Last year road and mountain bike wheel giant Fulcrum rolled into the gravel and adventure market with their Rapid Red 5 wheels. They’ve now expended the range, with the Rapid Red 3 going wider while keeping the weight down and the ‘2-Way Fit’ for easy tubeless setup.
The new Rapid Red 3 maintains the low-profile rim that we saw on Fulcrums first attempt, sticking to the 24mm rim height, while expanding the rim laterally internally and externally by 1mm, offering better support for wider tyres.
Speaking of tyres, Fulcrum recommends that the 700c wheelset be used with 30-46mm tyres while the 650b wheels can be used with 40 to 60mm tyres. That covers a rather wide range of riding types.
If you want to ditch the tubes immediately, Fulcrum says that the new wheels are supplied with tubeless valves. Unlike its carbon wheels, Fulcrum has to use tubeless rim tape, though this is also supplied.
As is the case with nearly all gravel wheels now, the rims are designed to be used with disc brakes and the aluminium hubs that Fulcrum uses on the Rapid Red 3 wheels get splines for a centre-lock rotor.
The rear hub can be set up with an HG11 or XDR body and the wheels, both 700c and 650b come set up for 12mm x 100/142mm thru-axles, though there are end caps to take the front hub to a 15mm axle should your fork require it.
24 double-butted spokes are used in both the front and rear wheel in Fulcrum’s 2:1 pattern.
Stu liked the Rapid Red 5, saying that the “wheelset competes well against some of the best in the market in terms of price, stiffness and weight.” We’ll have to get him a set of the Rapid Red 3 wheels to see what bumping the price up to £559.99 does to the performance.
The wheels are available to order now.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.