Fulcrum are launching a new range of aerodynamic wheels for 2012 in the shape of the aluminium/carbon Red Winds, and UK distributor i-ride have them in stock and ready to sample.
You’re probably familiar with Fulcrum’s aluminium Racing lineup which kicks off with the £174.99 Racing 7s and goes right up to 1,435g Racing Zeros at nearly a grand a pair. They’re specced as original equipment on many bikes and have made a big impact on aftermarket sales over the past few years.
The Red Wind wheels have a structural carbon rim with an aluminium braking surface for more powerful and predictable control. They come in three different depths: 50, 80 and 105mm, and different models are available with different bearing options. There are standard bearings, USB (Ultra Smooth Bearings) ceramic bearings and CULT (Ceramic Ultimate Level Technology) bearings. The CULT bearings use steel races that are designed to be so resistant to corrosion that you don’t need to grease them, you just add a small amount of oil, keeping the rolling resistance low.
The spokes attach to the rim using what Fulcrum call a Directional Rim-Spoke Coupling (DRSC) design. Essentially, to keep the rim weight low, each spoke nipple sits in a small aluminium insert that can rock during tensioning to align correctly with the spoke.
The entry-level model in the Red Wind range is the H 50 Clincher at £949.99. As the name suggests, this comes with a 50mm-deep rim and the complete wheelset weighs in at 1,755g. Go for the H 80 XLR Clincher with CULT bearings and you’re looking at £1,599.99, and despite a much greater depth, it’s about the same weight (1,770g).
Many of Fulcrum’s wheels are now available to try via the new Try Me demo program from UK importers i-ride. You visit one of their participating stockists, leave them a deposit, then get to try out the wheels for the weekend with no obligation to buy – although, obviously, they hope that you will. Reynolds’ UK distributor Upgrade run a similar scheme.
For all the details go to www.i-ride.co.uk.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.