, i-ride, and the continuous charcoal finish of the rim, which also has reflective decals, and brake track looks great, too, with an aesthetic not dissimilar to Mavic’s Exalith 2 wheelset.
While made from aluminium, the braking surface has been designed to be used with Fulcrum’s red carbon-specific brake pads, so you can easily swap between an aluminium and carbon fibre wheelset depending on the conditions or, say, when training and racing.
The design of the carbon fibre hub has also been tweaked, with a slimmer profile, and is laced with 16 radial spokes at the front, and 21 spokes at the rear, laced, like the Carbon, in a Two-to-One pattern.
Both the Carbon and the Nite use Fulcrum’s USB ceramic bearings, which are said to be 30 per cent lighter, 40 per cent more durable and 50 per cent smoother than standard bearings. As with the existing Racing Zero, the Nite uses a 25mm-deep rim on the front wheel and a 30mm-deep rim on the rear wheel. Claimed weight for the Racing Zero Nite wheelset is 1,420g.
The Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite is expected to cost £1,049.99.
Fulcrum Racing 5 gets wider
Finally, Fulcrum’s popular Racing 5 training wheelset has a new, wider rim profile for 2015, boosted to an external width of 23mm and following the current trend across the industry for a fatter rim.
Fulcrum say the wider profile means a 23mm tyre adopts an actual width of 24mm when mounted to the new Racing 5 LG, as it’s known, thus offering an increased contact patch with the road and, as a result, marginally improved comfort and grip.
Claimed weight for Racing 5 LG is 1,645g. UK pricing is to be confirmed.