The Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon wheelset is a stiff and agile pair of hoops that will improve the performance of any ride
The Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon wheelset is a carbon/aluminium hybrid with a UD carbon rim and aero straight-pull spokes.
While that might sound like a whole bunch of technical jargon, the result is laid bare out on the road: these are a stiff and agile set of wheels that will improve the performance of any ride and well deserve their spot in Cycling Weekly Editor’s Choice 2017.
Effectively these carbon hoops are an update to the original Fulcrum Racing Zero wheelset, which is all aluminium and nearly £1,000 cheaper than the Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon wheels being tested here.
The Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbons weigh in at 1,358g. They have a 30mm-deep rim, resulting in a potential aero benefit (albeit very small) without losing climbing prowess. The ride feel is very direct, offering a playful amount of zip and responsiveness. The urgency is nice and at no point have we felt these to be sluggish.
Descending is a joy on the Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon wheels. They feel planted, very well balanced and with a decent brake feel they are predictable and stable when pushed. The front wheel can catch the wind a little – but more on that below.
The rim features Fulcrum’s 3Diamant surface treatment to help braking. This basically removes resin from the braking surface to allow the specially developed Fulcrum pads to bite into the woven carbon better. And it works very well indeed in the dry, even in warmer conditions of Majorca.
Braking is instant, predictable and I didn’t feel any fade. However, as with many – if not all – carbon rims I’ve ridden in rainy conditions, braking leaves something to be desired in the wet. However, it is by no means the worst we’ve tested.
At 30mm deep the chunky rims and bladed spokes do catch a little in the wind. It catches frequently at the front, although you are hardly in danger of being flung of your bike.
The super-smooth ceramic bearings limit any resistance in the hubs while the oversized driveside flange offers a visual reminder of the stiffness these wheels offer. Hard sprint efforts don’t seem to force much flex and neither does climbing out of the saddle on steep descents, with the wheels spinning up nicely to speed. And once up to cruising speed these Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon wheels glide nicely.
The rear hub doesn’t have the ratchet engagement click, which is usually something reassuring to hear, though engagement is quick and precise all the same. This all helps the wheelset to perform admirably – you don’t really need to look beyond these Fulcrum Racing Zero carbon wheels for a race wheel upgrade.
Fulcrum has done a great job at improving its aluminium Racing Zeros with this carbon offering. Although a little pricey, you get a lot of performance. Braking in the dry is brilliant and the wheels feel great and agile. This can be really felt when pushing the descents, which made my recent Majorca trip a true joy.